If you’re wanting a practice of meditation that is secular in orientation and framed by Buddhist ethical and philosophical values, at One Mindful Breath we explore the role of mindfulness in:
- embracing the difficult and unavoidable aspects of the human condition
- letting go of the dictates of reactivity
- stopping, and experiencing the calm and clarity of spaciousness, and
- acting, to cultivate creative engagement as a way of being in the world.
Whether you’ve never meditated or you tried but found it too hard, you’re most welcome to come along. You’ll find out you won’t be trying to ‘stop your thoughts’, and you will be learning a useful skill.
The purpose of meditation is personal transformation
The ‘you’ that goes in one side of the meditation experience is not the same ‘you’ that comes out the other side. Meditation changes your character by a process of sensitisation, by making you deeply aware of your own thoughts, words and deeds.
Your arrogance evaporates and your antagonism dries up. Your mind becomes still and calm, and your life smoothes out. Meditation, properly performed, prepares you to meet the ups and downs of existence, reducing tension, fear and worry. Restlessness recedes and passion moderates. Things begin to fall into place, and your life becomes a glide instead of a struggle.
All of this happens through understanding
Meditation sharpens your concentration and your thinking power. Then, piece by piece, your subconscious motives and mechanics become clear to you. Your intuition sharpens. The precision of your thought increases, and gradually you come to a direct knowledge of things as they really are, without prejudice and without illusion.
So is this reason enough to bother? Scarcely. These are just promises on your screen. There is only one way you will ever know if meditation is worth the effort. Learn to do it, and keep on doing it. See for yourself.
– adapted from the book Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana