Melbourne Buddhist Meditation Classes
Learn to meditate – 8 week introductory course
Take a breath, create some time and space, and relax into the wonderful stillness, peace and calm that awaits you in meditation. Melbourne Buddhist Meditation Classes is presenting ‘Learn to meditate’ classes for beginners. These meditation classes are ideal for those wishing to explore the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
It is always the right time to learn to meditate. If you think you are too busy to meditate, it is a sure sign that you really need to meditate. As you learn more of the power of your mind, you will quickly sort out that sense of busyness and resolve your time management issues.
Not only will you develop the greatest lifeskill of all, but the mindfulness that is a part of formal meditation sessions will enable you to carry that clarity into all spheres of daily life.
Learning to meditate from an experienced and authentic meditation teacher sets meditation practice in its true context, as a path to ever greater happiness, joy and bliss and increasing freedom from suffering.
This is the true role of meditation and mindfulness as established by the Buddha 2500 years ago. He passed this on through the Buddhist monks that he ordained as his successors until our teachers in this present time.
Even if you have learned to meditate from the many derivative sources developing in fields ranging from psychology to science, you will find life anew in meditation in its full context – as a path to enlightenment, a true path of inner awakening.
There will be no classes on Anzac Day
Tuesday April 25.
Classes resume as normal the following Tuesday – May 2.
Venerable Toby Gillies giving meditation classes in Hawthorn.
here and now
Learn to meditate classes in April, 2017
Over the course of these weekly introductory meditation classes you will begin to notice the effect of regular attendance and practicse. Stress and anxiety will be noticeably reduced and a new sense of stillness and calm found. With mindfulness we are then able to extend the benefits of meditation into all parts of our lives.
Meditation and the spiritual journey that it begins helps to conquer our fears, move our emotions into a positive and happy direction, all the while releasing us from the hold of negativity and limitation. Mindful living brings a new awareness of ourselves and those we interact with. We begin to see more clearly the workings of the mind and to identify where the contents of mind are helping us and where they may be hindering.
Meditation is above all a tool for understanding the mind with all its conceptuality, habits, feelings, emotions and intuitive senses. Until we meditate, most of what happens in the mind does so sub-consciously and we are reactively and uncontrollably driven from one experience to the next. Meditation makes the sub-conscious mind come into the awareness of the conscious mind and thus gives us choice and freedom over habit and reaction.
As our inner world changes, physical changes occour as well, with improved health, more energy, better sleep being experienced. Doctors, nurses and traditional health professionals increasingly recommend meditation and mindfulness practice as an adjunct to healing. The mind-body connection of Buddhist thought is now well recognised and more recently highlighted in the discoveries of neuroscience. Their brain mapping techniques put meditators as the happiest people on earth.
You know it makes sense.
Study and meditation: the need for classes
Engaging in meditation practice with a traditional teacher will expose the need for continued learning to accompany practice. This combination of listening to teachings and practice has guided the Buddhist approach and is a feature of the Dalai Lama’s teachings. The results of meditation and how far it can take us depend on the context within which we meditate. The overarching perspective of our studies provides both direction for practice and, importantly, inspiration and motivation to continue.
The more we learn, the more we are inspired to practise until we gain a true realisation, an unshakeable spiritual ground, or level of attainment. Our meditation classes in Melbourne provide a supportive and enjoyable environment in which to continue learning while developing our meditation practice. We learn the stages of the path to enlightenment and how to progress through them.
Weekly classes will encourage daily meditations and our mind will open to all the richness that life has to offer. Study and meditation have been the two pillars of spiritual progress through millenia in Buddhist teachings.
The type of success we achieve spiritually in meditation opens the vista and means of success in all areas of life – personal, in relationship, professional or social
Don’t wait, drop-in to a Tuesday evening class now or register for upcoming meditation courses later in the year. The classes are from 7.00pm to 8.00pm in a central Melbourne location – 2 Minona street, Hawthorn.
Toby Gillies, before becoming ordained, greets His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the first occasion that he taught in Australia in 1982.
What to expect if I am new to meditation classes
Melbourne Buddhist meditation classses are held in the main hall at the Augustine Centre, 2 Minona street Hawthorn, Melbourne. Most find the straight-backed chairs and armchairs provided are the preferred option. However cushions are available for those who prefer sitting cross-legged and the floor is carpeted. The hall is a quiet and relaxed environment.
You do not need to bring anything. Come as you are, whether straight from work or home. Bring notebook and pen if you like, but you will probably find it unnecessary. The venue is a nice central location for accesss from most suburbs in Melbourne and our students come from all over Melbourne and some from even further afield. Once you establish the connection you will find any travel well worth the effort.
Each session will comprise an introduction to meditation, a full explanation of how to meditate, a guided meditation session and an opportunity for questions at the conclusion. The sessions are very relaxed (well, you would hope so wouldn’t you!) and friendly. The eight week courses start with the very basics, from posture onwards, but if you feel the urge it is fine to come along at any point. You will be able to pick up all you need and then carry on to the next eight week course.
Anyone can meditate but some find it easier than others. It is of no consequence either way because the results are more determined by consistency, effort and commitment than anything else, so whether you find it easier or a bit more difficult is neither here nor there. The main thing is finding a good teacher.
Who is the teacher
All Melbourne Buddhist meditation classes are given by our teacher, Venerable Toby Gillies. Venerable Toby has been a fully-ordained Buddhist monk in the tradition of the Dalai Lama for over thirty years and has been teaching all that time and also for several years prior to ordination.
He trained under the renowned meditation master and scholar-monk Geshe Thubten Loden and worked for him in establishing the Tibetan Buddhist Society in Australia and writing his nine internationally renowned books. Venerable Toby has spent years of his life in meditation retreat and trained in monastic settings both here and overseas.
Ven. Toby has been a member of the SeraJe monastic University in Mysore India, which has over 3000 monks, since 1989 and regularly studied at the monastery over the years with his teacher. He has put decades of effort into studying all the major texts that comprise the curriculum at SeraJe Monastic University and is a member of the Denma College there.
Teaching meditation classes in Melbourne
All that may sound a bit daunting, but Toby has been teaching beginners for 40 years and has a wonderful knack of making things clear, accessible and free of dogma. He understands the demands of modern western life and knows that we have to start somewhere and that progress is a gradual thing. He will take you as far as you can go with meditation, by steadily and progressively building your knowledge and experience.
Toby is very down to earth and conducts the classes in great humour and naturally conveys a sense of peace and relaxation. Ven. Toby has taught thousands of people how to meditate and introduced them to the path to enlightenment and some may know him from his time in East Melbourne, Balaclava, Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, the Mornington peninsula, the northern suburbs and western suburbs of Melbourne. For the last few years he has been teaching his Melbourne classes in Hawthorn. He also periodically gives workshops and classes at the Beaumaris Buddhist Meditation Centre.
Finding an authentic spiritual guide for a meditation teacher is very important as it brings with it the blessing of the lineage of such teachers from the first monk, the Buddha, to the monk of today. This can speed your progress immeasurably and ensure the ultimate direction of your meditation practice.
Explore the background to these meditation classes, from the Buddha to the present time
Advanced classes: Buddhist meditation classes and retreats
Melbourne Buddhist meditation classes advanced classes introduce more of the Buddhist philosophy and an explanation of spiritual development in terms of the path to enlightenment. The ultimate aim of meditation techniques is to bring enlightenment – a complete awakening to reality.
The insights that we develop along the way bring more focus, better concentration, a deep inner stillness and calm where we overcome all manner of distractions, dullness and the obstacles to our own and others benefit. Enlightenment is a state of perfect benefit to oneself and others and thus the omega point of spiritual life.
A natural outflow is a great sense of contentment, equanimity and compassion which enable an effortless deep communication with those around us. The state of enlightenment is a consciousness both joyous and grounded, a calmness that is free of anger, fear, anxiety and all other taints of stress and suffering.
Meditation techniques from Tibetan Buddhism
The teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist collection of sutras and tantras give many techniques of meditation as well as a structure for their progressive development leading to full awakening, or enlightenment. They give clear explanations for developing the single-pointed concentration of samadhi and the calm-abiding of samatha meditation. This may be developed through mindfulness of the breath, or any of the four foundations in mindfulness, but also further aimed at developing loving-kindness meditation, mantra meditations, visualisation meditations of many levels of complexity.
Analytical methods of meditation include various forms of contemplation and provide a foundation leading into the tantric methods of energy absorption and mandala visualisations.
The guru-disciple relationship of pure spiritual friendship is the means by which the circle of trainees are gradually introduced to the methods most suited for their development. In the formal teaching environment, guided meditation from an experienced teacher can convey more than reading volumes of teachings.
The inspirational nature of these experiences provide the vitality and energy to persevere until enlightenment. When this is practised in harmony with a structured program of study the fascinating insights of the spiritual path will forever fill all aspects of life and give rise to the skills we need for success.
The advanced Buddhist classes are given each Tuesday evening from 8.00pm to 9.00pm and are for those students who have studied with Venerable Toby for some time.
Retreat days are scheduled regularly. Dates for retreats in 2017 are here.
Venerable Toby Gillies with his root Guru, Geshe Thubten Loden, travelling to SeraJe Monastic University to visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama.