Meditation Classes Melbourne
With Buddhist monk Toby Gillies
“Meditation is a skill cultivated through study and practice.
Meditation classes in Melbourne
We offer a study and practice programme in meditation.
Each class includes explanation, guided meditation, and Q&A.
The classes are suitable for those new to meditation and also those with previous experience. Advanced classes are available for meditators well established in Buddhist meditation methods.
Pre-covid, our sessions were held at the Augustine centre in Hawthorn, but are now given live on Zoom each Tuesday evening. We find that live Zoom sessions are a very good means to pass on these meditation abilities.
Buddhist meditation – meditation that helps
Meditation is a key component in the Buddhist path to Enlightenment. It uses a range of meditation techniques to give a full spectrum of methods to achieve inner development. This leads to an awakened consciousness we call Enlightenment.
All the physical, mental, and emotional benefits touted for meditation flow naturally from meditation aimed at enlightenment.
Whatever issue or self limitation we deal with falls into the broad category of suffering. Conversely, the important and valuable things in life all bring a sense of peace, joy, and satisfaction.
Enlightenment, by definition, is a complete and lasting freedom from any form of suffering. It is a full immersion in happiness to the point of bliss and peace.
This inner state is delightful beyond description and free from any limitation on the ability to share it with others.
We can describe Enlightenment as “perfect benefit for self and perfect benefit for others.” It remains so regardless of external circumstances or events. Enlightenment simply informs your engagement with the world around you.
The path of meditation, when laid out well, leads to this state of enlightenment. It is the attainment and gift of the Buddha.
The Buddha’s primary concern was human happiness, to free us from suffering. He discovered the source of suffering and the means to overcome and be free from suffering. Central to this were his teachings on meditation.
Intriguingly, he showed how a lack of understanding fuels ever-recurring suffering, and how the clear view developed through study and meditation overcomes this lack of understanding and frees us from suffering once and for all.
He maintained that as sentient beings we have consciousness and that the ultimate nature of consciousness will know truly, or realise ultimate and conventional truth. So we all have this inner potential for enlightenment, awaiting our discovery in meditation.
The structure of the meditation course
Although one can discern some benefit from meditation over an eight week course, for full enlightenment, you will need consistent study over years. For that reason, our classes build knowledge progressively to equip you fully for your own awakening to enlightenment. Of course, you can decide how much you want to do at a time, but classes continue every Tuesday year on year.
The value of finding a Guru for enlightenment
Guruyoga is a central practice in the Tibetan Buddhist approach to enlightenment. It is a method that speeds your journey. Find a Guru who is: ethical, calm, wise, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, compassionate, patient and skilful. A teacher trained in the path to enlightenment.
If the student is honest, sincere, calm, wise and listens carefully, that guru relationship will bring the blessings of the Buddha and give a grace that brings realisation quickly.
Lineage is important
Buddhism is a living tradition more so than historical dogma. The Buddha taught his students. They realised the teachings through practice and then taught theirs. This lineage has continued unbroken to our Guru today. It both upholds the core teachings of the Buddha and ensures adaptability to the time and culture the lineage meets.
The Buddha gave ordination, and those monks ordained successors until the monks of our day. The lineage carries the power and blessings of all those gone before and is our opportunity to connect with the Buddha and receive his empowerment through his lineage.
Our teacher is Venerable Toby Gillies, a monk trained in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. He has been teaching in Australia for many years.
If you would like to try out our classes, please complete the form here.
Meditation classes for you
Take a breath, create time and space, and relax. Enter into the wonderful stillness, peace and calm that awaits you in meditation with Toby Gillies’ offerings of meditation in Melbourne.
A new skill with multiple benefits awaits. In meditation you find a path to ever greater happiness, joy and bliss. In a meditative state, we find freedom from stress, pressure and suffering. We move instead towards peace, happiness and the capability to embrace the boundless possibilies of life.
The real purpose of meditation and mindfulness practice is to help us feel great. It is to release us from limitation and unpleasant experiences, from bad habits and suffering, and guide us instead towards happiness, relaxation and peace within.
Meditation takes us to a natural level of happiness in the form of a constant sense of bliss. This comes from within no matter what is happening around you in life. It is just always there, ever available to you, when cultivated through your meditation classes.
Meditation Techniques from Tibetan Buddhism
Toby Gillies’ meditation classes, both introductory and advanced, are informed by the values of Tibetan Buddhism, sutra and tantra.
This unique progressive structure of methods leading to enlightenment begins with single pointed concentration (samadhi), which leads to calm abiding (samatha). We then combine calm abiding and insight (vipassana) to realise what is both ultimately and conventional true about ourselve and the world we encounter. Knowing things, as they are in truth, gives complete freedom, a state of bliss and peace.
Learn to meditate in 2022
Through weekly meditation classes you will notice the effect of regular practice. First, we reduce our sense of stress and anxiety. Then we find a new sense of stillness and calm. This calm abiding is true concentration, an immense mental focus. Then, with mindfulness, we can then extend the benefits of meditation into all parts of our lives.
Meditation is a true spiritual journey. We explore our inner world and conquer our fears. We bring forth a great power of positive emotion, a power of love, a power of wisdom.
Mindful living brings a new awareness of ourselves and those we interact with. We get to know the workings of our mind and can see clearly where the contents of mind are helping us. Then we can contrast this with where our mindset may hinder us and block our development. In time, we gain all the meditation methods we need to overcome hindrances.
Meditation, mindfulness and mind
Mindfulness is the glue in meditation that holds attention, awareness and concentration together. Our introductory meditation classes emphasise the practice of mindfulness. It helps us stay present and bring greater awareness and clarity to all we do.
Meditation and mindfulness reveal our habits, feelings, emotions and intuitive senses, making us conscious of our otherwise mindless reactions to life’s events. This self-knowledge enables us to oversome obstacles and see life challenges through to successful outcomes.
Further, as our inner world changes, physical changes also occur. We experience improved health, more energy and better sleep, with even Western science recently ‘discovering’ meditation to be an great adjunct to healing. (Bet that is news to the Buddha.)
The Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan terms for mindfulness translate as ‘remembering’. Consequently, a more accurate description of mindfulness than ‘paying attention’ would be ‘retaining attention’.
‘Remembering’ brings your attention back when your mind wanders to the past or future in your meditation practice. Mindfulness retains, or remembers, the objct of conentration.
In meditation we use a method of mindfulness of the breath, and then cultivate mindfulness of the body, the feelings, the mind and the phenomena of mind. These are the well-known Buddhist practices of the four foundations of mindfulness. All meditation employs mindfulness training.
Study and Learning How to Meditate
To gain the best results from meditation, we need to study the practice. This study provides both direction and inspiration. In other words, it motivates us to continue and be consistent. Toby Gillies’ meditation classes provide a supportive environment for consistent learning so that practice and study complement each other. If you turn to Toby Gillies to learn meditation, you will appreciate the convenient location at 2 Minona St, Hawthorn.
(More so, since Covid, we are holding our classes using the Zoom platform. Though Hawthorn is a nice central location, your lounge room probably has it covered for convenience.)
Authentic Buddhist Teachings for Meditation Classes in Melbourne
Venerable Toby has been teaching beginners for 40 years, focusing on making the practice clear, accessible and free of dogma. Toby understands the demands of modern Western life, acknowledging the gradual changes in perspective that will bring real and potent benefits. Toby has taught thousands of people how to meditate in an engaging, down-to-earth manner.
Melbourne Buddhist Meditation Classes in Hawthorn was established in 2011. Prior to that Toby taught at centres throughout Melbourne and continues to give workshops and meditation classes in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
Curtesy of Zoom we can now help students pretty much everywhere under the sun.