Buddhist Meditation Classes
Advanced classes: Buddhist meditation classes
The Buddhist meditation classes are where the rubber really hits the road. Because, when we combine a study of Buddhist philosophy with meditation practice we can go all the way. As a result there is no problem which cannot be resolved and no attainment that is not possible. If we get serious and committed, enlightenment is not far away.
Life gives so many options. So there are a trillion paths that we can take. Where we go depends on which of the zillions of impulses we follow. Broadly though we can categorize paths into good ones and bad ones. A good path takes us toward greater and greater happiness and a bad path in life takes us ever deeper into suffering.
Therefore, fairly obviously we would choose a good path.
We learn that everything good in life comes as a result of good karma – good actions. Thus all happiness, peace and joy, as well as all good circumstances and comforts, are a result of positive karma. So we want to create good karma. And we learn that this depends on good states of mind, or virtues. Hence, these virtuous states are a genuine source of happiness to both oneself and others. They stimulate the impulses of good karma and favour the experiences of happiness. Also they bring about the circumstances congruent with happiness.
Most importantly, good karma will always take us along a good, sound and beneficial path.
All good then. Virtue creates good karma, and that creates happiness and benefit. Too easy.
Path to Enlightenment
Well, not that easy actually. There remains the pesky influence of previous bad karma. And also the impulses toward negative states. El Grumpo lives. Le desiree chases after the attractive. Finally I was feeling nice and Buddhisty. And I was really getting into all this meditation, virtue, love, compassion, patience and peace. Then somebody gives me grief and I am ready to sacrifice all sense of peace in pursuit of revenge.
What to do then?
The negative habits are strong. But our impulse to virtue still weak. So there is inner work to be done.
Hence we need meditation practices specifically designed to purify negative karma. And practices to weaken and elimate all the negative impulses along with their habit energy.
At the same time we need meditation practices designed to strengthen virtue. And meditation to increase positive karma. These meditation practices become our spiritual sadhana, our way of approaching enlightenment.
The Buddhist meditation classes provide the knowledge to be able to go about this. Also they give us the opportunity to study further and refine our practice of meditation. Most importantly, the classes lay out the steps to enlightenment. They reveal the means of awakening.
Lam Rim Classes
Where: Augustine Centre, 2 Minona Street Hawthorn. Main Hall.
When: 8.00-9.00pm, Tuesday evenings commencing Feb. 7, 2017
In 2017 we will continue to study the meditations on the Wisdom chapter of the path to enlightenment. Thus the meditation classes will continue in the usual format.
They are intended for those who have been studying with Venerable Toby over the last year or two. Alternatively they would be suitable for those with some related background.
Lam Rim is a systematic approach to meditation practice that is unique to Tibetan Buddhism. The method condenses the essence of Buddhist practice of the path to enlightenment into progressive stages of understanding. Most of all lam rim gives meditation approaches to quickly and efficiently gain the benefit of these views.
Lam means path. Rim means graded stages. Hence Lam Rim is sometimes translated as Graduated Path. Another translation is Stages of the Path. Also when put into context it may be rendered Path to Enlightenment, or Graduated Path to Enlightenment.
Therefore Lam Rim has been strongly recommended as the foundation of spiritual development. It gives increased understanding and realisation of the Tibetan Buddhist wisdom tradition. Lam Rim is the foundation for engaging with the tantric (vajrayana) teachings.
Where: Augustine Centre: 2 Minona Street Hawthorn. Main Hall.
When: 10.30am-5.00pm, Sundays.
Retreat days will be held on selected Sundays throughout 2017.
The dates for 2017 are as follows
Sunday April 2. Calm Abiding retreat
Sunday October 8. Buddha Nature retreat
A retreat day is an opportunity to deepen your meditation experience with the added confidence of guided sessions, explanations and discussion. Therefore retreat days are most suitable for those studying in the Advanced Buddhist Classes.
Setting aside a day for purely spiritual development and relaxation can help sort through obstacles and open the mind to new insights and great clarity.
Hence, the great thing about spending a day in retreat is that you have an uninterrupted go at your spiritual practice. Meditations throughout the day build one by one to give a stronger and deeper experience of where meditation can take you.
It rare to be able to make time for purely spiritual development. The pressing nature of life pull us into being ever more busy. So a precious time is the days we are able to give to a greater purpose, the time we spend in a protected environment aimed at developing our meditation practice and discovering more of our personal journey to enlightenment.
Just as the more consistently we meditate day to day, the more consistently we give our time for retreats makes our practice evermore beneficial.