Learn to meditate in Melbourne and develop a daily practice

We want to learn to meditate. When we get serious about it, we will want to improve. When someone asks me for tips about making progress, I always answer the same. The most important thing is consistency.  

The best way to make progress is to be regular with your meditation sessions. At first, we should aim to meditate once each day. 

Every day, that is.

Daily practice is so important. We can adjust the duration of the meditation session to suit our personal needs. But do it every day. 

How much time we have available and how much energy we have for the practice will vary person to person. So ask yourself the question, “What is not too much and not too little meditation for me to do each day?”

For some the answer to that question might be a few minutes. For others it could be 20 minutes, half an hour, or an hour. Remember, the time should be a period that you can do daily. Whatever the duration is for you, that is a start. 

In time you may find that you prefer to do more each day. You may then want to meditate twice each day, say morning and evening. But whatever you elect, be consistent with that discipline. There is no need to force things, or try too hard, nor do too much. Keep things balanced and allow it to build. Your meditations will be enjoyable and something to look forward to each day.

How will I learn to meditate?

I conduct classes for those wanting to learn to meditate, in Melbourne, on Tuesdays. The classes aim to cover all the background that you will need to maintain a daily practice. I will give you a guided meditation during each session. You will learn all you need to continue on by yourself. Each week we discuss progress.  We examine why we use a particular meditation and what results you can expect from it.

What are the steps in learning about meditation?

To begin, we need to stabilise our mind by developing a capacity to focus with clarity. We increase our awareness and mindfulness.  These mental factors go hand-in-hand with any meditation practice. Our mind finds its innate stillness and rests there in vivid awareness.

Through consistent practice we can direct our attention with focus. There is no interruption by other thoughts.  All distractions subside during a meditation session.

With this foundation we then develop analytical meditation. This insight meditation enables us to explore our inner world. We come to know our thoughts, feeling, emotions and intuitions and where they take us. We learn of our strengths and weaknesses. Further meditation techniques help enhance our strengths.  We can lessen the impact of our weaknesses.

It takes some time to develop our meditation to a high level. But you will notice improvements and benefits week by week. After a time your progress will surprise you. 

Establishing the habit of consistent practice is a wonderful foundation for continued development. It will enable you to improve your state of mind and how you understand yourself and your place in the world.

Once you begin on Tuesday evenings, the classes will give more material each week.  There is plenty to learn as you find answers to the questions that matter.

Happiness: why meditation makes you truly happy

Happiness and meditation

 

What role does meditation have in producing our quality of life. How can learning to meditate contribute to being happy?

Happiness – of the true, genuine, deep and lasting kind – is the birthright of every being that lives. Our deepest yearning is to be separated from suffering and to experience ever more happiness. In this we are the same as everyone else without exception. If asked whether they would prefer more joy or more suffering any person will choose joy. The pursuit of happiness is actually at the core of every move we make in life. Unfortunately for most of us this core wish is left unacknowledged and deep in the subconscious areas of our awareness. Because we often don’t see the link between what we do and our wish for happiness, the shape of our life drifts further away from being able to make sound decisions about what really is good for us, or to see what really does foster a happy state.

 

The way that we are conditioned by those around us can convince us that happiness comes from something or someone outside of ourselves. We may come to think that happiness is found in material things, in beautiful things or in success. We may be convinced that someone else will make us happy, that to have this friend, or more friends, or that by taking a lover we will become more happy. We may also look for happiness in changed circumstances – ‘I would be happy if only I was less busy!’ Perhaps, ‘I would surely be happy if I was less bored and had more to do!’

 

If you happen to be single you may at times think that you would be happy if you were married. If you are married, you may come to think that you would be happier single. For most of us happiness is lost in a never ending search for that ever elusive greener ground covering.

 

The source of happiness

 

So where do we find happiness? What is its actual source? External things may sometimes provide us with enjoyment, and changed circumstances can produce some joy, but it seems clear that this is a fleeting and unreliable way to generate happiness. When we have the circumstances we define as ‘happiness producing’ we are happy, but when those circumstances are no longer with us we lose the happiness which depends on them.

 

If we reflect more deeply, however, we can see that happiness is a feeling, an internal and purely subjective experience. That experience may be provoked by an external thing, event or person, but the happiness itself is utterly subjective. Happiness is firmly rooted in the events of your mind, in the inner phenomena of feeling. Happiness is found among the contents of your mind, as a part of your inner world, and it is here that we can begin our search for the real means to happiness. We can see therefore the critical role of meditation practice in exploring this inner, subjective aspect to our experience.

 

Understanding the mind

 

Despite the great advances in understanding of psychology and neurobiology, the functioning of mind remains something of a mystery for the average person, and, although there is a natural tendency to study the above disciplines to gain an understanding of mind, a far more direct and personally relevant means to understand the mind is found in the practice of meditation. In fact, all the greatest of philosophers and psychologists over time have achieved their major breakthroughs in understanding through some form of personal introspection.

 

The truly exciting and inspiring thing about meditation is that it gives each of us the opportunity to observe the functioning of mind directly. We can learn about mind from the recorded observations of other experienced meditators, and we can put their observations to test and make our own observations through our own practice. Because introspection and reflection is natural if time is allowed for it, everyone can meditate. You may only have a minute to spare, but in that minute you can meditate. The only pre-requisite is to have a mind!

 

Meditation

 

Meditation not only allows us to gain an ever deeper understanding of mind, but also equips us with the means to improve our mind – to improve its functioning, its clarity, its intelligence and logical ability, its intuitive insight, its emotional stability, its peacefulness and tranquility.

Meditation shows us how to identify the positive states of mind which genuinely support a state of happiness and then it gives us the tools to reinforce and nourish those happiness producing inner states. At the same time meditation allows us to identify the negative states of mind with which we unconsciously sabotage our happiness and gives us the tools to overcome those destructive states.

At an advanced level, meditation is the key to uncover the greatest human potential and to realize an ability to rest constantly in a state of bubbling happiness, with a joyful, playful, spontaneous zest for life, love and liberty, and to maintain this irrespective of whether external circumstances are good or bad. Our happiness then is not tied to others or to anything at all outside of ourselves. The moment we look within, total happiness is right there. As the depths of an ocean rest undisturbed by the movement of waves on the surface, so our happiness and sense of well being remains constant and not swayed by the ups and downs of changed circumstances.

This is true happiness, true contentment, true joy and peace. It remains with us constantly and is ever present and spontaneously shared. This happiness is only accessed by properly directed meditation.

Needless to say, I am a great advocate for the benefits of meditation. It has lead my own search for meaning and spiritual truth. It lead me to become a Buddhist monk and devote over thirty years of my life teaching and writing about this path with my teacher.

The urge to share meditation’s grace and beauty with others is the reason for presenting the teachings that I give, for in meditation we find a true and final release from suffering and negativity and a definite establishment in deep and lasting happiness.

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