Meditation and mindfulness

Introductory course

with Buddhist monk

Venerable Toby Gillies

Commenced Tuesday February 6, 2018

 7.00-8.00pm each Tuesday for 8 weeks.

 Series finishing this Tuesday March 27.

 $25 per class


Register or enquire

14 + 12 =

The next 8 week introductory course will commence on Tuesday, April 10 (a week after Easter).

To register please use the form above.

What you will learn:

How to meditate and practice mindfulness

Skills to improve concentration, clarity, focus, and emotional stability.

Discover the hidden processes of the mind and how to shape your experiences in life

The answers to some of the big questions which add greater purpose and meaning to life.

Uncover more of your unique gifts and emotional strengths and see how they can enrich your relationships

Venue, time and cost

Where: Augustine Centre: 2 Minona street Hawthorn, Melbourne

When: 7.00-8.00pm Tuesdays for 8 weeks from February 6, 2018

Please arrive by 6.45pm to allow a 7.00pm sharp start

Cost: $25 per class on arrival

Parking: Parking is available in the streets around Minona street. Give yourself 5 or 10 for parking.

About the course

This meditation course will explain how to practice mindfulness and meditation properly as they have been taught from the Buddha and his line of monks until our teacher today.

Though you will gain some insight into Buddhist philosophy, meditation and mindfulness can be practiced by those of a secular mindset. There is no need to become Buddhist to gain benefits from these practices.  The application of these practices is the same either way.

Classes include instruction, guided meditation and the opportunity for discussion and clarification.

Melbourne Meditation Classes

Discover more about mind and its potential. Learn how meditation can enhance all areas of life.
With meditation you gain a tool that is beneficial, in your relationships and career or sport.
Anyone can learn to meditate and be mindful and the mundane benefits of practice are well documented. Expect better health, healing, emotional stability, relaxation, clarity, and focus. Some will enjoy the opportunity to go further and unleash the full power of their mind. You may even discover the extraordinary ability of enlightement. You may understand then what has inspired seers over millenia.
In these meditation for beginners classes you are guided in stages. Confidently expect to gain some mastery over eight weeks of training. 
The background for the practice is from the teachings of the Dalai Lama. His philosophy is of universal responsibility and compassionate engagement. This ethic gives substance and structure to meditation and mindfulness.
The Dalai Lama has been instrumental in collaborations with various Western disciplines. As a result neoroscience and psychology are now opening to meditation and mindfulness. We are thus seeing some modern derivatives of these timeless Buddhist practices. 
All are welcome to these classes, whether for a one off class or ongoing attendance. There are straight backed chairs and also cushions. The idea is to come along, try it out and see where you think you might be able to take it.
Toby Gillies introducing the Dalai Lama and Prof. Hopkins

Toby Gillies introducing His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his translator Professor Jeffrey Hopkins for his first public lecture in Australia.

How meditation classes can help

To learn any skill we need a teacher, someone well versed in that discipline. To understand science we need a science teacher, to play the piano we need a piano teacher. Meditation is a journey in consciousness so we need a teacher familiar with this journey. We need a spiritual teacher.
The journey we take in meditation is personal and quite unique for each individual. The methods to unveil this inner path, though, are themselves universal. We learn them from a  teacher of meditation and mindfulness. Meditation classes give us the opportunity to study and question. We get feed-back as we go. Regular classes can be the anchor and inspiration for our continued practice.
Sometimes people learn a simple meditation technique. But after a time they are not sure how to move to the next level. It is helpful to find a teacher familiar with all aspects of the path of meditation. We can learn the bigger picture and see how far it is possible to go. A good teacher will help us resolve our doubts and blocks.
Meditation classes also connect us with the lineage of the meditation teachings. The line of teachers carry with them something of the energy of all  who have gone before. For some the felt sense of the lineage conveys more than volumes of explanation. Clear explanation and lineage is the most powerful transmission of the Dharma.

The great value of attending meditation classes

In the classes we learn how to meditate and how to practice mindfulness. These teachings are the Dharma, the pure view as taught by the Buddha. Listening to the Dharma, the teachings on meditation, is itself a form of meditation.
We learn how to meditate. We receive guided meditations. Listening to what is true, the Dharma itself, is a valuable form of meditation. Consistent listening to the Dharma is very powerful in our spiritual development. It will remove misunderstandings and ignorance. It is like a light removing darkness from a room at night.
Listening helps us to learn and gain real wisdom. This wisdom is our greatest possession because no one else can take it from us. Our wisdom is our guide and goes with us everywhere.
Listening to the Dharma is the best weapon on earth because it destroys confusion, our true enemy.
Listening to the teachings on meditation is our greatest friend. Our meditation supports us always, in good times or bad.
So engaging in meditation classes can become a beneficial influence in our lives. The classes support our regular meditation practice and inspire us to go a far as we can. They can provide limitless advantages in our working life, our social life and our personal relationships.
Dalai Lama, Professor Hopkins and Toby Gillies
Toby Gillies with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Professor Hopkins at the Camberwell Civic Centre Melbourne for a public lecture. 

Is it religious…

The classes do not present a belief system to adopt. We give a variety of techniques of meditation. The idea is to try them out to see how they help. Part of your meditation practise is to test what you hear to see what works best for you.
As a result, the classes will not clash with any pre-existing religious belief you may have. Nor is it contrary to scientific or non-religious belief systems. Meditation is a path of discovery. Through it we hope you discover your enlightenment. The approach is to try it and if you like it adopt it. If you find no benefit then discard it.

The advantage of these particular classes is that you meet meditation as a living tradition. It stems from the Buddha. The practice has passed to your teacher today in an unbroken lineage of teacher to student. Each have proved it to themselves and then passed it on. In this context you will be able to see where the various modern derivatives fit with the original.

The meditation practices of the Buddha are often extracted and re-packaged. These days we see commercial, psychological, science or new age offerings. They can offer clear benefits. But the most comprehensive benefit is when practiced in the original context.

Some advertise, ‘Learn to meditate like a Buddhist monk’!

Better to learn from a Buddhist monk and take part in the oral lineage of the teachings.

But is it drawn from Buddhism?

It is, because meditation and mindfulness are Buddhist in origin. Toby is a Buddhist monk and studied in the Tibetan system of the Dalai Lama. What is the Buddhist approach then?
The Buddha explained before teaching that no-one should accept what he said on face value. He claimed that this would just add another layer of information. It would further intrench ignorance. Rather, the Buddha said there is only one real counter to ignorance. This is to develop wisdom, the wisdom to discern and assess.
This wisdom gives the power for reliable analysis and also accurate discernment. You are no longer dependent on what others tell you. With wisdom you can make a personal assessment and decision. So he encouraged us to listen, think and meditate as the means to true insight and understanding.

Find the Gold

Furthermore, the Buddha advised us to be like a merchant buying gold. First the merchant would rub, cut and burn the gold to see if it is pure. Then, if he finds it to be pure, he can decide whether to buy it or not. We should submit the teachings we hear to thorough analysis. If we find them to make sense, to be of value, then we can decide whether to take them onboard. If we like we accept, if not we reject.
This approach is the way to free ourselves from all social and personal conditioning. We develop a new confidence in a pure view that comes from within. It is not a case of believing, but a way of knowing. The insights that we develop from our meditation open up new and exciting ways to approach life. We learn from its challenges and take part in its endless opportunities.