Why is it that everyone seems to advocate the practice of meditation these days? What can meditation do for me? Why should I invest time to learn about the practice, and then to continue daily meditation?
What is happening in the world?
Our modern culture perpetuates a constant search for meaning. We want to know that our life matters, that we are behaving well, and a good person. We spend a surprising amount of time assessing ourselves and then comparing our lives with others. Much of what informs these comparisons comes from the media of various types. Social media serves up other’s pretences of the ‘good life’. We have no time to delve more deeply. No one has time for a trip to the library so we take the immediacy of a Google search to inform. But no matter how clever the algorithm Google and social media serve up a variable quality news soup.
The answers we are fed by broadcast media, social media and Internet searches is necessarily a shallow representation of life. As we move from text to audio to video as the primary mode for our media consumption what we are encouraged to believe is increasingly a surface level, artificial reflection of the world. The regurgitation of this in endless gossip among friends gives reinforcement.
Where does meditation come in?
More and more people discover that meditation is an altogether new way of learning. We learn from within, from our interior perceptions, discernments and insights. We unveil our personal understanding of the world. Meditation helps make sense of the world and shows how we reflect our true selves back into the world.
Through meditation we realise that the mass media interpretation of the world is leading us down the garden path. It’s taking us away from ourselves and our sense of being, absorbing us into the mass conception of roles and responsibilities. These are projected onto us by others and our own lack of a sense of true self demands that we conform. But in meditation we find our path to freedom from conformity, from any restriction at all. We have a way of freeing ourselves from external expectations and discovering and then enacting our true nature.
This true nature is at once individual, and yet universal in sharing consistent qualities. Chief among these consistent qualities is a sense of happiness that is pervasive, ever-increasing, self-sustaining and fulfilling. This happiness comes to dominate our meditation and leads to its ultimate expression in a continuous state of delight or bliss.
So in this way meditation resolves the search for meaning. We each resolve it within ourselves. We know our purpose. We know our value. We know how that can benefit all those around us.
Melbourne Meditation classes through November
In our classes throughout November we explore these and many other aspects to the practice of meditation. We draw on the vast wisdom in the ageless teachings of the meditation masters from Tibet. This Tibetan Buddhism is a rare and precious gift to the modern world at a time when we most need it. Our classes are taught by a Tibetan Buddhist monk, Toby Gillies.
Classes will continue with an introduction for newer people from 7 to 8pm Tuesday night. In the advanced classes we continue examining the stages of spiritual development in the path to enlightenment. This class is from 8 – 9pm.
The final class for 2019 will be on Tuesday, November 26. Classes will begin again in 2020 on Tuesday February 4. This final session for 2019 will be a joint class students of both the introductory and advanced classes and will begin at 7:30 PM. As is usual for the last class of the year the session will include a blessing ceremony and taking refuge and commitments.
Classes are held in the Main Hall, Augustine Centre, 2 Minona Street, Hawthorn. Cost is $25 per class, payable on arrival.