Meditation is a method for acquainting our mind with virtue.
If we train our mind to become peaceful we will be happy all the time, even in the most adverse conditions. But if our mind is not peaceful, even if we have the most pleasant external conditions we will not be happy. Therefore it is important to train our mind through meditation. There are two types of meditation: analytical meditation and placement meditation. When we contemplate the meaning of a Dharma instruction that we have heard or read we are doing analytical meditation. By deeply contemplating the instruction, eventually we reach a conclusion or cause a specific virtuous state of mind to arise. This is the object of placement meditation.
Having found our object through analytical meditation, we then concentrate on it single-pointedly for as long as possible to become deeply acquainted with it. This single-pointed concentration is placement meditation. Often, analytical meditation is called simply ‘contemplation’, and placement meditation simply ‘meditation’.
What to expect at a class?
All you have to do is turn up, the Q&A list below outlines what happens and what doesn’t in a beginners meditation class.
Q: Is there a meditation posture i.e. sat in what’s commonly known as the lotus position?
A: No meditation is done sat in a chair, you can sit in a traditional posture if you want to but it’s not expected.
Q: Do I need any previous experience to attend a class?
A: None what so ever, all meditations are guided and lead by experienced teachers who gently lead you through all the meditation even telling you when to open your eyes!
Q: So what actually happens in a class?
A: The class consists of a short talk, guided meditations and time for questions.