DHARMA AND INSIGHT MEDITATION (VIPASSANA) AND ASSOCIATED PRACTICES
Dharma teachings and practices have a single purpose. They point to an enlightened life.
Insight Meditation and associated Dharma teachings awaken one to the Ultimate Truth and its presence in daily circumstances.
Insight Meditation belongs to a comprehensive body of teachings embracing ethics, spiritual inquiry, contact with like-minded people, compassion, wisdom and an enlightened life.
Insight Meditation offers emotional and psychological insights, a depth of awareness, inner peace and a profound and liberating sense of the Here and Now.
The Three Refuges
I TAKE REFUGE IN THE BUDDHA
I TAKE REFUGE IN THE DHARMA
I TAKE REFUGE IN THE SANGHA
The word Buddha means the fully Awakened One. Awakening expresses full realisation of the ultimate and intimate Truth. Such a being knows liberation, non-duality, keeps uncovering insights into the great field of existence and abides with love and compassion for others.The Dharma is the teaching of the Awakened Ones.
Dharma refers to teachings and practice that embrace ethics, awareness, love, meditation, inquiry and our engagement with the world.
The Sangha includes the awakened ones, the noble ones dedicated to supporting and sharing their realisations and all those deeply committed to the Dharma.
MINDFULNESS OF THE POSTURES
Sitting Meditation: Cross-legged, use of meditation stool or chair without back support (unless necessary). Sit with straight back and neck with chin slightly tucked in. Eyes closed with feeling of expansion in chest and diaphragm area. Avoid use of will power to hold posture. Let the wholebody settle into the posture with alert presence.
Walking Meditation: Meditative walking consists of slow, short steps. Heel of one foot hardly goes in front of toes of the other. Be mindful of each foot touching the ground. Eyes used for seeing ahead and balance. One hand resting on the other at the abdomen. 5-15 metres to walk up and down with moment to moment awareness. Be respectful to each step on the Earth.
Standing Meditation: Stand with toes and heels close together. Hands together on the abdomen. Eyes closed or open. Experience the presence of whole body from soles of feet to top of the head. Then experience stillness of posture, the vibration of life and the sense of being.
Reclining Meditation: Lie flat on the back with heels together or bend knees so heels are drawn close to buttocks. Head on small, firm pillow or two or three books. Arms at the side of the body, palms facing upwards. Be fully present to intimacy with immediate nature.
Eating Meditation: Vegetarian or vegan food. Initial reflection on world wide inter-dependency that makes a meal possible. Silence throughout meal with alert posture. Conscious and unhurried eating with mindfulness of tasting, chewing and swallowing of food. Concluding with a reflection as a thanksgiving.
INSIGHT MEDITATION ON MINDFULNESS OF BREATHING
In the sitting posture be mindful of the full breath experience. Experience the body expanding with the inhalation and contracting with the exhalation.
If tired, keep the eyes open. If restless, breathe long and deep and relax with the outbreath. Allow the breath to flow in and out of the body, whether the breath is rough or smooth, shallow or deep.
Be aware of the moment(s) of stillness before the next in-breath. Be aware of change, of impermanence of all experiences. The breath comes and goes like all events, experiences and situations.
Experience the air element stimulating and opening cellular life as a contribution to stress reduction, healing and well being.
Let the brain cells become quiet. Mindfulness of breathing contributes to harmony of body and mind and direct experience of organic life.
The air element confirms our intimacy and inter-dependence with the surrounding world. Allow this perception to run deep as a liberation from self centred existence.
MEDITATION ON THE BODY
In the sitting posture, direct the attention to a full awareness of the direct body experience.
Moment to moment scan the attention from the head through to the toes. Experience directly the sensations, vibrations through mindfulness of the body.
Notice areas in the body where there is tension, pressure, aches and pains. In as relaxed as way as possible direct mindfulness into these areas.
Be aware of the centre of the discomfort and also of the outer edges. Direct mindfulness to areas where appears to be a lack of sensation.
Return attention to full awarness of the whole body. Experience the body as organic life, as various vibrations and sensations touching on consciousness.
In immediate communication bodily life, one cuts through much of the appearance, if not obsession with bodily appearance - size, age, appearance, colour, gender and social conditioning interpreting the body in a particular way.
Grounding oneself in direct bodily experience. Being mindful of descriptions and interpretations of the body around likes and dislikes, health and sickness.
Experience the body as the inter-dependence of the four elements - earth, air, heat and water. At times, the body feels like matter or light or or warm or fluid - a specific contact one of the elements.
Regard the body as belonging to nature or as an expression of nature rather than thought of as "I" or "My." Go deep into the question "who dies."
MEDITATION ON STATES OF MIND
Sit. Be mindfull and conscious of the Here and Now.
Be aware of the state of mind calm or restless, focussed or wandering, clear or cloudy, alert or dull, without desire or with desire, positive or negative, grounded or flighty.
Witness the state of mind rising, staying and passing in consciousness. Notice times of pure observation of the state of mind and times of being lost in the state of mind.
Regard any state of mind as the opportunity for self learning and insight into the activity of the psyche.
Regard a thought just as a thought, no more, no less. Know the difference between thoughts supported with wisdom and unwholesome thoughts.
See the mind as the mind belonging to a process. Notice the presence of intention and "I" and "my" in the unfolding states of mind.
Learn to explore and accomodate the range of inner experiences including depths of meditation and religious experiences.
Not holding onto any expierience so that the heart-mind is not the centre of existence. Realize liberation and the free mind.
MEDITATION OF NATURE OF THINGS
Sit and abide with choiceless awareness with calmness of body, feelings and mental states. Experience a full sense of presence without directing mindfulness to a particular object.
Allow one's whole being to rest in this choiceless awareness.
Neither looking nor pursuing anything whatsover, either experiences or anything in this world, near or far.
Know the contact of the world of sights, sounds, smells, taste and touch onm the senses without desire to fix on anything.
Allow a palpable and transforming silence and stillness to pervade the depths of consciousness.
Not concerning oneself with harmony or disharmony, the personal or impersonal, unity or diversity, sameness or evolution.
Sublime Patience. Abide with humility in this choiceless awareness where there is nowhere to go, to stay or to come from.
In this receptivity regard any realizations, revelations or insights into the Ultimate Truth as gifts rather than the fruits of "self" effort.
LOVING KINDNESS (METTA) MEDITATION
Be relaxed and comfortable. Close the eyes and access a warm, caring and loving heartfulness towards life.
Be aware of the absence of ill will, desire to hurt or hate in the heart so that one experiences an authentic kindness and compassion towards one and all.
Generate this warmth to those who are in the immediate vicinity and those far away.
Develop this meditation so that kindness of the heart becomes firm and steady despite the vicissitudes of existence.
"May people everywhere be free from suffering and pain.
May my teachers, community, loved ones, friends and contacts be free from suffering and pain.
May my mother and father be free from suffering and pain.
May my brothers, sisters and relatives be free from suffering and pain.
May my children and grandchildren be free from suffering and pain.
May people appreciate their inter-dependence with each other and their environment.
May animals and creatures in the ground, on the ground, in the air and water live in safety and security.
May I abide with with a warm heart, clear mind and be free from pain.
May my daily activities through body, speech, heart and mind contribute to the contentment, healing and insights of others.
May I find the resources for the welfare of others. May I be willing to take risks for their well-being.
May all beings know happiness,
May all beings know love,
May all beings be wisely supported,
May all beings be free,
May all beings experience an enlightened life."
INSIGHT MEDITATION ON FEELINGS
Acknowledge feelings whether pleasant, unpleasant or in between. Feelings give support to activities of body, speech and mind.
Experience what is felt Here and Now and be aware of any description or label of it.
If the feeling intensifies and becomes emotion - ecstasy, sorrow, excitement, fear, bliss - let the experience unfold without struggle.
Neither detach oneself from feelings nor indulge in them.
Acknowledge feelings of love, friendship, compassion, gratitude and equanimity. Be conscious of and receptive to their presence and expression.
Be mindful of interpreting past, present and future in the face of pleasant, painful or in between feelings.
Clinging to pleasant feelings leads to desire and pursuit of self interest. Clinging to unpleasant feelings leads to withdrawal, aggression or other forms of reactivity. Clinging to in between feelings leads to ignorance, apathy and blindness to the way things are.
Recognize the difference between spiritual feelings that contribute to ethics and wisdom and wordly feelings where ego interests are paramount.
Realize That where perceptions and feelings have no foothold.
MEDITATION ON CHOICELESS AWARENESS
Know the contact with the world through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Experience the senses without desire to fix or substantiate anything.
Abide with choiceless awareness through experiencing a full sense of presence of the Here and Now.
Neither indulging in memories, nor pursuing future dreams, nor looking for something to happen in the present.
Not choosing to focus on the personal or impersonal, unity or diversity, sameness or evolution - since all positions refer to sentient and insentient objects.
Allow one's whole being to rest in this choiceless awareness.
Permit a palpably transforming silence and stillness to pervade one's being.
In this choiceless awareness, there is nowhere to go, to stay or to come from.
In this receptivity, regard any liberating insights into the Ultimate Truth as expressions of Truth rather than fruits of "self" effort.
Prayer of the Heart
Let us keep our heart focussed
Let me find kindness to negate resentment
Let me show generosity to dissolve possessiveness
Let me stand steady in the face of pain rather than live in fear
Let me experience co-operation rather than revenge
Let me be free from clinging and a narrow mind
Let me express compassion rather than indifference
So that my heart connects with the realities of others
So that I stay true to an undying principle
Of treating others as I wish to be treated.
So awareness and respect pervade
My thoughts, words and actions.
To live in such a way brings dignity and nobility to life
And reveals true freedom of being.
A Daily Reflection
I vow to remember that today is a new day
Full of new beginnings and fresh moments
Today, I will not cling to events of yesterday nor yesteryear
But stay connected with what today brings.
I will not madly pursue my desires at the expense of others
Nor flee from challenging tasks.
I will remain true to the unfolding process of today
Without losing myself in thoughts of what was or what might be.
I will treat today with awareness and sensitivity
Even in the most ordinary of tasks.
I will apply myself wholeheartedly to the fullness of today
For I know that today holds the resource for authenticity.
A Daily Meditation
“Let us be still for a few moments
Without moving even our little finger
So that a hush descends upon us.
There would be no place to go,
Nor to come from,
For we would have arrived in this extraordinary moment
There would be a stillness and silence,
That would fill all of our senses,
Where all things would find their rest.
Everything would then be together in a deep connection.
Putting an end to ‘us and them’, this against that.
We would not move in these brief moments
For that would disturb this palpable presence;
There would be nothing to be said nor done
For life would embrace us in this wondrous meeting
And take us into its arms as a loving friend.