Just to let you know what is happening in March
We are continuing with our beginners’ meditation course on Mondays at the Broxbourne council complex lead by Keith and Leah. This is going very well, and it is still possible to join on Monday 6th for our penultimate evening. This evening will focus on the metta bhavana (living kindness meditation). https://www.meetup.com/Broxbourne-Buddhist-Meditation-Meetup/events/238063262/
Thursday drop in classes at Broxbourne
9th will be lead by Leah – discussing the theme of the three levels of wisdom and really seeing things as they really are. https://www.meetup.com/Broxbourne-Buddhist-Meditation-Meetup/events/237798913/
16th will be lead by Keith (and possibly Leah). This will be focussed on meditation covering the five hindrances and their antidotes (keywords: name, acknowledge, positive regard)
23rd will also be lead by Keith (and possibly Leah). This will be focussed on our attitude to meditation and in particular cultivating an attitude of learning and exploring.
Tuesday 7th March: Mangala is coming to the Hertford Tuesday drop in and will be talking about conditionality and the three characteristics of conditioned existence – the laksanas https://www.meetup.com/Hertford-Buddhist-Meditation/events/238066483/
Tuesday 14th March: Rob will lead the class
Tuesday 21st and 28th March: Helen is leading discussions at on the key Buddhist teaching of the Four Noble Truths
Hope to see you at some of these
Hope to see you at some of these. Everybody is very welcome including complete beginners and anyone wanting to find out more about meditation and/or Buddhism.
Have a great month 🙂
Exciting news if you want to learn to meditate.
1)Beginners’ Four Week Meditation Course supported by meditation diary handouts and home practice
You can join us on week 3, even if you missed week 1 and 2
Please come along. You are warmly invited.
Learn two amazing meditations in a four week course. Charge for this is £10 per evening to help cover the costs of our group.
We will assume no prior knowledge or experience of meditation, and we will teach both meditations from scratch.
The location is the wonderful Spanish Ambassador’s Suite at the Broxbourne Borough Council Offices EN8 9XF
There is no obligation to come to all four evenings (although it is highly recommended you do). Just come along to the first one with an open mind and willingness to really give it a try and see how you get on.
Make some new friends at the same time, as you will all be learning together.
This is the first time we have ever done a four week meditation course like this, so it is a bit of an experiment. So if you ARE a beginner (or relatively new to meditation), make sure that you come along, as we are not sure if or when we will run another one.
Even if you have meditation experience, you are very welcome to attend, and you will probably find it very useful to really come back to basics, and look at your practice with beginners’ mind.
We will teach two traditional methods of meditation:
Weeks 1 and 2: Mindfulness of Breathing meditation (this is a basic mindfulness meditation. As your thoughts gradually quieten down, you enter a deeper, richer, space).
Weeks 3 and 4: We introduce Metta Bhavana (allowing loving kindness to arise, and directing it towards ourselves, a good friend, a neutral person, someone we don’t like, and expand outwards to all beings in the Universe), but we still carry on practising mindfulness of breathing during the week, alternating the two meditations, and we will discuss both practices at our weekly class.
We will teach and lead you through both of the meditations and have plenty of time for group discussion and questions, plus a tea and biscuit break at half time.
We will also give a meditation diary hand out at the end of each class. This will recap the basic instructions, and also give you six mini assignments for the six days between each class night. Each assignment will suggest you focus on a different aspect of the meditation practice, and there is a space to write one positive thing about the practice (even if it is just that you managed to do it!) and one thing about awareness of body sensations that you noticed.
If you practise these meditations regularly, and set up the right conditions, they will start to affect your daily life, which can lead to feeling lighter, happier, more joyous, kinder etc. It can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, and can allow you to experience a spiritual dimension to your life. Words are inadequate to really convey the experience, but you may notice that something profound is happening.
We would definitely recommend that you meditate every day. You will find meditating for 20 minutes a day makes a tangible difference. And then you can make it longer (30 or 40 minutes), if it suits your lifestyle. If you really cannot spare the time for 20 minutes, then start off with 10 minutes and gradually increase it. Everyone can spare 10 minutes.
The classes are taught by the Broxbourne Buddhist Group , but we will not be teaching Buddhism on these evenings. You do not have to “become a Buddhist”, or even know anything about Buddhism. There is no dogma, superstition or God in Buddhism. These meditations are fully compatible with any religion or belief system including atheism. It is recommended that you test everything we teach against your own personal experience for you to evaluate whether it is helpful.
If you attend this course, after that you are very welcome to meditate with us at our regulars’ night every Thursday, and find out about Buddhism. One way of looking at Buddhism is that it is really just a very practical way of building a way of life around meditation.
If you would like to come on this course, please book your place before it gets full up.
We will start the class very promptly at 7.30 pm, so best to get there at 7.15 or a bit earlier. Doors open at 7.00.
Hope to see you there 🙂
p.s. Places are very limited so please book early (by RSVPing onhttps://www.meetup.com/
2) I have spent a bit of time revamping the page http://hertfordbuddhistgroup.co.uk/meditation/
This now lists a whole load of resources including:
meditation courses and classes
mp3s of lead meditations
playlist of 28 excellent youtube videos by the London Buddhist Centre on meditation
So now you have ABSOLUTELY no excuse but to start meditating now, and reaping the amazing benefits.
Then come along one Thursday and meditate with us.
3) So here is what is going on at our two groups:
Broxbourne Buddhist Group
Keith, Leah, and Padmajata are leading the class most (if not all Thursdays). And we will mostly be studying Vajragupta’s excellent book in the second half, after the meditation.
Beginners meditation evening at Broxbourne on Thursday 16th Feb
And the last Thursday of the month (23rd) we will probably have a video night, hopefully on the massive TV that we noticed hanging on the wall.
Hertford Buddhist Group
My old friend Khemananda is coming up from East London on Tuesday 21st Feb to lead the evening. That should be a great night, and I hope to be there.
There is also a puja (devotional ritual) on Friday the 3rd of Feb lead by Rob.
The other Tuesdays will probably be lead by Rob (and possibly some of the evening lead by Padmajata).
4) Many of us had a very heartwarming Sunday morning last weekend, as Viryajyoti came down from Cambridge and lead a going deeper event around the theme of beautiful spiritual friendship.
5) Last, but definitely not least. Debs took the major step of becoming a mitra at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre last week. Many congratulations from all her friends in the sangha.
That is all for now
Have a great month
There are two excellent pdfs with a lot of background information and links about meditation, Buddhism, Triratna etc
Click the links below to open and/or download and/or print:
where to find…
Recommended reading lists
On-line Dharma talks
Study material (including the Triratna
Dharma Training Course)
Contact details for Triratna Centres
Details about retreats
Dharma material and events for young
Children and schools’ Dharma material
Ask a Buddhist: on-line answers
what we look like
Photos of Triratna Centres
Profiles of people/Order Members
Video clips from around Triratna
more about Triratna
FWBO/Triratna History and archives
What is a Mitra?
Asking for Ordination
This Pack complements this Resource Pack and includes short introductions to meditation and
Buddhism as practiced in the Triratna Buddhist Community, plus the text of the main ceremonies used.
a short introduction to meditation
a short introduction to Buddhism
a short introduction to the Triratna Buddhist Community
basic Triratna texts
The Threefold Puja
The Dedication Ceremony
The Sevenfold Puja
the Refuges and Precepts
The Heart Sutra
This book is highly recommended “Buddhism: Tools for Living Your Life” by Vajragupta. We have been studying this book together at Broxbourne. It is very accessible, and a lot of depth to it, and is a really good introduction for anybody wanting to learn more about our Buddhist path. Vajragupta’s “job” is to come round and support local groups, and he has promised to come to Hertford sometime when he is in the area.
It is available on Amazon in papaerback and also kindle by clicking here
There are so many amazing books, it is hard to single one out, but another one that looks very accessible for beginners is “A Deeper Beauty” by Paramananda. Click here for the Amazon link.
If you want a book about meditation, go to our meditation page, to see our recommended book by Wildmind.
There are many excellent books on Buddhism and meditation by many teachers both inside and outside Triratna. We usually prefer to recommend books by Triratna teachers as they are normally a bit more in line with the approach and practices of our classes. www.windhorsepublications.com/ is part of Triratna, and publishes a lot of amazing books, so we would recommend any that you find on their website. Most of these are also available on Amazon.