We practice two basic forms of meditation – mindfulness of breathing and metta bhavana.
I recommend you search the app store on your smart phone for “insight timer”, then you can set it to ring x times at y minutes apart to mark the stages of the meditation when you practise at home. You can choose between several very beautiful bell sounds.
And don’t just sit at home and meditate alone. Come along and meditate with us. People usually find that their meditations are deeper when they meditate with others, not to mention all the other benefits of spiritual fellowship with friends.
Especially when starting out, it can be very useful to play an audio that teaches and leads you through the meditation.
Mindfulness of Breathing meditation
http://www.wildmind.org/mindfulness/introduction This is an excellent resource. There are several pages on each of the stages answering a lot of common questions, and breaking it all down step by step.
http://www.wildmind.org/mindfulness/four has a streaming 26 minute audio at the bottom of the page that you can listen to or download as an mp3 (right click and save if on a PC)
Also the following are audios of lead meditations
Metta Bhavana (loving kindness aka kindly awareness) meditation
http://www.wildmind.org/metta/introduction is a really excellent resource. He breaks down this meditation step by step and gives a lot of helpful information. There is a a section on each of the stages,
http://www.wildmind.org/metta/metta-five has a streaming audio near the bottom of the page that you can also download as an mp3 .
is by Ratnaguna at the Manchester Buddhist Centre
https://kindnessbehaviourtraining.com/downloads-chapter-4/ is a streaming and downloadable audio file for a guided 20 minute metta bhavana meditation using the breath. On that site https://kindnessbehaviourtraining.com/downloads/ there are many other useful guided meditations you can stream or download . See our recommended book page for more information about the book and training that these meditations are from.
Keith reading from the book “The Heart” by Vessantara and leading through 4 introductory meditations for the metta bhavana.
Keith leading the metta bhavana – 30 minutes
Keith leading the metta bhavana – 40 minutes
Websites where you can pay to download mp3s
Also the following sites have some mp3s, online courses, and a book. They are run as a business, and they charge money which allow them to create more resources. They are very good quality, and they are run by members of the Triratna Buddhist Order
http://www.wildmind.org – he has some great stuff on here. But he has lots of different meditations. I recommend you stick to the mindfulness of breathing and metta bhavana at first, until you are fully immersed in these, before doing a lot of other ones, otherwise you might end up a bit overwhelmed by all the different techniques.
http://www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk/downloads also has some mp3 downloads
Wildmind do many online courses, often a month long for a donation of between $40 and $100 depending on your income.
Breathworks do a lot of mindfulness courses. They also specialise in the areas of relief of stress, anxiety, pain etc
Meditation Courses and Classes
We hold a introduction to meditation and Buddhism course three times a year at approximately the start of each school term. You will see more information on our blog and on Facebook just before the start of each course.
You can also do a meditation course in person at a nearby Buddhist Centre, or on Zoom.
Failing that, most of these places also hold drop in beginners classes where you can learn meditation at lunchtime and/or evenings
The very best way to learn meditation is to go on a beginners retreat. This can be for a weekend, or one or two weeks.
I highly recommend that you jump in and do this. They are really great fun, and you can make some amazing friends there. They are a mixture of trying out some meditations with a lot of instruction, having group discussions, drinking tea and biscuits and chatting, and sometimes walks in the country.
A retreat gives the very best conditions to meditate, and after you have been there a day or two, the gaps between your thoughts will increase, allowing you to naturally access deeper states of meditation which can be a very beautiful experience.
Then when you come back home, it will be easier to get back into those states, as you have already experienced them.
We are part of the Triratna Buddhist Community, so we recommend that you go on a Triratna retreat, as they will teach the same meditations that we practice at Broxbourne Buddhist Group.
http://goingonretreat.com gives a consolidated list of all Triratna retreats in the UK.
https://londonbuddhistcentre.com/retreats/ lists all the introductory weekend retreats held in Suffolk by the London Buddhist Centre. About an hour and a quarter drive from Hertford. They hold one a month. Plus they hold beginners week or two week retreats at Easter, Summer and Christmas.
Also http://www.cambridgebuddhistcentre.com/retreats/about.php hold retreats open to beginners.
I still remember the first retreat I went on 40 years ago. It was an amazing experience, and opened up a whole new world to me. I quickly got hooked, and spent most of my annual leave going on retreats, as I found it a lot more satisfying and a lot more fun than conventional holidays.
Deepening your practice of the Metta Bhavana
Once you have learned the basics of the metta bhavana, and want to take things deeper, there are some excellent audio recordings from a series of talks called “Who hates the metta bhavana?” by Jnanavaca downloadable audio here and youtube video here .
London Buddhist Centre Youtube Channel Playlists
The other playlists on the LBC Youtube channel are also excellent, and you can always just search for a word (eg “metta”) in the search box on their channel, and a lot will come up.
So you have no excuse now! Why not come along and meditate with our friendly spiritual group. You can drop in any Tuesday evening, and we will give full instruction and a warm welcome to any newcomers.