We have recently started a really interesting and vibrant mindfulness and meditation course. It is 8 weeks long, and we have just completed the third week.
But it is fine to join the course at any time. It does not matter if you have missed previous weeks, and if you want you can always catch up by reading the book “Life with Full Attention” by Maitreyabandhu (although you don’t have to).
The photo was taken at the end of week 1 a few weeks ago.
People are finding it really useful to take a look at their lives and find ways they can be more mindful, and we have had a lot of great feedback.
Anyway, hope to see you on any Tuesday evening. The next 5 Tuesdays all focus on the mindfulness course, and then it is more varied subject matter after that, but we always have guided meditation and tea break. Newcomers and beginners are always very welcome.
11/2 – Mangala and Keith
18/2 – Keith and Amber
All the best
p.s. There has been an incredible outpouring of support for Leah on her three month ordination retreat in Spain starting in April, and she has almost reached her target. More information available at https://www.gofundme.com/f/ordination-at-akashavana
p.p.s. If you fancy some yoga before the class why not come along every Tuesday from 6 to 7 pm
At the Quaker Meeting House, 50 Railway Street, Hertford SG14 1BA
All Levels Welcome. Bring your own Yoga mat £5 per session. Contact Amber on 07942 612 117
Here is an excerpt from Vajragupta’s book
“Buddhism: Tools for living your life”, which we recommend to people
new to Buddhism (as well as more experienced people)
Bare awareness and continuity of purpose (contiuned)
Part of what we are doing in the mindfulness of breathing meditation is cultivating this ability to be attuned. Do you find that the more you watch the breath, the more you notice? Do you begin to feel fine and subtle sensations where you have not noticed them before? Perhaps we start to realize that we breathe with our whole bodies, not just our lungs. We might pay attention to how there are four stages to each breath: the in-breath and the out-breath, but there is also a pause between in and out, and also between out and in. Can you watch and feel the similarities and differences in the duration, texture, and depth of each of these phases of the breath? Even something as ordinary as the breath can become rich and pleasurable.
Having this quality to our experience doesn’t entail having to do everything incredibly slowly. A pianist playing a fast and difficult piece of music may pour his or her fingers over the keyboard very, very quickly, while still being completely concentrated and absorbed such that they are one with the music. Sometimes doing an activity physically slowly can help slow down the mind and establish sati, but it doesn’t always follow that acting slowly equals mindfulness, or acting quickly equals mindlessness. It is the quality of awareness that counts, not the speed.
The second aspect of mindfulness is continuity of purpose. Mindfulness is not only about being attuned to the present moment, but also about how what happens now will affect and condition what happens in the future. We try to remain aware of our purpose, where it is that we want to go. When we establish this quality, our lives becomes more whole and harmonious. We don’t distractedly drop one activity because we suddenly realize we need to get on with the next, but there is a flow from one activity to another. Ideally, we retain a sense of continuity and harmony in which every aspect of our lives is related to all the others.
© Windhorse Publications