In September Integral Meditation Asia will be offering two courses on How to Develop a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention, the first is a three hour workshop on the 2nd September and the second s a five week course on Wednesday evenings, starting on the 5th September . In this message I want to talk a little bit about the courses, and why they are a little bit different from a traditional course in meditation, or any other course that you might find around.
Is the course for beginners or advanced meditation practitioners?
Firstly, the Mind of Ease course is a very good basis for beginning a meditation practice in the sense that it teaches all the basic fundamentals of how to develop and sustain a stable, enjoyable daily meditation practice. Also included within the price of the course are three MP3 meditation recordings (5mins, 10mins and 20mins in length) that will be sent to you after the first class that can guide you through your meditation practice if you don’t feel confident just sitting and doing the practice by yourself at home.
However, I would also say that this course has a lot to offer more advanced meditation practitioners, especially if you find that your daily meditation practice sometimes seems to have only a limited ability to keep your mind peaceful during the day, and you are looking for a meditation model that includes techniques to deal with many of the negativities and obstacles that continue to bother us even when we become competent meditators.
The meditation techniques that I teach on these courses arose from my own meditation experience over the last fifteen years (including five years as a Buddhist Monk), and anobservation of how traditional meditation methods often leave out some important key components to developing a peaceful mind on all levels of our being. This is not because there is anything “wrong” with those traditional techniques per-se, it is just that the world and our minds have been evolving fast, particularly over the last 20-100 years or so, and so the particular challenges that we now face in developing a really deep mind of ease are different and more complex than when traditional meditation techniques evolved, often hundreds or thousands of years ago.
With the Mind of Ease courses I have put together the simplest set of practices that I believe is possible to deal effectively with the ever increasing complexity of our outer world and inner self. The mind of ease courses will not drown you with excessive information, but at the same time will give you the information that you truly need in order to stay simple, dynamic, happy and focused in the face of the ever increasing complexity and challenge of our evolving world.
An Inner “Kata” or Martial Practice to Protect and Nurture Your Mind and Inner Wellbeing
To conclude I just want to give you the briefest resume of the content of the “Mind of Ease” courses. The analogy I give is that it is like an internal “Kata” or martial arts practice that gives you all the necessary “moves”, perspectives and practices to conserve and develop your inner sense of wellbeing:
1. Relaxing into a space of physical, mental and spiritual safety, placing your mind and body consciously at ease
2. Reducing and releasing tension and stress, gently energizing the body-mind using the breathing.
3. Extending a feeling of warmth, friendship and compassion toward self, sharing it with others
4. Being aware of the flow of positive, negative and neutral thoughts within the mind, focusing gently upon the positive, or framing whatever is arising within a positive mental framework
5. Practicing conscious gratitude, appreciation and enjoyment for that which is good and benevolent in your life, soak your awareness in this appreciation and gratitude
6. Focus your mind upon a single object, such as the breathing, to the exclusion of all other objects. Learn to be able to focus your awareness like a laser beam for short periods
7. Become aware of the natural inner space and stillness within your mind that is there even when you are experiencing thoughts and feelings. Relax into that natural inner space and stillness.
8. Become aware of awareness itself, that part of your mind that is pure formless witnessing awareness. You cannot observe it as an object, but you can nevertheless learn to relax into it, rest in it and BE it.
Ok, so do check out the full information on both the three hour workshop, and the five week course , please note the five week course is available to participate in as a recording if you are not based in Singapore!
Finally, please feel free to check out the Mind of Ease section of my meditation blog, where there is a lot of free articles relating to the subject of developing a mind of ease.
Yours in the spirit of a mind of deep ease.