We were delighted to welcome a lovely group of people to the first class, some new, some returning, but all interested, or curious at least, about meditation. So we settled down and sat in silence for a few minutes right at the start, with the two simplest instructions: back straight and relaxed. We focussed on our posture later too, with full and detailed instructions because ‘if you create an auspicious condition in your body…then meditation…will automatically arise’ (Sogyal Rinpoche).
We learned that we can also use different methods to help us to settle our mind, to help our mind be at its best. This course covers three methods of shamatha (mindfulness practice), as we learn to focus our attention lightly on an object, then on sound and thirdly on our breath. We started practising watching the breath first, as this is the method which is most known and universally practised.
We did several short (5 min), silent sits, and we plan to gradually extend these over the following weeks, so we encourage everyone to create the habit of sitting for a few minutes every day.