What should I wear to come to a meditation class?
Wear something loose and comfortable. If you’re able to do so, you can sit crossed legged on a cushion on the floor, so a mini skirt isn’t so good for that, girls. You can also sit on a chair, but to have good balance you need to have your feet at shoulder distance apart, so again for ladies, trousers are easier. And as we’re in Edinburgh, we should add that a kilt is fine to meditate in.
Do I need to take anything with me to a meditation class?
Not a thing, except your good self, your willingness to try meditation and maybe a sense of humour (optional but handy sometimes). We have cushions if you want to sit on the floor and chairs if you prefer, but you can bring your own meditation cushion or meditation stool if you have one. We don’t wear shoes in the meditation area, so if you are not comfortable in stocking feet, please bring slippers or other indoor shoes.
Some people like to bring a notebook and pen, to write down what they’ve learned.
Will we spend the whole class in silence?
No, we’ll watch some teachings on DVD given by different Tibetan masters, we’ll discuss the content of those teachings and have a chat over a cup of tea. But we will also spend some time in silence while we practise meditation. We negotiate the length of the practice with the class, so you can influence that decision on the night. As a course progresses, the silent times will be a bit longer, but you can take a break whenever you need to.
Do I have to be interested in Buddhism to come to these classes?
No, you don’t. If you have no interest in Buddhism, this will not in any way affect the benefit you may experience from the classes. Rigpa aims to present the Buddhist tradition of Tibet in a way which is both completely authentic, and as relevant as possible to the lives and needs of modern men and women.
What does ‘rigpa’ mean?
Rigpa is a Tibetan word, which in general means ‘intelligence’ or ‘awareness’. However, in the highest teachings in the Buddhist tradition of Tibet, rigpa has a deeper connotion, ‘the innermost nature of mind’. Inspired by the meaning of the word ‘rigpa’ Sogyal Rinpoche gave this as the name for his work and to the vehicle he was developing to serve the Buddha’s teaching in the West. Today Rigpa has more than 130 centres in 41 countries around the world.