Meditation 10 week course

poster 1.png

An Introduction to Calm Abiding Meditation

with Michael Bobrowicz

 

October 12th to December 14th

 Wednesday nights 7.30pm to 8.45 pm 

Time is Australian Western Time (AWST) 

Satsang Room at Sivananda Ashram and via Zoom

  

CLASSES WILL BE RECORDED AND AVAILABLE FOR ONE WEEK AFTER EACH CLASS FOR THOSE WANTING TO ATTEND IN OTHER TIME ZONES

Following Buddhist tradition there is no fee for the classes.

We will put out a bowl and whatever is collected will be used to support both the Ashram and the community in which we live and particularly the homeless.

Please register your interest in attending by emailing Denise at: calmabidingmed@hotmail.com  We will send you a zoom link as part of the enrolment.

 

Michael Bobrowicz has been a student of Buddhist meditation and philosophy for more than 35 years. He studied with Chime Shore and the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche for over 20 years. He worked in private enterprise, owning companies, and in the public sector. Michael has a good understanding of how to integrate meditation with a busy career. 

A ten week practical course on ‘how to meditate’ and the development of Calm and Insight, and the Buddhist principles of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

 

For almost all of us, there is some time in the day or week where calm arises. It may be just as one goes to sleep, or in the moment when one notices the sun falling on a flower in the garden; or while having a quiet beer on a Friday night. There is nothing wrong, by the way, with having a beer! But these avenues to calm cannot be practised methodically; they tend to happen randomly, and sometimes the beer just does not do it. We can’t really ‘call them up’ when we need them.

 

Calm Abiding meditation is different: we learn it, we practise it in formal meditation, and then it starts to pervade our lives and we can find the calm when we need it. Calmness is difficult to describe because it is neither a thought nor an emotion, but is perhaps a state of consciousness that contains both thought and feeling. We do know it well by its effect. With calmness present we can deal better with untoward events, we are less blown about by outside forces, and importantly, we are less stressed by what does arise around us.

 

Most of us do not live in monasteries, but instead live in a world where road accidents, unpaid bills, crying children, irritating relatives, storms, bush fires, continually happen around us. Our lives are bombarded with input, much of which we do not choose, and some of which we choose but wish we could do without – like when the mobile phone rings right at that moment when what we needed was a cup of tea and a break.

 

Calm Abiding will not stop those outside events happening but it can help us determine how we experience them and how we respond. Calm Abiding is a form of mind training. It is not a passive state where nothing happens. We are not trying to emulate rocks: we move, we breathe, we think and we feel. This is an active calm where we are engaged with the body and with all the physical senses.

 

Most people decide to learn this practice because there is not enough peace in their lives. The good news is that it can give us that peace, piece by piece. It will make us smarter because it teaches the value and skill of taking a pause before acting, and of considering before we speak: “Do I really need to say that?” so that we make fewer of the mistakes which can throw us into regret and inner turmoil. Twenty to thirty minutes of practice each day, over time, can help achieve this.

 

The meditation is not complex and does not require any previous experience or ‘special’ skills. If I were to use just one word to describe it I would use the word ‘practical’. It works for busy people with jobs and families. Once established it can also benefit the people around you: your friends, partner, children, parents, work colleagues, even people you meet in the supermarket. As we become calmer, we react less strongly when others are in less fortunate states of mind. We more easily recognise the danger of those states for ourselves and how easy they are to fall into; we learn to guard from falling into those states; and we know how to find the calm state of mind. So we begin to be an asset to ourselves and all those we meet.

 

It has a third benefit: when we practise Calm Abiding, we remove the obstacles to insight. Becoming calmer, we have stillness, quiet and peacefulness and this allows our own self-reflective consciousness to come to the forefront. Insight does not come from outside ourselves. As we develop self-reflective consciousness, our inner voice speaks to us and being calm, peaceful, and still, we can now hear what it says.

 

The course is 10 classes. The meditation is broken down into small steps which are easy to learn and practise. The emphasis is largely experiential including practice at home and opportunities for feedback. The course is suitable both for beginners and for experienced meditators with an interest in a systematic approach. Anyone who has completed the course previously is most welcome to attend again.

 

It does require a commitment both to attend the classes and to try out the meditations at home between classes. The time commitment is intended to be manageable and takes into account that most people have busy lives. But please do consider if you can make that commitment before you enrol.

 

The meditation is from the Sakya school (one of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism) and is traditionally taught to monks and nuns as the foundation of meditation practice. it has been adapted for people living busy, modern lives.