The purpose of meditation is to cultivate positive states of mind, conducive to peace and well-being, and overcome negative habits of mind.
If we examine our life we can see that most of our time and energy is devoted to seeking material and emotional security. Although these things can make us happy for a short time, they are not able to provide the deep lasting contentment that we long for.
Happiness is a state of mind, therefore the real source of happiness lies in the mind, not in external situations. If our mind is peaceful we will experience happiness, regardless of our external circumstances, but if it is unpeaceful we will never find happiness, no matter how successful we are in improving our external conditions. The method to make our mind peaceful is through meditation.
What will I gain from these classes?
The classes will allow you to unwind your mind and return home relaxed and refreshed. They will provide you with new tools for dealing with stress, anxiety, and problems. They will also help you to overcome negative states of mind such as anger and jealousy, and to cultivate positive minds such as patience and love.
The talks and guided meditations will provide you with the foundation for developing a powerful meditation practice which has many benefits. Meditation helps us to develop clarity and perspective so we can solve problems and deal with difficult situations in a positive and constructive way.
Where to start?
We may have a wish to learn how to meditate, or to find out about Buddhism, but where do we start?
The General Program (GP) classes at KMCC and its branches are the perfect place. The classes are designed both as a series and as stand-alone classes, so you can attend any class even if the series has already started. Training our mind through meditation depends on guidance from a qualified instructor initially and it is also invaluable to have the support of fellow practitioners. All General Program classes are based on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s books and teachers will often reference a particular section of these books. This gives us the opportunity to deepen our familiarity with the topic by engaging in follow-up study. See In-Depth Study for more information.
What happens at a class?
Classes begin with chanted prayers or a simple guided breathing meditation to reduce stress, tension and distractions. This is followed by a talk on how to incorporate meditation and Buddhist principles into daily life. This may include topics such as improving relationships, developing confidence, gaining peace of mind, coping with stress and dealing with anger.
There is guided meditation at the end of the class to help us gain deeper experience of the subject of the class. The class concludes with question and answer, giving you the opportunity to clarify any points.