What we're about

Hello and welcome to the mindfulness meetup. This group is for anyone who wants to learn about meditation as a path to living harmoniously with self-awareness.

Release the past, move into the present and mindfully paint the future. Gain clarity from stillness, from stopping to pause and listen. Receive guidance on quieting the mind by focusing on the breath. Explore themes of self-kindness, letting go, renewal and skillful responses to daily life.

Mindfulness training polishes a silent nourishing mirror for the mind. It improves mental clarity and the ability to concentrate. It supports a connection to inner guidance, more creativity at solving problems and improved sleep. Relationships with family and friends deepen; one experiences increased energy and more enthusiasm for life. Stress lightens and is replaced with a grateful, resilient inner peace. Meditation is one of the best tools we have to balance our emotions, lower stress, sharper concentration and nurture the ability to savor life.

Some Benefits of Meditation:
*Strengthens one's capacity to be in the moment,
*Relaxes the body
*Connects the mind and body

Anyone can meditate. The ancient spiritual technology of belongs to all.

This group is an affiliate of the SPiCE Social Club
https://www.meetup.com/SPiCE-Social-Activit... (https://www.meetup.com/SPiCE-Social-Activities-Learning-Club/)

Upcoming events (5+)

Meditation, Spiritual Chanting & Insight Talk (Enemies of Meditation - 01)

Schedule ----------- 8.20 Welcome Tea 8.30 Paying Gratefulness Stanzas 8.40 Guidance to Breathing Meditation 8.45 Meditation Time 9.20 Loving Kindness Chanting 9.30 Lecture on Meditation Technique 9.45 Farewell with smiles ========================================== • 1st Enemy - Sensual Desire +++++++++++++++++++ When feelings of attachment carry us away, we lose the path. If the attachment feels positive, that’s “sensual desire”: desire for a person, for something to buy, for a good dinner, for some fun experience. Thinking sweet nothings can pull our attention away from practice. It isn’t helpful to fostering the wise clarity we’re after, since it pulls us into a different place or time, spinning fantasies. Negative attachment is repulsion, otherwise known as “ill-will”. It covers a multitude of attitudes. Obviously, if annoyance, anger, hatred, jealousy, or contempt arises, that’s ill-will. But so too is worry and fear: this is ill-will directed towards the future. So too is regret or remorse: that’s a form of ill-will towards the past. (Remorse is also considered a form of restlessness, depending on how it manifests). Again, this pulls us out of the present into past or future narratives that cloud our mind. Note that these responses might be useful in other contexts: we might be legitimately concerned about something that needs dealing with, like an upcoming test. We might be legitimately regretful about something wrong we did in the past. We might have positive feelings towards a meal we will enjoy, or a partner we love. The point is that these hinder us in the context of meditation, not that they are necessarily wrong in other contexts. They may or may not be. Also, of course, we can fall into ill-will for ourselves or our practice: getting angry, frustrated, or annoyed at ourselves for failing to ‘practice properly’. This is also a hindrance. Which isn’t to say it’s not natural! If frustration arises, the way to escape the hindrance is to be mindful of the frustration, to see it for what it is; even to depersonalize it. See it as “Frustration is arising,” rather than “I’m frustrated.” Then deal with it as just another phenomenon among many, not one that is about you, at all. Between the two of them, sensual desire and ill-will should be seen as covering the gamut of feelings of attachment, from very negative to very positive. • What to bring Nothing • Important to know # Be on time. # Dress modestly. # Switch off or silence your mobile phone within the meditation time.

Meditation, Spiritual Chanting & Insight Talk (Enemies of Meditation - 02)

Schedule ----------- 8.20 Welcome Tea 8.30 Paying Gratefulness Stanzas 8.40 Guidance to Breathing Meditation 8.45 Meditation Time 9.20 Loving Kindness Chanting 9.30 Lecture on Meditation Technique 9.45 Farewell with smiles ========================================== • Ill Will ====== Seething with anger at others is an obvious hindrance. and the obvious antidote is cultivating metta, loving kindness. Metta is one of the immeasurables or virtues, that the Buddha suggested as a specific antidote to anger and ill will. The other immeasurables are kaduna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy) and upekkha (equanimity). Most of the time, we get angry because someone has bumped into our ego-armor. The first step in letting go of anger is acknowledging that it is there; the second step is acknowledging that it is born of our own ignorance and pride. • What to bring Nothing • Important to know # Be on time. # Dress modestly. # Switch off or silence your mobile phone within the meditation time.

Meditation, Spiritual Chanting & Insight Talk (Enemies of Meditation -03)

Schedule ----------- 8.20 Welcome Tea 8.30 Paying Gratefulness Stanzas 8.40 Guidance to Breathing Meditation 8.45 Meditation Time 9.20 Loving Kindness Chanting 9.30 Lecture on Meditation Technique 9.45 Farewell with smiles ========================================== • Sloth & Torpor ++++++++++ We want to develop a mind that is both Tranquil and Alert. Too much tranquility without alertness and we’re in dreamland. We sometimes call it “sinking mind”, it tends to be dreamy and pleasant. It’s relaxing, but it’s not conducive to awareness, to mindfulness. The first thing to do is to recognize it when it happens. Then to consciously intend to put a little more effort into staying mindful. How is the posture? The breathing? Sometimes it helps to start the sitting with a clear intention that we want to stay present with each breath. Pay particular attention to this balance in the coming week. • We want to develop a mind that is both Tranquil and Alert. Too much tranquility without alertness and we’re in dreamland. Too much alertness and no tranquility, and we can be tense or quickly either planning or worrying about the future, or regretting the past... • Learning to notice and understand both Sloth/Torpor & Restlessness and Anxiety are essential to developing a mind that is both Tranquil and Alert. • Sloth and torpor refers to heaviness of body and dullness of mind respectively. This includes drowsiness, sluggishness, low energy, sleepiness, lethargy. Nothing is clear. The mind feels heavy and dull or dreamy. • Sloth refers to the physical aspects: it feels difficult holding oneself up. • Torpor is more mental, it feels difficult to pay attention. • Sloth & Torpor can be both pleasant or unpleasant. When it’s pleasant (dreamy comfy...) it’s more seductive. o When it’s comfortable and pleasant...it’s sometimes called “sinking mind.” It can be a form of “procrastination” – we know we’re not being mindful, but it’s nice here...kind of like staying in bed in the morning and sleeping in...we can be mindful later... • It’s important to differentiate between sloth and torpor and the need for sleep! You can test this by using a favorite fantasy or memory, if the sleepiness goes away or weakens, it was sloth & torpor. • Sloth and torpor is a habit of mind which inhibits the application of energy, of being engaged, of being involved. When sloth and torpor is really strong, we can sink into it and get lost in it. The mind can feel like mud, like glue. It’s very difficult to make effort, mental or physical. • Energy is often available but it’s hindered or kept back or not tapped into or utilized. For some people who feel “lazy” a lot, it’s a habitual way of using the mind. Sloth and torpor is usually preceded by a certain “pattern” of thoughts... • What to bring Nothing • Important to know # Be on time. # Dress modestly. # Switch off or silence your mobile phone within the meditation time.

Meditation, Spiritual Chanting & Insight Talk (Enemies of Meditation - 04)

Schedule ----------- 8.20 Welcome Tea 8.30 Paying Gratefulness Stanzas 8.40 Guidance to Breathing Meditation 8.45 Meditation Time 9.20 Loving Kindness Chanting 9.30 Lecture on Meditation Technique 9.45 Farewell with smiles ========================================== • Enemy 04 - RESTLESSNESS AND WORRY ========================== Restlessness and worry arise owing to lack of mindfulness. If we have sufficient basic mindfulness, we would be able to watch that restless state or extraneous thoughts when they arise. So even if the mind does wander, we will soon be aware of it. Therefore we should make it a point to note the thinking as soon as it has arisen, then return to metta. In the preliminary arousing of metta, when thinking is predominant, we have to be careful that it does not become uncontrolled, e.g. we may think of the person, then we think of what we did together. This may go on for some time before we realise we have forgotten about metta bhavana. Therefore to facilitate deep concentration one should stay with one person for an extended period of time. And when arousing metta, care has to be taken not to "overthink". Once metta has arisen one has to maintain its flow in a way that it may deepen. • What to bring Nothing • Important to know # Be on time. # Dress modestly. # Switch off or silence your mobile phone within the meditation time.

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