meditation and mindfulness
Practiced consistently, meditation and mindfulness helps us become more relaxed, less distracted, and more emotionally positive and creative, so that we can see clearly and experience life directly. The practices themselves are quite straightforward and the benefits are usually noticeable quite quickly, but in our busy lives it can be hard to build a practice alone. Buddhists and other meditators through the ages have emphasized the importance of practicing with others, supporting each other in our intention, keeping up our motivation, and encouraging and inspiring each other during times when it feels like we're going against the stream. This helps nourish oneself as well as others and opens our heart to life and all that this involves. We have a commitment to offering activities here in Walthamstow when we can and with enough involvement and support we will offer activities on a regular basis.
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.
The techniques of meditation are very simple. However, reading about them is no substitute for learning from an experienced and reliable teacher. A teacher will be able to offer you guidance in how to apply the technique and how to deal with difficulties. Perhaps most importantly, a teacher can offer the encouragement and inspiration of their own example.
As its name implies, the ‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ uses the breath as an object of concentration. By focusing on the breath you become aware of the mind’s tendency to jump from one thing to another. The simple discipline of concentration brings us back to the present moment and all the richness of experience that it contains. It is a way to develop mindfulness, the faculty of alert and sensitive awareness. And it is an excellent method for cultivating the states of intense meditative absorption known as dhyana. As well as this, the mindfulness of breathing is a good antidote to restlessness and anxiety, and a good way to relax: concentration on the breath has a positive effect on your entire physical and mental state.