Thanks for joining our free online course! These classes are designed to be looked at slowly:
please spend about a week on each one as you explore the theme in your
own life. We hope you enjoy the discussion topics and the guided meditation
exercises, if you have questions please see the
Alternate download sites>>
The Awakening is no other than Consciousness becoming acquainted with itself - D.T. Suzuki
In class 1 you will:
Learn how to meditate!
- Establish a regular, daily meditation practice
- Practice the basics of concentration and meditative breathing
How meditation works
What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Oliver
Meditation is an extremely
It follows three distinct steps
We start with a superficial, scattered mind – (This is the level with which we
often carry out our day-to-day
chores, ‘bring in the newspaper’, ‘cook the meal’ - it is often characterised
by lots of thoughts, positive and negative, with very little control or
knowledge of how they got there) If we are often in this state of mind, we
will find that we are easily distracted, have difficulty concentrating,
probably worry about unimportant things and have little understanding of the
We then progress
by virtue of our heart’s concentration - to deeper, analytical
thinking. When our mind is focused completely on one thing, we are the
most efficient and purposeful in our thinking. (This is the basis of the rules
of ‘time-management’ -> to be focused absolutely on one task at a time) This
analytical level reveals the deepest we can go with thought. We can use a
number of meditation techniques to achieve this, and they will be explored
in further classes.
From this very
deep thinking we enter into intuitive states, revelations, "I know this
is right" feelings or extremely vivid goals or intense creativity or spiritual
dreams. When thinking stops and intuitive experience takes over, this is
meditation. We call these moments, 'Aah' moments. These moments are where
the deepest moments of revelation and intuition are born, and where we reveal our
The task of
meditation is to enter the very focused thinking of the analytical mind and from
there the shift to the intuitive mind or heart takes place automatically.
experience in any endeavour is a meditation experience. Every endeavour goes
through similar processes to eventually arrive at meditation experiences.
example, we want to become a pianist, we first have to train the body and the
mind to have the correct finger technique etc. For a footballer, the right
kicking style; for a rock-climber, the right moves; so we concentrate past the
superficial to the analytical mind and learn and practice as efficiently as
At each endeavour's upper echelon, however, there are moments where our
consciousness is transported past the analytical to the intuitive or higher mind
or what we may call the heart. Examples of these intuitive or ‘meditative’
moments are typically where a team works as one, a runner experiences the
‘runner’s high’, a bushwalker ceases to be an observer and merges into the
feeling of the forest and becomes a participant, a sports person hits a ‘zone’.
As we know
already these moments are usually; Memorable - when we look back on our lives these are the moments that we
recall. Fulfilling - they are the reason we spend hours at our endeavours so we
can get a few moments of ‘meditation’. Accidental - imagine how much better our lives would be if we could
meditate at any time we chose.
seven keys to meditation
several key things you can do that will significantly enhance your meditation.
They may seem subtle at first, but remember, meditation itself is all about
cultivating the higher, subtler parts of your being. Take it from experience -
together these seven keys will make a big difference. So please give them a try!
Key#1: Find a Special Place
Set aside a special place that is used only for meditation. If you have a spare
room, great, but it’s fine to set aside a corner of your bedroom. This will be
your sacred space for self-discovery, so
you’ll want to make it as inspiring as possible.
You might like to:
∑ Cover a low table with a clean, light cloth
∑ Place a candle on a table, and a vase with fresh flowers if possible.
∑ You may also want to light some incense. Together, these items will help
create a meditative atmosphere.
Key#2: Prepare Physically
Your spiritual journey takes place in and through your physical body. Here’s how
you can help prepare it for meditation:
∑ Take a shower before meditating. If it isn’t possible to take a shower, wash
your face and hands.
∑ Wear clean, light, loose fitting clothes.
∑ Take your shoes off before meditating. Your feet deserve a break too!
Key#3: Sit Relaxed, Sit Straight
need to sit in a special yogic posture to meditate. If you can sit comfortably
on a cushion on the floor, this is best. Otherwise a meditation stool or chair
is fine. The important thing is to be still and relaxed, to have your back
erect, and to have the flower and candle close to eye level. People often ask if
it’s okay to meditate while lying down. We don’t recommend it; the most likely
outcome is you’ll fall asleep. Always remember to begin your meditation with six
or seven ‘power-breaths’ – long, slow deep breaths that release the myriad of
thoughts and focus your attention within.
Key#4: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
In the beginning, five minutes of meditation a day is enough. Meditation is like
an inner muscle that you are slowly but surely making stronger. If you overwork
a muscle, it becomes sore; if you meditate for more than five minutes and feel
tension in your head or get a headache, you know you’ve gone beyond your
capacity. Try not to be concerned with expectations of what your meditation is
going to do for you or what your meditation experience ‘should’ be. Just
steadily, soulfully and sincerely practice and make yourself alert to the
messages that will begin to arise from within.
Key#5: Choose the right time
Make an appointment with yourself and practice at the same time each day. Just
as you feed your physical body several times a day at certain times, meditation
nourishes your inner life so set at least one special time each day for your
The best time to meditate is early in the morning, before you enter into your daily
This way, the peace you get from your meditation will permeate the rest of your
If by giving up
small pleasures, great happiness is to be found, the wise should give up small
pleasures, seeing the prospect of great happiness - THE BUDDHA.
Many people also
like to meditate when they get home from work, to help wash away the stress of
the day. You might also want to meditate just before going to bed. This will
help you to sleep more soundly.
We don’t suggest meditating right after a big meal. Like a bird, your inner
being will be trying to fly higher, but your body will be weighing it down. So
wait an hour or two before meditating.
Key#6: The Power of Music
Music is often referred to as the language of the soul. Peaceful music of the
heart will create a meditative atmosphere and tremendously enhance the quality
of your meditation. Play it softly during your exercises; merely listening to
and absorbing the music will help you to feel the deep inner stillness of
In the end, the most important ingredient in this whole process is you. It is
you, who experiences, you, who is discovered, you, who is the student, you, who
is the real teacher and you, finally, who is revealed.
Remind yourself of this often because this is the greatest gift of
meditation: faith in oneself.
A meditation journal is the best aid I have included to my meditation over the
years. Verbalising what you are going through and/or what you are currently
focusing on by writing down these self-revelations formalises and crystallises
the most crucial process of listening to oneself.
the candle as an entrance way to the vast spiritual dimensions permeating
everything, imagine it as the doorway to the inner universe. You might see
this candle flame standing at the threshold between the physical and
fix your gaze upon it, feel that you are looking at the candle with your
heart and that you are travelling through it with infinite peace.
Follow the flow of energy with your breath.
in the infinite peace of the spiritual universe. Feel your heart opening
and expanding as that peace flows into your being like a golden light.
outward breath feel that your worries and anxieties which give birth to
all your mental, emotional and physical tensions, are being gathered up
imagine this is as a flow of light. You are breathing in a golden white
light that is illumining your being with peace, and the darkness that is
your tension in all its flavours, you are letting go.
for at least 5 minutes. Alternatively you can meditate in this manner
on love (breathing out and releasing hate and anger) or
on breathing in joy (and
breathing out depression and melancholy).