Introductory Courses | Level II Courses and Retreats | Meditation Retreats
Meditation is a tool for change. By applying a consistent effort (practice can be brief but needs to be regular) we free ourselves from our limiting habits. In meditation, we learn not to react habitually to experience, but to respond creatively to what comes to us. Some unhelpful habits may be relatively superficial and easily altered, others can be very deeply ingrained and will only shift incrementally over years. However, fully developed, tradition says, meditation leads to insight into the nature of Reality.
People attending Triratna Buddhist Community Centres are encouraged to begin with two fundamental Buddhist meditation practices. The first practice that most people learn is called the 'Mindfulness of Breathing'. As its name implies, it is a meditation which uses the breath as an object of concentration. It is a particularly good antidote for restlessness and anxiety--an extremely common problem in our times. Concentration on the breath has a positive effect on one's entire physical and mental state. The breath is also portable, which means you can do the practice anywhere! The meditation has four progressive stages, leading to a highly enjoyable level of concentration.
The second practice is called the 'Metta Bhavana'. This translates as 'the development of unlimited friendliness'. It brings about a gentle but radical transformation of our emotional state. Through it we can overcome negative feelings such as fear and dislike, and replace them with a confident, kind, and outward-going approach to life. We start the meditation by trying to improve our feelings towards ourselves, and then work in expanding stages, until finally we arrive at a powerful feeling of love for all beings, all forms of life.
[Read more about meditation at our international website]