It’s rare to find anyone who doesn’t appreciate the benefits of meditation these days. Its benefits are widely known and easy to experience; immediately people can find some inner stillness through sitting quietly and stopping the usual, incessant chatter of their monkey mind.
Meditation improves our health, makes us happier, overcomes stress, and is a wonderful problem-solving tool. It is also a powerful tool of transformation; through training our mind we cultivate the peaceful, positive states of mind that are the causes of happiness and reduce the limiting, painful states of mind that keep us locked in unhappiness and ordinariness.
Our meditation classes always include two short meditations where we have the opportunity to sit peacefully with no interruptions at all: no phone, music, TV, or any of the myriad distractions that normally fill our life. In the first meditation we sit and watch our breath and allow our mind to settle. In the space of outer peacefulness we find a quiet stillness within, which is part of us, but which we almost never notice.
When we meditate it’s rather like clouds clearing from the sky. The sky can be full of clouds – heavy black ones, scudding spring ones, overcast grey ones – but they are all impermanent. Finally they clear to reveal a vast expanse of clear blue that was always there beyond the clouds. Normally we spend a lot of time caught up in the clouds of our busyness and responsibilities, our sorrows and joys, and the constant bombardment of our senses as we go about our 21st century life. It’s important to give ourselves a break from this from time to time – and not just when we fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day and disappear into a deep sleep!
For our mental health and wellbeing it is so beneficial to let go of our external world for a few minutes every day. Let all the clouds dissolve and abide in the clarity and peace of our blue sky mind.
I love this analogy for the mind. It’s so helpful to remember that no matter how heavy or stuck clouds seem to be, they eventually move on. In the same way, no matter how heavy or negative our mind becomes, those feelings are impermanent and will inevitably shift. Beyond them is our pure essential nature, like an un
obstructed blue sky.
Meditating for just 10 or 15 minutes can have a very positive effect. We arise from meditation feeling refreshed, with perspective, seeing life in a different way. We don’t get caught up in negative feelings but simply observe them and let them move on. We determine not to lose the feeling of clarity and peace we found in meditation but let it affect what we think, say and do during the day.
Everyone is welcome to Kadampa Buddhist meditation classes at Rasayana Studio, Thursdays from April 12, 11am – 12:15pm.
Check the schedule to reserve individual class times: http://www.rasayanastudio.ca/schedule
For more info: www.kmcfv.ca
Classes lead by: Gen Kelsang Delek, resident teacher at KMC Fraser Valley – western Buddhist nun who has been teaching meditation for 24 years.