The Path of Meditation

unnamed

Meditation

Meditation is not meditating “on” anything.  Instead it is a process of becoming familiar with the nature of our minds, with our thoughts and emotions. Through meditation, we can train our minds to be calm and free ourselves from negative thoughts and emotions. We can experience inner peace of mind and panoramic awareness in our everyday lives.

 

The Nalandabodhi practice path provides a wealth of techniques to guide our meditation. These methods of meditation are presented in written instructions, and explained and conveyed experientially through the oral instructions of a teacher or a practice instructor (PI)

Scheduled Practices

Basic shamatha meditation practice is from  9:00 to 11:00 each Sunday morning.  All are welcome to attend for just one hour or for both 1 hour sessions.

From 11:00 to 12:00, we offer special practices on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sundays.  See below for more information.

Shamatha Meditation Practice

Every Sunday from 9:00 to 11:00.

The Nalandabodhi practice path begins with a basic resting meditation practice called calm-abiding or shamatha. While shamatha meditation is common to several spiritual traditions and has many techniques, all forms of shamatha are designed to help calm the mind and bring forth its natural qualities of spaciousness, clarity and attentiveness. Practice Instructors (PI) work with newer students to determine which technique is most beneficial and at what point to introduce another shamatha practice.  For basic instructions on how to meditate, see “How to Meditate” on the Nalandabodhi International website.

Shamatha meditation practice is open to everyone and occurs every Sunday from 9-11 am at the Nalandabodhi Center at 100 Arapahoe Ave.  All are welcome, non-members, members, advanced meditators, and beginning meditators.   Approximately 50 minutes of sitting is followed by a 10 minute walking meditation.  If you would like meditation instruction, or if this is your first time practicing with us, please contact Michael Miller.

Refer to the Boulder Calendar page to see when the next Shamatha Meditation Practice session occurs.

 

Tara Practice

1st Sunday of the month, 11:00 to 12:30

This practice relates to both Green and White Tara and includes beautiful songs and verses composed by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

“Not only is supplicating Arya Tara beneficial for clearing away immediate obstacles for individuals who have entered the paths to liberation and omniscience; supplicating Arya Tara helps to clear away all hinderances and obstacles related to achieving the ultimate goals. If you are a person who has entered and is practicing the path, then supplicating Arya Tara helps dispel all obstacles you are facing that get in the way of making your practice fruitional. Arya Tara also clears away obstacles of all those with whom we have connections, our friends, our relatives, our partners and so on, anyone for whom we wish that they be free of illness, negative spirits, and other obstacles. When you supplicate Arya Tara you will receive her blessing.” – The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

This Practice occurs on the 1st Sunday of the month. Participants must have received the oral transmission in order to attend, however, the transmission can be administered by request before the practice starts. Contact Michael Miller if you would like to receive the transmission. Open to anyone!

 

Guided Meditations

2nd and 3rd Sunday of the month from 11:00 to 12:00.

Different topics will be used for guided meditations.  Guided mediation is helpful for people new to mediation.  It also benefits more experienced practitioners.  All are welcome.  Contact Michael Miller for more information.

Songs of Realization

Singing the key instructions

Isn’t meaningless,

It’s the lineage tradition.

(a verse from a song by Milarepa)

 

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche have encouraged us to sing songs of realization by Milarepa, Khenpo Rinpoche and others.

Singing is a great way to memorize profound verses and prayers.  It’s good meditation practice in overcoming dullness or even agitation by focusing our mind on the melody and the words.  It’s a great group practice.  There are many profound songs we can sing, new ones as well as old favorites.

From Stars of Wisdom by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, translated by Ari Goldfield and Rose Taylor.

 Khenpo Rinpoche has explained that there are different ways you can meditate while singing.

You can let our mind rest one-pointedly on the sound of the melody while you sing.  Doing just that is a way to practice shamatha meditation.  And if, while doing that, you let your mind rest right within the sound’s true nature, sound-emptiness, that is vipashyana meditation.  If you let your mind rest in the recoginition that the nature of the sound and your mind perceiving it are undifferentiable, that is Mahamudra meditation called “meditating with appearances”.

You can focus on the meaning of the words, and in that way practice is called the “meditation with focus on learned ones”, because you are learning the profound words of the Dhama and reflecting on their meaning, and so while you meditate your wisdom is increasing.

Finally you can do the Mahamudra practice called “meditating with moving mind” by looking directly at the nature of the thoughts that arise while you sing, and relaxing in their essential nature — clarity-emptiness, luminosity, great bliss.

from p.75-76 in an overview by Ari Goldfield.

Copyright 2010 Marpa Foundation.

 

Practice Instructors

Practice Instructors (PIs) are Nalandabodhi practitioners who have been students of Buddhism for some time, have completed their ngondro practices and the Study Path curriculum, and have made a strong aspiration to benefit the Nalandabodhi sangha by working with others as a guide to their practice. They have also been trained and approved by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche for this responsibility.

At Nalandabodhi it is customary for each person to have either a PI, or a Practice “buddy,” depending on the situation and level of practice. We encourage one another to practice and to discuss practice with each other.

Not a member?  You can still request to have a PI for six months to help you get started with meditation practice.  It can help you determine if you would like to become a member of Nalandabodhi.

If you would like a Practice Instructor, contact Steve Burden.