Buddhist meditation for beginners
What comes to mind when you think of Buddhist meditation? A saffron-robed yogi on a freezing mountaintop, completely still, experiencing no thoughts at all? It can be a little intimidating or confusing for a lay person looking to start a meditation practice. That’s why we have an introduction to Buddhist meditation every Thursday evening. On these evenings you can learn about Buddhism and meditation along with other people who are perhaps new to the practice, or who have been meditating for weeks, months, or years.
What meditations are suitable for beginners?
The very first meditation that you’ll learn in the Buddhist centre, while very profound and authentically Buddhist, is easy to approach for beginners. And beginners here means new to meditational practices from the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. We always start with the Meditation on the 16th Karmapa, which was composed by the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage specifically for busy Westerners. You can practice this meditation in the centre, or at home, as you like, having learned it.
Do I need any special equipment?
You won’t need to bring anything. People who meditate a lot usually use a mala, or set of meditation beads, to help them focus. A mala is also needed for some meditations where you want to count how many repetitions you do. But it’s not necessary in the beginning.
Do you sit in the full lotus position?
As long as you can meditate with with good posture – i.e. relaxed with an upright spine, that’s the most important thing. Most people end up meditating cross-legged, in some variation of a half-lotus, with the right foot on the left thigh. But if you have problems sitting, you can even use a chair.
Can I try a guided meditation for beginners before I come?
Absolutely. You can meditate along with Lama Ole Nydahl, a modern Buddhist meditation master, in the video below. This is a simplified version of the meditation that we do in the centre.
When is the next introduction to Buddhist meditation session?
All the sessions listed below are suitable for beginners.