Buddhist Meditation by Kamalashila

Kamalashila’s book, Buddhist Meditation is the featured book on Windhorse at the moment, so reduced to £14.99 from the cover price of £17.99 – and further discounts available too!

It’s described as the essential guide for those wanting to develop their meditation practice, and as the theme of our practice in the Highland Sangha in 2015 is meditation, you may find it helpful.

In this stimulating discussion with Candradasa , Kamalashila talks about his experience of writing the new edition of Buddhist Meditation and shares some insights into his own history of practice, along with that of the Triratna Community:

Brilliant Moon

It is completely natural that thoughts keep on arising. The point is not to try to stop them, but to liberate them. This is done by remaining in a state of simplicity, which lets thoughts arise and vanish again without stringing onto them any further thoughts. When you no longer perpetuate the movement of thoughts, they dissolve by themselves without leaving any trace. When you no longer spoil the state of stillness with mental fabrications, you can maintain the natural serenity of mind without any effort. Sometimes, let your thoughts flow and watch the unchanging nature behind them.

Come and see the film about Dilgo Khyentse, Saturday 23 August.

Belladrum 2014

Belladrum Festival 2014 just finished, and we were there, providing some quiet space and meditation in our yurt in the corner of the Walled Garden. “Quiet” in a relative sense, because we were right opposite one of the stages!

But it was a good time and a joyful fixture in our yearly calendar. Here’s a few pics:

Dave wears the yurt's crown.
Dave wears the yurt’s crown.
Or is it a half finished sombrero?
Or is it a half finished sombrero?
Yay! It stays up!
Yay! It stays up!

Triratna-Buddhist-Community-Highland-Belladrum-Festival-04

Rejoicing in Joy

Padmolka has been leading us through the Brahma Vihara meditation practices on Sangha nights, and we had some interesting discussion this Thursday. I think it’s fair to say that most people found the karuna bhavana (development of compassion) easier than the mudita bhavana (development of sympathetic joy, or gladness for someone else).

I wondered why. It  seems that we all are very aware of our own experiences of suffering, from one extreme to the other, stubbing your pinkie to the loss of a loved one. At some level we know it, and readily empathise. But when it comes to joy, it seems we are looking for the big things, scoring the winning goal in the World Cup, and perhaps we usually do this in everyday life as well as when practising the mudita bhavana. If so we risk losing out on an awful lot of joy.

When I got into my car to go home and turned the key, immediately there was the sound of some fabulous Argentinian tango music; my heart lifted instantaneously, and I thought yes, joy! Then going through Inverness, six green lights in a row – “oh joy oh rapture”, as my head of 6th form used to say. Well I think he used the phrase ironically, but there are lots of moments each day which we could celebrate with it. Sitting outside this morning to meditate, birdsong, warmth of sun, the coolness of a passing breeze…

If we make a habit  of recognising and rejoicing in each and every one of these moments of joy then my theory is that our practice of the mudita bhavana will just flow.

Dharma Day

Next Saturday 12 July we’ll be celebrating Dharma Day. This is one of the four main Buddhist festivals, usually held at the time of the full moon, and indeed there is a full moon this coming Saturday. It’s a traditional time for Buddhists to come together to practice meditation and share teachings. We’ll also be having a Full Moon Puja.

This year we’re delighted to have Lokeshvara with us to lead the day. Lokeshvara lives at Adhisthana, the home of Sangharakshita who founded Triratna, and is the Men’s International Order Convener.