What Meditation Really Is - Rigpa UK

A complete introduction to meditation and how it can unlock our natural confidence, compassion and creativity. You will gain a genuine experience of meditation and all the tools you need to take the benefits into every aspect of your life.

This unique course has been specially developed by Sogyal Rinpoche, after many years of teaching in the west. It brings together over 2000 years of Buddhist wisdom and experience in a way that is authentic, accessible and completely relevant to modern life.

This program of meditation study and practice is a complete guide and foundation for understanding the mind and how to work with it. The course is comprised of six modules. Each module builds upon the earlier ones offering a toolbox of skilful methods and deepening of our understanding as we get to know our minds. It is possible to enter the program at any stage but it is recommended to begin at the start of a module.

What you learn

  • Get to know your mind
  • Learn authentic methods of meditation
  • Discover a way to deal with your thoughts and emotions
  • Gain tools to transform your mind
  • Establish a framework for a regular meditation practice

How you learn

  • Video Teachings
  • Group Discussions
  • Group Practice
  • Study Materials
  • Experienced Instructors
  • Contemplation exercises

1. Introducing What Meditation Really Is

Meditation is a process of getting to know your own mind. This module provides everything we need to start meditating and to begin exploring the many possibilities it can open up.

At the heart of the module is some clear and simple advice on how to practise meditation. This is the key to developing mindfulness and awareness, which can transform the way we see ourselves and our life and lead us to a lasting sense of peace and contentment. We also get to look at the vast potential of our mind from the perspectives of the Buddha and of modern science. Most importantly, we start learning how to be with our mind and live our life in a way that creates less stress and confusion and more presence, peace, happiness and stability.

2. Using our Senses, Thoughts and Emotions as a Support

Often when we meditate, we find that we are easily distracted by our senses, thoughts and emotions. A pain in our leg or back, or some thoughts about our day circling through our mind in a seemingly endless loop can make us completely forget about meditation.

Rather than seeing common situations like these as something we need to avoid or eliminate in order to practise ‘properly’, this module shows us how to use them to strengthen and support our meditation.

3. Dropping the Method

Revisiting and building on the methods of support that are have been explored previously, module 3 goes deeper into the ultimate goal of meditation beyond using an object of support to calm the mind.

We begin to identify more with the essence and nature of our minds rather than the appearance of thoughts and emotions

4. Finding Motivation: Loving Kindness Meditation

Although you could say that the qualities of loving kindness and compassion are implicit in all forms of meditation, loving kindness practice was developed for the explicit purpose of overcoming fear through love. The practice reveals the limitless wealth of naturally arising unconditional love that lies at the heart of each and every one of us.

5. The Unifying Practice

Module Five looks in detail at the Unifying Practice, in which three key methods—each of them a complete method of meditation in itself—are brought together into one practice. As with all the other methods of meditation that have been presented in What Meditation Really Is, their purpose is to help the mind rest, undistracted.

6. Bringing the State of Non-­distraction into Life

Module 6 focuses entirely on integration: how to integrate meditation in action, so that practice and everyday life are no longer separate. Many contemporary Buddhist masters emphasize how important it is for students to find a healthy and even balance between meditation practice, relationships, family and work. These teachings on integration provide the key; showing how we can apply meditation to everything we encounter and everything we do—whenever and wherever we are, in every situation.