Meditation Classes in Santa Monica
Due to Covid-19, meditation classes are now remote via Zoom.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be notified about our virtual meditation classes.
About Shamatha Meditation
Shamatha is a Buddhist practice of calming the mind, by one-pointed meditation on the breath. This simple but powerful practice helps you develop a clear, relaxed and stable state of mind. And it can help you develop a grounded approach to your own thoughts and emotions.
Meditation classes are located at our Center on 220 Pier Avenue, off Main street in Santa Monica. The cost is $10 suggested donation towards the cost of running the Center.
Please contact us about our monthly Supporter memberships with unlimited classes.
Calm Abiding Meditation
Meditation classes are led by experienced meditation instructors who can provide an introduction to the shamatha practice. The meditation class starts with a guided meditation of 20 minutes, a short break for questions and then a further 20-30 minutes of meditation practice. For further information on any of our classes, contact us at email@example.com
Benefits of Buddhist Meditation Classes
As your meditation practice becomes more stable, it can then become the basis for developing profound insights into the nature of your mind. From this you can quickly develop the qualities of wisdom, compassion and loving kindness.
What is Shamatha meditation?
Shamatha is the sanskrit word for calming the mind. Specifically it is the methods to cultivate or develop a calm, focused mind, which in English we call ‘meditation’. A direct translation of shamatha to English is more accurately ‘calm abiding’
In the Sanskrit word, the first two syllables, shama, refer to “peace, calm” and “slowing or cooling down”.The second syllable tha means to remain or abide.
Most of the time, our mind is a whirlwind of agitated thoughts. Our thoughts are obsessive concerns with the past, conceptualization about the present, and concerns about the future.
This means that, generally, our mind is not resting peacefully and experiencing the present moment at all.
The origins of meditation practice
The Buddha identified two mental qualities that arise from meditation practice that lead to realization:
Shamatha, calm abiding, which steadies, composes, unifies and concentrates the mind. This is an experience of peaceful happiness.
Vipashana, insight, which enables one to look into, explore and understand conditioned phenomena. This is an experience of seeing into the nature of things and having clear understanding of the world and our minds.
These two mental qualities of calm abiding and insight are the ways to gain realisation and Buddhahood.
Later Buddhist Masters like Asanga (4th CE) taught the Nine stages of abiding or training the mind and Atisha (10th CE) incorporated shamata into the Lo-jong or Mind Training teachings.