Meditation Classes in Santa Monica
Mondays at 6.30pm. Meditation classes are now remote via Zoom.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom details.
What is Meditation
Shamatha or calm abiding meditation is a Buddhist practice of calming the mind, by one-pointed focus 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.
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Calm Abiding Meditation Classes
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 Meditation
The purpose of meditation is not to create a blank and dull state of mind. As your meditation practice becomes more stable, becomes the basis for developing profound insights into the nature of your mind. From this you will quickly develop the qualities of wisdom, compassion and loving kindness.
When meditation becomes part of your daily routine you will experience more spaciousness and calmness. You will also have more clarity of your own thoughts and emotions.When we practice with a good motivation and clear instruction the qualities of calmness, compassion and clarity will arise.
Meditation can also help us uncover the vast and profound qualities of mind. Through this inner realization we can achieve a state of happiness and contentment that cannot be obtained from external things such as wealth, status or relationships.
So, a good reason why meditate is that these qualities help us to deal with the challenges of life and be more mindful of how we can benefit others.
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 realization 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.