Mindfulness Meditation, is basd on the ancient practices called Vipassana or Insight Meditation. It is based on the Buddhist philosopy and teaches us to cultivate peace of mind by seeing clearly the way things truly are. It can be practiced by anyone regardless of religious affiliation. It is a simple tool with great power to transform our lives. Instead of being caught in stress and pain, we learn to understand the causes of our difficulties and respond to them more skilfully.
Be not the drowning swimmer,
linbs thrashing, sinking,
gulping for air.
Rather a seabird on the surface of the ocean,
rising and falling with its peaks and troughs.
(from Swimmer by Rachel Holstead)
In Mindfulness Meditation we cultivate non-judgemental awareness in our moment-to-moment experience. We focus the mind in order to relax and connect with the present moment. Through observing the experience of the five senses and the mind/heart we develop the potential to experience each moment, no matter how difficult, with greater compassion and understanding. Through basic Meditation practice it is possible to cultivate a quiet mind, develop emotional stability, understand the feelings of others just as our own and release the constraints we place on our own happiness. This practice has benefitted countless people over many centuries.
Loving Kindness Meditation or Metta Meditation is a beautiful way of calming the mind and connecting with ourselves and others with care and love. Instead of loving only if we get what we want, we want to extend love and friendliness, even if we don't get back what we would like. We aim to come to a place of unconditional love, accepting and loving ourselves just the way we are, accepting and loving others just the way they are. Loving kindness is not aimed at one particular person; rather it develops a beautiful quality of heart in order to live from a place of calmness and understanding and compassion. This benefits our self as much as every other living being. We can cultivate this quality of loving kindness in our everyday life. In doing so, we relax the mind and accept the totality of our experience with gentleness.
My heart is as big as the island of Ireland,
its edges sheer cliffs and infinite rocky shores.
Inside, there is hummocky land,
vast expanses of bog
and pockets of lush pasture.
And everywhere there are jewels,
small fluttering birds, lustrous grasses, tiny blossoms.
My heart is full of jewels
that catch the light of each moment
and shine its spectrum
back out into the world.
Kum Nye is a practice of simple movements done slowly and very mindfully. They are deceptively powerful and help us to be more present and connected to our bodies. It is a healing practice, that relieves stress and can transform negative behavioral patterns. It helps open our senses and brings balance to our minds and hearts
The voice is a very powerful and personal expression of our being. Here we are using our voice to balance and deepen our Meditation practice.
In the Tibetan Boen (pre-buddhist) Tradition the voice has been used for over two thousand years as a tool to focus the mind and move the subtle energies of the body.
The voice is used as a skilful tool for deepening calmness and connecting with ourselves in a different way. Well grounded in awareness of the body, we direct simple sounds and syllables to the different energy centres of the body. Through utilizing the power of the voice and in exploring the vibration of the sound, energy can soften and flow more freely and the heart and mind naturally balance and expand.
This supportive practice is offered as an option during some retreats. It is suitable for anyone with any or no meditation experience and certainly also for those who use their voice for talking only (i.e. non-singers!).