The Contemplative Studies Centre is delighted to invite you to these guided practice sessions, made specially available throughout lockdown. You will have the opportunity to try guided meditation practice with expert teachers from many different faith and wisdom traditions.
Learn more about different meditation traditions and find profiles of the teachers who will host the guided meditation sessions.
Buddhist | Korean Seon (Zen)
Zen is a three-pronged practice of concentration, mindfulness, and enquiry. It calls us to be fully present to ourselves and to each situation, listening for what is being asked of us, trusting that the answer will reveal its wisdom in our actions and its resonance in the world around us.
Wayapa® is an earth connection practice that is based on ancient Indigenous wisdom that focuses on taking care of the Earth as the starting point for creating Earth Mind Body Spirit well-being.
Meditation forms part of the rich tradition of contemplative prayer in Christianity. It is a way of simple presence that opens to the depths. The monk Thomas Merton describes it as “…life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive, and spiritual wonder…spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being.”
Contemporary Insight Tradition
These secular meditations are drawn from foundational teachings from the Insight tradition. The practices employ different techniques to anchor us into the body and support us to settle the mind. In quietening the mind we can see freshly and insight is given room to arise.
Buddhist | Tibetan
In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, meditation is about more than just improved health. Developing the ability to calm and control the mind helps the Buddhist meditator to lead a simpler life and progress towards being a kinder and happier person.
Buddhist | Theravada
In the Theravada Buddhist forest tradition, practitioners are encouraged to ‘read their own minds.’ Rather than only reading books and acquiring intellectual theories about ourselves and our world, one develops the ability to know one’s own mind – and the world it creates – through direct, non-verbal experience. This is done by cultivating our innate capacity to be clearly aware in the present moment, the ‘classroom’ in which we can learn about our body and mind, and how to make peace with their constantly changing nature.
Zen practice comes alive, not in concepts or words, but in the body of experience, insight, and intuition. It becomes powerful only in the wild humus of our encounter as part of the world. Zen describes itself as “a mind-to-mind transmission outside of words.” Zen koans are a ‘gateless gate’ to see the mind afresh. In koan encounters we become aware of the intimacy that extends its taproot far down, where words and concepts do not reach.
The foundations of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can be found in what is now called Insight Meditation in the West. This tradition is largely a contemporary expression of the Theravadan (or Vipassana) Buddhist tradition from Asia.