Sitting meditation is a beautiful practice, at the heart of refuge. In sitting practice silence and stillness develop, concentration deepens, and awareness expands. The training of the heart brings kindness and compassion for all that arises. In sitting we can find for ourselves the wisdom and freedom discovered by the Buddha. Beginning meditators are encouraged to use the breath as a focus for mindfulness. The arising and passing of breath shows us in a direct way the universal truth of impermanence. After an inner calm and steadiness are established through breathing, the meditation is systematically opened to include mindfulness of all experiences, external and internal, of body sensations and emotions, of thoughts and the nature of mind itself.
For 15 years now I have been teaching ongoing meditation groups in the Santa Barbara area. As the guiding teacher of the One Dharma Sangha I have been mentored and guided in my teaching for the past twelve years by meditation teacher Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. Coming from my 27-year practice as a Clinical Psychologist/Psychotherapist, and 37 years as Buddhist meditation practitioner, I believe that we have to listen deeply to our contemporary concerns in order to translate ancient Buddhist wisdom into a language that can be utilized in the West. This is a group, where all the “Dharmas (paths of wisdom) flow together.”
Typically we begin our evenings with a 20 min Dharma talk, which will give an introduction into mindfulness philosophy and practice, explore themes in Buddhist philosophy and psychology, and guide you in bringing your practice into your daily lives. Then we follow with 25 min carefully, but lightly guided, mindfulness meditation and 15 minutes of compassion meditation. These meditations will teach you the art of self-compassion and how to integrate a sense of warmth and caring into your lives in accessible and relevant ways. At times we conclude the evening with a brief discussion, poetry or music.
- Radhule Weininger