We provide two types of meditation instruction: direct mind training, and indirect mind training.
Direct mind training is when we use the mind to train the mind itself, without any external reference – simply sitting still and working on our neural pathways through focusing and expanding the mind. This is what is meant by “meditation”.
The meditations taught by Pacific Buddha honors our Shifu’s vision for an educationally modernized system of training, that communicates the essentials of Buddhism, without relying on ordinations or status. Pacific Buddha promotes Urgyen Sangharakshita’s explanation of the core practices from Yogi Chen’s Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical, in a simplified way, based on understanding the importance of Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels and undertaking the five ethical precepts.
We teach an essential and progressive System of Meditation
- Integrating in a centripetal way through focusing on the breath.
- Radiating in a centrifugal way the natural positivity of a healthy mammalian brain.
- Releasing of elemental accumulations that create a fixed, rigid sense of self.
- Imagining other dimensions of being that lift the spirit and provide inspiration.
Indirect mind training involves positively changing the mind through something external to the mind itself. All strength, conditioning, and flexibility training has the external focus of competently training the body. Through creating a more athletic body, one is creatively connected with one’s deeper mental capacity for fortitude and focus. Likewise, participation in music, chanting, or any of the physical arts, can be ways to get objective feedback and refocus the mind.
No stretching or exercise we do is ever “just exercise”. By realizing that our body’s condition reflects our mental habits, we can begin to gradually develop new neural pathways through learning patience with discomforts in training. Developing our inner discernment between “pain”, which is the body’s way of communicating a need for rest & recovery, and “discomfort”, which needs to be patiently endured to achieve our potential, is the defining characteristic of intelligent asceticism.
- Develop increased focus within a broader context of empathetic awareness.
- Change neural pathways for experiences that normally lead to reactive emotions toward oneself or others.
- Learn simple and engaging ways to deepen an existing meditation practice, or start a new one.
- Gain personalized postural corrections so you can sit more comfortably.
- Apply models from ancient Indian psychology for any distractions that may arise.
- Learn ways of integrating meditation practice into daily life.
- Find stability by learning to anchor your experience on the kinetic sensation of the breath.