A Course in Meditation
Saturdays @ Rojana Center
with Pandit Bhikkhu
For seven weeks we will hold a systematic course in mindfulness meditation, at the spacious Rojana Dhamma Center, near Asoke.
|Meditate with bagels!
Homemade bagels and foodstuffs from our local
feedpoint bakery will be available each week
You don’t need to belong to any particular tradition. Meditation is a straightforward inner process that anyone can experience for themselves. Focus will be on two groups:
- Meditators with some experience who want to firm up their meditation with a consistent and regular daily sitting for this period
- Newcomers to meditation – this course will be geared towards you, to get you started with sitting and doing real mindfulness meditation
This is what we’ll be doing:
- Sat. Feb. 4th to Sat March 18
- Meet for group session Saturday 1:00-3:00pm
- New instructions on simple meditation exercises each week
- report/sharing of meditation experiences in small groups with a coach.
- Minimum 20 minute a day meditations to develop at home
- by donation
Each week there will be clear instructions for new exercises, tips and tricks to getting into mindfulness meditation. In case you miss a meeting very brief catch-up notes will be posted for you to follow – but this is not an online course, and you’ll need to attend the classes to keep up.
This course is led, in English, by Pandit Bhikkhu, a Buddhist monk of 20 years.
Topics for the course week by week are now posted up and live:
|WEEK BY WEEK
Mindfulness meditation is the buzzword in psychology these days, and seems to be magazines on every corner.
Recently there is ‘mindful sailing’, mindful painting’, and even mindful kissing’!
Well, we want to get back to real mindfulness, which is part of a real and radical shift in consciousness. There are lots of benefits – physical benefits are easy to measure in things such as heart rate, stress levels, and such (many clinical studies can be found online). But the mental/spiritual transformation is what really counts.
- Huffington Post runs mindfulness articles regularly.
- Harvard University – 8 weeks to a better brain
- Here’s one account of mindfulness in low performing San Francisco Schools
- One of the longest running and most rigorously documented programs of research into Mindfulness is the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program. See a Guardian Newspaper article on it here.
… and many other links. We encourage you to do a bit of research yourself too.
Lots of meditation course promise you a ton of benefits – ‘enjoy life more’, ‘be stress-free’ … here’s a good one : ‘effortless success‘! They have to say these things, because they are charging a lot of money.
So, here’s my motto!
|MEDITATE LIKE A BOSS|
In reality, meditation is not so easy. It is a long term transformation that takes time and dedication. You have to stick at it, to get good results. We’re not trying to sell any kind of quick fix. Meditation is for anyone interested to practise, but it does require some conscious effort to plonk yourself down on a cushion each day, even for a short period. Compare it to learning a guitar or yoga – it takes a daily effort if you are going to get effective at it!
Just a short practise of 20 minutes a day can really enrich your life.
|This is an ancient technique that comes from Buddhism. It involves dis-associating from your thoughts and feelings and training yourself to view them (i.e. yourself) from the perspective of an observer, a witness. After a time one gets to see the thoughts, motivations, fears, and the physical body in a new light. This is called ‘insight’ and is the vehicle of transformation. There is no need to learn complicated mantras, chants or take up religious devotions. It is a simple practise of observing patiently the mechanisms of mind and body, in order to know yourself better.|
You need to attend the meetings to keep up with the instructions.
You are asked to keep up with a minimum of 20 minutes a day sitting in meditation. We’ll show you how, but at the end of the day, it only works it if you work it! You can drop out any time of course.
To keep you active and involved there will be a web page posted with the meditation instructions in brief, and a short poll to fill out indicating anonymously your progress, difficulties, and feeling – this is very nice for creating something of a group spirit.
Last time the hosts for this course was the elegant Indus Restaurant (photos here) which was well attended.
You don’t need to meet any criteria to join this course. It is open to everyone. We won’t be doing any ritual or religious activities (though these do play a part in the wider scope of meditation). It does not matter what religion you belong to, if any. We will focus entirely on how to meditate, and why. It is a very practical exercise.
If you are already experienced in meditation you are also welcome to join. Your presence will be an encouragement to others. And it is always nice to come together in a group setting to practise our dedication to the still point in the mind!
I have been involved in meditation since 1990. In 1994 I joined a monestary for a year in the UK, and then came to Thailand to ordain as a Buddhist monk, in Rajabrui Province in 1996. Since then I spent most of my time in Bangkok. Since 2007 I have been organising meditation events, talks and seminars in Bangkok under the name of Little Bangkok Sangha.
Meetings will be 1:00-3:00 each Saturday. You don’t need to bring anything – we have mats and cushions ready for you. Those with poor knees or backs can also use a chair.
- Saturday 4th February – course opens.
- Through to Saturday 18th March
UPDATE: We’re making this course open to all week by week – but naturally, to keep up, you really need to come every week. But …. as you like …
Please follow the map. It is VERY precise. It is easy to find: there are only one or two turns depending on which direction you are coming from. It is an 11 minute walk from Asoke BTS and even closer to Sukhumvit MRT
Go down Sukhumvit 23 to the first four way intersection. Turn right, and then turn right again at the end of the road.
Or just ask the motorcycles inside Sukhumvit 23 – they know the way.
A few tips:
- Motorcycles inside Soi 23 mostly know the way – in Thai it is ‘Rojana-tam’
- Don’t ask locals or taxi drivers the way – they often don’t know the Rojana Centre, and will send you somewhere else instead. Go to Sukhumvit 23 and find your own way.
- Follow the map – plenty of landmarks are shown and it it extremely precise!
- Quite a few other foreigners will be heading there at the same time.
Here are the GPS coordinates if you prefer : 13.739356, 100.564748
The little Bangkok Sangha: