This course is NOT provided in audio format. All the program materials are provided so that a teacher can teach this five session program without having to prepare materials.
This is an introductory course on basic Buddhist meditation techniques for complete beginners. It does not assume that those who come for this course know anything at all about meditation or about Buddhism. It does not even assume that those who take this course are even interested in learning more about Buddhism. This course assumes simply that those who come are interested in learning something about meditation and that Buddhist meditation has appealed to them and has brought them to this course.This course has been presented as a series of 5 sessions of approximately 2 hours each. Each session will include lecture time to impart new information, practice time to introduce a new meditation technique (or techniques), and discussion time to enable friendly interaction with students and respond to their questions. These classes can be organized as 2 weekend intensives comprised of the equivalent of 2½ classes each weekend, or as 5 once-a-week classes. With this course, it is recommended to space the classes out over time, to give students the opportunity to try out the meditations they have learned at home and report back their experiences. Course Topics
Overall, the following topics will be covered during this 5-class course:What is meditation Meditation posture and arranging the body Purposes and benefits of meditation Different skills that are used in meditation and useful in daily life The difference between meditation and simple relaxation 2 main types of meditation - analytical and stabilizing Obstacles to meditation and their antidotes Setting up a meditation session Advice for establishing a long-term meditation practice Using the benefits of meditation in everyday living Meditation practice Breathing meditations: counting, nine-round Mindfulness meditations: scanning the body, bare attention, mind like The sky, mind like the ocean Visualization meditations: body of light, purification with light Analytical meditations: meditation on equanimity, transforming Negative experiences into positive
Readings and Course Materials:
This course has no actual required readings. Two books are, however, highly recommended for those who take this course:
- How to Meditate by Kathleen McDonald, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1984, 2006. View book here.
- What Is Meditation? by Rob Nairn, Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2000. www.shambhala.com
Course materials include hand-outs of pertinent information and instructions for the various meditations taught.
1. Scanning the Body
2. Counting the Breaths
3. Seven-Point Meditation Posture
4. Bare Attention Exercise
5. Meditation on the Mind Like the Sky
6. Meditation on the Mind Like the Ocean
7. Nine-Round Breathing Meditation
8. Transforming Negative Experiences into Positive
9. Meditation session in four parts
10. Purification with Light Meditation
11. Body of Light Meditation
12. Equanimity Meditation
13. Supplementary Bibliography (for interested students)
14. Assessment Questions (for those students interested in receiving a certificate of completion)
15. Completion Card (for students who have completed the course and the assessment)