01142 661 142
Where to start

Where to start

If you have a wish to learn how to meditate or to find out about Buddhism, the General Program is the place to start

The General Program (GP) Classes at the Kadampa Meditation Center Sheffield and its branches are the perfect place to learn. The classes are designed both as a series and as stand-alone classes, so you can attend any class even if the series has already started. Find out more about these classes here.

What is Meditation? 

 

Meditation is a method for acquainting our mind with virtue.

The more familiar our mind is with virtue, the calmer and more peaceful it becomes. When our mind is peaceful we are free from worries and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness.

If we train our mind to become peaceful we will be happy all the time, even in the most adverse conditions. But if our mind is not peaceful, even if we have the most pleasant external conditions we will not be happy. Therefore it is important to train our mind through meditation.

There are two types of meditation: analytical meditation and placement meditation. When we contemplate the meaning of a Dharma instruction that we have heard or read we are doing analytical meditation. By deeply contemplating the instruction, eventually we reach a conclusion or cause a specific virtuous state of mind to arise. This is the object of placement meditation.

Having found our object through analytical meditation, we then concentrate on it single-pointedly for as long as possible to become deeply acquainted with it. This single-pointed concentration is placement meditation. Often, analytical meditation is called simply ‘contemplation’, and placement meditation simply ‘meditation’.

What is Modern Kadampa Buddhism?

 

Kadampa Buddhism is a special tradition of Mahayana Buddhism founded by Atisha (982-1054 CE), an Indian Buddhist Master largely responsible for the reintroduction of Buddhism into Tibet in the eleventh century.

‘Ka’ refers to all Buddha’s Sutra and Tantra teachings, and ‘dam’ refers to Atisha’s special instructions called the ‘Stages of the Path’, or Lamrim in Tibetan.

Kadampa Buddhists integrate their knowledge of all Buddha’s teachings into their everyday lives. The Kadampa Geshes, the followers of Atisha, were not only great scholars but also spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity. 

What happens at a class? 

We provide a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. When you arrive, a volunteer will register you before the class and direct you to the meditation space. Normally before class some announcements will be made.

Our experienced teachers are male or female, lay or ordained (Buddhist monk or nun). They will begin with an introduction, and guide a breathing meditation to help settle your mind. They will then give a teaching based on the topic of the class, with clear and logical explanations using examples and analogies.

An important characteristic of Modern Buddhism is to present Dharma teachings as personal advice that can be integrated into daily life. The intention of the teachings and guided meditations is to help you develop peaceful, clear and positive states of mind. This will help you develop your own inner wisdom, so that you can solve your daily problems and enjoy a more meaningful life.

Depending on the class, there will be either another guided meditation or a discussion with the opportunity to ask questions and clarify doubts.

All of our activities are run by volunteers, and we are a registered charity. The class and course fees help cover the costs of running the Centre.

 

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