Shamata and Vipassana
With the word Meditation we refer to many things, like being aware, having balance, relaxing, concentrating, becoming absorbed in certain special states of mind, reflecting, pondering, being silent, etc. All these words give us a taste of what it might be like to meditate.
To describe the process of meditation, the Buddha uses the word bhāvana, which conveys the meaning of "cultivation”. The idea is that the cultivating process requires time and a consistent awareness of the development itself.
So to meditate signifies to cultivate various aspects of our being. We meditate in order to develop our awareness, loving-kindness, understanding, concentration, mindfulness, wisdom, etc.
Most of the meditation methods can be grouped into two categories: Shamata and Vipassana.
Shamata refers to methods that are useful to stabilize and calm the mind, shamata means "calm abiding".
Vipassana refers to methods which help us gain a deeper understanding about life and reality. Vipassana means "higher insight".
In my meditation classes we train both Shamata and Vipassana. However, we concentrate more on Shamata.
The meditation classes in Montreal
We meet every Tuesday at 15:30 for 2 hours, at the Acupuncture Center (Metro Cadillac). I supervise the entire class every week, however, the first hour will be taught by Gabrielle Polce. Having studied philosophy academically for seven years, Gabrielle has been working with me intensively for the past two years and continues to work with me to investigate the nature of suffering and how to overcome it. Her goal in the course is to help students have a groundwork for engaging in the preparation of Shamata.
Please write to me for more information.
The course has three levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
Beginner: these are based on developing a calm, abiding mind through listening to and learning the fundamentals. (Level 1)
Intermediate: these are based on deepening the understanding of the fundamentals through reflection, explanation and more detailed instructions. (Level 1-2)
Advanced: these are based on stabilizing and familiarizing ourselves with what has matured in the previous levels. (Level 2)
All the trainees participate in the same class because there is no difference. in terms of instructions, for all three levels. The levels are not formal divisions, but they define differences in awareness, understanding, and familiarization with the instructions as well as the students capacity of stabilizing the mind.
First two levels of Shamata:
5 questions to get to know if we are meditating
Who is meditating?
What meditate on?
How to meditate?
What are the effects?
The 6 preconditions for practice
An appropriate place
Establishing satisfaction parameters
Abandoning numerous activities
Establishing functional limits
Abandoning prejudices about the desirable ect.
Love VS Attachment. Meditation on Disenchantment.
Anger VS Strength. Meditation on Love.
Ignorance VS Reality. Meditation on Interdependence.
Pride VS Openness. Meditation on the 5 elements.
Jealousy, Envy, Discursiveness VS Action. Breathing Meditation.
On the subject of payment
Courses in the Manjushri Temple are free of charge. However, if you would to donate money, please donate directly to the temple itself.