Meditation Course
meditation course

Meditation Course

Meditation Course

Getting Started

Whether or not you have decided to join our group, we recommend you take Mingyur Rinpoche's Introduction to Meditation Course. The introductory course is likely to be helpful even to experienced meditators and will give a sense for Mingyur Rinpoche's teachings and style. The course consists of four 20-30 minute videos.

What Is the Meeting Format?

Meetings are 7:00 - 8:30 PM every Friday. Each of the topics listed in the Course Outline will be covered over three meetings: an opening session, a deepening session, and a practice session. The opening session format is:

  • Welcome and opening aspiration (5 min.)
  • Guided meditation (20 min.)
  • Check in about homework and suggested discussion questions (5 min.)
  • Discussion (35 min.)
  • Guided meditation (20 min.)
  • Closing dedication and farewell (5 min.)

Deepening sessions have a similar format.

The practice session format is:

  • Welcome and opening aspiration (5 min.)
  • Guided meditation (20 min.)
  • Walking meditation (10 min.)
  • Open meditation ~ no guidance (20 min.)
  • Walking meditation (10 min.)
  • Guided meditation (20 min.)
  • Closing dedication and farewell (5 min.)

Homework includes suggested readings from Mingyur Rinpoche's books The Joy Of Living and Joyful Wisdom. Additional resources can be found in the PDF files linked in the Course Outline.

Course Outline And Supplemental Materials

  1. Meditating on open awareness and the breath [PDF]
    • The practice of open awareness and the breath
    • Open awareness and the breath in daily life
    • Open awareness and the breath in difficult situations
  2. Meditating on basic goodness [PDF]
    • Nurturing the spark of awareness
    • Nurturing the spark of loving-kindness and compassion
    • Nurturing the spark of wisdom
  3. Meditating with the senses [PDF]
    • Meditating with physical sensations
    • Meditating with pain
    • Meditating with movement
    • Meditating with visual objects
    • Meditating with sound
    • Meditating with smell and taste
  4. Essential elements of meditation practice [PDF]
    • Forming a compassionate motivation
    • Letting go of expectations
    • Sharing the results of practice with all beings
  5. Meditating with thoughts [PDF]
    • The practice of meditating with thoughts
    • Meditating with thoughts in daily life
    • Meditating with thoughts in difficult situations
  6. Meditating with emotions [PDF]
    • The practice of meditating with emotions
    • Meditating with emotions in daily life
    • Meditating with emotions in difficult situations
  7. Meditating on loving–kindness and compassion [PDF]
    • Meditating on loving-kindness
    • Meditating on compassion

Aspirations

  • Seek happiness that is not dependent on circumstances
  • Learn to follow wisdom over habit
  • Develop a community (sangha) that provides mutual help and support
  • Move toward awakening as a group
  • Share the teachings with others
  • Benefit others through our practice

Long Term Goals

  • Cultivate recognition of awareness as an ever-present touchstone
  • Practice the four immeasurable minds (loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, equanimity)
  • Dissolve the illusion that sees things that are changing as permanent
  • Dissolve the illusion that sees things that are plural as singular
  • Dissolve the illusion that sees things that are interdependent as independent
  • Dissolve the unhealthy sense of self

What Are the Joy of Living Levels?

The Joy of Living program is divided into three levels:

  • In Joy of Living Level I: Calming the Mind, we learn how to connect with awareness and how awareness itself can become a source of lasting contentment. We learn how to use any experience, even painful feelings and difficult thoughts, to connect with awareness and discover inner peace.
     
  • In Joy of Living Level II: Opening the Heart, we see how loving–kindness and compassion are rooted in the natural and shared desire to be happy and free from suffering. We learn how to nurture these qualities and allow them to manifest in thoughts, words, and deeds.
     
  • In Joy of Living Level III: Awakening Wisdom, we learn how rigidly held false beliefs keep us locked in a cycle of dissatisfaction and anxiety, and how relating to things as they actually are, rather than through the distorting lens of preconceived ideas and emotional reactivity, can help us realize the purity and goodness of our basic nature.