Week five of the Rains season and this week we had the President of the BSWA, Dennis Sheppard. Dennis focused our attention right from the start onto one of the many things meditators like/try/hope to achieve. A stillness of the mind. By letting go of the world around us, the past, the future and even the body we can slowly but surely achieve this state, arriving very much into the present moment.

Dennis guided us in a meditation with stillness of the mind as our goal. To begin we focused on our posture, feet resting flat on the floor, back straight, head upright, body comfortable and relaxed. The meditation is slightly longer than the usual 30 minutes, well suited to beginners and experienced meditators alike.

After meditation Dennis continued his talk on the silence of the mind.

Dennis is a very experienced long time meditator and has a number of videos available on his web site specifically directed towards beginning Buddhist meditation.

 

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To find and download more Armadale Meditation Group Teachings, visit the BSWA teachings page: , choose the AMG teaching you want, then type the title into the Podcast search box.

Kathryn’s fourth and final session for the rains period of 2019, her chosen subject, Equanimity or Upekkhà. Kathryn started the session by giving us a formal definition of equanimity and then providing real world examples.

Upekkhà is the Buddhist concept of equanimity. As one of the Brahma Vihara (meditative states), it is a pure mental state cultivated on the Buddhist path to nirvāna.

Equanimity is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind. The virtue and value of equanimity is extolled and advocated by a number of major religions and ancient philosophies.

Equanimity is something many of us tend to not recognise and to have difficulty in achieving. This occurs often for those of us dealing with suffering of family, friends or even peoples of the world. We become trapped within our emotions.

Kathryn then lead the group in meditation with equanimity as the focus. The meditation and subject is perhaps best suited to intermediate and advanced meditators.

After meditation Kathryn continued her talk on equanimity and opened to questions. Kathryn also answered questions she had not had time to answer in previous weeks. One of the last questions asked of Kathryn was “how long should we meditate for”. Kathryn’s answer was “do what-ever you’ll do”. So we should be happy with any length of meditation that we can achieve at that time.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

 

To find and download more Armadale Meditation Group Teachings, visit the BSWA teachings page, choose the AMG teaching you want, then type the title into the Podcast search box.

This is Kathryn’s third of four sessions at AMG during the 2019 Rains Retreat period. Tonight's subject is compassion, specifically in 3 forms. Kathryn describes how we may feel compassion for someone that is suffering. How we may receive compassion because we are suffering. Finally, we may feel compassion toward ourselves. Kathryn continued by giving examples of the each form of compassion. Before meditation and to conclude her talk, Kathryn asked the audience to form a circle of sorts around the room. She then asked us all a series of questions and to raise our hands if we felt the answer applied to us as an individual. It was not surprising to find that nearly all present answered in the affirmative to the questions. We all need to practice both sending compassion and receiving compassion in our lives to help us deal with the stuff of life.

Kathryn then lead the group in meditation with compassion as our focus. The meditation is perhaps best suited to intermediate and advanced meditators.

After meditation Kathryn continued her talk on compassion and opened to question. At the close Kathryn suggested the following titles for those of us interested in furthering their study of compassion.

Mindful Compassion by Paul Gilbert
Compassion: Concepts, Research and Application edited by Paul Gilbert

 

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

 

To find and download more Armadale Meditation Group Teachings, visit the BSWA teachings page, choose the AMG teaching you want, then type the title into the Podcast search box.

Dennis Sheppard, President and long time member of Buddhist Society of WA explores reality, deep meditation and the meaning of life. The guided meditation and Dhamma talk complement each other. The talk begins around 32 minutes. Dennis Sheppard is a meditator, hypnotherapist and marriage celebrant.
Recorded at Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre, during the 2019 Rains Retreat.  

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

To find and download more Dhamma Talks on Podcast, visit the BSWA teachings page: https://bswa.org/teachings/, choose the talk you want and then type the title into the Podcast search box.

Kathryn's first of four weeks at AMG. Kathryn began meditating over 25 years ago at the Armadale group (AMG). She is the founder of “Mind and Movement”, a leading provider of mindfulness programs for individuals and organisations and is a certified teacher of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s program, “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) and recognised as a Senior Teacher by the Meditation Association of Australia.

We humans have a tendency to react rather than respond to all manner of situations, both internal and external. Kathryn explains why this occurs and how best to retrain the mind to respond rather than react. When we react to stimuli, both internal and external, a chemical is generated and released within our bodies. Kathryn details ways of shortening the time it takes for us to return from those situations that cause us to remain in that stressed state of mind. Mindfully being aware that it is happening will allow us to return to normal in a shorter period of time or, at the very least, shorten the time it takes for those chemicals to dissipate.

Kathryn then guided the group in meditation asking us to observe what occurs and how we react to it. Be it to a small sound or part of our body, how we react is what matters. This meditation is a smidge over 30 minutes and suitable for beginners and experienced alike.

After meditation Kathryn continued her discussion and talk on our reactions to the sensations we felt during the meditation with a focus on what we noticed or became aware of and not over-reacting.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

 

To find and download more Armadale Meditation Group Teachings, visit the BSWA teachings page, choose the AMG teaching you want, then type the title into the Podcast search box.

Guest speaker Glenda Lee shares her experience about how to practice the Dharma in our daily life. Dhamma talk given during the rains retreat at Dhammaloka City Centre on the 3 October 2008.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

To find and download more Dhamma Talks on Podcast, visit the BSWA teachings page: https://bswa.org/teachings/, choose the talk you want and then type the title into the Podcast search box.

This recording starts off with a 30 minute guided meditation, followed by a one hour Buddha Dhamma talk which begins around 36:45 minutes into the recording. The meditation and talk are designed to go together. The meditation is to be experienced and then the talk refers back to the meditation. Dennis Sheppard is a long time lay practitioner and president of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

BSWA President gives his inaugural talk at Dhammaloka on what Buddhism has to offer the western world and how it can appeal to a broader base through its profound and everyday life teachings.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

Sol Hanna talks about how to appreciate imperfection, and how this attitude has influenced his life. Sol Hanna is the Vice President of the Buddhist Society of WA. 

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

Annie Keating, a former nun in both Santi(NSW) and Dhammasara(WA) monasteries, now returned to lay life, speaks of preparing the mind throughout the day, with kindness and silence, for a better meditation.  She then guides us through a body scan and breath meditation followed by a Q&A.

Dennis Sheppard, former president of BSWA, shares his experience of stillness. He also shares the teaching of several teachers including, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Chah and the Buddha.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

Sol spoke to us on meditation by relating his own experience over many years.  He explains meditation in a way that is different to what we normally hear from our regular Monks.  His experience ranges from a rock star to a monk and now a high school teacher.  He has dealt with his own health issues as well as the issues we all face throughout our lives.  He explains how he used meditation to simply accept those circumstances and issues for what they are, then move on.

Sol then led us through a very relaxing 30 minute meditation after which he gave a dharma talk.  At the end of the talk, he opened the floor to questions.

Relax, it's all out of control.  It's ok.  It doesn't matter so much what happens to us, it matters how we react to it and how we accept it.

Jacob Meddin a lay Buddhist offers a guided meditation for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/ or Fibromyalgia.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

Jacob Meddin a lay Buddhist guides a twenty minute meditation for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/ or Fibromyalgia. This meditation is designed to help us to become calmer, peaceful and easier to live with; both with ourselves and other people.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

Dennis Sheppard is a long time lay practitioner of the Buddhist Society of WA and a hypnotherapist. Dennis offers a talk on consciousness from the viewpoint of hypnotherapy, meditation and Buddhism. Dennis looks at the difference of our awareness in meditation compared to when we are hypnotised and how our life conditions get embedded into our consciousness and what that really means.

Please support the BSWA in making teachings available for free online via Patreon.

During Rains 2016 Matt gave a talk on why he started meditating and how it has helped with his battle with illness.  He then guided us through a beginners meditaion followed by a Q&A.

Kathryn Choules is a regular at the AMG and teaches meditation.  During Rains 2016 she gave us an excellent introduction to meditation, a wonderful guided meditation and was happy to talk on the benefits of meditation when dealing with health issues and pain.  As with Sol Hanna, we look forward to having Kathryn teach and talk again.

During Rains 2016 Sol was a guest speaker at the AMG and was a refreshing hit.  He gave us an introduction to meditation then a guided meditation and a Q&A session to close.  The entire group looks forward to him returning.

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