Mindfulness Practice and Meditation

Meditation Group Practice by HKIMS

Date: Every Monday, except Public Holidays

Time: 7:30 - 9:30pm

Venue: IMI, 17/F Kailey Tower, 16 Stanley Street, Central

Organized by: The Hong Kong Insight Meditation Society (HKIMS)

The primary focus of this group is to provide a space and environment to practice silent meditation. This is supported by group discussion around topics relating to Vipassana Buddhist Meditation. In doing so, we hope to foster a close community of fellow practitioners, supporting one another through our journey of exploration and development. The group practice is predominantly aimed at meditators who have some prior experience of meditation (even if only a handful of times) and who have their own practice already.

We welcome complete beginners who have never meditated before, but we are not normally able to provide in-depth teaching - beginners are very welcome to sit in and listen and take part in the evening where possible.

A set of basic meditation guidelines can be made available to beginners to read and try during the 30-45min silent sit. You should be prepared to sit silently during that period and to read the handouts and to try out the guided meditations provided. We encourage you to make the effort to read the meditation instructions here before you attend so that you can get the most out of the evening. For more details: https://www.hkims.org/mon-meditation-group-details 

We are an English speaking group of established meditators who meet every week to listen to dharma talks, learn from established teachers (when they are available to lead), take part in a formal silent practice for 30-45 mins, as well as share and discuss our experiences with one another. Ideal for those struggling to meditate on their own, we are here to support you in maintaining your practice, whether you are just beginning to establish your own practice or have been on a dozen retreats.

We share and advocate Buddhist meditation, both samatha and vipassana, the latter of which is more popularly known as mindfulness - though mindfulness alone is not enough! Other than mindfulness, we also ask meditators to apply Right Attitude - a non-judgmental and non-interfering attitude based on right understanding - no matter your meditation method. With the right understanding, anybody can learn to meditate. Meditation is so simple that it can be summed up in a few words: “Just Observe, and Let It Be.”

As part of the evening, we will often discuss and explore spiritual teachings as taught by the Buddha. Mindfulness meditation can also be understood and practiced within the context of why the Buddha taught meditation: as an answer to the question of human suffering. It requires no blind faith or belief but to simply "come see for yourself." Secular mindfulness, though beneficial in the beginning, is missing the ultimate potential and purpose of the path. But it's still a good way to start!

Typical Schedule:

7:30 - 7:40pm Initial silent sit

7:40 - 8:15pm Discussion / Talk on selected theme

8:15 - 9:00pm Silent practice

9:00 - 9:30pm Open discussion

Other general rules and etiquette please read https://www.hkims.org/mon-meditation-group-details

  

Please RSVP to https://www.meetup.com/HKInsightMeditation/ 

 

Monday Mindfulness Practice Group for Beginners

IMI’s Monday Mindfulness is still continuing five years later thanks to the support of the facilitators and the team of staff at IMI.

Beginners Class (All levels welcome):
For the 6:15pm to 7:15pm class, all levels are welcome. Guidance will be given to beginners, and for more experienced practitioners it is an opportunity to try new techniques, enjoy sitting together and refresh your practice with an attitude of “beginners mind”.

All teachings are offered voluntarily by the various facilitators and give recipients the opportunity to experience techniques and approaches from different traditions.

There is no cost for this session. Classes are offered by donation, from which all proceeds go to charity. The current charity is VIVA, which helps children in need in over 21 countries.

If you are interested to attend, please reserve your spot via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Upcoming Sessions:

3 September 2018 - Graeme Bradshaw

10 September 2018 - Catriona Rogers

17 September 2018 - Cristina Rodenbeck

24 September 2018 - No Class

Venue: IMI, 17/F Kailey Tower, 16 Stanley Street, Central

Experienced Practitioners:
For those who have an established sitting practice, there is also a class that is run by the HKIMS (Hong Kong Insight Meditation Society) from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. This class includes a Dharma talk with meditation and discussion. IMI offers the space free of charge, and so this class is also by donation, from which proceeds are also given to local charities.


The Facilitators

Carole Bradshaw

Carole

IMI Co-owner and Director, Mindfulness Based Psychotherapist (UKCP), Mindfulness Facilitator, Yoga Teacher (US Alliance)

The beginners mindfulness practice will give you more guidance and techniques to help you to develop a simple mindfulness or meditation practice.

Inspired to make mindfulness accessible to the people of Hong Kong, Carole created IMI’s ‘Monday Mindfulness’ in 2012. As well as offering a peaceful space for practice in the heart of Hong Kong central’s business district, her original intention was to offer people a taste of mindfulness, foster a sense of community and offer any benefits from the practice to be given as a donation to local charities.

Carole has almost 20 years experience in the study, practice and teaching of mindfulness from a variety of traditions, most notably Yoga and Buddhism. She is also a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, with the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

She continues to advocate and guide the mindfulness offerings at IMI, firmly believing that a mindfulness practice can be a huge help to support people to achieve optimal wellbeing in body, mind, emotions and spirit.

 

Catriona Rogers

Catriona

M.A (Edin), Dip M.S (HKU) M.Ed Counselling (Newcastle), AI Coaching (Fielding, USA)

The program offers both guided and less structured meditations and a brief talk drawn from teachings of the ‘wisdom masters’.

“The goal of meditation is not to avoid the world, but to live in it more consciously and fully in every moment– to feel more connected to yourself , others and the world around you.” --Richard Miller.

Catriona believes that meditation practice enables us to awaken to ourselves and to discover a level of peace that remains unbroken no matter what external circumstances or internal mental torments we face. Her sessions address health, personal growth and spiritual evolution.

 

Cristina Rodenbeck

cristina rodenbeck

Cristina is IMI's Licensed Wellness Practitioner and Executive Coach. She has over 15 years of experience as a Mindfulness Practitioner with certifications in Mindfulness Coaching Mastery, Advanced Mindfulness Coaching, as well as completion of the Potential Project Mindfulness Program. She is a sought-after speaker on Mindfulness and has successfully delivered talks and workshops to individuals and corporations across Hong Kong. Passionate about wellness and supporting individuals on their journey to health and wellbeing, she also hosts monthly Kirtan sessions in various locations around the city.

To achieve presence and cultivate a sense of ‘being in the moment’ requires the practice of Mindfulness. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. It’s ultimately what resonates with you.

After many years of exploring Mindfulness and sound healing on her personal journey, Cristina brings a unique blend of Kirtan – powerful yet gentle mantras – techniques and guidance to her Monday practice.

Through this simple yet highly impactful approach, Cristina shares how sound vibrations created by chanting in unison results in greater consciousness of the breath and a deep sense of peace from within. No previous experience is required, only the will.


Jessica Lam (Guest Facilitator)Jessica Lam

METTA MEDITATION

What is Metta (Lovingkindness) Meditation?
Metta is a Pali word that means goodwill, lovingkindness, friendliness. It was taught by the Buddha as one of the four divine ways of abiding. The other three are karuna (compassion), mudita (appreciative joy), and upekkha (equanimity). 

Lovingkindness is unconditional love and friendliness towards all beings. It makes no distinction between any living being. The highest aspiration mentioned in the loving-kindness discourse is that one loves all beings just as a mother loves her only child €”but of course, first, we have to be skilled at developing it toward ourselves. 



Why practice it?

If Vipassana meditation is the work of understanding the mind and cultivating wisdom, then Lovingkindness is the work of the heart and cultivating wholesome states of benevolence and non-anger. A mind in a wholesome state cannot be filled with anger, ill will, and impatience.

What are the benefits of practicing metta?
The Buddha spoke about eleven benefits of practicing loving-kindness: 1) one goes to sleep happily, dreams no evil dreams, and one wakes happily 2) One is beloved by humans and by nonhumans 3) One €™s mind is quickly concentrated 4) One has a shiny complexion 5) The devas protect one 6) Fire, poison, and arrows won't hurt one €¦. you can look up the rest :) 



How do I start?
Always start doing metta with yourself first, or, if you find that difficult, start with a beloved one, like a teacher or child. Recite silently in your mind: 

May I be happy. 
May I be safe.
 May I be peaceful.
 May I be healthy. 
May I take care of myself happily

If it €™s for a beloved one, substitute €œI €for the person's name. When you feel calm and quiet, it means that you have some degree of love and kindness in your mind toward this person. Then you can choose to another person if you wish.

I can'™t remember all the lines
You can shorten it to €œMay so-and-so be happy €or visualize the person'™s face and think €œMay you be happy €¦. € or €œhappy, happy. You can also reflect on positive wishes for yourself/that person. €œMay you grow in wisdom. € or €œ May you recover. etc., or just repeat the first line again and again. So there are no hard and fast rules - the important thing is to cultivate the feeling of goodwill. You can say the same line for one person again and again, different lines for a group of people, jump back and forth between whoever pops into your mind, or just focus on one for the entire session. You can also reflect on the meaning of the phrases. 


Help! The lines are mechanical / I don'™t feel anything
It might help to start with a beloved one, like a teacher or child, someone who has greatly benefitted your life. Reflect on what he/she has done for you and then do metta for that person. Some meditators recall an image of their pets or cuddly things to call on a feeling of goodwill. My teacher, Visu, have said that even if it €™s mechanical, keep persisting. The very act of reciting these lines is the practice of a wholesome state of mind. If you are wishing someone well, you cannot be thinking any thoughts of ill will or anger.

Do I have to do it in order?

Traditionally, mettais done in this order 1) self 2) loved ones 3) neutral person 4) difficult person 5) all beings. I suggest becoming skilled at radiating metta for 1 and 2 before moving on to 3 4 and 5, i.e. you can call on the feeling of goodwill quite steadily. But it €™s up to you to experiment. 



How do I practice it in daily life? 

Hong Kong is a great place to practice metta. It €™s so overcrowded here that it can be fun to walk around and radiate met to everyone you see. All you need to do is to think the thought - €œMay you be happy! € or when someone calls, you can think €œMay the caller be happy €or when someone pops into your mind, you can do metta for him/her. There are countless ways to practice in daily life. This can also be an excellent guard against unwholesome thoughts. 


May you all be happy!