Saffron Walden Meditation Group
If you are interested in meditation or trying meditation either as a beginner or experienced practitioner, and you live in Saffron Walden or the surrounding area, then the Saffron Walden Meditation Group could be for you.
All are welcome to come and join in; we meet on Monday evenings in a retreat cabin in Ashdon, near Saffron Walden (please contact us for specific location). There is no fee to come and join in our meditation sessions; we endeavour to make all session at our meditation class free of charge.
What Type of Meditation Do We Practice?
At the Saffron Walden Meditation Group, we practice a method of meditation that can be traced back over two millennia to ancient India. The specific lineage of this meditation method has its more recent origins at the centre of one of the world's first major philosophical centres for learning: Nalanda University (fifth century CE to c.1197 CE). This meditation methodology, which has been passed in an unbroken succession of teacher-to-student from the times of Nalanda University, is commonly referred to as mind-awareness training. This type of meditation practice has in more recent years become popularised under the heading of Mindfulness Meditation.
Sounds Complicated, is it Really for Me?
Though it has a long history with a strong pedigree, the actual practice of mind-awareness training is actually very simple. It generally involves sitting either on our own or with a group of people, and learning to become familiar with our own nature.
This may initially sound to some like it could be a little difficult; we worry that we might get bored. But boredom is just the initial withdrawal symptoms that occur when the mind is not being entertained by its usual everyday stimulations. As the mind starts to relax, the boredom disappears, and we start to become comfortable with the peaceful space that appears as the mind is able to relax.
As with anything in life, the more we do something, the easier it becomes, and mind-awareness training is no exception. Just like going to the gym to strengthen our body and become more physically fit, repeated mind-awareness training strengthens our concentration, and we become more fit mentally, which manifests as a clearer more aware mind.
Through continued mind-awareness training, we start to become more familiar with our mind and its mental processes. This leads to a state of mental tranquillity, as the waves of mental activity start to subside, the ocean of the mind becomes still and calm. Once this occurs, our mental obstructions start to dissolve like clouds disappearing on a sunny day, revealing the bright awareness of mental clarity; our mind becomes clear and still, and great joy arises in our heart.
All of this comes about from the very simple practice of sitting and being aware of our mind; this is mind-awareness training in a nutshell.
Below is a useful video on different sitting postures for practicing meditation. The narrator uses the term 'Zazen', which is the Japanese word for seated meditation. It is a term used commonly by Zen meditation practitioners.
See our news page for more information about the Saffron Walden Meditation Group.
Meditation Group Info
We meet and meditate together on Monday evenings from 20:00 - 21:30 in a converted shed in Ashdon near Saffron Walden. Please contact us for location details. If you want to come along and join us then please bring a cushion to sit on. There is no set fee for our sessions; our sessions are free of charge to keep the meditation open to all.
Chair Meditation Posture
Pictures taken from the Yokoji Zen Mountain Centre Website.