Meditation: Introductory Course

In order to be what we are, we have to come out of what we are not. Those thoughts and feelings, those sensations, you are not. You are not that restless separate ego. Through meditation we give up all these things, (and when we reach the transcendental state, we begin) to find out what we are, and then we realise what brought up this whispering “I am that”; the birds are singing “I am that”; the moon and stars chorusing “I am that”. I am a note in the world’s symphony; so, to begin to be what we are, we have not got to give up anything real. All the unreal world is created by our own thoughts and ideas; give up these, and we come to the real. And we do not have to do anything to give up; we simply come to meditate, and the meditation gives everything up for us.
Śrī Śāntānanda Sarasvatī 

A Method for cultivating inner stillness and peace

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This eleven-week course gives an overview and aim of the practice of meditation. It explores the reasons why one needs to meditate and why it is said to be the master key to full realisation and the most important factor in spiritual development. It also looks at the simplicity of the meditation technique and how the form is designed to explore the inner life, making it practical for daily living and how it leads to a greater sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. The material looks at how to overcome the barriers to still the over-active mind through the use of an ancient and effective exercise, also to explore the proper use of the intellect with a glance at the causal aspect of the mind and its predispositions.

Below is a week by week description of what will be discussed during the introductory course.

    • Introduction: Gives an overview of the subject of Meditation as offered by the School of Practical Philosophy.
    • Terms used in the course. The Holy Tradition. The Small Cannot Satisfy the Large. The Practice of The Exercise.
    • Going Behind the Stage. About the School. The Three Forces or Energies.
    • The Active Mind. The Ego. The Intellect. Self-Remembering and Meditation.
    • The Intellect. The Two Minds in Action. Cleverness and Wisdom. To Look Within. Strengthening Our Power of Attention.
    • Intellect and Stillness. Causal Aspect of the Mind. Summary of the Unenlightened Mind. Extended Practice of the Exercise. Mantra and Meditation. Meditation the Master Key
    • What is Meditation? The Four Levels of Speech. Tradition behind the Meditation. Extended Practice of the Exercise. The Force of the Tradition.
    • Levels of Speech in Relation to the Mantra. What are the Practical Requirements. How do I Proceed? Extended Practice of the Exercise. Developing the Power of Attention.
    • Introduction to the Pause. Mantra, Sounding and Group Meditation. To Be What We Are.
    • Group Meditation. Getting that Donkey out of the Mind. Why Study Philosophy?
    • The importance of coming to rest in the midst of all the many activities of the day. Sounding and Group Meditation. Overview of courses to come.

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