“We tend to imagine that we can only become addicted to a few sorts of things. But real addiction is about using something, anything, to keep our real emotions, fears, and hopes at bay. There are many more addicts among us than we think.” – Alain De Botton
Meditation has the power to show us our own mind, to open our hearts, to help us see with fresh eyes, to transform us and to show us new ways of being. With consistency and dedication, each practice can ‘take us all the way’ to transforming insight.
Yet what if you feel all over the place and pulled in different directions in your life? What if you are plagued by doubt and self-loathing? How do you find the freedom of letting go? And what about compassion? Do you sometimes have questions about where you are going with your meditation? There is a way to have an overview of our practice and to have a way to guide ourselves in meditation according to our needs.
In the Triratna Buddhist Community, we have been exploring the benefits of the ‘System of Practice’ for decades. The Triratna system of meditation can be seen as a set of meditations that you progress along, or as a ‘mandala’ a circle or spiral of practices, which you go around in order to approach the center, Enlightenment. This system reflects the two main approaches to meditation found in virtually all Buddhist schools: samatha (‘calming’) and vipassana (‘insight’), and Just Sitting, in which simply sits with whatever happens in awareness, without attaching to it or rejecting it.