Meditation #101: Don’t dispel your monkey mind

Hello Readers,

First of all, I would like to say “Happy Vesak Day!” to all my Buddhist fellow. Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitata (May all beings be happy). Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu 🙂

In this post, I would like to share my first experience attending meditation class. It was started on this notification that we received through our student e-mail:

Teachings on Meditation and Tibetan Buddhism
For the next 6 weeks Lama Lhakpa Yeshe, a Buddhist monk from Kham in Eastern Tibet, will be visiting the University of Lincoln.
Lama Lhakpa Yeshe has spent over 30 years living the monastic life and has received teachings from many experienced teachers, including His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
As he has now made Britain his home, this is a rare opportunity to meet with and be taught by genuine Tibetan monk.
Public teachings are kept to a simple level that is designed to be accessible and understandable by all.
University of Lincoln
Village Hall 2005 
Every Thursday (for the next 6 weeks) 
7pm – 8.30pm
Always check website for details
For more information contact:
Debbie – 07546 956078
Elena – 07949256725
Since I don’t open the student e-mail quite often and I’d miss this if it was’t for Mia (my housemate) who is also interested in Yoga and meditation stuffs. We decided to attend and see how it goes.
Oh, for your information, I am not a Buddhist myself. However, I adore Buddhist teaching namely, letting go and non attachment. In my opinion, those two teachings are really hard to practice. Nevertheless, once you can practice those, you will be less suffering. I also like to listen to some talks delivered by my favourite Buddhist Monk, Ajahn Brahm. He was born in London and finished degree in Theoretical Physics in University of Cambridge. Such an impressive background for a Buddhist Monk, indeed :). So, this time I would like to see how meditation is.
Mia and me met in the meditation room. I was late (as usual :P, but I had a good excuse: I was in the lab, doing my research project). I ran as fast as I can to Village Hall (same old, same old :P). I thought I was late, but I met the Lama in the hallway and he asked me whether I wanted to attend meditation. I said yes. He asked, “What’s your nem (I did heard “nem” instead of “name)?”
The Lama explained that there are several types of meditation. Three of them are:
1). Mindfulness meditation
This was the first type of meditation that we did that day. Basically, we just have to sit still with the straight spine, close our eyes, put our hands on our knees (you can choose which one is more comfortable to you: wide open or facing down) around 10 minutes. The Lama explained that between those 10 minutes, our mind will be a monkey mind. It can jump anywhere; our horrible past, our confusing present, or unpredictable future. It s true! During my mindfulness meditation, my brain couldn’t stop thinking. Practically anything, My mind even told me, “let’s count how many people are in the room.” So I opened my eyes a bit and counted (lucky that I have slanted eyes, people were barely notice (psst, they were all closing their eyes) hahaha :D. In the end of the meditation Lama suggested not to dispel the “monkey” let it go wherever it wants, it will be tame by practice.
By the way, during the mindfulness meditation, I felt cold and tingling sensation in my hands. At some point, I even felt something inside my hand wanted to go out. Weird :|. However, in the discussion session, one experienced meditator told me that that was normal response caused by shoulders stiffness.
2). Object meditation
Another meditation that we did that day was object meditation. It is called object due to the usage of particular object to help us concentrate while meditating. We used Buddha statue that day. Practically, you can use any objects with calming color (avoid objects with bright color or candle lights). I felt easier to concentrate this way. In my experience, my mind was still monkeying around. However, It was not as far as the first meditation.
3). Breathing meditation 
We didn’t do this meditation on that day. Basically, this meditation concentrates on your breathing. Probably, it is similar like “Pranayama” in Yoga.
Other than meditation, Lama also gave us some of Buddhist teaching. A little bit about Karma, Nirvana, and Samsara. It was different from what I understand before. According to the Lama, Nirvana and Samsara have similar concept as heaven and hell in another religion. Nevertheless, they are only in your mind. Not sure which one is right or wrong. Maybe some of you can give me more explanation?
We read some passage from Santidheva book. You know what, I do love British accent when they read the passage, it was so lovely and poetic 😉
Well, that’s all we did that day. Let’s meditate to levitate, folks! 🙂

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