Sakya Losal Choe Dzong

Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra

Calm Abiding Meditation

Meditation has a proven record in its ability to improve health, awaken happiness and give a clear perspective on life. It enables you to identify the real causes of unhappiness and recover from stress, anxiety and tension.

Calm Abiding meditation, also known as Shamatha, is not a specifically Buddhist techinique of meditation but is common to other spiritual traditions as well. Single-pointed concentrating on the breath or other suitable object of meditation is a natural process that helps you to focus better on ordinary tasks and make you become more relaxed and peaceful.

This Buddhist technique of mindfulness has attracted much interest from modern scientific fields such as pychotherapy and cognitive behaviour as well as sport training.

To learn to meditate you need an experienced teacher and a well defined path. Lama Choedak Rinpoche leads regular courses and residential retreats. He has undertaken intensive three and a half year solitary meditation retreat and was a close student and received detailed meditation instructions from the great Kyabje Choegye Trichen. Rinpoche also has over thirty years experience teaching in the West.

SLCD offers a number of choices in the form of retreats, courses and meditation groups to choose from:

8-week courses

Meditation CoursesThese involve a sequential set of teaching sessions that go for 1.5 - 2 hours a week, and provide a complete introduction to help you establish a daily meditation practice. The 8-week Course in Calm Abiding Meditation was been developed by Lama Choedak Rinpoche and he conducts 8-week Courses every term at Rongton Buddhist Centre, Evatt. He has trained many of this students to lead the courses.

If you are already an experienced meditator you will come away with a good understanding of the principle characteristics and the finer points of the Buddhist approach to single-pointed concentration. 

See below for outline of the 8 week Calm Abiding Meditation course.

Residential Retreats

Residential RetreatsTo learn meditation we need to create the opportunity to step back from the things that we ordinarily experience as obstacles to our calmness. In a very conducive environment well supported with teachings and fellow meditators, we can apply our minds to the practice of meditation in order to really taste the fruits and benefits. These retreats range from a weekend up to a 10 day retreat that is conducted at SIBA Retreat Centre each year at the end of September. These retreats are designed for people at all levels of experience.

Siba Calm Abiding Meditation course 2012

Meditation Groups

People find they have more success with meditation with they are with others. Meditation groups provide the opportunity to drop in as a one-off visitor. All are welcome to attend regardless of experience or background. There are regular meditation groups in various locations including

  • Canberra - 11am every Sunday morning at Rongton Buddhist Training College, Level 2B, Grant Cameron Community Centre, 27 Mulley Street, Holder, ACT 2611
  • Bairnsdale - Once a month on a Saturday morning from 10am to 12noon in Bairnsdale, Victoria (it is usually held around the last weekend of each month. You can add your name to our East Gippsland mailing list to receive notifications when the group will be meeting. 
  • RegionalFind the nearest centre near you and contact them for their schedule of meditation groups.

How to Meditate

8-week Course Outline

Week 1

  • Introduction to Calm Abiding meditation
  • Mindfulness of Body and the importance of posture
  • Establishing a regular routine
  • Dealing with pain.

Week 2

  • Mindfulness of Feeling
  • Qualified Rounds of Breathing
  • Calmness and distraction

Week 3

  • Befriending the breath
  • Obstacles to Calm Abiding meditation and their Antidotes Part I
  • Practical benefits of meditation - more than just relaxation

Week 4

  • Mindfulness of Speech and the speech blessing Mantra of Manjushri
  • Super-Qualified Round of Breathing
  • Increasing the affinity with the breath/feelings

Week 5

  • Mindfulness of Thought
  • Counting the breath
  • Engaging life with mindfulness
  • Letting go

Week 6

  • Obstacles to Calm Abiding meditation and their Antidotes Part II
  • The moderate approach

Week 7

  • Nine stages of Taming the Elephant Mind

Week 8

  • Summary
  • Where to from here?