What is Meditation?

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
- Jennifer Welwood

Through the simple, deep meditations of the Buddhist tradition we gain a sense of calm and perspective. We begin to experience the richness of everyday life and appreciate more fully the importance of kindness and clarity. The power of mindfulness can be applied for stress management or taken further as a means to realize full enlightenment.

Meditation is a direct method of working with the body and mind which helps us relax, be more present, and make more creative choices in our life. It involves the whole of us our body, heart, and mind. By meditating, we begin to bring these often disparate parts of ourselves together, so we are increasingly able to act and feel from what is most authentic within us. Meditation is not a quick fix, but rather a gradual and profound journey into our selves and our relationship to the world. Through the regular practice of meditation we can become increasingly self-aware and develop our capacity for compassionate action.

Learning Meditation

In the Buddhist tradition there are two main categories of meditation. Samatha or tranquility meditation helps us slow down and be calmer. On the basis of samatha, vipassana or insight into the nature of reality (including ourselves) can arise. We practice and teach both these types of meditation in classes and on retreats.

The techniques of meditation are very simple. However, the benefits of reading about them are very limited. An experienced and reliable teacher will be able to offer guidance in how to apply the technique and how to deal with difficulties. Perhaps most importantly, a teacher can offer encouragement and inspiration from their own example. Our instructors are all experienced meditators with many years of teaching experience.

Meditation Courses and Classes

The SFBC exists in order to support those who want to particpate in Buddhist practice to whatever degree they wish.

We offer both a 6-week meditation course and a weekly drop-in meditation class geared to help you learn meditation, set up a regular practice, and work effectively with your mind. We also offer ongoing classes for regular meditators as well as an unguided morning Monday-Friday.