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Established in 1973, Tushita has an international reputation for its Introduction to Buddhism course which is equally applicable to beginners and people with some knowledge of Buddhism. It is taught by experienced Western and Tibetan teachers who explore Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation with a modern twist on it. As many if the concepts presented may be new or different from our own beliefs and experiences the Buddhist centre requests that people maintain an open mind and be prepared to examine not only the teachings but their current beliefs also. Food – Three meals per day of a vegetarian diet which is a mix of Indian, Tibetan and Western are provided.
Life is fragile, like the dew hanging delicately on the grass, crystal drops that will be carried away on the first morning breeze. Like a robe wears out over time and turns to rags, life wears out from day to day, from second to second.
The basic root of happiness lies in our minds; outer circumstances are nothing more than adverse or favourable. The mind in its natural state can be compared to the sky, covered by layers of cloud which hide its true nature.
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. We must make good use of this life for the time that we have left, This brief flash of light, like the sun appearing through the clouds. We can bring our spiritual practice into the streets, into our communities, when we see each realm as a temple, as a place to discover that which is sacred.
If one were truly aware of the value of human life, to waste it blithely on distractions and the pursuit of vulgar ambitions would be the height of confusion. Knowledge does not mean mastering a great quantity of different information, but understanding the nature of mind.
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love. Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life.
In Buddhism, ignorance as the root cause of suffering refers to a fundamental misperception of the true nature of the self and all phenomena. Great spiritual traditions are used as a means to ripen us, to bring us face to face with our life, and to help us to see in a new way by developing a stillness of mind and a strength of heart. Underneath our ordinary lives, underneath all the talking we do, all the moving we do, all the thoughts in our minds, there’s a fundamental groundlessness.
Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there’s anywhere to hide.
We are awakened to the profound realization that the true path to liberation is to let go of everything.
You cannot live sheltered forever without being exposed, and at the same time be a spiritual adventurer. We need a repeated discipline, a genuine training, in order to let go of our old habits of mind and to find and sustain a new way of seeing. We must especially learn the art of directing mindfulness into the closed areas of our life. To diminish the suffering of pain, we need to make a crucial distinction between the pain of pain, and the pain we create by our thoughts about the pain. When the mind is full of memories and preoccupied by the future, it misses the freshness of the present moment.
When repeated difficulties do arise, our first spiritual approach is to acknowledge what is present, naming, softly saying ‘sadness, sadness’, or ‘remembering, remembering’, or whatever.
Why, if we are as pragmatic as we claim, don’t we begin to ask ourselves seriously: Where does our real future lie?
One interesting thing about greed is that although the underlying motive is to seek satisfaction, the irony is that even after obtaining the object of your desire you are still not satisfied. Children, old people, vagabonds laugh easily and heartily: they have nothing to lose and hope for little. Without being aware of it, you take many things as being your identity: your body, your race, your beliefs, your thoughts. True freedom means freeing oneself from the dictates of the ego and its accompanying emotions. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be, or who we think we want to be, or who we think other people think we want to be or ought to be.
By breaking down our sense of self-importance, all we lose is a parasite that has long infected our minds.


Humility does not mean believing oneself to be inferior, but to be freed from self-importance.
Ours is a society of denial that conditions us to protect ourselves from any direct difficulty and discomfort. In opening we can see how many times we have mistaken small identities and fearful beliefs for our true nature and how limiting this is. When we let go of our battles and open our hearts to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment.
Our lives are lived in intense and anxious struggle, in a swirl of speed and aggression, in competing, grasping, possessing and achieving, forever burdening ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupations. Western laziness consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time at all to confront the real issues.
Simplifying our lives does not mean sinking into idleness, but on the contrary, getting rid of the most subtle aspect of laziness: the one which makes us take on thousands of less important activities. We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night. Mindful and creative, a child who has neither a past, nor examples to follow, nor value judgments, simply lives, speaks and plays in freedom.
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Text available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, unless otherwise noted. I just tried an ancient Buddhist insight meditation technique that I’ve not used in many years. The Buddhist insight medtiation technique t is about learning to see clearly with the mind. This Buddhist insight meditation technique (also called Samatha-Vipassana meditation) is about developing Samatha (calmness of mind) by focussing the mind, and developing insight (Vipassana) through reflection. You may find that holding your chin a little downwards will help to elongate the spine and to create focus of mind. A body scan meditation involves focussing your attention on one part of your body and then moving onwards until you have been mindful of the entire body.
Having completed the body scan meditation it is now time to meditate on the breath (anapansati meditation).
While focussing on your breath, make sure that your breathing is relaxed, deep and slow, that you are breathing down into your abdomen and that your breath is flowing lightly. We have now practiced both body scan meditation and breathing meditation, and are about halfway through this Buddhist insight medtiation technique.
Having practiced sitting, standing and walking it is time to practice the Buddhist insight medtiation technique while lying down. All participants are required to remain silent for the duration of the retreat except during discussion groups or Q&A sessions of which there is usually one per day apart from the last two days of intensive meditation.
But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Relaxing with the present moment, relaxing with hopelessness, relaxing with death, not resisting the fact that things end, that things pass, that things have no lasting substance, that everything is changing all the time—that is the basic message.
The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.
This knowledge can penetrate each one of our thoughts and illuminate each one of our perceptions. The birth of the child is the death of the baby, just as the birth of the adolescent is the death of the child. Fear, anger, guilt, loneliness and helplessness are all mental and emotional responses that can intensify pain. In this way, we fail to recognize the luminous simplicity of mind that is always present behind the veils of thought. What we gain in return is freedom, openness of mind, spontaneity, simplicity, altruism: all qualities inherent in happiness. It is a state of natural simplicity which is in harmony with our true nature and allows us to taste the freshness of the present moment. We expend enormous energy denying our insecurity, fighting pain, death and loss and hiding from the basic truths of the natural world and of our own nature.
We can touch with great compassion the pain from the contracted identities that we and others have created in the world.
The Mindful Word invites you to reprint, copy, distribute, and alter CC-licensed text as long as you provide a clickable link back to The Mindful Word and share-alike. Samatha often involves sitting or walking meditation, which is why this guide focuses on those poses.


You do not need to force the reflection, or the insight, it will occur naturally by itself as you practice the technique. This meditation heightens the body mind connection, develops mindfulness and helps you to be more present. To begin to do so, focus your mind on your breath as it moves in and out of the space between your lips and mouth.
Try not to dwell on your thoughts or to attach to them, simply observe them and continue focussing on your breathing.
Stand still and focus on the sensation of standing, then repeat the process back to the other end of the path. For this you should lie straight, with one arm helping to support the head.  While in this position, conduct a body scan, just as we did with the Sitting. Now let me just ask a quick question: would you like to learn all meditation techniques in one simple to follow guide? During the day you will be expected to assist with the cleaning and upkeep of the centre by doing Karma yoga jobs.
If for any reason you don’t complete the meditation retreat we will assist you to make sure you are safe and well. Meals tend not to contain meat, fish, eggs, radish, onions or garlic and if they do will be labelled as such. Be crazy in your own way, with that madness in the eyes of man that is wisdom in the eyes of God.
When you practice the Buddhist insight medtiation technique you gain a deeper understanding of things, of yourself, of others, and of life in general. Make sure you are somewhere comfortable and free from distractions and that you are sitting with good posture. Sit with good posture and a straight back (you will find it helpful to have a high quality meditation cushion). The aim of Buddhist Insight Meditation is not to enter a trance, it is simply to observe the nature of the mind. This may seem like a big commitment, but actually, once you learn the process it does not take long.
If the retreat is a 10 day retreat the last two days are comprised of intensive meditation to afford you the chance to put into practice what you have learned. Any extra costs due to you leaving the course for any reason will be at your own personal expense.
Take risks, search and search again, search everywhere, in every way, do not let a single opportunity or chance that life offers pass you by, and do not be petty and mean, trying to drive a hard bargain. The light should not be too bright nor too dark, the temperature of the room should be comfortable and the area should be tidy and free from clutter. If you are holding any tension in your feet then imagine breathing air into the tense spot and relaxing.
If this seems difficult you may wish to count your breaths, which helps you to concentrate.
Stand with good posture with your arms at your sides and you hand clasped lightly either behind or in front of your body.
A complete Buddhist insight medtiation techniquen can be done in as little as half an hour and will be extremely rewarding.
If so, you will find my new book Welcome To Silence: A Practical Guide To Mindfulness And Meditation an invaluable resource. For shorter retreats the schedule is the same except there are no two day intensive meditations. We are actually educated into believing that nothing is real beyond what we can perceive with our ordinary senses. It motivates passion, aggression, ignorance, jealousy, and pride, but we never get down to the essence of it.
Take a little time to make sure you are a) comfortable, b) still and c) sitting with good posture. On this retreat you will learn how to apply various methods in order to increase peace, happiness and compassion in your daily life. These can either be a 4 or 10 person basic dorm depending on what is available at the time of check-in. Alternatively, you may sit in lotus position (those new to lotus position will need to practice it first—it can feel uncomfortable until you get used to it).



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