Introduction to Meditation – Autumn 2023
12 Tuesday evenings from August until December at the Lamp of Lothian Trust’s Granary Building in Haddington. PLEASE NOTE the dates since they are not simply consecutive.
Tuesday August 29th
Tuesday September 5th
Tuesday September 12th
Tuesday September 19th
Tuesday September 26th,
Tuesday October 10th, then NOT on October 17th, or 24th
Tuesday October 31st
Tuesday November 7th, then NOT on November 14th
Tuesday November 21st
Tuesday November 28th,
Tuesday December 5th, and finishing on
Tuesday December 12th
6:45pm to 8:30pm.
WHERE: The classes are held on the second floor of the Lamp of Lothian Trust’s Granary Building in Haddington. The address is 11 Poldrate, Haddington EH41 4DA.
PARKING: There is limited parking on the street but also a free car park just up the road and another a bit further away.
BE EARLY: Due to limitations of the building’s doors I ask everyone to be there for 6:45pm. The class actually starts at 7pm but once the door to the outside is closed (at 7pm sharp) no one can let anyone in since we’ll be in class on the second floor. So please give yourself plenty of time for traffic issues and to find parking.
DO WE SIT ON THE FLOOR?: Not unless you want to. There are a variety of chairs provided. Not terribly comfortable but not too uncomfortable either. The earlier you get there the more choice there is.
DRESS: Comfortable clothes. The building is heated but is also old and sometimes takes a bit of time to get up to temperature so bring a layer or two in case you get chilly.
NO RSVP: You don’t need to tell us you’re coming. Just come.
WHAT IF I CAN’T COME TO THE FIRST CLASS?: You don’t have to come to the whole series. If you can only make classes from the fourth, fifth, or whichever one on, please come. Each week we’ll cover a different aspect of meditation and although the classes do build on each other they are also intended to be completely self-contained.
WHAT LEVEL IS THIS FOR?: People with no experience, people with some experience, people with decades of experience. If you’ve never done it before we will go over the basics – which is always of benefit to everyone including the most experienced.
Summer of Love – 2023
In the summer of 2023 we focussed on the meditations of love, compassion, kindness and generosity.
For thousands of years philosophers, religious teachers, psychologists and pop songs have told us that love is the most important thing. This is sometimes trivialised by rituals such as Valentine’s Day, or sappy sentiment. However within the meditation tradition there are a set of exercises to explore how profound and powerful this attribute of humanity can be. For the month of June we set a one month challenge of discovery to uncover the most important of our innate capacities.
No previous meditation experience required.
Week One – Introduction to Compassion Meditation
The recording only started after the first mindfulness meditation so there is a brief discussion about that and then the talk and instructions for the loving kindness (or metta) meditations.
Apologies that the sound quality is not great. The microphone stopped working just before class started so it’s just the iPhone microphone picking up lots of background noise – birds, the children outside etc.
Week 2 – Metta
Week 3 – Karuna (or Compassion)
Week 4 – Mudita (or Sympathetic Joy)
Week 5 – Uppekha / Equanimity or ‘The Joy of Peace’
The battery on the microphone died right at the end of the second meditation. That was mostly just followed by a Q&A which is normally edited out for privacy reasons so the only other thing that was missed was the final meditation which would have been very similar to the second meditation.
There is mention in the last talk of a couple of simple exercises you can do to practice this equanimity thing but the recording ran out.
The two exercises are borrowed (or stolen with attribution) from Michael Singer of The Untethered Soul fame. He suggests noticing every time you complain about a) the weather, and b) traffic. These are simple, relatively trivial examples of things that bother us. The instruction is to notice when either of these disrupt your equilibrium. Then let it go. You can’t do anything about either of them. Letting them bother you is needless suffering. Let it go.
Once you get into the habit of letting go of these things over which you have no control you get a little more peace in your consciousness. And then you can extend that skill to all the other stuff you get upset about and yet over which you have no control.
Intro to Meditation – 2023
Our Winter Series ran on Tuesday Evenings, from January 10th through February 28th, 2023.
The recordings of the classes are (mostly) available on Soundcloud.com. The recordings are usually set up with one as the full class (60-90 minutes long), and also broken down into the different sections of the class such as the instruction, or the meditations themselves. The links to the each week’s recordings are below:
Week 1 – January 10th – the recording at Haddington didn’t work so this is a recording of the class covering the same material in Edinburgh on January 5th: https://on.soundcloud.com/GoxTv
Week 2 – January 17th – https://on.soundcloud.com/zZ4Gw
Week 3 – January 24th – https://on.soundcloud.com/6UxGz
Week 4 – January 31st – https://on.soundcloud.com/ctnnu
Week 5 – February 7th – https://on.soundcloud.com/ec37L
Week 6 – February 14th – https://on.soundcloud.com/kxyED
Week 7 – February 21st – https://on.soundcloud.com/UNp4r
Week 8 – February 28th – https://on.soundcloud.com/tmS19
If you would like to be kept up to date regarding future classes, please give us your contact details: