Preface: Meditation is a solitary practice. Some individuals may have experienced what is called a ‘guided meditation’ where another individual guides or talks participants through a meditative experience. While some may find this initially helpful, it is not intended to be sustained. In a group meditation or Sangha, there is no verbal tutorial as each individual is to experience and learn in their own unique way. There are no crutches on the path to englightenment; the very act of taking one step at a time is, in and of itself, part of the process of learning. Therefore attending a Sangha requires a sincere commitment to learn, practice, and further one’s development in meditation with the guidance of Master Gunika or an Ekayana Vihara Teacher.
A group meditation is to be practiced in conjunction with regular individual practice. Each meditation session is approximately 40 minutes in duration and involves sitting in silence. Each meditative session is faciliated by an experienced and highly attuned teacher who anchors and protects the space and energy. The result is the creation of sacred space that is held for the benefit and safety of those who seek to explore within. This is a significant and important role of the Sangha and those qualified to hold sacred space. Individuals who may have tried to meditate on their own or under individuals less qualified may have experienced negative or poor results. All of Ekayana Vihara’s teachers and of course Master Gunika himself are trained, vetted and fully qualified to hold sacred space and teach others how to meditate in a secure environment.
Preparation: Avoid heavy meals or drinking before meditation – be prepared to sit for an extended period of time. Bring a cushion(s) that can be placed on the floor and is large enough to accomodate you in a sitting position. There are chairs to sit on as well as space on the floor to sit. If you would like to sit on the floor (best results) it is recommended to bring a pillow or cushion to sit on to be comfortable, also a blanket or towels to put under your cushion as not all of the floor space is carpeted.
Meditation cushions can be purchased or sewn by hand. If your feet or hands tend to feel cold during long periods of inactivity, bring along a sweater, cover or shawl. Wear loose fitting clothes that are comfortable and allow you to breathe fully (using the belly). Wear shoes or boots that can be removed at the door. Bare or stocking feet are preferred during meditation.
Commencement of Sangha Meditation: Sacred space will be created by Master Gunika or one of the teachers. Incense is burned throughout meditation. Harmonic resononance is created by voice (chant) and bells or some other instrument such as a singing bowl. The blessing of the Thera Vedas is performed as well as other forms of prayer depending on the level of the Master or teacher.
Getting Comfortable: Sitting meditation is performed in an upright seated position, either in a chair or cross-legged on a cushion on the floor. The spine is straight and relaxed and the head is erect. Arms are loose and unfolded in lap or placed on top of thighs. Palms are open, fingers relaxed, eyes are soft; jaw and face muscles are relaxed. The tip of the tongue rests gently at the top of the mouth. The mind begins by focusing on the gentle rhythm of the breath. Slow and deep breath is drawn inward through the nostrils, down to fill the belly (expands, belts are not comfortable for this purpose) and released in an equally slow and rhythmic form. Quiet, stillness, peace and tranquility prevails. Slowly the mind, heart and body are opened (like a lotus flower) to look within and explore!
Completion of Sangha Meditation: When the meditation time has completed, Master Gunika or a teacher will signify the closing of the meditation with a gentle sound. While everyone is still seated, Master Gunika will deliver a Dharma Talk or the Teacher will share any insights with the group regarding the meditation. Members are welcome to share experiences or ask questions of Master Gunika, the teacher or the group.
Socializing: Everyone is encouraged to stay and socialize – this promotes feelings of good-will and connection. Please feel free to bring a healthy food snack to share with the group.
In Master Gunika’s class everyone may socialize while waiting for their turn for personal consultations with him.
NO RECORDING of any kind is permissible at anytime while attending the meditation.
Please turn off all electronic devices i.e. cell phones, Blackberry, pagers etc. prior to the start of the meditation.
The intent of the gathering of this group is for the purpose of meditation and personal development only. Any direct solicitation for business or misuse of any participants email is strictly prohibited and a violation of good faith. Those who breach these trusts will be removed. All members are invited and attend private property at the discretion of the property owner.