Meditation is about calming the mind, understanding ourselves and freeing the heart. Gaia House offers silent Insight Meditation retreats in the Buddhist tradition.
Insight Meditation (Or Vipassana: literally translated as ‘seeing deeply or clearly‘) is the practice of developing a calm and mindful investigation into the nature of experience, leading to wisdom, compassion and the end of suffering.
Download or listen on-line to an Introductory Guided Meditation by Insight Meditation teacher: Catherine McGee. You will need a quiet space and a cushion or comfortable chair.
Guided Meditation Guided Meditation (15 mins) (mp3 format 7MB)
Gaia House guiding teacher, Martine Batchelor recorded a series of talks which are very useful as an introduction to Buddhist meditation.
A Guided Meditation on Sound A Guided Meditation on Sound (this talk was recorded at low volume)
Instructions and explanation for Meditation on Sound Instructions and explanation for Meditation on Sound
A Guided Meditation on Equanimity A Guided Meditation on Equanimity
Watch Martine on YouTube giving meditation instructions - click to open
Learning Insight Meditation
The recordings are an introduction to meditation, but are not the same as learning to meditate. To do that, you really need to be taught by someone in person.
Different people prefer to learn in different ways. Some may decide to take the plunge and experience one of our longer Group Retreats, for 4, 5 or even 7 days. Others may wish to begin with a Group Retreat weekend or a Meditation Day.
Alternatively, work or family commitments mean that many people learn meditation by attending weekly classes. All of these different routes to learning work well in their own way.
If you’d like to learn to meditate by attending weekly classes and live in South Devon, see details of Evening Meditation Courses in Newton Abbot. Sharpham Trust, near Totnes, also run a regular programme of Insight Meditation and mindfulness evenings, weekend mornings and courses. London Insight Meditation and Oxford Gaia House are associated organisations offering a programme of retreats and meditation groups, based in the Insight / Vipassana Meditation tradition. Elsewhere in the UK, try getting in touch with a local Meditation Group (some overseas groups are also listed). Many of our teachers also have connections with overseas centres.
If you have learned to meditate in the context of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), read about how Gaia House’s offering differs from this.
Learning meditation does not require you to identify yourself as a Buddhist, or to subscribe to the principles of Buddhism. All you need is an interest in inner exploration and development. Gaia House warmly welcomes all people of every age, ethnicity, cultural heritage and religious background, socio-economic group, ability, sexual orientation and gender identity. Gaia House is committed to supporting the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of all who reside and work here.