Vipassana Bhavana (Awareness)
If we truly want to see, know and comprehend reality, we must meditate. The meditation practice of profound awareness is traditionally called Satipatthana, but in modern language we use the name Vipassana. This word does not describe a technique or style of meditation, but rather the purpose of that meditation – to see things as they really are, and so no longer be deluded by how life appears to be.
There are many different schools of Vipassana practice, but in our Pure Dhamma style we begin with developing awareness of the natural breath, leading to awareness of the movements of mind and the natural physicality of the body finally arriving at the subtle sensations experienced through deep awareness conditioned by each simple movement of mind.
However, outside a retreat environment, anything that cultivates, clear and unclouded vision of each moment can be called Vipassana. The Buddha himself did not prescribe a certain meditation technique for the development of awareness, rather he recommended that his followers be aware in every moment and in every action, both physical and mental. This practice of course, should be cultivated, not only in the formal sitting meditation, but in each moment of daily life.
Metta Bhavana (Loving Kindness)
The development of Love in our life is a truly important practice, for real power and beauty lies only in the loving heart. With love as our basis for thought, speech and action, we can never be manipulated or controlled by others, or fall into the trap of judging, criticising and even condemning them simply because they are not the way we think they should be.
As the fear that we carry within us, and that determines the quality of our life disappears, the loving heart opens and we taste the joy of living fully here and now. No longer conditioned by he past or in anticipation of the future.
The Dhamma teaching for a life of love is not just a fanciful idea, inspiring to dream about, but not really possible to apply. It is practical and relevant to our modern everyday life, and is established in two things; the intuitive and non judgemental realisation that as long as beings are unenlightened they will live from the perspective of greed, hatred and delusion, and so are capable of any unkind and unjust action; and that a life established in love is possible for everyone.