Great, you're on the 6 week meditation challenge, let's go!

You can join the challenge any time.

Looking for instructions on the Mindfulness of Breathing or the Metta Bhavana meditations?
We’ve put together a reminder for you here.

Here are the basics, but each week we’ll be introducing new ways of keeping them fresh by emphasising aspects of the meditation you can explore.
 
Stage 1
Using counting to help you to start focusing on the breath. As if the counting is an anchor helping you keep connected to the breath. Counting each breath following the out-breath. Up to 10 and then starting again at 1. If you get lost in the counting just connect back to your body sensations and start back at 1.
 
Stage 2
Counting each breath just before the in-breath. This should help you to notice the whole cycle of the breath more fully.
 
Stage 3
Drop the counting and being aware of the breath wherever you feel it most vividly in the body.
 
Stage 4
Becoming aware of the whole body as if the breath were filling the whole body and then bring your attention particularly to where the breath enters and exits the body. This stage can have the effect of making our awareness more subtle.
 
It’s good to start each meditation with a short body scan of 2-3 minutes. Just noticing and staying with the sensations in different parts of the body, whether they be pleasant feelings or discomfort.
 
Here are the basics, but each week we’ll be introducing new ways of keeping them fresh by emphasising aspects of the meditation you can explore.
 
Stage 1
Feeling metta toward your self. Holding your present experience with metta, including thoughts, feelings, memories etc . Whatever your present experience is, whether pleasant or painful, trying to hold it with metta. You can use the phrases if you find them helpful to anchor your self to the practice and give it some more structure. The phrases you could use are; ‘May I be well and happy’, ‘May I be free from suffering’ , ‘May I find satisfaction and progress in my life’. If you use the phrases make sure you leave space after each one to notice the response you’re having. Like dropping a pebble in a pond and watching the ripples.
 
Stage 2
Bringing a good friend to mind. It can be helpful in the early stages to pick someone your not sexually attracted to and not family. Notice your response to bringing them to mind and holding that response with Metta. If it’s helpful you could use the phrases ‘May they be well and happy’, ‘ May they be free from suffering’ , ‘May they find satisfaction and progress in their life’.
 
Stage 3
Bringing a neutral person to mind. Someone you don’t have strong feelings for one way or the other. This accounts for the vast majority of people. Use your imagination to cultivate metta for them. Use the phrases if you find them helpful.
 
Stage 4
Bringing a difficult person to mind. Someone your having difficulty with at the moment. Try to get underneath the stories you have about them to some feeling of human solidarity which softens the aversion you feel toward them. Use the phrases if you find them helpful.

Stage 5
Bring each person from the different stages together with yourself and see if you can cultivate equal metta toward all of you. Then expand this ‘field’ of metta outward to eventually include all beings. If you find it helpful you can use the phrases ‘May all beings be well and happy’, ‘May they be free from suffering’, ‘ May they find satisfaction and make progress in their lives’.
 
It’s good to start each meditation with a short body scan of 2-3 minutes. Just noticing and staying with the sensations in different parts of the body, whether they be pleasant feelings or discomfort.
 

Here's how to prepare for the challenge

one

Watch Subhadramati introducing her short meditation videos for the six weeks

Watch Maitreyabandhu exploring the deeper meaning of why we need to meditate.

two

Listen to Subhadramati introducing her guided audio meditations on the mindfulness of breathing

Listen to Vidyadaka introducing his guided audio meditations on the metta bhavana

three

 Print out your meditation challenge diary

Download (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Week 1

Subadramati gives a short talk on setting up your home meditation

Subadramati on finding stillness in the mindfulness of breathing meditation

Vidyadaka on really noticing how we are during the Metta Bhavana meditation

Maitreyabandhu on how to make your life truly meaningful

Week 2

Subadramati gives a short talk on how to simplify your life

Subadramati on combing through our body with our awareness during the mindfulness of breathing

Vidyadaka on basing the Metta Bhavana practice on the relationships we have to people we are in close proximity to

Maitreyabandhu on ‘Where does meaning and value come from?’

Week 3

Subhadramati gives a short talk on how what we do and say effects our consciousness

Subadramati on finding balanced effort in meditation in the mindfulness of breathing

Vidyadaka on using the Metta of our everyday situations in the Metta Bhavana

Maitreyabandhu on ‘For a truly worthwhile life, energy must come first’

Week 4

Subhadramati gives a short talk on connecting with beauty

Subadramati on working with distraction in the mindfulness of breathing

Vidyadaka on using live examples from your day in the Metta Bhavana

Maitreyabandhu on ‘Life as the adventure: Facing & overcoming the demons’

Week 5

Subhadramati gives a short talk on how to keep turning up to meditation

Maitreyabandhu on ‘Going beyond convention, unmasking false power’

Subhadramati on contemplating impermanence in the mindfulness of breathing

Vidyadaka on choosing people your going to meet that day to include in the Metta Bhavana