PRACTICE AT CENTRE OF GRAVITY GUIDELINES
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STUDENT PRACTICE
Meditation is a key practice at Centre of Gravity. Daily meditation practice is essential. I recommend students sit for either 30 minutes or 45 minutes daily and attend sitting with the sangha weekly. Longer periods of sitting during daylong sits, intensives and silent retreats are vital for intensifying one’s practice. Extended periods of sitting meditation should be practiced each year. Retreats of one week in duration are highly recommended.
We should study the teachings of the ancestors in our tradition. The core teachings of the Buddha, the meanings of chants and the primary sutras are presented and studied through our regular evening talks, the blog and our podcasts. Over time you should familiarize yourself with these core teachings. Another important aspect of study is learning some of the positions within the practice forms: ringing the bell, timekeeping, lighting incense, and so on.
Internalize the yoga instructions presented in our weekly classes and workshops and begin a home practice. We recommend at least five days a week for one hour or more. Use the breathing practices and internal alignment cues to find the central axis, settle the nervous system, and open and strengthen the body. Practices include standing, sitting and inversion sequences.
Working with a teacher is second to meditation as a vital component of practice. Personal meditation interviews are the ideal place to ask questions and receive feedback about your practice. In private sessions, the teacher discusses with you how your practice is going and offers refinements to your technique. Some students meet with a teacher once a week and others every few months depending on what’s needed. You may set up individual meetings with Shôken Michael Stone and Simone Moir.
Our meditation and asana practice is inseparable from the way we communicate in our daily life. To better serve our communities we strive to uphold our practice intentions in everything we do. When we express ourselves (by writing, teaching, music, movement, gardening, cooking or visual arts) we keep our practice alive and fluid.
As dharma practitioners we are always cultivating our ability to act with creativity, compassion and wisdom. Some students work in prisons, schools, hospitals or political arenas. Some care for their family or run businesses. Opportunities always arise to act as a community in areas of social justice. Practice has a lot more to offer our world than spiritual experiences on cushions. Practice matures when it’s activated through action. This way it extends through every facet of our lives.
We care for our sangha through volunteering and offering monthly financial support to Centre of Gravity. We recognize when those in our sangha need help. We straighten and take care of our cushions after a sit. We are mindful in the space, with each other and with our ways of communicating. We respond generously to help out our sangha. Students need to take care of their health, finances, livelihood, and the well-being of their community, family and the earth.
Meetings with Shôken Michael are held on Thursdays and can be arranged by emailing: bronwyn.daigle[at]centreofgravity.org
Meetings with Simone Moir are held at Parkdale Prana Room and can be arranged by emailing: simone.moir[at]pranaroom.org
Meetings with Shôken Michael and with Simone are by dana. Suggested dana is between $50 and $100.