Satipañña Insight Meditation Toronto offers a variety of mindfulness practices rooted in the Early Buddhist Teachings. The main practices offered are Vipassana (Insight), Samatha (calmness, stillness), and Samadhi (unification of mind), including the cultivation of Metta (goodwill). A brief description of each follows.
Vipassana is the penetrative, direct inquiry into the nature of all mental and material phenomena. When accompanied by morality (sila), samadhi, and commitment, Vipassana practice helps us gain insight into the patterning of the mind and the ever-changing world it projects. The insight/wisdom that this practice fosters can lead to final liberation.
Samatha, is a focussed stillness that leads to the development of samadhi or unification of mind. The most common practice used to cultivate samatha is awareness of breathing. Samatha, when practiced in conjunction with insight, leads to ever-deepening Wisdom. The calm, peaceful, serenity that ensues is indescribable.
Metta (and Other Brahma-Viharas)
Metta is the cultivation of Goodwill, and is one of four Brahma-Viharas, also called the Four Boundless States: Goodwill (metta), Compassion (karuna), Appreciative Joy (mudita), and Equanimity (upekkha). The practice of the Brahma-viharas is beneficial in many ways:
- Metta transforms the heart and mind by bringing a sense of openness and luminosity into our experience.
- Cultivating kindness transforms our life and enriches our relationships with others.
- When practising Vipassana, Metta can brighten the mind when it feels “dry” and rigid.
- The breadth, clarity, and expansiveness instilled by the practice of Metta provide a strong, stable basis for the cultivation of insight.
- Practising Metta ripens the accumulated merit acquired through past good deeds such as the practice of generosity and virtue. Since Metta liberates the mind from the bondage of hatred and anger, selfishness and greed, it constitutes a state peace and bliss.
- These benefits also apply to the other Brahma-Viharas.
Our teachers at Satipañña teach a broad, flexible approach to the practice of Metta utilizing both fresh approaches and traditional methods. These are integrated with insight practices to help shape each individual’s overall practice to optimum effect.
We welcome everyone to participate in a safe and respectful meditation environment regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or age. To this end, all are encouraged to approach the teachers or board members with any requests for accommodation, or other concerns about well-being during practice.