Inner peace is extremely important for our world: without inner peace it is impossible to create outer peace and people in our world will continue to experience worse and worse problems because of disagreements and conflicts. For this reason the development of inner peace is necessary for everyone in the world.
In images like the one shown here Maitreya is often shown sitting on a chair instead of in the usual meditation posture: this symbolizes that he has a close connection with our modern world and possesses special power to help us to find peace and happiness. This is also the purpose of our Centre.
The position of Maitreya’s hands also has special meaning: it is called “the gesture of teaching Dharma”. ‘Dharma’ is Buddha’s teachings and in particular our own inner realization of these teachings. As a great Buddhist master said: “When Dharma realizations arise within our mind, peace comes. With a peaceful mind there is no basis for unhappiness.”
As with all NKT centres, our principal Teacher is Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a fully accomplished Buddhist Master, who is the founder and first Spiritual Director of the NKT.
Our Centre has two Resident Teachers:
International NKT Teachers with responsibility for Slovenia
Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
NKT General Spiritual Director
Gen-la Kelsang Jampa
NKT Deputy Spiritual Director
Gen Kelsang Ananda
NKT National Spiritual Director for Germany, Slovenia & Romania
Who can benefit from our meditation classes?
Our basic meditation programme is designed for anyone who wishes to learn how to meditate and also for those who have already have some experience and who have found meditation to be an effective way of improving their life.
Some of our class-members have been meditating for years and others are beginners.
If you are a complete beginner, we’ll carefully and patiently explain all the basics so that you will soon gain confidence.
Although Maitreya Centre is a Buddhist centre, that does not mean that everyone who comes is a Buddhist or even has any interest in becoming a Buddhist, and we don’t expect that from you.
But if you are interested in learning to meditate or in improving your practice, and if you are interested in experiencing the benefits of meditation in your daily life, then you will find yourself among like-minded people.
What do we do?
Well, it’s a meditation class, so mostly we meditate. We try to maintain a light and easy-going atmosphere and give ourselves a relaxing and enjoyable evening. Most of us have jobs, families, and lots of other commitments, so we need to relax. But we do so while taking our meditation seriously.
Meditation is essentially a method for improving our state of mind. To get the most benefit from meditation, it’s necessary to look deeply at your present state of mind and take some decisions about how you would like to move forward. We are all trying to do this as individuals, and we try to help each other as a group.
We are not here to carry out some abstract study of meditation-theory or Buddhist philosophy: we always try to put our meditation into practice in our daily lives. The main purpose of meditating is to improve the way we relate to others and to ourselves, so whatever we learn during meditation we apply to our relationships at home, at work, and with our friends.
What you can expect from the classes
We generally do two meditations at each class; both of them are carefully guided. The first is usually a simple breathing meditation designed to help us develop a calmer, clearer and more relaxed state of mind. Most of us have fairly stressful lives, so we need this in order to get the right state of mind for the rest of the evening.
The second meditation varies from week to week, depending on what topic we are studying at the moment. Before this second meditation the teacher explains how to do it: gives the essential background to the practice, says what its purpose is, and provides step-by-step instructions on how to proceed during the meditation itself.
There is plenty of opportunity for comment and discussion: as mentioned before, we all try to help each other on the basis of our own experience.