This group gives people the opportunity to learn meditation and to hear a Dhamma talk, from the senior monks, during the week and in a location south of the river. The group was first started by the Society in 1987 in Gosnells. It has continued weekly since then and now meets in Armadale, (about 35 minutes drive south from Perth City centre). Here are the details:
Meets every Tuesday evening except at Christmas and New Year.
Starts at 7.00 pm. Finishes at 8.30 pm (Please arrive by 6.50 to get a seat.)
Community Health Building,
Armadale Health Campus (formerly Armadale-Kelmscott Hospital),
If you are coming south down Albany Highway towards Armadale, it is on the left after the Brookton Highway traffic lights and Echo Road. There are large signposts on Albany Highway indicating the Hospital and the Emergency centre.
- Go in the Armadale Health Campus entrance off Albany Highway.
- Once through the gates turn immediately right.
- Community Health is the first building immediately on the right, it is a small brick building.
- It is easy to find.
- Go in through the main doors and turn left, the room is down the main corridor.
We are the only people who use the building on a Tuesday night so follow the crowds! (Do not go up to the hospital - you've gone too far.)
There is free car parking, in a well-lit car park, right outside
It is FREE (Donations are welcome but are not requested.)
What to expect
It is informal and relaxed. We are a friendly bunch of people and will help you if you are new to the group to know what to do and to feel comfortable. You will be asked to take off your shoes before entering the room but otherwise it is a normal seminar room.
There is no need to bring anything. We sit mainly on chairs that are provided. You are welcome to sit on stools or cushions and we provide a small number of these but it is best to bring your own. No, you don't have to sit cross-legged on the floor!
Level of experience
The group is for people who have never meditated before and for experienced meditators. We get brand new meditators most nights, so you can join us any time. If you have never meditated before you will be taught what to do. Experienced meditators are also welcome and a small group of us have meditated with the group for years.
The same people do not necessarily join us each week - they come on whichever Tuesdays they wish without having to commit to any particular nights. You do not have to attend a series of weekly sessions nor do you need to attend regularly - just as often as you wish or are able. We do suggest, at first, that if possible, that you come for 4 or 5 weeks in a row to give yourself a chance of getting the hang of it all and to experience the different teachers and ways of meditating. Meditation is not one of those skills that you usually learn in one night but that gradually develops over time. We would of course be delighted if you came regularly!
Background of the participants
The group is run by the Society and the evenings have a distinct Buddhist flavour. However, many people who come aren't Buddhists and come from other religious backgrounds or have no interest in religion - they just want to learn to meditate. People from any background are welcome. A minority are long time Buddhists.
Why people come along
People come to the group for different reasons. For example, we have those who have been sent by their doctor for health reasons, others who find it easier to meditate in a group than to meditate at home, others who are on a spiritual path and interested in Buddhism, and others who are stressed, unhappy or have had a trauma and who want to find more peace of mind.
All ages are welcome, at present the range is approximately 15 - 84 years.
Both men and women attend.
Numbers are usually around 40 - 50 most weeks, although we have reached over 100 in the past year and been down to about 25.
We have the benefit of having several different, excellent and highly experienced teachers at the group. We are honoured to have senior members of the Sangha from Bodhinyana Buddhist monastery in Serpentine as our teachers each week for 9 months of the year. The senior monk and Abbot of the monastery, Ajahn Brahm, teaches regularly at the group, usually on alternate weeks. Occasionally if the monks aren't available, one of the senior/experienced members of the group conducts the evening. During the remaining three months, approximately between mid-July to mid-October, the monks are on retreat, and senior members of the group and BSWA, and other visiting teachers, continue with the talks and teaching.
You will practice different forms of Buddhist meditation. Meditation on the breath is commonly taught as is loving kindness meditation (Metta), body scan meditation and mantra meditation. There are no physical exercises such as stretching or yoga involved.
The programme is approximately as follows:
- 7.00pm: Chanting of the Metta Sutta in English, (you are given the words and may join in or just listen, as you wish.)
- 7.05 - 7.30: Introductory talk on meditation, e.g. what meditation is, how to meditate, and the benefits of meditation.
- 7.30 - 8.00: Guided meditation - we are told what to do during the meditation.
- 8.00 - 8.30: Questions and answers, plus a short talk
- 8.30 pm: Close.
Some evenings, about every 6 weeks, we stay behind until 9pm to socialise and have drinks and refreshments. Everyone is most welcome. We look forward to having you join us.