Improving Your Practice - After starting a regular practice in the Vajrayana tradition many practitioners face various difficulties in their meditation. Some practitioners are too relaxed and their visualization lacks vividness, others have to face their erratic mind and encounter difficulties staying focused on the object of their meditation. In addition, with a regular daily practice it is sometimes easy to slip into a routine and lose the necessary components of every Vajrayana practice such as cultivation of bodhicitta.

In order to make progress in the process of mind training in the Buddhist tradition one needs to overcome these challenges. This class will address these and other most common obstacles to successful meditation and ways to deal with them. Thus this class is designed for those who want to improve the quality of their practice and make sustained progress in their meditation. In order to make this happen we will explore in theory and practice three aspects of our mind in relation to meditation: attention, emotion and consciousness. Each of these topics will be reviewed and discussed from Western scientific and traditional Vajrayana Buddhist points of view. Practical implications of this knowledge for one's personal practice will be the core of the class. For example, we will have a look at results of some recent Western research on emotion and attention and relate it to Buddhist views of mindful awareness and virtuous emotions. Implications of such comparisons for meditation practice will be discussed and students will be encouraged to apply them in their personal practice.