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Embodying Practical Wisdom Series: Mindfulness & the Teachings of the Buddha

  • Yoga hOMe Sligo 7 John F Kennedy Parade Sligo, County Sligo, F91 WK59 Ireland (map)

Embodying Practical Wisdom Series


Full participation in each course recommended but drop-ins are possible—please read Times and Dates section below for details of this possibility. To participate in any course, one need not have participated in the preceding course. Students can benefit from multiple courses. This is suitable for all levels and those brand new to meditation are most welcome

Photo by AnnaBreit/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by AnnaBreit/iStock / Getty Images

Mindfulness & The Teachings of the Buddha

In this series of courses, we will both learn about and practice Insight Meditation as well as exploring the bigger picture of the teachings of the Buddha. Insight meditation uses mindfulness to settle the body and mind in order to allow for the arising of wisdom or insight into the reality of our experience. Each course will have 7 sessions and meet on Monday evenings from 6:15-8:00pm. Each session will feature the following elements

  • gentle movement to release tensions from the body

  • mindfulness meditation instruction and practice. please know from the outset that meditation can be done in a variety of ways—sitting, standing, walking and lying down. it is never necessary to force yourself into a position that is stressful for you and options will always be given and chairs will be available to those who prefer this way of sitting

  • exploration of a particular teaching of the Buddha. this will take the form of what is called a “dharma talk” and will allow for questions and discussion.

  • metta (lovingkindness) practice

Each course will focus on a particular set of teachings so that we can deepen our understanding and have time for questions and dialogue.

Many people are familiar with the concept, if not the practice, of mindfulness, but fewer are actually familiar with the practical wisdom of the Buddha. A legitimate question may be, who was the Buddha and why would I want to learn about what he had to say?

The Buddha’s Story

It is said that soon after his enlightenment the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the Buddha’s extraordinary radiance and peaceful presence. The man stopped and asked, “My friend, what are you? Are you a celestial being or a god?”
”No,” said the Buddha.
”Well, then are you some kind of magician or wizard?” Again the Buddha answered, “No.”
”Are you a man?”
”Well, my friend, then what are you?” The Buddha replied, “I am awake.”
The word buddha means “one who is awake.” It is the experience of awakening to the truth of life that is offered in the Buddhist tradition. For 2600 years the practices and teachings of Buddhism have offered a systematic way to see clearly and live wisely. They have offered a way to discover liberation within our own bodies and minds, in the midst of this very world.

This abbreviated story and statement of the value of the teachings of the Buddha is taken from the website of The Spirit Rock Center in California where I trained in Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation. I adhere to the approach I learned there which is to combine the teachings of the Buddha (aka Dharma) and the practices of Insight Meditation (aka Vipassana) and loving-kindness meditation (aka metta). As Spirit Rock explains:

“Practicing Insight Meditation develops mindfulness, the capacity to pay attention to each moment of life and to see clearly the truth of our experience. Studying the Dharma provides insights into the conditions that define and limit our experience of life. And cultivating an attitude of loving-kindness allows us to stay present to what's true and what's difficult in our lives with compassion for ourselves and others. Ultimately, our relationship to life is transformed as we learn to live more wisely and kindly.”

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The teachings of the Buddha provide maps to the experiences that arise not only in the practice of meditation, but also in the context of our everyday lives and so working with these maps can help us find our way out of difficult situations, especially the sense of being lost and without clear path ahead.


All courses will meet for seven session and all sessions will take place on Monday evening from 6:15-8:00pm. Some Mondays are either public holidays or studio holidays so check details for each course.

  • The first course run from Sept 2nd—Oct 21st (no session Mon Sep 30th) and will focus on The Four Noble Truths.

  • The second course will run from Nov 4th—Dec 16th and will focus on The Noble Eightfold Path.

  • The third course will run from Jan 13th—Feb24th and will focus on the The Three Poisons and The Three Jewels, also known as the three refuges.

  • The fourth course will run from March 2nd—April 20th (no class on Mar 16th and April 13th) and will focus The Three Characteristics of Existence and The Five Hindrances.

It is not necessary for any course to have done the one before, although all the teachings support one another so students certainly benefit from taking multiple courses and remaining in the series as long as they feel it is of benefit to them

Drop-in attendance will be allowed for those who wish to join in practice occasionally but whose schedules do not allow regular attendance, but a commitment to the course is recommended where possible so that one can become established in understanding and practice.


The courses are offered on the basis of “Dana” which means that the initial registration fee is keep as low as possible simply to cover the basic costs of running a class and the participants will be invited at the close of the course to make a contribution to the teacher that feels appropriate to them individually. Those who attend as drop-in participants can similarly pay the minimum fee at the beginning and s add whatever dana they feel is appropriate for them at the end of the session that they attend.

Dana is always made anonymously so that no one has to feel there is any judgment around their decision as to what is appropriate for them.

This system seeks to allow the teachings be available to all regardless of financial situation. Click here for more information on dana