FAQs

I am a beginner – can I come?

We are not specifically a beginners’ class, but you are welcome to join us whatever level of experience you have. Complete beginners may find some guided meditations and discussion topics feel like jumping in at the deep end and might require a bit more curiosity and interest to deepen the subjects in their own time. We don’t specifically teach how to meditate but it is possible to learn with regular attendance. You could also begin your explorations at a London Insight event, by trying the short guided meditation here, or by following an online course.

Is insight meditation the same as mindfulness?

They are closely related but not identical. These days, ‘mindfulness’ often means an adaptation of insight meditation specifically designed to address stress. Most people who have been to mindfulness classes find insight meditation very familiar. So if that’s you, do feel free to try out the group.

Is insight meditation the same as vipassana?

‘Insight meditation’ is a translation of ‘vipassana’. However we do not generally practise ‘vipassana’ in the sense of S.N. Goenka’s technique. Practitioners in that tradition – and any other – are however very welcome at the group.

We principally follow Gaia House, whose teachers offer a range of meditation styles within the broad category of insight meditation. Some of the Gaia House teachers count S.N. Goenka as one of their own teachers. They tend to encourage students to make their own choices from the wide range of possibilities available within insight meditation/vipassana.

If you would rather find a group that specifically follows the S.N. Goenka technique, please log on to the website of the centre you visited, using your student number.

Is insight meditation a form of therapy?

Insight meditation is not a form of therapy in a conventional sense. Many practitioners do however experience benefits from meditation that can be described as highly therapeutic. Discussion of how meditation and other practices and ideas from the Buddhist tradition have helped us respond to issues in our lives is an important part of why we meet. Please note that the group is not a place for extended discussion of our issues separate from meditative practices.

Any other questions?

Do email us at sittinggroup1@gmail.com with any questions – we’ll be very happy to help.