The first session defines meditation and describes the Buddhist teachings that give a context to the path of practice. We explore the two basic types of meditation--concentration and mindfulness--and then focus on the ground of mindfulness training: bringing mindful attention to the breath and bodily sensations. Guided meditations include setting intention and the sacred pause; learning to "come back" using an anchor of the breath; and "being here" with an embodied presence.
It is helpful to connect with our deeper aspirations to practice - at the beginning of a retreat as well as before practice sessions. Twelve different responses to the question of why we practice are explored.
The latent defilements are the base from which they manifest as either obsessive or transgressive defilements. Their abandoning, temporary or complete, can be acheived by the threefold training in virtue, concentration, and wisdom.