Let’s Talk Meditation

Meditation and the Truth

Most of us have heard about meditation and mindfulness over the last few years, but how many of us truly understand how to practice this ancient art form passed down for thousands of years. This article is where I want to correct the balance and put straight some of the facts about this noble way to practice.

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Most of the information I see on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram is given freely but at the cost of heavily advertised websites, Click baited headlines to draw your curiosity in to only find a half hearted explanation and little to no advice. Most of these websites are written by wanna-be social media stars and there is a growing concern that meditation and mindfulness has become, or is becoming, a watered down version of a truly remarkable aid in the development of our human consciousness. An aid, that if understood correctly, can and will change your life dramatically for the better.

What can Meditation do for me?

Meditation has the ability to reshape your life towards a more peaceful, respectful and compassionate way to live. A life with less worry and less anxiety, a life where gossip doesn’t amuse or intrigue and fear struggles to reside. Meditation can calm and clear your mind like that of a still lake and reflect back a better version of yourself. And by searching within for that elusive happiness we truly can change the world around us.

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My experience with Meditation

My experience with meditation has completely changed my life for the better. I have been practicing meditation for well over 15 years, a large number for some but a small number for others. In this time I have gone from a lost soul not understanding the way of the world, feeling like I didn’t fit in, or that something was wrong with me. I now have a life living completely satisfied and fulfilled, a life full of love and compassion. I now have a relationship with my father something that in my early life I did not and this is something I cherish dearly.

In these 15 years I have been trained by meditation masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh and from the direct descendants of the forest monk Ajahn Chah. I have been an ordained Buddhist monk for many years practicing in the seclusion of the northern forests of Thailand. I now wander the European countryside as a monk still searching the depths of my mind and all its wily tricks and parlour games it plays. I am totally addicted to meditation and mindfulness like a smoker is to cigarettes. Everyday I practice watching or observing the play of consciousness and it’s relationship to our experiences. Everyday I grow and learn more.

I am not enlightened and don’t pretend to be, I am enjoying the search tremendously and as so I have for a long time dedicated my life to understanding the truth of our human condition.

How to truly meditate

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We have all heard that the art of meditation is to follow the breath. Breathing in, you really observe and feel the breath coming in. We need to be invested in this process of observance, completely absorbed and focused. See how the air passes through you nostrils, tickling the hairs in your nose, watch and witness the abdomen enlarge and the lungs expanding gently as a response. Breathing out observe the process as you would a movie get yourself involved and watch the lungs deflate as a response to you abdomens movement. Observe the air as it comes out through your nose, tickling those nostril hairs. And then the slight pause before we breath in once again.

This is just one step in meditation and is the foundation of all training it is called Samantha or Samadhi meditation. However this is just a foundation and only when our foundations are solid and secure can we start to build upon this to investigate and discover the real interplay between our thoughts and there corresponding actions. This is known as Vipassanā meditation. Translated as ‘truly seeing‘, or insight meditation.

Vipassanā Meditation

Vipassanā Meditation is an observance of the our thoughts within the consciousness. We watch, without interference, how each thought arises from something and then passes away. How one thought leads to another and to another and then to another. Vipassanā Meditation is the observance of the minds three facts of existence, impermanence, suffering and non self as they reveal themselves through consciousness. Truths that once experienced as reality changes your whole way of life. Knowing this is not enough, experiencing this for yourself is the true purpose of meditation and one that can take minutes or sometimes a life time.

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Vipassanā is an art form that takes a long time to develop and should only be attempted after many hours of Samantha meditation as described above. The reason is to develop the skill as an observer without interference so as to experience these truths for yourself. There is no point in just mere understanding, one must truly experience this birth and death for ourselves, experience the ever changing impermanence that exists in everything.

For another explanation of Vipassanā Meditation from a more scientific view point Click Here

What to do now

The most important factor to remember with meditation is to always be kind towards yourself. When we loose focus on our breathing, gently laugh or chuckle to yourself and bring back your attention. Try not to be harsh with yourself it is the journey that is far more important than the destination. Kindness goes an incredible long way in this world and something that if practiced towards ourselves helps elevate a lot of our problems.

Practice breathing meditation or Samantha meditation until you have got a solid foundation, a foundation where you feel present in the moment, grounded in the breath. Once this has become established then allow your mind to investigate, to clearly see with Vipassanā Meditation.

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For any help or advice please feel free to contact me using the contact form provided in the menu. There is no pressure on your behalf and I am here to help. I have been lucky enough to be guided by Masters over my time and it would be a delight to help in anyway I can.

kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

Walking for Peace and Non violence in every aspect of our lives.

Myself, Dhamma Tāpasā, and my mischievous adopted dog, Marley Moo, have spent the winter months on a large farm near Sagres in Portugal. We have been content to pass the worst of the weather out of the way before we move onwards again, and now that spring is right around the corner we are almost ready to embark on our continuous journey once more.

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Dhamma Tāpasā quote

Myself, a trained Buddhist Monk, and Marley Moo (an honouree Monk) continuously travel as peace pilgrims devoted to promoting the art of diplomacy, peace and non violence throughout every aspect of our lives. Together we teach, speak and write Moral stories on mindfulness, meditation and the prisons we create within our own minds. We teach meditation and mindfulness as a way of understanding and changing our thought patterns to create inner peace and non violence within our own lives. Everything we speak, write or teach is given completely Free of charge and made available to all who seek.

We have spent the last few years living the ever popular Vanlife movement, this was a necessary move after continuous encounters with wild boar (wild pigs) in the forests and woodlands of Northern Europe while walking, Our time living the vanlife has been ideal for cultivating the seclusion and tranquility needed to deepen my meditation practice but it is almost at an end, and after spending the present winter months contently passing the bad weather away in one fixed location, the wandering lifestyle and the continued generosity we encounter along the way is once again calling.

We are starting to gather the required items together to begin again our slow paced continuous walk. We are looking to acquire a bike trailer/stroller to place our limited possessions, a decent pop up tent, as our last one has broken, a small solar panel to keep recharged our internet connection a reflective jacket for Marley and a head torch, which we believe come to total of around 250Euro. Once our required items have been collected together we shall begin our walk.

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Dhamma Tāpasā & Marley Moo

As a Monk and Peace Pilgrim i live with no monetary income and instead rely totally on the wonderful generosity, kindness and support from complete strangers along our way. This doesn’t mean we beg, or hassle people, far from it, to ask anyone for anything causes an imposition for people, especially someone who is kind natured and finds it hard to say no. Therefore we only except what is freely given. The staggering amount of good will, compassion and kindness we find on our journey never ceases to amaze me, this is the beauty and compassion of humanity in action. Some days we receive money or food (monetary donations always go towards Marley Moo’s food, I choose this life he just chose me) other days we simple fast. Some days we receive shelter to sleep, other days we will pull out the tent. Some days we teach meditation other days we will meditate on our own. Each and every day will always be filled with surprises and delights from letting go, making every encounter, a bird, the landscape, fellow walkers, a truly special and unique moment.

As we begin to start walking, myself and Marley have a loose plan and direction, at first we will be spending time walking Portugal’s inner Algarve from Sagres to Alcoutim, following the Via Algarviana long distance footpath for around 300km. After this we will start to walk back along to the coastal areas of the Algarve to meet up with my parents, and my brother & his wife from Malaysia for a family reunion and a week too ten days relaxation. Then we shall work our way slowly north zig zagging through Portugal towards Galicia and Spain.

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Marley Moo

If you would like to meet with Marley or myself, maybe for a few hours walking or a chance to meditate With us, then the above itinerary gives a rough idea which direction we shall be walking. As soon as we start walking we shall be posting far more frequently on our Instagram account and this will also guide you to our location. We hope to be walking before March 10th. It would be a pleasure to meet with any of you.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

About 4enlightenment

What is 4enlightenment

4enlightenment.com is a website set up for everyone interested in spiritual awakening, mindfulness, meditation, compassion, loving kindness and the development and understanding of our human consciousness.

We really hope that we inspire and motivate you to contribute with your own personal words of wisdom, maybe lessons learnt, mishaps that may of happened or just a simple hello. Our aim is that each of us may learn together, encouraging us all to succeed on our own personal journeys into spiritual enlightenment, wether that’s inner contentment or simple to feel happier about life.

We aim to create a safe place where we become a family to share our wisdom helping one another along the way. We really want compassionate, caring, like minded people, just like yourself, to join our family.

So come and join a like minded family of friends

Our website:

Motivational and Inspirational Short Stories

Every week we bring to you an inspirational Short story that has motivated or inspired us in some way during our week. Most of our stories are original but some are famous fables or old classics and where the author is known a credit is always given.

We are always searching for more stories and we welcome anything you have written, we will always give credit where credit is due. Please see our writers submissions page.

Meditation

Our Meditation Pages are filled with inspirational advice, tips and tricks and words of wisdom on all matters to do with mindfulness and meditation. If your a complete beginner then everything is covered from correct posture and techniques to more advanced vipassana meditation.

Meditation is very simple to explain but it seems that this simplicity can cause a lot of confusion. Our meditation guides are the 100 percent guaranteed correct way to meditate, each meditation has been passed to me from a linage that spans 2,500 years. I was taught, as a Buddhist monk, for years the correct posture and breathing techniques to succeed and finally after many many years and thousands of hours meditating I finally and deeply understand our human consciousness. Please don’t get me wrong I am not claiming enlightenment or sainthood, far from it, yet from meditation I have gained an incredible lasting peace and tranquility within my own mind, worries now don’t drain my energy anymore, I feel happier and more alive than ever before and I understand our human experience.

All I now want to do is freely pass this knowledge through experience onto others and would be thrilled if you joined me.

Mind Matters

Everyone’s Mind Matters and hear you will find everything to do with all our overwhelming number of emotions such as Anger, Stress, Anxiety, Optimistic vs Pessimistic, positivity and depression. These Personal stories from individuals just like yourselves who have suffered and then overcome emotional turmoil. We also include the fundamental coping mechanisms and proven techniques to help elevate anger, stress anxiety and depressions.

Inspirational quotes

Every week we lovingly create original inspirational picture quotes and include a small biography of the author. Previous weeks have included such wonderful people as Thich Nhat Hanh, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Ajahn Brahm and the Dalai Lama as examples.

Dhamma Tapasa

Dhamma Tapasa is the spiritual name given to the author of 4enlightenment while ordained as a Buddhist monk in North Thailand. This section is a little introduction into my personal journey towards spiritual awakening

Contact Us

If there is anything you feel we need to include, have an idea you want to share, or simply want to say hello then this is the place to come and send us as message. We really do want you to feel part of a family and really look forward to hearing from you. We respond to each email personal, not a robot.

We hope you can join us on social media

We have a YouTube channel where videos are produced of inspirational quotes as well as spirituality, love, compassion and life.

Our Instagram account is filled with inspirational quotes with original photos added. Each photo is a sneak peak into the places sought out for meditation.

We also have a Facebook page that I try to fill with inspirational advice, meditation techniques, words of wisdom from meditation masters and inspirational stories.

I personal hope you can join our small but growing family, all striving for more compassion, mindfulness and loving kindness in our daily lives.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa & Marley Moo

A little Introduction

Dhamma Tapasa

I am a real life Monk, affiliated to No Tribe, Religion or Society. My spiritual name is Dhamma Tapasa Viraja (Dhamma Hermit Free From Dust) given to me when I was an ordained Buddhist monk in North Thailand. My birth name is Andrew Hallas but I’m affectionately know by friends as the Monk.

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Dhamma Tapasa

I am affiliated to No Monastery, No Religion, Tribe or Society, I do however wholeheartedly believe in the Buddhist teachings of Meditation, Mindfulness , Loving Kindness and Compassion as fundamental in the search for enlightenment.

My whole life has been in this pursuit and understanding of our human experience, I have now spent Thousands of Hours in Meditation and Mindfulness training from within monastery’s and meditation Centers across Europe and Asia, many intensive 3 month Vipassana rains Retreats and during my life as a Buddhist monk in Thailand. These Thousands of hours training in Meditation and Mindfulness have helped me gain great insight into my own mind and all our human consciousness, this has bought me a truly deep sense of peace and lasting tranquility for the first time in my life.

My abbot had predicted it would be in my 6th year wandering the countryside as a Thudong Monk that everything i learnt would come to fruition, Thích Nhat Hanh personally told me to stay true to my path for it leads to realisation, and this year, my 6th year wandering Europe in search, everything of life’s mysteries have revealed themselves, it is as if I just rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, for the first time in my life I have a relationship with my father and all childhood traumas cease to be of an issue, I simple let go. A truly freeing experience.

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Dhamma Tapasa

I am continuously traveling or wandering the world and I spend and dedicate every ounce of effort into the pursuit of enlightenment, using the Buddha’s teachings of Meditation, Mindfulness, loving kindness & compassion as my guide.

After returning to England from my monastery in Thailand I would spend many months as a monk with a rucksack walking through England, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and into Germany. I suffered along my journey mostly from the general harsh conditions of sleeping outside under a small tarpaulin and finding somewhere safe to sleep every night, and as so I now choose the ever growing and popular Vanlife movement to fulfil my 3 basic human needs of shelter, food and medicine. My Shelter is my Van a rusty LDV Convoy I named Bee and To obtain my another two requisites I now work for my food and medicine, unlike my monk days, wether that’s gardening, selling ice creams, making jewellery or farm harvests, I do what’s needed.

During the last couple of years my wanderings have bought me a companion in a little mischievous dog I affectionately call Marley Moo. I’ve officially adopted Marley so he can have a passport and travel with me. This simple act of kindness, as well as quite a few other misdemeanours, driving as a monk and living in a van to name two, got me into a lot of trouble with the Buddhist Thai Sangha and after an intense few years of real deep soul searching and inner questioning about Buddhism, other religions, the Thai sangha, and my place as a monk in it all, I finally came to a realisation. I am a monk living the Vanlife. It was a incredibly hard and lonely time for me. It has taken me almost 3 years to finally figure out who I am, my place in the world and what I am really searching for, I finally realised my USP so to speak. I am now comfortable with myself and realise I am a completely unique real life Monk living the 21st century Vanlife movement all in the search for enlightenment, even if this has come at the cost of loosing the support of the Thai Sangha and all monetary funds.

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Marley Moo, Dhamma Tapasa faithful companion

Just like any monk of any religion I live by a code of conduct or moral principles called precepts. Each precept is simple in its clarity and we can all easily follow some if not most of them to improve our own lives. I’ve lived with most of these morals for the whole of my life, even as a child. My code of conduct, moral principles I live by:

  • No killing

  • No stealing

  • No lying

  • No sexual misconduct

  • No Alcohol or Drugs

  • To eat only one meal a day

  • To practice non violence in every situation in life

  • To try to never ask for anything

  • To take only what is freely given

  • To give everything I can

I have found that working in robes, gardening or farm harvest, just isn’t practical for me anymore, and as so can be found out of robes as much as I am in robes, I choose only to wear my robes in private, while meditating or when I’m teaching mindfulness and Meditation techniques, although sometimes just sometimes I’m seen out and about in robes

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Dhamma Tapasa & Marley Moo

If you would like to support myself and Marley Moo with a small donation of any kind then we have a PayPal code and in return we have a small gift waiting for you.

www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

You will not only be supporting a real life Monk but also the upkeep and running costs of this website and both myself and Marley Moo thank you.

www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Standing Meditation

What is Standing Meditation?

Standing Meditation is exactly as it sounds, we stand and meditate, the most important factor with Standing Meditation is to keep your eyes open. Shutting our eyes causes us to loose our balance and fall.

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With our eyes open we have an opportunity to focus our attention on something, a burning candle, a statue or painting of the Buddha, a vase of flowers, or maybe incense burning. The choice is yours, so long as the feeling you get from looking at your object, is a positive or natural one and in no way bringing negative emotions out of you.

Now With your back straight and your feet firmly placed on the floor, about shoulder width apart, gently relax your shoulders and have your arms loosely hanging in front of your abdomen, place one hand gently on top of the other and bring your thumbs together in a kind of circle. Keep your head and eyes looking forward and slightly down, and focusing on your chosen object of meditation

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How do we Meditate?

Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

Take a moment and breath a few long deep breaths, feel yourself slowly begin to relax and unwind. Now when your ready bring your attention to your breath.

Breathing in be aware you’re breathing in, 

breathing out, be aware you are breathing out. 

Count one.

Repeat this for five or ten counts then start again. This is the basics of Standing Meditation.

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To become completely at one with the meditation object takes time, practice, and kindness towards your inner dialogue. The moment you experience this oneness, everything you have ever been told about mindfulness, meditation and being present in the moment are all realised, spontaneously as if you always knew the secret you just need a gently nudge

What happens if my mind wanders?

To start you will find your mind wanders from the breath onto something else, a shopping list, a fantasy or maybe you start to day dream. This is perfectly natural our mind are thought producers and this is completely ok to be happening. Always remember be kind to yourself, never scolding, always patient and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. The more you practice the better you become at anything, and this is the same with mindfulness and meditation.

There is plenty of help and advice found on our Tips & Tricks Page and of you find yourself struggling in any way with any issue make this your first port of call.

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Find out more

We hope you have found this to be of real benefit and now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage within Meditation practices, the length of time we have spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation doesn’t have to involved bending your legs into those funny positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair or even a meditation stool. The most important factor to consider will be first and foremost your own comfort.

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There are generally Three ways to Meditate within the sitting position. These are sitting crossed legged on the floor, sitting in a chair or using a Meditation Stool.

Sitting Crossed Legged

If you do sitting meditation on the floor, it is recommended to use either the full lotus or the half lotus position, this however, can be a little tricky for some to manage, so if you are struggling with this, you could use the method I use to sit, which is called the Thailand/Burmese cross legged style.To do this method, as you sit cross legged normally, the way you did at school, but instead of putting your legs on top of each other, all kind of crumpled under you, try to sit with both of your legs on the floor.

Start by placing your bottom on a Meditation Cushion, now start with your left leg first, place it in a crossed legged position, and then move the right leg into position but not on top of your left leg, just in front of it. Placing a Meditation Cushion under our bottoms allows our bodies to become slightly raised, creating a natural arch in our lower backs and allows our knees to touch the floor becoming anchor points which will create stability while we meditate.goal of Buddhism, meditation posture and positions, the real facts of life, change your mindset, inner contentment, Theravada Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, science based mindfulness, words of wisdom, what meditation does for the brain, commit to sit, changing thought patterns, developing minds,

This also has the added advantage of helping to eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other can create.

Meditating in a Chair

If this all sounds a bit hard for you then meditating in a straight back chair is an excellent alternative. If possible try to find a chair that your legs bend at the knees, at a nice 90 degree angle, and your feet rest flat on the floor. As you take your position keep a straight spine, not pulled too tight, but relaxed and upright. Gently relax your shoulders and relax your arms.

Using a Meditation Stool

A Meditation Stool is also another excellent alternative, used with a Meditation Mat and usually made from wood you would use the Meditation Stool like you would a Meditation Cushion, only with your legs in a kneeling position.

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While your kneeling on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, gently lower your bottom towards the floor, place the stool under your bottom and over you legs. All the weight and pressure is taken off the knees, allowing for a more relaxed meditation. The other advantage of a meditation stool is the angle of the seat, this is angled just so as to keep your spine naturally straight.

Now let’s Meditate

Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

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Sitting, using either a Meditation Stool, a straight backed chair or sitting crossed legged on the floor. Begin by taking a few long deep breaths to gently relax yourself.

As we do this take time to get yourself comfortable in your position.

Keep gently breathing and relax your shoulders and arms, placing your hands loosely on your lap. You can place your hands on your knees if so desired, this can help open up the chest allowing us to breath more freely.

When you feel comfortable, you are ready to begin.

Breathing In, really be aware you are Breathing In.

Breathing Out, really be aware you are Breathing Out.

Count One

Focus your attention either at the tip of your nose, and experience the air passing through your nostrils, or at the abdomen and witness the rise and fall. Try to do this for a count of Ten, and then repeat.

Is that it?

If you are thinking this all sounds a bit and easy, I urge you to give this ago. Meditation will be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you have ever tried, but a word of caution, to experience the rewards that meditation offers we must actually Do, not just read, actually Do It.

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The most common problem we all face with meditation is our wandering mind. Our minds produce thoughts, that’s what they do, so don’t scold yourself or be harsh with your inner dialogue, when ever you discover your mind has wandered off the Meditation object, the breath, gently and kindly bring it back.

Slowly over time we accumulate the muscle power in our minds to stay focused on our breath for long and longer periods, and as our mind wanders we stay with the mind and watch were it goes, watching but never interfering or commenting, just observing, this allows us to see clearly with our own mind the realities of our own making.

Further Help

We hope you have found this article to be of real benefit to you, and perhaps now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If you do struggle with anything in Meditation then please have a look at our Tips and Tricks Page, dealing with some of the more common problems that may arise.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage Of Meditation, length of time spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa