初级静坐班一路走来2000年10月，新加坡善友禅中心主办了首届以中文教学的成人初级静坐班。至今，中心已圆满了34届的静坐课程。在这过去的 18 年间，约有5,000名学生参与了本中心所主办的静坐课程，并亲身体验到静坐所带来的种种好处。近年来，所招募的新生人数更是有日益激增的趋势
Four Characteristics of Basic Meditation Course
1. Dhamma – Content and Teaching Methodology
This method of teaching meditation was established by Luang Phaw Dhammajayo, Known for his broad experience in teaching meditation over 40 years, Luang Phaw emphasises the key principle of “Sabye” (staying relaxed). It has indeed been proven that meditation is simple to master and suitable for all people, regardless of age, race and culture. Those who diligently practised this method of meditation were reported to have achieved the same results, leading to inner strength and peace.
The content of the course was further enhanced and Luang Phi has adapted each lesson tactfully according to the needs of Singaporeans. There are two sessions in each lesson, namely practical and theory. The practical meditation session provides guidance on proper sitting postures and step-by-step instructions leading to the calming of one’s mind. The duration of each meditation session increases accordingly over the course. Next, the lectures highlight the relationship between meditation and health, interpersonal relationships, work efficiency, outlook on life and many other topics.
Luang Phi Somkiat is the principal Dhamma teacher of DCS. He had received formal training on meditation since official ordination in 1985. Upon the completion of the Dhammadayada Ordination Training Programme, Luang Phi was posted to Taiwan ROC in 1987.
That marked the beginning of his studies at The Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, under the student exchange programme between Dhammakaya Foundation and the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Society.
This system worked wonderfully as Luang Phi Somkiat has always emphasized that the basic meditation course is “organized by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans and to Singaporeans”.The moment Luang Phi graduated with a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies, he was assigned the task of setting up the first Dhammakaya meditation centre in Taiwan.He had developed a functional organizational chart consisting of Dhamma Teaching and Dhamma Service groups, to outline the various duty posts and quality personnel needed for a smooth operation of the meditation course.
Under his careful guidance, the number of quality helpers (Kalyanamittas) gradually increased as many of the graduates from the basic meditation course volunteered their time to teach and guide subsequent batches of students.
3. Amenable Environment
Quiet, clean, simple, spacious and comfortable were the common impressions of most students the moment they stepped into DCS. In the dynamic city of Singapore, it is difficult to find a serene and conducive environment in a commonly accessible location to set up a centre. With this fact in mind, DCS has been painstakingly in search of an amenable environment suitable for meditation each time the Centre expanded to new premises. Hence, be it the first centre at Eng Hoon Street, or the current premises at DCS building at Sumang Walk, DCS took into serious consideration all possible factors.
4. Special Provisions – Tea Break Snacks
‘Mouth-watering’ best describes the special tea break snacks provided by the dedicated Kalyanamittas during the class. With the good intention of providing convenience for the students, some Kalyanamittas took the extra mile to prepare home-cooked delicacies and snacks for the class despite their busy work schedules.