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June 19, 2014

Namaste Traveller! 5 Ways to Learn Meditation in Cape Town

Namaste traveller! Did you plan on discovering Cape Town, and end up discovering yourself?

Travel is a spiritual experience that widens the soul. Complement your journey at one of these 5 places to learn meditation in Cape Town, most of them free. 

But First: 

What can we actually measure? Scientific research has demonstrated a number of benefits to meditation, including increased immune function, emotional intelligence, emotional regulation, self-control, introspection, social connection, focus, attention, multitasking, memory and creativity.

Simultaneously meditation has been shown to decrease pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, stress and loneliness. That's pretty impressive, considering it doesn't even cover the entire impossible-to-measure realm of wisdom and spirituality. 

So that's what science has to tell us about the soul. Kind of beautiful right. Shall we get started?

image courtesy of Nicole Naude

1. Shambhala South Africa

A registered non-profit organisation, Shambhala South Africa believes in a basic, universal human wisdom not belonging to any particular religious tradition. The practical spirituality nevertheless retains a strong Tibetan influence and many of Mahayana Budhism’s methodologies are used in the pursuit of an authentic and joyful life. Free meditation classes are offered every Thursday at Erin Hall. There is also a secular meditation training program that takes place over 5 weekend workshops.

Address: Erin Hall, 8 Erin Road, Rondebosch
Tel: +27 76 032 9632
Email: director@shambhala.co.za
Website: http://capetown.shambhala.info

2. Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre

The Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre is a Mahanyana Buddhist school offering introductory meditation classes suitable for both beginners are those with some knowledge. The hour and half classes included guided meditation, practical advice on how to use meditation in daily life and questions and answer sessions.  The suggested (but not mandatory) donation is R40 per session with no need to attend every class or book in advance, just drop in! Everyone is welcome, regardless of belief. Dates vary depending on location.

Addresses: Cape Town CBD, Milnerton, Rondebosch, Simon’s Town, Somerset West, Wellington
Phone: +27 (0)21 685 3428
Email: info@meditateincapetown.org
Website: http://meditateincapetown.org

3. DIAMOND WAY BUDDHISM

One of 600 Diamond Way Buddhist Centres across the world, the Vredehoek centre offers free guided meditation sessions, with the goal of “effortlessly maintaining in what is.” Each takes between 30-40 minutes with an opportunity for questions and there is no obligation to donate. Classes are every Wednesday at 7pm. Arrive half an hour earlier for free teaching and explanation.

Address: A1702 Disa Park, Cnr. Clifford & Chelmsford Avenues, Vredehoek
Tel: +27 (72) 118 228 5
Email: capetown@buddhism-southafrica.org / nicole@thatsafrica.com
Website: www.buddhism-southafrica.org

4. THE ART OF LIVING

Present in 152 countries and working with nearly 370 million people, The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian organisation that offers stress management courses including breathing technique, yoga and meditation. It offers a variety of courses (on subjects like self-discovery, yoga, silence, wisdom, family and relationships) and lifestyle programs (such as introduction to yoga, yoga for modern men, losing weight with yoga, introduction to meditation, teenagers and meditation and anger management). Courses usually take place over a number of days, contact your nearest centre to learn more about dates and times. 

Address: Milnerton, City Bowl, University of Cape Town, Century City, Claremont, Constantia, Rondebosch, Somerset West
Website: www.artofliving.org

5. Kagyu Buddhist Centre

Kagyu Buddhist Centre in Kenilworth bases its teaching on the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and offers traditional Buddhist classes and meditation (including yoga), Tara Rokpa Therapy (a form of Buddhist psychotherapy), and work with the environment and charitable causes. Classes cover subjects like meditation, mindfulness and mind, yoga, listening and kindness, compassion practice, healing energy and laughter yoga. Most courses are free while some donation are encouraged for others.  

Address: 6 Morgenrood Road Kenilworth
Tel: +27 21 7612978
Email: capetown@kagyu.org.za
Website: http://kagyu.org.za/capetown

Enjoy spiritual practice, but want to give it a more physical form? Check out these martial arts schools in Cape Town. Or perhaps you're just looking to be pampered? Here are the 5 best spas in Cape Town. If you like these snapshots of Cape Town, you should follow us on Twitter here. 

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