Going Beyond Mind

This course is underway and registration is now closed

How to easily practice meditation every day, regardless of how busy or how lazy you are.

A 9-week online course suitable for both beginner and seasoned meditators, covering the practices of both Shamatha and Vipashyana.

There are two central meditation practices on the Buddhist path: calm abiding (shamatha) and clear seeing (vipashyana). The method of calm abiding is used to work with our thoughts whereas vipashyana is the path of seeing the underlying basic reality.

The course is designed to be experiential, each topic presented briefly, followed by time to reflect, to ask questions and to practice the methods in order to gain direct, personal experience. You might find that practising these meditations brings more clarity in life, we can chat about this as time goes on..

The course will be offered live online via Zoom. Zoom is one of the world’s most popular video conference Apps and is completely safe and secure. You will receive details for how to connect after registration.

There is a limit of 20 participants per session to ensure participants have opportunity to engage with the course leader and each other.

The course will consist of one main session per week, with a choice of registering for either Wednesday or Thursday nights starting at 7pm. Each session will be one hour. The course will last nine weeks.

Course Fee

The course is offered for free, however if you find the course useful, please make a contribution.
All contributions go towards the cost of organising and maintaining Rigpa’s education and training programmes.

Proposed once-off contribution for the full 9 weeks: Benefactor €90 Standard €65 Concession €35

If you are a member of the Rigpa Sangha, this course is included as part of your subscription. However, please do register if you wish to attend. 

Martin Leonard portraitThe course leader is Martin Leonard.


Martin has been a student of Dharma for over forty years and has studied with such eminent Buddhist masters as Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

He has completed a three year retreat. His style is both humorous and approachable.


The course will also be supported by senior Rigpa instructors.

Some additional course details:

There are some advanced topics that you may only be able to get an intellectual rather than an experiential handle on, but the intention here is to present a complete picture. You can then work with the practices most useful for you, knowing where this is leading to.

Course Outline


  • How to easily practice meditation every day, regardless of how busy or how lazy you are.
  • Mind’s essence and its appearances: thoughts and emotions. Thoughts are driven by a fundamental insecurity.
  • Finding security.
  • Taking control of our mind: beginning to meditate.
  • The Buddhist analysis of mind as the eight consciousnesses

Shamatha: basic meditation

  • Uniqueness of this approach: meditation with emphasis on a simple awareness.
  • Shamatha with support.
  • Using a special method of using sound as the meditation object.
  • Shamatha without support.
  • Natural great peace.

Vipashyana : clear seeing meditation.

  • Developing personal insight into how our world works.
  • Here Vipashyana is approached very differently from the Vipassana taught by Goenka.
  • Everything changes so what is real?
  • Examining the idea of “me and mine”.

We will have Zoom breakout groups during the sessions and you are also encouraged to discuss the topics with fellow students after the session ends. There is a WhatsApp group you can use for this if you are interested. It will also be possible to book one to one zoom chats with students instructors who are familiar with the practice and with the materials we’re exploring..

There will be additional short (15min) Zoom guided meditation sessions as an optional part of this course at an agreed time (currently happening at 9am Saturdays). You are also welcome to join the regular online meditation sessions offered by Dzogchen Beara and the Irish Rigpa centres.

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