Life in Hong Kong means being in a constant state of stimulation. Neon lights are flashing for your attention. Collective noise from cabs, mobile phones, and street vendors are forcing your senses to stay alert. Throngs of people crowd the sidewalks, jostling for elbow room. It’s hard to get in a quiet moment over all the hullabaloo. It’s important to find time to relax our brain and refocus the attention to our inner selves. One way to alleviate the daily chaos is by meditating.
Meditation is a calming effect to direct awareness inward to our mind, but there are many different types. From Transcendental, Qi Gong, Mindfulness, Guided Visualization and so much more, identifying your meditation flow can be overwhelming and add to the bedlam. The fortunate part of living in a big metropolis like our city means we get to choose from a variety of mediation centers, each of which offers its own style of practice. Below we roundup all of Hong Kong’s meditation centers so you can find some peace amidst your busy city life.
Vipassana Meditation Center
Vipassana means to see things as they really are. Descended from Buddhism, Vipassana Meditation is non-secular and aims to focus the interconnection between the mind and body. By exerting disciplined attention to the physical sensations in your body (e.g. your nose is itchy) and not allowing oneself to react (e.g. don’t scratch the itch on your nose), you are training your mind to stop reacting to the unpleasantness of life. There are two Vipassana Meditation Centers in Hong Kong: one located on Lantau Island and the other in Sheung Shui. New students learn Vipassana by taking an intensive, residential 10-day course. All courses are run on a voluntary donation basis. Each student who attends the course is given this gift by a former student. Proponents of Vipassana advocate clarity in life, learning to live with discomfort (both physical and mental), controlling those emotions, and slowing the mind down to become fully aware of the present moment.
Kadampa Meditation Centre
Kadampa derives from the teachings of Buddha and this Causeway Bay centre was established to provide a sanctuary for anyone seeking solutions with troubled hearts. Offering a broad range of classes with varying levels of ability and interest, beginners can learn to meditate through either evening classes or a half day course for a nominal fee. The sessions cover techniques and guidelines to create the best environment for meditation at home, and break down the workings of meditation and how they can nurture the mind to develop inner peace, compassion, and wisdom. Intermediate and advanced classes will teach you the range of meditation methods, traditional meditation chants, and breathing meditations. Branches of Kadampa Meditation Centre can be found in Discovery Bay, Central, Chai Wan, Sha Tin, and Tseun Wan.
Kadampa Meditation Centre is located at Causeway Tower, 16 – 22 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay, +852 2507 2237.
Hong Kong Raja Yoga Centre
In Sanskrit, raja means “king,” while yoga means “connection.” Historically practiced by actual kings in India, Raja Yoga focuses on mind body awareness with an emphasis on mental and spiritual development. Without any rituals or mantras to follow, this meditation is meant to unite the practitioner with their higher self. Raja Yoga follows the Eightfold Path to self-mastery, but reiterates that through the practice of concentration the mind will calm and bring itself to one point of focus. There are two Raja Yoga Centres located on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Raja Yoga Centre Hong Kong is located at 17 Dragon Road, Causeway Bay, +852 2806 3008.
Raja Yoga Centre Limited Kowloon is located at 5/F, 23A, Ocean View Court, 21 – 23 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui East, +852 2368 4693.
Ananda Marga Meditation Centre
Based on the principle, “as you think so you become,” the meditative teachings of Ananda Maria is to expand our awareness to infinity and achieve the Path of Bliss. Through their techniques and practices, practitioners are able to experience absolute peace and happiness which they refer to as “self-realisation.” An ideology and way of life, through constant practice and sincere effort, Ananda Marga meditation strives to elevate human beings, both individually and collectively, and all spheres of existence: individual, social, economic, intellectual and spiritual. The organisation of Ananda Marga globally encompasses a wide range of projects for the welfare of humanity, animals, plants and the planet. Located in Kwai Fong, Meditation Centre Hong Kong offers Mental Balance meditation workshops with the Ananda Marga philosophy regularly.
Meditation Centre Hong Kong is located at On Fook Industrial Building, 41 – 45 Kwai Fung, New Territories, +852 9400 4962.
One of Hong Kong’s holistic & alternative health clinics, Balance Health takes on mindfulness meditation to aid in stress reduction and emotion regulation. Mindful meditation is unique in that it is not directed toward getting us to be different from how we already are. Rather, it teaches us to become aware of what is already true in the moment. Through self illumination, mindful meditation will give you insight about the nature of your mind and the skills to master where you focus your attention. Only through a growing sense of inner awareness can emotions be controlled and expel negative and self-sabotaging thoughts. Balance Health’s sessions explore different topics through self-reflective exercises on your journey to discovery and towards self-wisdom. Want more? Here are our five tips to be more mindful every day.
Balance Health is located at 27/F, Universal Trade Centre, 3 – 5 Arbuthnot Road, Central, +852 2530 3315.
Diamond Way Buddhist Hong Kong
This Tibetan Buddhist organisation practices 16th Karma Meditation. Composed by enlightened Buddhist master, the 16th Karma Ranging Rigpe Dorje, this Karma Kagyu Lineage meditation focuses on developing human potential using calming and insight rumination. Drawing light and energy from the different Buddhas by using the body, oral chants, and the mind during meditation, the methods work symbiotically and leads to the realisation of the mind’s full potential (otherwise known as enlightenment). Free sessions run every Wednesday at 7:30PM at their Sheung Wan location with a short intro explanation about the mediation and Buddhism.
The Tibetan Buddhism Organization is located at 2/F, 3 – 5 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, email@example.com.
Plum Village Foundation Hong Kong
Plum Village Foundation Hong Kong is run with the intent of bringing the practices of Buddhism into daily life through mindful meditation. Unique to all other meditation centres in the city are the retreats PVFHK hosts specifically geared toward young adults (18 – 35 years old). The Wake Up network encourages young people to come together, connect, and practice mindful meditation under the guidance of Venerable Zen Master Which That Hanh. Big on group meditation, PVFHK hosts a free Day of Mindfulness (with lunch included) at the Lotus Pond Temple in Lantau Island every Sunday, open to all backgrounds and experiences.
PVHK is located at the Lotus Pond Temple, Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island. Click here for more info.
Ed. Note: we spelled Centre or Center according to how it was spelt from each organisation.
Images courtesy of Pressfoto (lead), jcomp and peoplecreations.