Seren Kiremitcioglu explores Peninsula Arts' free Student Participation in Arts scheme...
Did you know that as a Plymouth University student, you're automatically given free credit in which to attend Peninsula Arts Events? If you're an art student, you're entitled to use £150 of your credit per year, and for all other students, it's £100. This means that all Peninsula Arts events with the SPiA logo on are yours for the taking!
Recently, I've taken to Peninsula Arts to take a look at Thinking Tantra, as well as attend a Meditation Evening: Imagining Inner Peace With the Ashoka Buddhist Centre.
The meditation evening, which was £4 for members of the public and free for students under the SPiA scheme, introduced a resident teacher from the Ashoka Buddhist Centre. Kadam Ben Seel talked the attending members through Buddhist lifestyles, meditation techniques and teachings from Buddha. I enjoyed hearing that anyone and everyone can reach inner peace; that our external factors, such as material possessions and desires, are distractions from reaching our own inner contentment. Seel also described to the room how Buddha labelled all negative feelings, such as anger, guilt, discontentment and even depression as 'delusions'. Whilst I felt that labelling depression as a 'delusion' is extremely counter productive in our modern day and age, I can appreciate that these teaches are many, many hundreds of years old.
We were also guided through two 16 minute long meditations, one at the start and one at the end. The first allowed the audience to focus on their breathing, practising mindfulness and allowing us to expel any external thoughts about our days, stresses or woes. The second taught us to, with every breathe out, expel 'black smoke' that included all negative thoughts; and with every breath in, to breathe in 'golden light', of good, positive thoughts. Unfortunately these practices weren't so helpful for myself, as I have the attention span of a goldfish, but many people in the room seemed to enjoy the evening.
Afterwards, we were all offered complementary tea, coffee, cake, scones and juice - which is a treasure for any hungry student! It was an opportunity to reflect on the evening and allow our meditation to settle in. An enjoyable evening for all, I'd definitely reccommend everyone to take a look at the Peninsula Arts programme, and grab the SPiA opportunities with both hands; especially with the Plymouth Fringe Festival coming up soon!
Stay tuned for an exhibition review of Thinking Tantra.