From figuring out what to do when your foot falls asleep or your life falls apart, you will learn the basics of meditation.
Research tells us that meditation is beneficial for our mental and physical health: It has been proven to decrease stress and the symptoms of stress-related disease. It helps us to concentrate. It can even improve our relationships by making us more patient and kind. However, ancient wisdom tells us that meditation is also a spiritual path.
While a consistent meditation practice will improve many aspects of life, it is far more than a self-help technique. It is a path to self-acceptance, authenticity, and indestructible confidence.
What’s not to like?
Nonetheless, it is not easy to introduce meditation into our lives. We are all very busy. We expect immediate results. We are frightened by boredom. There are countless reasons to give up. Of course! It takes encouragement and support to create an ongoing practice and this program is intended to provide just that.
From figuring out what to do when your foot falls asleep or your life falls apart, this 4-week program will introduce you to the basics of mindfulness-awareness meditation. We will explore what is helpful in creating an ongoing practice that will support you no matter what is happening in your world.
You will learn:
We will discuss the essentials of meditation: what it is, what it is not, what you can expect from your practice, and how to firmly establish the habit of practice. Meditation instruction will be given and a practice schedule suggested for the first week. In our office hours, I will walk you through the specifics of the practice step by step and we will practice together for a short period. I will address the three biggest misconceptions and five most common questions about the meditation technique. I will suggest a practice schedule for the coming week and explain how to keep a practice journal.
We’ll talk about the cultivation of mindfulness and good mental habits in general. We will talk about the true meaning of discipline (hint: in Buddhist thought, it is synonymous with joy) and how to create an atmosphere of relaxation, sobriety, and balance as we approach our practice. In our office hours, we will review the previous week and I’ll respond to questions (emailed in advance). I will suggest a practice schedule for the coming week and some exercises to continue the exploration of this week’s themes.
Many of us find an unexpected consequence of meditation: more sensitivity to our inner experience, the presence of others, and the world in general. While meditation sharpens our mind, it also softens our heart. While this increased sense of vulnerability may feel unsettling, it is also a source of joy. Awareness expands and we open to love, creativity, and connection. In this session, I will offer some suggestions for finding a sense of stability within this greater openness. We will talk about the Four Immeasurables: Loving Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity. I will suggest a practice schedule for the coming week and some exercises to continue the exploration of this week’s themes.
The most profound consequences arise when we let go of expectations that meditation will lead to this or help us avoid that. When we release our agenda, we see that we are living in a far bigger world than we might have imagined. Through cultivation of precision and openness (or mindfulness and awareness), we find that we are able to let go of the hopes and fears that keep us from true presence. In our office hours, we will review our experience of the practice during this program and I will offer suggestions for how to go forward.