Last night we started our current Exploring Meditation course .. it is always fun to start something new and I love meeting each new group and sharing with them what I love about meditation.
Together, we have this unique opportunity to gather each week (over four weeks this time) to explore the life skill of meditation!
I am honored to share my experience .. and guide those new to meditation on their journey.
When I first designed the Exploring Meditation course .. I knew that I wanted to share some of the 'art' and 'science' of meditation, some of the beauty and sacredness from traditional Eastern practices, along with some of the exciting research and mind science that is rapidly flowing from the West.
The classes are completely experiential. We discuss different techniques (classic and modern, short and longer) and practice these in what is our own 'inner laboratory' .. what appeals is always unique.
If we understand some of the principle concepts that apply to most meditation, and identify some of the ways to measure our progress .. then we start the journey of creating our own meditation practice.
In our first class this week we looked at:
what is meditation .. have we experienced this meditative stillness before .. how might we find silence and stillness in today's busy world .. why meditate .. the three guiding principles for most meditation techniques .. relaxation as the gateway to meditation .. body awareness and how to consciously relax the body .. an understanding of some different types of meditation ..
did some practice!
We practiced our first Meditative Exercise 'The 9 Round Breath' with some participants choosing to sit in chairs, and a few trying out the range of meditation cushions available.
We then took some time to look at the 'nuts and bolts' of starting a personal meditation practice .. our posture, how long and when during the day might be best. We also took a few moments to stretch the body and have a break, and a laugh.
Our final practice was a longer and leisurely Body Scan meditation. This is a very traditional Mindfulness of the Body technique where we cultivate our ability to experience our body from the 'inside'. We observed sensations, vibrations, movement; breathe; and 'listen' to the body while it softened. So very very v e r y relaxing.
The night always then finishes on a much lighter and calmer note.
Everyone took home their workbook and 'Om-work' .. designed to inspire and motivate us all to continue with our new skills in the week ahead.
Isn't it funny how we can easily spend a lot of time, thought and money on keeping our body healthy .. yet we treat our mind less like a temple and more like an information garbage bin.
Daily life fills our mind with countless pieces of random information, noise, visual images, worries, fears, and amazing ideas .. that overflow of stuff often becomes meaningless and endless. As our minds become congested with more and more noise', our thinking becomes heavy and our ability to concentrate and see clearly can become laboured. Our mind fills just like a garbage tip!
Meditation is a wonderful way to empty out the junk!
.. more next week ..
If you would like to join our next Exploring Meditation (4 week) course starting 6th October 2015 CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE