April 30, 2015

Guided Meditations

Meditation instructions are simple yet the practice is hard. My goal as a teacher is to make meditation and mindfulness accessible to students; to let them experience these practices in helpful and non-judgmental ways. Included below are suggestions for practice, as well as audio files that guide you through the process.

Whether sitting or standing in meditation, posture is important. My suggestion: not too tight and not too loose. If we sit ramrod straight, we invite critical mind and tense body. If we sit slouched, we invite fuzzy mind and sloth body. Experiment with your posturefirst too tight, then too loose, and finally settle in-between. Your body should feel alert yet easeful. You want a position that can be held comfortably for the entire meditation. Resistance will occur: you'll want to move or shift or scratch. If possible, stay with those feelings yet don't react; don't immediately move. Bring your awareness to the discomfort and investigate. Often, these feelings evaporate, which is a powerful lesson on the workings of our minds and our habituated reactions. Meditation shines a light on our habits--habits we can change.

When you find a comfortable position, gently close your eyes (or keep them open with a soft focus). Bring your awareness into your body. Locate the place where you most connect with the breathat the nostrils, chest, or belly. This place is your anchor for the entire meditation. You needn't change your breath, simply bring your attention to the breath, as is. When your mind wanderswhich it willgently bring your awareness back to the breath. Notice the experiential difference between lost in thought and alive in the breathone is a dream, the other is your life. If you notice this even once in a meditation session, it's worthy of celebration.

There's no way to get this wrong. Whatever you experience in meditationbusy mind, contentment, irritation, ease, doubt, painis part of the practice. It's how we see the inner-workings of mind and body. Our daily life is then informed by what we learn in meditation. It's a lifelong practice in honesty and gentleness. A beautiful practice accessible to anyonethere's no way to get this wrong.

Initially, guided meditations are helpfula voice that reminds you to return to awareness. I've recorded guided meditations of varying types and lengths (included below). Click on any of these to access the present moment. I'll be your guide.

The meditations have been moved to a permanent page, Meditations, on my blog. Please join me there.