Learn to Meditate class for beginners. Zoom 10 - 11:15 am

with Jeffrey Slayton

January 3rd

Date details +

    Learn to Meditate Zoom class for beginners. Sunday January 3, 2021 at 10 am. No charge. Email [email protected] to request the zoom link. Led by Jeffrey Slayton.
     (experienced meditators also welcome).

    The adversarial relationship with your mind and body can be healed through meditation practice. Peace is possible. Although there is a very important element of human warmth and care that is an essential part of the practice, don't worry if you can't connect with that to begin with. If you can rouse a sense of caring about yourself, your mind and body, your life, then that is the ideal environment in which to practice. If you have a hard time with that, one trick is to think of a person or animal that you feel kindly towards, and bring about a caring environment in which to meditate that way. If that doesn't work, then you will be one of the people for whom a result of meditation practice will be a caring relationship with yourself. 
     
    To begin with the meditation practice is simply a matter of gently strengthening the mind's natural capacity to be present, not lost in thought. The war with ourselves begins when we divorce from our immediate lived experience and wander in the seemingly endless web of discursive thoughts. The way we heal that rift is to use the feeling of our body breathing as an anchor and a reference point for nowness. Being present. We place our attention on the feeling of breathing and let it rest there. When our attention wanders, which it will, then as soon as we notice, we return our attention to the feeling of the body breathing. This is not necessarily going to be entertaining or interesting or feel good. It can be all of those, and often is, but the initial main function of training is to interrupt the unhealthy habit of getting lost in the illusory world created by our thoughts. We practice being present with our body breathing, we practice recognizing when we have just "woken up" from being lost in thought, and we practice returning our attention to the feeling of the breath as it flows in and out of our body. 
     
    It is very simple. I assure you that it is also very powerful. It may feel like not much is happening. There will not necessarily be any immediate, amazing results to write home about. The signs of success are subtler perhaps than you are used to. That's because it is a subtle practice that works with fundamental aspects of your being that are often overlooked and therefore not understood and not valued. The main message of the wisdom traditions is that these fundamental aspects of your being are vitally important and should be paid attention to, for the benefit of yourself and society. 
     
    While you are working with the meditation instructions, doing the simple yoga of silent sitting meditation, what is happening "behind the scenes" so to speak? In a nutshell, the libidinal charge embedded in the thinking process is undercut, again and again. The addiction to thinking is challenged and the eddies of stuck energy are set free to flow. This free-flowing energy, that is your energy, results in the qualities of stability of attention, clarity of perception, and strength of presence. As you can see this peace is not merely a reduction of conflict but is also a creative force.
     
    In the meantime, as you begin to practice, you are already practicing peace. Peace is not a just a result but a way of being that is embodied in the practice itself.