Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ideas on how to teach mindfulness meditation

1. Have the mindfulness meditation session not just be about learning meditation and practicing it.  Avoid making meditation a routine: brief intro, meditation, discussion, leave. This means engaging people on different levels other than their mere interest in meditation. Ask them questions, get to know them. They will come again more often, and learn more, if they had a good time conversing and hanging out!

2. Friends mentioned they liked several approaches to meditation:

  • active/passive
  • relaxed attention, letting go of control, acceptance of present moment
  • Analogies: imagine sitting in the middle of a waterfall, but realize you are not the waterfall, let everything happen as it may; imagine you are a cloud, let thoughts/judgments, reactions go through the cloud
3. Ideas for the future include:
  • breaking down meditation
    • concentrate on upper lip
    • witness the mind's thoughts while emphasizing non-judgment
    • have them come back into their bodies - deep breaths+relaxing - and then paying attention to the state of their mind
      • by letting go of thoughts regarding past and future, and then coming back into the body they experience for themselves the positive mindset of coming back into the present moment
  • guided meditation
  • themed activities: savoring with a raisin, coming into the body with stretching, walking sensations, deep breathing, etc
4. Changing the wording. Meditation is an Eastern word, with Eastern connotations. I worry that it will always be cloaked in mystique, and never ordinary. Perhaps it would be best for Westerners to approach awareness practice with familiar words (like awareness practice in lieu of meditation). Possibilities include: insight, calm, mindfulness.
5. Conclusion: don't make it just SITTING MEDITATION. Figure out how to more effectively convey the concepts of meditation in a familiar practical way without losing integrity of original meaning. Engage people on a personal level.

                                                                      Have Courage and Patience

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