Ha, I hate shoulds. Should is indeed shit. Please excuse the tongue-in-cheek title of this post. Nevertheless, you are most thoroughly invited to join me in some meditation this year.
As many of you know, the start of the meditation immersion (a 10-month, weekend-based program) is nearing and I’m feeling the potency of this time, as it’s a birth of the most meaningful project I’ve ever worked on. I’ve dedicated much of my life to my meditation practice…I travel 3-4 times per year to study with my teachers and extended community, I’m researching contemplative philosophies in graduate school here at OSU, practice is at the center of my day, and I’ve made this work my life’s work. While these are landmarks of my path, I developed the meditation immersion with something else in mind. Along with a few of my mentors and friends, I created this program so that deep meditative practice, training and community could be accessible right here at home.
Here is why I meditate. On a good day, meditation helps me to step into a more thoughtful, compassionate, and wise version of myself. I move through the world with greater clarity, ease, lucidity, and trust in the unknown unfolding of life. I’m certainly a better teacher when my practice is thorough and steady, and I breathe more, slow down more, savor, offer gratitude, and I have greater sensitivity to the infinite ethical complexities that life brings. On bad days, the training bestowed by regular meditation practice has helped me to meet the more difficult aspects of life – pain, suffering, loneliness, anxiety, overwhelm, anger, stress, grief – with little bits more presence, grace, and tenderness. And that, perhaps, is one of my biggest motivators for practice. Meditation training helps when things suck. Who couldn’t use a few more pocketfulls of renewable grace, tenderness, and presence?
I personally just don’t buy it when some marketing touts happiness or bliss as an outcome of learning a practice or attending a course or whatever. Struggle, however, is something I know and relate to well. Yet… it is quite curious what happens when I – over time, with earnest practice – hold myself and others in presence and compassion throughout the full spectrum of life experience. Little by little, meditation practice has sharpened my attentional faculties for, in moments of grace, something more subtle, even blissful. I’m infinitely grateful to have been trained in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage that supports and educates solitary retreat practice. This, most especially has offered glimmers, glimpses into the greatest and sweetest curiosities of my life, into largely unseen, or unnoticed realities. Training for deep retreat practice and basking in the natural wisdom that arises for each of us when we become quiet are of the central intentions of this program,
I hope you’ll join us for some or all of the program, if you feel the pull (portions of each module are also open on a drop-in basis). The program in its full conception, however, is deliciously comprehensive. It is designed for those who desire a unique, immersive experience supported by a co-hort and for those planning to guide meditation, or who are already teaching yoga. A fellow yogi told me recently that she was intimidated by the program. You’re welcome wherever you are at in your practice, we will start together at the very beginning. You can drop-in to our first session and explore the possibilities from there. If cost is a great concern, we’re happy to extend the early bird pricing until Friday 9/9. Talk to the front desk staff at Live Well for payment plan options. We truly want to help make this in reach for you.
The full immersion schedule & more information can be found here.
The drop-in schedule and registration links can be found here.
Check out other opportunities to learn meditation in town right here.
You can catch free online meditation audios here.
You could also just sit down and breathe deeply and relax for a while, that’s a good start.
Don’t should on yourself. Just practice, the opportunities to do so are infinite and always, always available.