This past Monday marked the start of a new class series I’m teaching entitled Being Here Now. I just recently taught a 6-week series by the same name that ended last week. Essentially this is the same class with different students, although this one is an 8-week series. Since I had to reformat a bit in order to add two more weeks worth of material I decided to elongate the instructions for sitting meditation and also allow more time to go over the practice of deep breathing, which is what I’ll be doing for our next class – both are very simple but not at all easy to execute. This post will be my brainstorming platform of what I’ll be covering in next week’s class.
Sitting meditation is one of the largest tools that we can use and develop in terms of building a strong foundation for becoming more mindful in our daily lives. Sitting meditation allows us the opportunity to practice simply being with our genuine experience as it’s unfolding, without trying to manipulate, judge, or distract ourselves. The “aim” of sitting meditation is to be with our sitting, to be with our breathing. That’s it. As I said, simple but not easy. Note: I put the word aim in quotation marks because we want to be careful not to set any specific goals or purpose during our sitting meditation, as this can be a pitfall to practice. We do however want to be clear as to the intent behind our desire to cultivate a sitting meditation routine. The act of sitting meditation, over time, will allow us to create more spaciousness in our lives. It can teach us to learn how to slow down in order to experience and appreciate all of the wonders of life that reside within and around us in any given moment. This development of spaciousness is also crucial if we have a desire to live more happily and joyfully with less stress and anxiety. If we want to improve our quality of life we must learn how to start slowing down, at least a tiny little bit. This doesn’t mean we necessarily have to stop doing the things we’re doing physically – for many of us this slowing down involves our internal mental activity more than our physical output of energy. Sitting meditation puts us in touch with our mental landscape so that we can start seeing the habits and patterns that fuel and propel us forward, which is a necessary component in creating effective change.