Jeff: In this first Monday of the month, we’ll set the stage with a classic bit of Hindu Vedanta-inspired self-inquiry. This particular version of the practice comes by way of my colleague Vince Horn, who runs the Buddhist Geeks podcast and offers many excellent courses with his partner Emily Horn over at meditate.io. Instead of asking “Who am I?”, we make it less personal, and ask “What IS this?” – as in, what is this whole existential boondoggle that we find ourselves running around inside? Not because we’re hoping to find an intellectual answer, but rather, because in the asking, we may find a new freshness and immediacy in our being here at all.
Jeff: For part one, we continue exploring concentration, this time with a master of concentration – my wife, Sarah Barmak! Every morning she makes me look bad by dropping into bliss-saturated samadhi stillness while I roll around on the floor doing my special “meditation” body exercises. How did she get so good? She followed Culadasa’s excellent Mind Illuminated protocol, that’s how. Join us for a trip into the depths.
Jeff: Concentration is the foundation of meditation. You could make the argument it’s the foundation of every spiritual and personal growth practice, since the world unfolds along the grain of our commitments . They key to getting this started is interest , and what is interesting to one person may not be interesting to another. Thus, in our Part 1 meditation, we explore multiple points of entry: from body to sound to breath, in stillness and in movement. Preview here.
Erin: To kick off the month, we’ll explore divergent directions of concentration practice, honing in on a narrow object of focus then zooming out to pay attention to the entirety of experience, and seeing how they contrast and complement one another.
Erin : For our sit we’re not going to sit. Instead, we’ll explore letting go of our traditional meditation postures and laying our bodies down. Can we find clarity in relaxation? Can we relax at all in a room full of other recliners? Can we stay awake for all 35 minutes? Join us and find out! Once we’re nice and relaxed, the interactive practice will involve the somewhat terrifying prospect of looking at one another, seeing what comes up, and watching it go.