Meditations Archive


Steal These Meditation Ideas

Part of the CEC’s mission is to inspire people around the world to create their own quirky, self-lead meditation communities. To that end, we’d like to share these short descriptions practices we’ve lead over the years.

 

 


In-Sight

Luke: There are SOOOOO many interesting references and symbols to inner vision in many ancient civilizations. From the ancient Egyptians and the eye of Horus to the Hindu deities and forehead adornments of the third eye to the many biblical references of the inner eye, there is an interesting reference and reverence to the forehead as being the portal to finding meaning and unlocking answers to life’s mysteries – inner vision. This portal is said to connect to the pineal and pituitary glands of the brain, the pituitary playing a major role in regulating vital body functions and general wellbeing. It is referred to as the body’s ‘master gland’ because it controls the activity of most other hormone-secreting glands. I’m not a medical expert nor am I an academic historian, I’m just a curious consciousness explorer with an interest in delving into meditation practices that have their roots in ancient teachings and wisdom. In this session we will bring our equanimous focus and attention inward and practice concentrating on the light, forms, and colours presenting themselves with our eyes closed. This combined with holding an open receptivity to what is coming up in the body will help us cultivate a hospitable inner environment for knowledge, wisdom, and meaning in our lives to manifest.

What It’s Not

Oliver: I’ll just come out and say it: I hate the word concentration. To me it has a kind of furrowed brow, clamp-down quality that actually hindered my early years of meditation practice. Many tight, serious, headache filled sessions later, I came to better understand what my teachers meant when instructing me to “concentrate”. If you’ve studied art, you know that paintings can be analyzed by examining negative space. In music, one can study the silence in between notes. In the same way, this week I want to explore concentration by talking about its opposite and hopefully give a better understanding of what it is by checking out what it’s not.

Clearing Space for Insight

Tasha: A flash of insight can rock our worldview and knock us into wakefulness, but like a profound dream (or film, or acid trip) the insight soon fades and we’re back in our old patterns, chasing a memory of clarity. It’s not difficult to touch the profound, but it is difficult to sustain our contact with it. The practice of shamatha develops a serene, steady, and penetrating mind that can steep in it’s insights effortlessly. It’s said that insight is like the flame of a lamp and shamatha is the glass windscreen around it. Without the flame, we can’t see, but without the steadying protection of the screen, our insight soon flickers and is blown out. In this particular practice we “touch earth and sky”, building those qualities of mind from the ground up – from relaxation, through to stability, and into the vividness of sky-like attention; the space where insights flourish.

Waiting to Inhale

Steph: In the Yogic Tradition (and many other lineages) everything is connected to the seasons, even the breath cycle. It is said, IN breath = the arrival of life with Spring. Breath all the way in = the fullness of Summer. OUT breath = breath gently falling away like the leaves of Autumn. Breath all the way out = the stillness of wintertime – the great pause that can sometimes feel like an eternity before the breath comes in again, and with it the nourishment, revival, and hope of Spring and a brand new breath. In tonight’s meditation we will dive deep into our breath cycle, a classic concentration meditation technique, but take it even further into the wintertime of our breath.

Getting Settled

Jude: Lately I’ve been realizing that one of the most important aspects of meditation is learning the ins and outs of our own unique nervous system.  My own system has an ever present buzz, a feeling that there’s some problem somewhere that needs fixing, and every time I’d sit down to meditate my mind would race in an attempt to locate the problem and find it’s resolution.  Spoiler alert: there’s not always a resolution.  So instead of trying to fix every imperfection, in this practice we are going to find ways to assure our nervous system that we can take a break from whatever it thinks is wrong and give it permission to get settled, dropping deeper into presence and finding the peace that resides there.