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.



Confounding Questions

Erin: The Zen tradition of practicing with koans can make allies of our confusion, doubt and uncertainty and tap into something creative, unexpected, beautiful and wise. For tonight’s sit, we’ll each work with a classic koan, trying to “not know” our way into spontaneous discoveries and maybe even jolt ourselves more awake in the process.

Befriending Wisdom

Avi: Philosophy was my first contemplative practice, long before I’d ever heard about mindfulness. A philosopher is somebody who seeks philos (deep friendship) with sophia (wisdom). The philosopher’s method is to ask questions and develop reasoned explanations about things like, what am I? What should we do? What is true and how do we know it? The philosopher is somebody who stubbornly keeps engaging with these questions long after most people grow bored of them. The original English meaning of “meditation” was, to think deeply about a topic, as in the title of Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy. For tonight’s sit we’ll experiment with meditation as a focused inner reflection on a topic of deep importance.

The Factory Settings

Jeff: What actually wants to emerge in each moment, before thinking jumps in? Inquiring minds want to know! As the saying goes, thinking is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Many traditions argue that our actual default conditions – the factory settings, as it were – are wise and caring, but that we cover them up with our maddening stresses and schemes and agendas. In this meditation, we see what emerges when we practice not knowing.

Circus Mastery

Caitlin: Do you sometimes feel like your mind-body experience is a chaotic circus scene with multi-colored elephants parading around underneath clowns walking tightropes pushing screeching monkeys in wheelbarrows, all preventing you from deciphering the very important message your friend is trying to deliver – or is that just me? Focusing is a step-by-step meditative practice that help us access intuition and clarity around the confounding situations that sometimes arise in our lives. By tuning into our bodies and getting in touch with the felt sense of a situation, we can tap into the wisdom and innate sense of knowing that live deep within our experience. Instead of being swept up in the circus, focusing can help us become the circus master.