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.



Freedom from (Self Inquiry), Freedom to (Loving Kindness)

‘You may look at a flower and think that it exists in itself independently, but this is not true. Try to think of that flower without the soil from which it grows, without the sunlight that helps it grow and illuminates it, without the very space in which it stands, or without the particular time in which it is there. Suddenly you no longer have a flower at all.’ – Thich Nhat Hahn

Kevin: The Buddhist philosophy of Interconnectedness – Dependent origination, or conditioned co-arising, etc (there are many ways to describe it) suggests that everything that arises – from the phenomenal world to thoughts and emotions – is dependent on conditions (like TNH’s flower) and is therefor empty of any inherent, independent existence of its own. But this ‘emptiness’ isn’t nihilism (that would be projecting inherent ‘somethingness’ onto emptiness), but can actually be experienced as deeply freeing and fulfilling. Tonight’s group practice will explore that possibility. We’ll go looking for Interconnectedness/Emptiness – NOT as a belief or philosophy – but as an experience that might be glimpsed if we get a glimpse of having freedom from the limitations of being stuck in a presumed ‘self’. And from there, we’ll explore how freedom from ‘self’ might catalyze a freedom to cultivate and express love, empathy, compassion, joy to the people and world around us.
If this sounds like a lot to chew through, don’t worry; it’ll be fun! I swear.

Connection through Gratitude

Jude: It is often said that our minds are problem solving devices; and even if there are no problems, they will create them.  Well, there are a lot of problems, so we really don’t need to create any more.  But might we sometimes be overly focused on the negatives?  Is it really helpful to be spinning all the conflicts and challenges and worries in our minds 24/7?  Come get relief from our brain’s unfortunate negativity bias by practicing gratitude.  Gratitude not only softens the anxiousness in our mind, but also softens our whole being, opening us up to the good and beauty in ourselves and the world.  Come deepen your connection—to yourself, your loved ones, to the natural world—through the practice of gratitude.

Microcosmic Orbit

If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. – Eckhart Tolle

Steph: In order for everything to be connected and in harmony, we must have balance. The balancing principle of Yin and Yang, or opposing forces that keep the universe in a state of homeostasis, is one of the main tenants of Taoism philosophy and the focus of our exploration tonight. We will start with balancing breathwork and move onto a Taoist meditation designed to cultivate energy and bring balance to our minds and bodies, and our inner and outer worlds.

Imaginal Threshold Crossing

Avi: Our experience of meaning is divided into zones or regions that we tend to perceive as distinct worlds. We speak casually about the world of hockey, a fandom universe, or the mindfulness scene. We are grounded in the “real world,” even as we may delight in other imaginatively entering various worlds of stories, dreams, and myth. Yet, if interconnectedness is a basic feature of reality, then all these worlds are somehow interconnected as well. This isn’t to say the boundaries between worlds are illusory, but they are permeable. The imaginal walker between worlds is the human bridge who finds the hidden passages to cross thresholds and transmit secrets between the layers of reality.