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.



Waking Up To Your Life

Jude: Who are you? Or what are you? Many meditative traditions emphasize self-inquiry, a practice exploring the nature of Self.  But my sense is that many are too soon to dismiss the Self as illusory, before they really get to know it.  There are a lot of great things about ourselves, or more accurately, our constellation of parts that make up our sense of self.  So maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss.  In this practice we will make a compassionate inquiry into our nature, our lives, and how we relate to the world, in hopes that it will lead greater inner harmony and a little more freedom.

The Path of Less: Clear Away Everything, Near and Far

Seishin: Meditation is like coming home to ourselves. But sometimes our homes are cluttered, or dirty, or even unsafe, and it can be hard to want to come home. In this meditation we make things simple: we learn to clear away a small space, and take refuge in the healing that comes from this safe haven. And somehow, magically, from this small clear space the whole house begins to get cleaned.

A Simple Life

Kevin:  One retreat, someone asked Shinzen his thoughts on how it was that some people ‘wake up’ without any practice*. While the most of us seem to need hours, days, years, decades of consistent dedicated practice, others don’t! It’s just naturally there, or spontaneously occurs without any practice whatsoever. Shinzen answered that, if he were to guess at a common denominator, it would be: living a simple life. Maybe this tracks with why we typically create simplified conditions (silence, stillness) when we meditate; why we willingly give up the complications and distractions of daily life in order to Retreat into our practice for weeks at a time; Or why renunciation and asceticism have  traditionally been so central to monastic life. Tonight we will explore letting go of the ways in which we needlessly complicate and obscure the joy and peace of living in and from simplicity!

Simplicity Is Deep Life

Jeff: Let’s do … nothing. But stay aware. Let’s watch self and world happen: sounds lead to thoughts, memories lead to emotions, the process of just trying to exist leads to a million tiny urges to check out, lash out, upgrade, freak out, divert, isolate, give up etc etc. Castles of neurotic complexity that build over time – and then we live in them! In the middle of an earthquake called 2023! And it’s fine. It’s life, it’s interesting. And … we can also practice deep life – that is, staying simple in the middle of everything. Now when complexity and intensity happen, there’s less to push against. We’re more centred and available for more kinds of situations. The simpler we are in our positioning, the more of life – and it’s complexities and intensities – we’re able to appreciate. And that’s interesting too.