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.



Empathy vs Compassion

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Empathy vs Compassion
MEDITATION: Loving-kindness, Remixed

In the mid-90-s the American photographer Robert Bergman travelled through America’s Rust Belt and took a series of  stunning photos of ordinary people in extraordinary states of openness and suffering. Bergman’s book –  A Kind of Rapture – will be our departure point for exploring the experiential differences between empathy and compassion.

Transmuting Anger

THEME: Transmuting Anger
MEDITATION: Steadfastness
INTERACTIVE PRACTICE: Defensiveness vs Assertive Confidence

Anger is a protective emotion; it seeks to make clear distinctions and to defend boundaries. However much some meditators may want to ditch the self and realize the interconnectedness of all beings, we also need to secure – and maintain – a healthy sense of self and separation. In this week’s meditation and interactive practice, we explore the contractive energies of anger and defensiveness, and the more expansive energies of their close cousins, assertiveness and confidence.

Shake ‘n Bake

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Shake ‘n Bake
MEDITATION: Special Secret Surprise
INTERACTIVE PRACTICE: WTF: Exploring Meditation Questions and Challenges.

Fresh from our  CEC retreat (happening this coming weekend – last chance!), our first practice of the month will be decided extemporaneously, something exactly suited to the moment to prepare the whole giddy posse for our monthly salon-slash-exploration of all the ways meditation makes us, breaks us, and Kraft Shake ‘n Bake’s™ us, to use an exactly unsuitable metaphor.

The Open

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Open
MEDITATION: Open Awareness
For this meditation, the open container of our awareness – expressed in our open posture – is both our starting point and our final destination. “Short moments of awareness repeated many times become continuous,” says the nondual teacher Candice O’Denver. We work from this insight in our meditation, and then we’ll explore how to apply it in life. How is this open knowing any different from our more familiar thinking process? IS it different? Let’s see what we see.

The Imagination

THEME: The Imagination
MEDITATION: Mindfulness of Magic
INTERACTIVE: Contemplative Story-Telling

Our inner world is a gateway to mysterious beings and presences and magical dimensions of experience. Yet in modern mindfulness, this material is viewed as distraction at best. For this practice, we begin with the understanding that imagination is as much as part of the human experience as anything else. Then we go investigate what magic this way comes. For the group practice, we’ll generate our own personal fairy tales in search of a new angle on life’s challenges and triumphs.