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.



Life is a Highway

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Life is a Highway
MEDITATION: I Wanna Ride it All Night Long
GROUP PRACTICE: Are You Going my Way?

CEC’s Emily Squirrell gave me this idea and I love it. All this talk of meditation-as-path. Well of course, in some ways EVERYONE is on a path, we just rarely take the time to look at it that way.  For this group practice, bring a pencil and paper. We’ll try to draw where we are in our journey through life – is there a secret trajectory you’ve never noticed, a set of territories, some pattern or patterns waiting to be found? We’ll do our best to take a snapshot of our current position in time, see what resolves when we take the Big Picture perspective and find out who else might be going our way (maybe they can pay for the gas). Thanks to Tom Cochrane for this week’s  soundtrack.

Meditation Attitudes and Approaches

THEME: Meditation Attitudes and Approaches
MEDITATION: Three Mindful Attitudes

Exploring Meditation Questions and Challenges. How we pay attention to experience changes the nature of experience. In this sit we’ll explore three stances – Appreciate, Play, and Notice – and try to notice how they combine within our practice. Then for the group practice, with all of the CEC facilitators in attendance (myself included), we’ll break into smaller units and explore the full range of questions and challenges that can emerge in a practice.

Love, Sex and Awakening

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Love, Sex and Awakening
MEDITATION: Something juicy and embodied
GROUP PRACTICE: Collective Wonderment

Back in The Day, when the CEC was run out of my living room, the group practice was called “Collective Wonderment,” and the “practice” was basically jamming in a group about a particular theme, exploring ideas and emotions and whatever else, and sometimes it was revelatory and sometimes it was banal and whatever the case it was always an interesting learning process. I’m bringing back the Wonderment for this one, a group exploration of “Love, Sex and Awakening,” a title I stole from a talk that former Buddhist nun and uber-meditator Ajahn Thanasanti is giving in Toronto on Wednesday April 15 (see below for details). I can’t make this talk! Bummed. But hopefully some CECers will go, as I’m curious about what she’ll say. HOWEVER, since I am human, I know something about these things, and you do too, so let’s get naked (in our minds –you animal) and explore together this part of being human.

Thoughts and Aversion

THEME: Thoughts and Aversion
MEDITATION: Mind the Gap

This will be cool. For the first part Jude will roll out a classic Tibetan practice his mammy taught him, where you pay attention to the space between thoughts, trying to stay with the feeling and quality of the empty gap. Then for the group practice, we try to figure out what primary pattern or bias of thinking each of us gets into – is it ruminating about the past, strategizing about the future, or are you more genuinely embedded in the present – and what does that even mean? What secret aversions motivate you, pin-balling around your brain, keeping you in jail? Because make no mistake: aversion is jail. Everywhere you’re too scared to go is another part of the free world you are closing off to yourself. How big is your cell? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Maybe it’s time for a sturdy nail file and some squint-eyed Clint Eastwood patience so you can Escape from Alcatraz.

The Future

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Future
GROUP PRACTICE: Activate 7: The Future of the CEC.

Our final activate session, at least for this round, this one is about the CEC itself. Based on what we learned last week, what can be integrated into how we do things at the CEC? Should we start new initiates, or refine and deepen exiting ones? If the CEC’s mandate is to improve the lives of everyone who moves through it, then how can we get better at this? In other words, what the hell do you guys want, and if it’s to punch yourself right in the face, then have you carefully placeda cushion behind you to protect your head? For the group practice, we will all stand in a long line and, to the sweet strains of some annoying Cat Stevens song, simultaneously punch ourselves in the face, thus ending this amazing experiment and keeping it real in a way I don’t pretend to understand.