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.



Into the World

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Into the World
MEDITATION: Expand in Space, Ground in Sound
GROUP PRACTICE: Activate 6: Finding the Golden Thread

The poet William Stafford (“ for it is important that awake people be awake”) used to talk about finding the golden thread in a poem, in a moment, in a life – the thread of meaning, the felt tug of it in your belly, or the vision of it swimming out from the canvas in front of you. That’s what we’re looking for today, the golden thread in each of the seven initiatives / themes of the past month, themes that have themselves bubbled to the surface from our collective in-seeing: community building, mental health, housing, consciousness and healing, self-discovery, women’s empowerment, and animal rights. What can be distilled from the wide range of ideas and insights that have been expressed? What might it mean for us personally, and how might some of this be realistically taken into the world?

Lighting in a Bottle

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Lighting in a Bottle
MEDITATION: Verve and Vitality
GROUP PRACTICE: Activate 5: Activating
This last week, we finalize the details of each initiative and share them with the larger group. We’ll explore how to energize the language of caring with an automatic writing exercise, empowering each other to unleash our store of voodoo love lightning. And then – blue bolts of electricity in our teeth – we’ll jump around like happy idiots and run off into the night to annoy friends and family with our virtuous plans. Later that week, XX new Activate posts will appear on the CEC website, regular initiatives with rotating committees that anyone can participate in.
Yeah, it’s ambitious. It’s also just the beginning. Hopefully this month we’ll learn some lessons about what works and what doesn’t, streamline our process so the next round of Activation can be even more effective and inclusive.

Hidden Assumptions

THEME: Hidden Assumptions
MEDITATION: Patterns of Inner Activation
GROUP PRACTICE: Activate 4: Service is Edge-Riding

We’ll continue to flesh out the details of our potential new initiatives, but this week we’ll also mindfully explore what hidden assumptions we may be bringing to the table. One of the big lessons from the development scene over the past few years has been around clarifying paternalistic power imbalances and unexamined beliefs. What unconscious assumptions are we missing, and how can we approach making a difference without falling into some of the common traps? On the other hand, an even bigger trap is being so politically correct that all we do is talk about the idea of giving, and never actually do anything. Like meditation, service is edge riding: between sensitivity and awareness on the one-hand, and forward-moving effort and action on the other. This week we explore that edge.

The Big Picture

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Big Picture
MEDITATION: Grounding and Expanding.
GROUP PRACTICE: Activate 3: Choosing and Consolidating

Ok we’re starting to build some momentum here. We’ve shared stories and potentially identified some key areas to explore. Time to consolidate our creativity and focus in on a few concrete initiatives, either one you personally share with others, or one you’re inspired to learn more about. What can realistically be done, and what matches the skills and interests and experience of the group? Notice what kind of energy comes into the room when we start to talk in practical terms about the place, in Frederick Buechner’s words, “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

The Stories We Tell

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Stories We Tell
MEDITATION: Into the Heart
GROUP PRACTICE: Activate 2: Connecting to our Personal Motivation

To prepare for this session, try to think about a challenge you faced or an experience you had that really affected you and might hint at an activate direction you’d want to go. Maybe as a kid in the backseat of the family car you drove past a hideous clear-cut and ever since you’ve wanted to do something concrete to help the environment. Or maybe you have an autistic brother and have shared in his struggles. Or maybe you’ve worked with and through a screwed-up relationship and are inspired to help couples become better communicators. It’s ridiculously broad, but the idea is that the juice of our motivation to make a difference comes from our own lives, our own stories. As the great Harvard educator Marshall Ganz has said, “stories are what inspire us to act.” They communicate our values and show us a direction for – yes – our electric love.