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.



The Way of Sensory Experience

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Way of Sensory Experience
MEDITATION: Just Note Gone
GROUP PRACTICE: Partner Noting

OK so we’ll start this wake-up series with an old school Theravada innovation: the intent noticing of sensation. This is the classic Buddhist path of insight; it involves penetrating our immediate experience with so much clarity and equanimity that eventually we notice the ground beneath (and all-through) that experience. Shinzen’s contemporary spin on this is to deliberately focus on endings – as the man says, “just note gone.” Where do sensations go, when they go? Where do they go to? What the heck is that luminous vibrating void chewing up my reality, and can I use it to trim my out-of-control nose hairs?

The Sound and the Silence

THEME: The Sound and the Silence
MEDITATION: Body as Tuning Fork

Even at rest, your body is a lightning rod of possibility. It rings different notes in response to waves and vibrations, both internal, and external, and the music it makes becomes the music you are. A plate crashes, and you flinch. Birdsong, and you slow down, open. James will revisit the mixtape session he did last month, with different sounds, so we can watch what music rises through us glimmer and fade.

Flavors of Rest

THEME: Flavors of Rest
MEDITATION: Body Rest and Do Nothing

What is true rest? We know unconsciousness, obviously, and we know drowsing and chilling. But there are more than two gears in our existential transmissions. I wrote a piece a while back about what happens to some meditators when they reallylet go – they  disappear, at least sensorially. This class we probably won’t go that far, but we will explore what it means to surrender our deeply-engrained habit of controlling experience. Afterwards, for the group practice, we’ll all lay back while Andrea leads us in a delicious Yoga Nidra practice, consciousness ebbing and flowing towards sleep without ever quite arriving. That’s another gear:  Hypnagogia.

Solid Ground

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Solid Ground
MEDITATION: Vase Breathing
GROUP PRACTICE: The Silent Partner

Yeah, space is fun, but sometimes you need to double-down with your feet on the ground. In the main meditation we’ll explore a Tibetan practice called “Vase Breathing” that will turn you into an immovable object. For the group practice, we’ll continue the theme of body trust. By way of context, sometimes I watch little kids hang out and it blows my mind. They hardly say anything, but they manage to communicate all kinds of weird 3-year old shit about the chunks of reality that fascinate them. How do they do it? For this group practice we’ll explore conversing without words. No furious rumination – just initiate a random strategy and see what happens. Obviously you are encouraged to make low-frequency keening noises and undulate on the floor like a worm should the urge express itself. Thanks to Malcolm for the idea.

We Live in the Space Age

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: We Live in the Space Age
MEDITATION: Sound and Space
GROUP PRACTICE: The Space Between Us

OK so first we stabilize the body, then we’ll send our minds out into the audioscape of College street, past the traffic and the streetcars to the boundary-tingling outer limits. For group practice we’ll continue last week’s theme of social edges and explore the space between us. Our bodies are wrapped in a tingling layer of awareness, a different radius for everyone. When do you sense the Other? How close is too close, and how do those limits change?