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.



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.

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?