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.



Sensory Experience 1: Solid and Liquid

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: I am hard
MEDITATION: Sensory Experience 1: Solid and Liquid;
GROUP PRACTICE: Tough gal / guy tickle fight.

Words tickling via a conversation about your STUPID LIFE STRATEGIES. Strategy will battle strategy for cage match domination, and guess what? Softness and love wins. Haha.

The Way of Surrender

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Way of Surrender
MEDITATION: Just Sitting
GROUP PRACTICE:  I Give Up – and Look How Much that Made me Love You!

Fitting to end with Zen – Soto Zen, sotto voce, a soft surrender. Dogen called it “practice enlightenment.” Forget getting anywhere – where could you go? You’re already here. In a very real sense, we are all of us already awake; we just need to practice the truth of this. We do so in the way we hold our posture – composed, accepting, not actively meditating but being meditated. Our poor fontal lobes – seizured like fists with their will-to-power scenarios. Fuck it. Unclench. Soften and trust. We prepare the ground in sitting, and then, as we prepare to say goodbye for the summer, we express this same acceptance in community. We fall in love with each other, again and again and again.

The Way of Emptiness

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Way of Emptiness
MEDITATION: Opening Up to the Possibility of An Infinite Object

Back to Buddhism now, to what many snobs consider the pinnacle of Buddhist practice:  Mahamudra, the “Great Seal” of the mountain-hopping Tibetan lamas, pointing their fingers to the sky as they zoom around on flying carpets fighting epic battles with  hideous demons, all in a savage loving non-existent way. This is a top-down practice, where we orient to the essential nature of mind, never quite seeing or hearing or feeling it, for all seeing and hearing and feeling involves tangible contact with something, and true awareness is … well, nothing at all. No, this way does not lie insanity, although you may drool a bit in the corner. This can actually be quite a soothing practice if we ease our expectations and “hold the direction” – following the pointed finger out and out and out…

The Way of the Heart

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Way of the Heart
MEDITATION: Centering Prayer

I expect this one will cause some reactivity. Many of us are fine exploring exotic Eastern practices, but mention the G word – mention prayer, mention Christ –  hoooweeee, out comes a lifetime of secular conditioning and judgment. BORING. Do you really think Indians have cornered the market on the appreciation of Being? Westerners exist too, and so did our ancestors, although they expressed their tenderness and gratitude for this state of affairs in a slightly different way. They personified it. They called it God. And guess what? It turns out that if you treat reality as something friendly and intelligent you find friendliness and intelligence directed back at you. Don’t take my word for it – go find out for yourself. In this exploration we pray – we ask – we reach a hand out and into the cosmos and … guess what? God gives high-fives.

The Direct Path

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: The Direct Path
MEDITATION: Self-Inquiry

Time for a trip to Hindustan. For this Advaita Vedanta-inspired practice, we send our attention backwards in an exhilarating and probably frustrating and ultimately fruitless search for yourself, or your small self anyway. Past all the schemes and tics of your personality – all that activity – what endures? Buddhists say no-self; Hindus say True Self; greedy New Age capitalists with proprietary spiritual technologies and kickass promotional DVDs say: great wealth. THEN, for the Group Practice: “Who are you?” asks your partner, again and again, as you babble off one answer after another, clearing the house, emptying the furniture, so all that’s left are a few dust bunnies and a single desiccated muffin circa 1997. Banana nut!