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.



Yogic Explorations

THEME: Yogic Explorations
MEDITATION: Pranayama and the Heart
GROUP PRACTICE: Activating the Power of Intention

To round off the month and prepare us to get all fiery in March, my pal Nadia Vallescura will roll out some of her advanced yogic studies as we adventure into that energetic aspect of our body-mind that Hindus call  prana. Prana rides on the breath, and the Vedic seers discovered an intimate relationship between breathing and mental activity. As Nadia says, “every thought changes the rhythm of breath, and every breath changes the rhythm of thinking.” After we recalibrate our nervous systems and oxygenate our inner resolution, we’ll explore how to further focus our practice using the power of intention setting. Then in the group practice we’ll find energy and vision in community.

Negotiating With Reality

THEME: Negotiating with reality
MEDITATION: Stop negotiating!
GROUP PRACTICE:  Let’s negotiate with each other about the not-negotiating.

Everything in its place – like, don’t like, good, bad, yes, no. We got preferences. Reality is like “I want to be me!”  but you have a better idea: a customized Reality Approval Process (RAP), which you impose over everything and everyone, cluttering the moment with your categories. Whether this actually helps you function in life we’ll leave as an open question – certainly some categories are necessary, otherwise you’d get killed trying to make-out with a speeding bus. But others … well, one thing is clear: when it comes to meditation, they can get in the way. Jude Star will lead us through a classic meditation on reserving judgment and staying open to experience, and then for the group practice we’ll explore how this plays out in our actual day-to-day lives.

New Spaces

THEME: New Spaces

“Expanded State of Consciousness” was a hot topic back in the 70s, back when everyone was dropping acid and chanting TM mantras. The vague suggestion was of some ultimate state, but in reality there is no “ultimate” state – just many different flavours and experiences  (unless by “ultimate state” you count the non-experience called a  cessation in Buddhism). This week skilled psychonaut Avi Craimer takes us through four different realms of spacious awareness, also known as the “ jhanas”. The first is physical space without objects, the second is the space of energy, ideas, and aliveness, the third is a space of peaceful darkness or nothingness, and the forth is a space of oneness or wholeness. Exploring the jhanas is a lifetime practice; in this meditation we do a drive-by tour. Then in the social practice, we’ll interactively explore what are known in Buddhism as the four  Brahma Viharas, or four “immeasurables”, aka Friendliness, Compassion, Altruistic Joy, and Equanimity.

Surrender and Integration

THEME: Surrender and Integration
MEDITATION: Sweet valley high OR Who says the 401’s no fun?
GROUP PRACTICE:  Holding on, letting go

There will be times, in your practice, whatever it happens to be – yoga, meditation, contact juggling – where breakthroughs happen.  These are exhilarating and memorable times. For many people, it becomes what they seek: rush-ey moments, dripped in dopamine reward. But the real reward comes after the gold rush, in the slow acceptance and integration, the long flats that get fuller and richer with time. For this meditation, we let go. Nowhere to get to – drop into cruising speed, surrendering to that feeling of peace, Tim Hortons’ flickering by, Montreal hours away. We learn to love the journey, because there ain’t no thing but that.

Into the Underworld!

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Challenge
MEDITATION: Into the Underworld!
GROUP PRACTICE:  These are all the ways I suck, and this is what it feels like to talk about my suckage with you.

This week we take our medicine. We learn how, in TS Elliot’s words, “to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.” It’s arguably the most important week of the month, where a lot of deep learning happens. You thought you meditated to feel good, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But meditation isn’t about feeling good. It’s about growing as a human being, and to do that you need to brave. You need to be willing to look at the hard, ugly stuff, your anger and your hurt and your pettiness and whatever else you don’t want people to see. Because what you don’t own eventually own you. So yeah! It’s happy happy time! It would be easy to make birdy chirp chip noises every week and sing kumbaya and say everything is awesome, but it ain’t and you ain’t (and I sure as shit ain’t) and since I’m motivated to try and actually help you guys, this is where we pull up our britches and charge into the underworld on our motorbikes with flames coming out of our eye-sockets.