I am grateful that Central Mass Yoga will host one of my meditation workshops March 1st at 10am to noon at 45 Sterling Street West Boylston, MA 01583 (2nd floor).
The title of the workshop is “Seven Questions for Meditation Students.”
One key point of this workshop is to encourage people to be patient as they seek to establish a daily practice of meditation. Given all the work and family responsibilities so many people have, it is genuinely difficult to find time for a daily practice of Yoga or meditation let alone both. Cultivating a sincere desire that one wants to have more time for practice and study is a good beginning. Embracing realistic expectations about how quickly one will actually be able to make the changes that will help them simplify their life will also help. Finding new ways to practice mindful awareness in the midst of family and work life will also help people make the transition to setting up their schedule so they have more time for silent meditation. For those people who already have an established daily practice of meditation, there will be insights offered in the workshop about how to go more deeply into their chosen path.
Another key point of this workshop is to encourage people to reflect with greater care on what they really believe is the truth of this life.
For example: do you have a strong faith that God does exist? Or do you think God exists but are not really sure? Do you have a strong conviction that God does not exist? Or do you think it is likely God does not exist but are not sure? Is it possible that you are quite genuinely confused about what to believe?
Some people have asked why I emphasize these questions as much as I do. It is for this reason. What you believe will determine a great deal about the nature and specific techniques of your meditation practice. If you believe in God and that the goal of prayer and spiritual practice is to attain the fullness of communion with God, your practice will be very different from someone who feels there is no God.
Many people who practice Yoga prefer to not use the “G” word, but think of divine life in more general terms as energy or spirit. The questions I ask are these:”What is the nature of this energy or spirit? Are there any specific images that come to mind when you think of universal life?” Depending on how a person answers these questions I can craft an approach to meditation practice for them. On the other hand if a person perceives God in a specific image such as Jesus, or God the father, or Aphrodite, or Allah, then it is helpful and important to match their practice of meditation with the images, language, and tone of their beliefs. Those who are committed atheists or agnostics will pursue their search for enlightenment in accordance with their core beliefs.
For those who are genuinely confused about what to believe, their practice will proceed by still other means. For example, learning to let genuine confusion be both acceptable and valuable is a technique I wish I had heard about when I was younger.
The beauty of this general method is that it works just as well for believers and non-believers and those who are just plain confused.
The foundation of this method is this. There are essential practices and values one needs to embrace if they wish to attain the deepest degrees of interior peace and wisdom in this life. But these practices and values are general enough they can be adapted to the beliefs and way of life of any decent and sincere person who reflects carefully on the moral compass of their life.
Please call or email me for registration instruction for the March 1st workshop at Central Mass Yoga in West Boylston. Or contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you cannot make it this time, then perhaps some other time.
Will Raymond Author of “the Simple Path of Holiness” host of MeditationPractice.com