Three weeks ago I began this post series, “A New Way to Teach Meditation”. Please see at least one or two of the earlier posts for more background. (The archive of earlier posts can be found on the lower right hand corner of the home page). Before too long, I will convert this series into an on-line course for those who aspire to become meditation teachers.
Please let me know by email or phone if you are interested in studying to become a meditation teacher.
Over the past 3 weeks I have emphasized that this approach to teaching meditation will work just as well for those who believe in God, as it will for those who do not, and those who are just plain confused about what they believe.
Before proceeding it is important to emphasize that while this approach can be adapted to a wide range of beliefs, that is not to say that it does not matter what you believe or that all beliefs are equally valuable. There are some limits to how inclusive even the most open minded approach to spirituality or ethics can be.
A path is neither valid or true to the extent it involves cruelty, manipulation, coercion, economic exploitation, or indifference to the suffering to others, or some wildly fantastic set of mythological beliefs which defy all common sense.
While there are many paths a person can take to liberation, it is important to know that some paths really are either just plain dead ends. Even worse, some paths lead a person to some pathetic and badly stunted, or in extreme cases to a highly destructive end.
As I mentioned last week, this approach to meditation will only work if a person embraces high standards of honesty, personal integrity, human decency, warmth, and love as they discern how to proceed. Regardless of what beliefs a person has when they start, or how confused or uncertain they may be with their beliefs, if a person embraces high standards with these core values and ethics, they will find their way forward.
Here is the first primary suggestions about how to apply those standards.
What is happening with your relationship with yourself and with the people in your life in your life that you are closest to among your circle of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors?
Are you at peace with yourself? Are you making a high quality effort to improve the quality of love you offer to those you love? Are you listening to and acting upon the reasonable requests of those you love? Are you making the best efforts you can in your interaction with the people you work with, and with your neighbors, to come up with practical and effective solutions to whatever problems exist in your work-place or community?
Look to your relationship with yourself and all the relationships you have in your life.
Everything with your life and your meditation practice will change as you as become more honest about the petty or sharp battles for control you wage, or hidden thoughts of malice and judgment that pop up in your head, or any stubborn and rigid refusal to change clearly hypocritical, selfish, and anti-social tendencies.
Anyone, whether they believe in God or not, whether they are involved in some traditional religious path, or some very modern set of beliefs, will benefit from an honest survey about what is happening in their relationships.
As one improves the moral and emotional honesty and integrity in their relationships, experiences and intuitions will arise. These experiences and intuitions will point the way to the next level of peace and understanding that is available to them. They will see new areas in their personal conduct and relationships where they can improve the quality of love, friendship and respect they offer to others. They will also see the ways to refine the degree of openness with which they receive the love, friendship and respect others are willing to offer to them.
If a person commits to this work, there probably will continue to be certain questions that remain unanswered, and certain aspects of their beliefs that are quirky or just plain irrational. But the peace and clarity of their meditations, the clarity of their beliefs, and the moral and emotional tone of all their relationships, will continue to be refined.
More next week.
Please send me your thoughts and comments. All constructive comments or critiques will be responded to, and if you wish, will be posted for further dialogue.
More Next week
will at meditation practice dot com ( spelled out to limit spam)