Seven weeks ago I began this 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).
For a brief summary of what has been offered so far:
This new approach to teaching meditation accommodates a much wider range of beliefs than most other approaches to meditation. This approach works just as well for those who believe in God, those who do not, and those who are just plain confused.
But the only way this open minded, interfaith, and pluralistic can work and be credible, is if you apply to your studies the best standards you reasonably can with rigorous honesty, personal integrity, intellectual clarity, human decency, warmth, and love.
Over the past few weeks I have highlighted specific ways to apply these high standards of rigorous honesty and clarity to your studies and your life. As mentioned in earlier posts, I am going to convert this series of posts into an online course for people who aspire to teach meditation. For now, as I get ready to wrap up this series of posts, I want to summarize the first four questions of this approach to teaching meditation.
“What work do you need to do to be more at peace with yourself and to improve the quality and tone of your relationships with the people in your life you are closest to in your circle of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors?”
“What do you really believe is the truth of this life? Do you believe God, or universal spirit, is the foundation of the universe, or do you believe there no such thing as God or soul, or are you just plain not sure what to believe?”
“Which of your beliefs are you sure are true?” Which of your beliefs have you really not thought through very clearly?”
“Do you have serious doubts and unanswered questions about your beliefs that you are avoiding or repressing, or which others are discouraging you from taking seriously?”
“Are there aspects of your truths and faith which you know you are not being as consistent with as you want and need to be?”
“Are there some aspects of your beliefs that simply do not stand up to rational scrutiny?”
“Are there some aspects of your beliefs that you say are literally true, but which you know (or at least suspect) are really just myths, or allegories, or just plain old folk tales from earlier and more primitive times?”
“When you meditate what do you want to focus on during your meditation?”
“Some sacred word or short phrase?”
“Some image or icon?”
5) What changes to your values and your life do you need to make to be able to maintain a daily practice more consistently?
If you have established a daily practice, what changes do you need to make in your life to be able to incorporate more time for meditation and related studies and practices?
There may not be any easy answers to this last question. What is important is to be patient as you seek to simplify your life and to move forward as diligently as you reasonably can.
Establishing a minimal daily practice is one thing, but to free up sufficient time for more sustained practice and retreats and study may take years. You may have financial or work or family commitments which you made before you woke up to the fact that you wish to have a simpler life devoted to prayer and meditation and study. These commitments, or challenges, cannot be walked away from. If these commitments or challenges are substantial, you may need to be very patient as you work through them until they are resolved to the point your life and schedule are simpler.
In the meantime, for those who have a daily practice and are seeking to expand that practice, all the best with your efforts.
For those who only meditate once a week or month and cannot seem to find the time, willingness, and discipline for more consistent practice, all the best with your efforts as well.
Please let me know what is happening with your meditation practice?
Please also let me know if you have an established practice and are wishing to learn what is need to become a credible teacher of meditation.
This new interfaith approach to studying and teaching meditation is an important part of the overall efforts to strengthen what can be saved of the ancient ways and churches and to reform what needs to be reformed of the ancient ways and traditions.
This new interfaith approach to studying and teaching meditation is an important part of the overall efforts to create the new churches, retreat centers, social action, and ethical study groups that will become part of the new traditions needed for a post-modern age.
This new way of training meditation teachers and spiritual guides will help more people develop into the kind of teachers and leaders that will most definitely be needed given the challenges in society likely to break out in the decades and generations to come.
will at meditation practice dot com ( spelled out to limit spam)