Deep Dive Into Presence
The Dressing Room
Everyone present and accounted for?
;) Sorry, we couldn’t resist. This session’s called The Dressing Room because we want to encourage you to try on a variety of mindfulness practices till you find one that fits like a favorite pair of old jeans. When you read about the experiences of many meditation teachers, you’ll find that early on they often moved around quite a bit, seeking out different teachers, practices, and techniques, taking a little of this and a little of that until they landed someplace and stuck -- sometimes for a decade or more.
Now, we’re definitely not some new age Hamlet telling you to “get thee to an ashram,” instead, each of these approaches can be used to power up your presence and as we noted way back in Session 1, presence is perhaps, of all the S.P.A.C.E. factors, the one that can have the most beneficial influence on all the others -- and on your pursuit of purpose.
A quick word about learning how to meditate. It’s highly recommended that you work with an experienced teacher but not everyone has access to one, and not all teachers are the same or even fully qualified. Fortunately, in our digital age, there are excellent alternatives to in-person meditation training. One of the best out there is the 10% Happier - Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics app. Some of the best meditation teachers going are part of this resource including Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness. If you really want to explore how meditation can benefit you, we highly recommend trying out this app.
We introduced you to the technique of Breathing Meditation in Session 1. Hope you gave it a quick try. It’s very helpful for calming, centering and focussing the mind. Breathing Meditation can also help increase pain tolerance, and has been shown to positively impact high blood pressure.
Let’s move on to two more of the most frequently practiced meditation techniques going.
WHAT IT IS: Qigong is thousands of years old and has always focused on “inside energy flow.” Pronounced “chee gong”-- literally “breathing exercise” -- it’s a practice that also incorporates slow, intentional body movements and can be practiced sitting, lying, standing, or moving.
BENEFITS: Qigong increases circulation; promotes relaxation and a sense of connectedness; tones muscles and boosts energy and willpower; reduces stress; and helps relieve arthritis.
WHAT IT IS: Loving Kindness is a powerful meditation practice that helps us transcend the self and connect with greater understanding and compassion to the people and world around us. It reorients our internal self-interest to extend out to everyone and everything while reinforcing our capacity to empathize with the experiences and perceptions of others.
BENEFITS: Enhanced self-transcendence and life purpose; stress relief and improved immune function; reductions in negative feelings towards self and others; increased empathy and connectedness.
In the Audiocast for today’s session, Dr. Vic Strecher will guide you through a short Loving Kindness meditation. Before beginning, take note of how you’re feeling, and then compare that to how you feel after the session. What was different? How could you incorporate the message of lovingkindness meditation into your life? Is there someone you’d like to approach differently -- in a more positive way -- than you currently do? Try this short meditation practice three days in a row to fully appreciate its potential value in your life.
Life On Purpose, Victor J. Strecher
Mindfulness, Joseph Goldstein
10% Happier, Dan Harris
The Best Guide To Meditation, Victor N. Davich
Siddhartha’s Brain, James Kingsland
Zen Training, Katsuki Sekida
10% Happier (app)
Insight Timer (app)