My Meditation Teaching Style
MEDITATION AT THE END OF OUR PRACTICE
The mind can be our greatest friend or our greatest enemy, the source of many of our problems or the solution to our problems. Helping students form positive, conscious relationships with their minds is a great gift. This positive relationship with the mind is the basis of true health and happiness. Meditation at the end of our class encourages students to apply the strength and balance generated during asana practice to learn how to manage their minds.
If we neglect the mind, we are disconnected from our creative potential and can easily fall prey to anxiety and depression. This is because the mind is a powerful force that requires training and maturity if we are to handle it well. Unfortunately, many people shy away from meditation. Asana practice gives a wonderfully immediate sense of physical well-being, leaving us feeling refreshed and energized. This is one of the reasons that asanas are so popular. Meditation, on the other hand, is a more daunting discipline, because it asks us to face and train our minds.
I teach 30, 45 and 60 minutes long meditation classes. There are many different forms of meditation I incorporate into these classes, but all lead to the same goal: greater self-awareness. A positive side effect is a state of both physical and psychological health. Meditation also helps us study the mysteries of life and existence, helping us access deeper fulfillment. Ultimately, meditation leads to a grounded, centered, focused state that many describe as enlightened.
Most people do not want to do the work required to develop meditative awareness, because it is challenging to face the mind. It has areas that we like and are comfortable with and areas that we dislike and want to get rid of. It is quite natural to want to avoid facing difficulties, and most people come to meditation because they want to be free from problems, anxiety, and pain. They hope that meditation will allow them to get rid of their problems.
However, meditation teaches us that we cannot get rid of our problems, that life is inherently problematic and challenging. Meditation teaches us instead how to handle problems with greater strength, poise, and courage, and how to use problems as stepping-stones to higher consciousness.
It is essential to remember that the aim of meditation is self-awareness, not a state of bliss that is free from problems and obstacles. If we simply seek ecstasy, and hope to avoid sorrow and suffering, then we are actually seeking the loss of ourselves. The ultimate aim of meditation is to remain grounded in self-awareness under all conditions of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, gain and loss.