All meditation instruction is in person at this time.

Please check our Meetup Group for more. The Centered Path

  1. The Breath.The intention of this time is to focus on the breath, it is the most basic and first step in any meditation or mindfulness practice.  This is perhaps the most common meditation as it is something that you already do all the time.  To breathe of course is to be alive and we can easily notice it, manipulate it and use it as an object of meditation.  Focus your attention on your breath, and gently bring it back to the breath whenever your mind wanders.  That is it.  Repeat it over and over.  Sooner or later you will find it easier to come back to the breath and will not be so distracted by the random or troubling thoughts we all have.

We will practice some breathing techniques to help with the meditation and mindfulness sessions such as skip-breathing, alternate nostril, deep breath, and more.

Simple and easy. Just breathe….  Breath has even been shown to activate certain parts of the brain and be able to evoke and suppress emotions, something useful when we are suffering from some trouble or need to evoke some feeling or emotion.  The breath suspension and spontaneous stillness as a balancing of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.   We will discuss this, and more.
To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.  You will gain a simple yet foundational technique to mastering your mind and mental states.  Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are also likely to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, and success.

 

 

  1. The Body Scan.The intention of this time is to get in touch with the body and realize that it is impermanent and always changing. We can even look into which part of it is ‘us’… If you take a part away (cut off a hand for example, or have your gall bladder removed) are you still you?  Here we simply ‘watch’ the body with our minds.  First of all we must become familiarized with it and then become friends, then we can work WITH it to achieve what we wish.  Pay attention to the physical sensations in your body. Start from the top of your head and slowly move your attention down. When you get to the floor, change directions and slowly move back up.  Tune into the body for the purposes of healing or gaining communication and a new better relationship with your body.  In this session we will start at the floor and work up to the crown of the head.  This is the connection between heaven and earth.  Then we will also do a visualization from the heavens down to the ground and into the earth.  This is a meditation that I have used for decades to help me get to sleep if my mind is not too responsive to other methods of meditation.  I start at my feet while in bed and work my way up… In over 20 years I have never made it past my thigh.  This is great for healing, relaxation and insomnia.  To prepare, bring your curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; fatigue, flighty feel, racing mind, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, and even calm the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. The Present Moment.(Mind Spotting) The intention of this session is to be gentle and just observe what our minds do. Many say their minds are too busy and uncontrollable.  But like watching a juggler, it seems impossible at first.  Once we watch and Instead of focusing on something specific externally, simply focus your attention on being in the present moment. Experience what’s happening right now, moment by moment.  Like train or plane spotting, we are going to sit back and watch the mind do its thing. Observation lets us learn how it works and how we can work with it. Learning how the mind behaves gives great insight into how to better ‘mind’ your mind. To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Emotions. The intention of this session is to observe emotional reactions we have, this is an insight meditation technique (Vipassana). This is really a start for the next meditation (Emotional Triggers). Here we just want to see what emotions are ‘there’, not to really do anything with them.  This begins with “Shamatha” meditation or calm abiding.  We are observing only.  Focus on your emotions. What are you feeling? What are the layers and subtleties to those emotions? To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, self-control, and insight, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

Emotional Triggers. The intention of this time is to observe then analyze the emotions that have come up for us.  Trace an emotion back to its cause. What triggered that emotion? What are the unconscious emotional triggers at play? Don’t beat yourself up about anything – simply observe your emotional triggers with compassion and curiosity. In this technique you almost de-personalize and view yourself as an observer of your ‘Monkey Mind’ this way you can begin to see how fast you react and how, with practice you can begin to control this wild mind into a calm, peaceful and productive friend.

To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Compassion.(Metta a boundless living kindness)The intention of this practice is to develop compassion and loving kindness for not only others but for ourselves. To be gentle and patient, like we would be with a puppy or child.  We try to develop this for all beings.   Focus on your own sense of compassion. Imagine first, your most cherished being.  A mother, father, child, other relative, partner, or pet. Explore and feel this sensation and see it from every aspect you can, physically, mentally, spiritually… Allow this feeling to grow and expand throughout the universe.  Then we can apply with ourselves, a good friend, neutral person, difficult person, equally distribute (Lather Love Lavishly) to the entire Universe… All beings.   This is a specific Buddhist practice and the Metta Sutra will be discussed in short.

To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Forgiveness. (Letting go) The intention of this session is to develop the ability to release our expectation and clinging to any person, place, thing or thought. Bring to mind a person who has wronged you, or whom you perceive to have wronged you. Allow yourself to feel and experience all the emotions associated with that experience, then slowly let them go. Choose to forgive. This is a detailed guided meditation evening… We are going to explore a key concept in Buddhist Meditation which is to let go. Let go of fear, anger, pain, disease, thoughts, anything. Letting go does not seek to change us, a situation, or others. It lets it be as it is. Takes away any influence or power over us as beings living in the Dharma of now. This is a great way to move beyond what is holding you back without ever having to really discuss it. This is an internal meditation, one that you practice until letting go of the ‘object’ occurs without trying.
    So many times we hold things close in our minds; grief, guilt, anger, sorrow… attachment. Attachment on having it ‘our’ way instead of seeing it and understanding it as ‘it’s’ way. Letting it be how it needs to be, go through its own life cycle and fade. The ability to let go, with practice gets easier. The more you practice the ‘object’ (anger, sadness, worry… etc.) the better you get at it. If you can let it go, you can then see how IT IS and learn to better act on it and not re-act… (Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity, isn’t it???)
    This type of meditation can give you great personal insights into the origin, manner and way of your selected issue. Why have someone else tell you when you can discover for yourself?
    The next step in the process of this practice is the development of wisdom. The wisdom to KNOW that all things are impermanent, always changing, and illusion fostered by OUR delusion and misunderstanding. As we develop more understanding in a non-egotistic way we can see our part of keeping an object or issue alive and how we can make it part of us, bringing it up again and again in new and creative ways that the Ego thinks is serving us. It is not. Notice how people who are angry always have something to be angry about? That is because they practice anger. They use it to fuel the Ego to keep IT happy, not themselves… They have ‘anchored ‘ to anger if you will… There will be a small intro into the practice, a centering meditation and then the guided meditation. Wear comfortable clothes… To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

 

  1. Your Core Values. (Authentic Self) The intention here is to explore what your core values are. What do you really care about? What do you stand for? How are those core values present right now? To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try. This is an insight meditation, (Vipassana) where we are actually looking at and into our own processes to see if we can have some epiphany or realization about our real actions, behaviors and habits. This way we can evaluate them and change if necessary.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Inspiration.The intention is to determine and discover what inspires you. You know, that which makes you take an in-breath of excitement, that ‘ah-ha- thing you find when you are really into something.  How inspired do you feel right now, in the present moment? Explore the intricacies of what makes you feel inspired, or why you don’t feel inspired. To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Your Goals.Think about some of your most important goals. What comes up when you think of them? Do you feel excited? Pressured? Do they feel challenging or undemanding? To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. The Humanity of Others.(Empathy) The intention of this time is to see things from another’s perspective without judgement and commentary.  Think of the people in your life. Remind yourself that they’re human, just like you. They’re a conscious, feeling, thinking being, just like you. Tap into a shared sense of humanity with the people around you. To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

The Suffering of Others. (Empathy) Becoming aware of the pain of those around you can be a potent way to develop more compassion. Think of people around you who are in pain – those you know personally, or people you see suffering who you don’t know personally (such as the homeless in your city.) Or you can even think of distant people in the world, like kids in some third world country. Let their suffering in, and respond with love and compassion.  We will even discuss and meditate on other beings as it is our hope to find an end to the suffering of any and all beings.   To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Happiness, the smile of the Buddha-Putting your intention on the attention of a happy thought. As well, we put our attention on the intention of that happy thought.  How simple indeed.  Focus your attention on your own sense of happiness. How happy are you now? What does it feel like to put your attention on your happiness? How could you increase your sense of happiness in your life?  We actually do not even have to have a happy thought.  We change our entire physiology with one thing, a smile.  By simply sitting quietly and practicing being happy with a little, almost imperceptible smile like we see in every picture or statue of the Buddha we can gently practice being happy.  You know what happens when you practice something?  You become good at it, practice it enough and you will be a master.  A master of your own happiness.  Isn’t that worth some time?  Imagine if you were happier?  Just because- just because you are.  That is enlightenment and calm.  There is no better way to start the day than with this meditation.  Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he first wakes and sets his intention for the day, how he will approach it.  Between this and compassion I can think of no other way I would want to start a day, don’t you?

 

To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; sadness, melancholy, disconnection, a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), and even the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, focus, success… and of course, content peace…

 

  1. Candle lit, center of the fire… Appreciation for the conditions that arise to cause the light, heat etc. of the fire. We will sit in silence, with a candle of our own to light the world.
    As you may know, a single candle can light your way, and with that candle you can light a thousand without losing anything, but gaining light for all.
    We will also contemplate causation and contemplation of the flame, its conditions and impermanence. There are lots of Buddhist similes and metaphors using candles, we will discuss some to enhance the evening. To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.  We will also do some exercises which are very good for the eyes while using a candle.  We will gaze at the candle without blinking for as long as we can, as soon as our eyes begin to water we close them and picture the candle in our minds.  This not only cleanses the eye and the tear duct but also enhances our memory recall and visualization practice.  This is essential for other meditation techniques.

Here is what you are also apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you can gain from this and other practices; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

The Heart of the Rose. A simple meditation from “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” Meditate in front of a rose, and simply focus on appreciating its beauty. Notice the color, the fragrance, the softness of the petals – even the dangers of the spikes. Fully appreciate the rose for what it is.  Using the candle similarly, it lights the way, provides warmth and can light many other candles, also it may burn…  Think about that for a while and you realize everything that is good can have some bad (skillful means and unskillful means) as well as perceptions of positive and negative depending on how we understand them.  This is a wisdom developing meditation.

 

  1. White Light. Breathe in Light, Breathe Out Stress. (Healing Meditation/Consciousness). Meditators often find that visualizing white light is calming and rejuvenating. Visualize this light flowing into you through your breath, or emanating from your heart. To nourish means to support and promote. To keep a feeling or belief in one’s mind…
    In this session we will first center with the breath and then do a body scan, releasing tension and allowing new movement and nourishment (fluids) into the area. This is a guided visualization with some time for discussion at the end.  On your inhale, focus on breathing in positive emotions like love, compassion, wisdom and inspiration. On your exhale, focus on expelling negative emotions from your body, such as stress, anger or resentment.  Again as I have said this is one of those meditations that takes practice and as you practice you get better at whatever intention you put to it.  To prepare, bring with you your curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to simply try.  This is a healing meditation and can be modified to work on specific conditions or areas as you wish.  As you get more adept at it (it only takes a short while and very little effort) you will actually feel the warmth of that white healing light on any part you wish, bone, blood, muscle, nerve or organ.

As you practice, like anything you practice, you will get good at it and see better and better results.  You can focus your mind on anything you wish, have control of IT instead of IT having control over you.  Beginning with this simple guided meditation practice.

 

  1. Grounding/ Soothing and anchoring I have trained massage therapists to do this very technique so that they can become more grounded and not allow ‘bad’ energy to stay in them while and after they work on someone. The intention is to really feel the energy move from the environment, through us, into the floor and eventually in to the earth where it is neutralized.

 

  1. Mantra: Mantra means ‘to protect the mind’ and having your own or a key phrase or word that helps you become centered can be an essential part of a successful practice. TM (Transcendental Meditation) uses a mantra given by your own personal guru, this is usually a unique word or phrase to help you attain bliss. We will discuss group mantra and personal mantras and how to get one… To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

Soothing Music. Play a piece of soothing music in the background. Focus just on the music, on allowing yourself to really experience the music fully.

 

 

  1. A Conversation.This meditation is useful when there’s a conversation that your mind is stuck on. First, let yourself think about that conversation for a few moments. Then, bring your attention back to the present. Now pay attention to the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that arise. This can help dispel any lingering feelings related to that conversation. To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Conscious Eating.Try meditating while you’re eating. Try to savor every bite, and really experience your meal as you’re eating it. To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Space and Expansion. The vast majority of matter is made of space. See if you can feel a sense of vastness, to feel space itself. You are, after all, floating through space at this very moment. Can you experience what that’s like, not as a concept, but as a present moment experience? To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Chakra Balance and sensation. Chakras (wheels of energy) throughout the body have been a part of Ayurveda healing for thousands of years. This evening we will discuss and explore chakras and how we can ‘tune into’ them, feel them and begin the process of self-care and energetic health. There are seven ‘classical’ Chakras, but upon deeper study we find the 12 chakras as well as the concept of nadis and chakras and how they relate.

 

 

  1. Authentic Self (Anattakalanna Sutra)

 

  1. How to be silent. Perhaps one of the most difficult for people to conceive of in the beginning of their practice. The intention of this session is to do some activity in total silence.  We will use the six sense doors to explore a piece of food, for example.  We will observe it with our eyes, touch it with our hands, listen to the sound of our clothes and movement as we pick it up and smell it, then again touch with the lips and tongue to taste.  Then with the mind really slow that process down so that we can see each and every part of the process as well as note our mental formations, perceptions, feelings and consciousness regarding the piece of food.

Generally we like to do a few pieces of food to get some differences in color, shape, texture, flavor (salty, sweet, bitter, and savory).  This way we can go beyond one simple snack into an entire plethora of sensations.  Discussion will follow this session so that we can gain some insight into becoming silent in the mind and body.

 

 

  1. How to still the mind. Breath work. Our intention it to practice and explore the ability to press ‘pause’ or at least slow down the mind for a better view.  With some guidance and practice it is completely possible for someone to slow the mind down so that it can process one thing at a time.  Of course we do not want to stop the mind that is impossible and only occurs when we die really… (Or maybe not).  The process of breathing is essential in that we will take apart the process of the breath and enable us to single out sections such as the in breath (inspiration, as in to be inspired too) and the out breath (to ex-pire).  However, there are still more parts to the breath that when we practice noticing and being with them the mind slows and things become very easy to put into focus.  This is a great technique to do when upset as it stops the storm of emotions long enough to collect our thoughts and not ‘lose’ our minds.    Of course this takes more practice and that is what we will begin in this session.  Once we have the technique and can give it a little practice it makes sense that we would get better at it and better at seeing our minds as they are, much like a river.  If our focus is too broad it is but a blur but we can slow down our minds and focus on one point of a wave.  Once we can do that the realization that the thoughts are part of the whole mind and that it is a temporary and changing thing…

Think of the breath like you would see yourself throwing a ball straight up into the air.  It goes up with some effort, then pauses for a moment.  Just a single little bit of time.  That is where this magic happens.  This is where we can ‘stop’ and see.  The ball does not hang in the air for long and neither do our thoughts really.  Once we practice a little we start to see that.  Then we can have the realization that the mind is ever changing and temporary, our thoughts are ‘karmic’ dependent on cause and effects.  Other states of what is known as the five aggregates. (Form, feeling, mental formations, perceptions and consciousness)

 

  1. Beginning Mindfulness and Meditation: This hour long workshop will give you a whole range of practices to begin and develop. We will begin with a description and discussion of the history of Buddhist meditation and then begin our practice with “Anapanasati” (mindful breathing) and progress to mindful movement, mindful walking (walking meditation), mindful eating and drinking as a way to ‘be’ in the moment.

We will go over sitting technique as well as how to set up an area and time at home for lone practice. Where to look, how to sit, what to think, and how to not think will all be covered. To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Tactical Mindfulness. Tactics: “Aiming at an end beyond the immediate action” “Adroit planning…” as in skillful use of hands or mind.
    In this session we will discuss personal tactics and how we can begin to change our inner strategy and develop a way to ‘be like water’. Water never anticipates an action, it merely acts when appropriate. A small pebble makes a small wave, a boulder makes a large one. This is an essential aspect of our daily success in life itself. Like water, after the stone has splashed, the water again will become still and clear.
    This is a sitting technique to just let things BE as they ARE, without judgement. Seems like regular meditation doesn’t it? This is a little more self-guided, we use some imagery and some rehearsal, just like in tactical training. What you practice is what you do. Here, though we wish to gradually develop compassion and wisdom instead of blind action. This process can give you extra time when things go asunder, when they seem to fall apart. Instead of re-acting, you ACT appropriately and instantaneously, going back to your calm SELF sooner, leaving that trouble behind and below…
    Great for emergency workers and security forces where instant decisions mean so much. A wise and compassionate action will always be an improvement over an emotional or unprepared action. Think about that.

To prepare, bring with you curiosity, an open mind, comfortable clothes, and a willingness to try.  Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.

 

  1. Karma and time travel. “If you want to know your past life, look at your present condition.
    If you want to know your future life, look at your present actions.”― Padmasambhava.  These are the words of the patriarch of Buddhism in Tibet, Vajrayana.  No wiser words can be found than these.  This is a great and very deep meditation.  Our intention is to look at our own time line and see our past, and our future which is yet to be made.  It is said that our actions now create our past, not our future because the future has nothing, it is not yet.  But by our current moment we create a good (auspicious) past.  Basically, that is the law of Karma in the Buddhist sense.  Our ability to change it occurs now.  Of course, we will learn about the five factors of karma; kamma Niyama- the order of act and result, Utu Niyama, the actions of physics, chemistry (nature).  Bija Niyama, the actions of seeds (biology) we see this as literally ‘you reap what you sow’.  That orange seeds create orange trees etc.  Citta Niyama, the order of mind or the processes of consciousness.  (This is where ‘Law of Attraction’ occurs) and finally Dhamma Niyama or the spiritual laws of ‘the way’.  This would bring us back to the existence of no self that is independent and eternal… etc (Annattakalana)  The intention is to gain some insight and understanding of our own actions and Karma (kamma) so that we can begin to develop some wisdom and really begin to change the world for better, not only for us but for all beings…

 

  1. Movement, guided and spontaneous. The Kriyas (movements, similar to the Latin ‘chorea’  (choreograph) We can see this in disease states, i.e. Huntington’s Chorea… and in St. Vitas Dance… is movement that is either subtle or very dramatic and a release of energy.   Waves of energy, rocking, coolness or warmness stretching and other movements of the hands are common and able

 

Here is what you are apt to lose; a sense of urgency, worry, depression, stress, tightness, stiffness (of the mind), disconnect, the Monkey Wild Mind… Here is what you are apt to gain; Understanding, connection (with yourself and others), calm, peace, focus, success.