Recently I did a survey of my friends asking if they meditate now or have in the past, why they meditate, if they don't meditate, why not, and if they've tried it in the past but given up, why.
I was especially interested in why someone has never tried meditation and also if they have tried it but given up, why.
If people have never tried, the reasons ranged from:
- I think it's too hard
- I can't sit cross-legged!
- I could never quiet my mind
- I'm not a Buddhist
If they tried but gave up, the reasons were typically:
- Not sure what I'm doing
- I don't have the time
- Seems too weird for me
The problem seems to be that someone may have just bought a book on meditation and tried to follow the instructions in the book. Books are great, but everyone is different. The book may be too advanced or not in the style suited for you. Or they watched a YouTube video, or had a bit of instruction in a yoga class. Both of these are also fine, but again may not be the right method for you.
The problem may also be with misinformation. You don't need to be Buddhist to meditate! You don't have to sit cross-legged on the floor. Starting out, even 10 minutes a day can have benefits.
Sometimes people took a group meditation class (which can be great and I recommend) but it seemed like everyone else was more advanced and knew exactly what they were doing.
Or someone just thought meditation was just way too "exotic" for them.
So my method of teaching meditation takes these experiences into account. For beginners and those with little experience, I like to do personalized one-on-one instruction.
This can be done in your own home if you are most comfortable there, or you may meet at my home.
I like to do a first meeting where I can discuss and explore what the student hopes to get out of meditation and why they are interested in lessons, what is their background if any, with meditation, and what their concerns are. My lessons start with simple sitting meditation instruction (and yes, you can sit in a chair or anyway you want as long as you're relaxed and keep the back relatively straight) and move on to practices personalized for them; perhaps walking meditation, guided meditations, or other techniques. The goal is to provide the student with a meditation practice that they are comfortable and happy with. As they gain experience, we can move on to more advanced practices, again based on their needs and desires. Eventually they may also incorporate group meditation or even retreats. At the very least we will establish a daily meditation practice.
As I meet with students, I'll explain any practice that we'll be doing, lead them through the practice, and afterwards answer questions and discuss the experience, and plan for future work. Individual sessions last for about one hour.
I recommend that lessons occur at least twice a month especially for beginners. More or less often can be scheduled as well.
If you are not in the Milwaukee/Waukesha area, contact me for the availability of lessons via Skype.
Corporate training can be done as well. Contact me for more information.
I also offer no cost group meditation sessions for any police or fire department.