Introduction to the Program
In this six-week course, meditation comes alive through a growing capacity to release our habitual entanglement in the stories and plans, conflicts and worries that make up the small sense of self, and to rest in awareness. In meditation we do this simply by acknowledging the moment-to-moment changing conditions—the pleasure and pain, the praise and blame, the litany of ideas and expectations that arise. Without identifying with them, we can rest in the awareness itself, beyond conditions, and experience our natural lightness of heart. Developing this capacity to rest in awareness nourishes concentration, which stabilizes and clarifies the mind, allowing us to see things as they are.
Program participants may expect to learn specific meditation and mindfulness practices, and incorporate them into their daily lives as a routine means to respond to the challenges in living stress-filled lives.
Participants may learn to better manage stress, fear, anxiety, depression and improve their coping skills related to illness, pain and stress-related conditions. Mindfulness practices that address communication styles enhance relationships and improve quality of life.
Course content includes guided mindful exercises, the object of which is to develop non-judgmental, moment-to-moment awareness of the relationship between the body and mind, and to acknowledge the physical sensations and thoughts or feelings as they arise. To facilitate an understanding of the rationale for practice and increase motivation for skeptics, information about the brain processes involved in meditation is introduced on a beginner’s level.