Is meditation something you’ve tried in the past and found difficult, perhaps even felt you somehow failed at?
Does it sound like a great idea — you’ve read all of the articles and seen news stories on its benefits — but honestly can’t imagine sitting still for 5 minutes, let alone 20 or 30?
Maybe you have tried many different practices, always hearing you should choose one and stick with it, and somehow haven’t landed on one you could fully commit to? Here’s a program that will help you do that.
The Mindful Way: four weeks of instruction, inspiration and practice in mindful living, one-on-one or in a small group for maximum support.
I always say meditation is simple but not easy. The actual instructions are not hard to understand or follow, yet making the time to do it consistently and finding a practice you truly resonate with doesn’t always come from your first try. You may have books lining your shelves and get great comfort, support and insight from them, and still not have a dedicated practice yourself.
I get it. I’ve been there…meditating at the occasional workshop or for those few moments at the end of a yoga class. Devouring books by Pema Chodron, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield and many other prominent Buddhist teachers. All of that was wonderful. I learned a lot and was so inspired. But until I actually committed to getting my tush on my cushion each morning and began going on regular meditation retreats and then getting certified to teach, it only got me so far.
And that was never as far as I really wanted or knew I could go. Maybe not to total enlightenment, but definitely to greater equanimity and peace of mind and heart. Just like you can’t get to Carnegie Hall unless you “practice, practice, practice!”, you don’t gain the most delicious and nourishing benefits of meditation by reading books and thinking about it. (Sorry, I’ve tried it and found it simply doesn’t work that way.)
I first met Pattie Steffans when I joined a local writing group. Her warmth and sweetness drew me in right away, and we soon became fans of one another’s writing. After reading my book, she mentioned to me that she was interested in learning how to meditate. Though she had tried and “failed”’ in the past, she and her physician felt it would help her ease some stress related illnesses she was dealing with.
I told her that my approach was to help each person find their own way in to meditation, rather than align with one particular practice or dogma.
When I told her she could not fail and that the point was NOT to clear you mind of thoughts, she was ready to give it another try.
This deeply caring, lovely woman was living with immense challenges in her body and emotions. Through the instructions I gave and the various meditations she experienced, Pattie began to relax and feel this was actually something she could do. With joy, hope and persistence, she began to weave regular periods of practice into her daily life, or take a few moments to touch in whenever she felt a need. And the results have been nothing short of astonishing. Through conscientious use of what she was learning, she turned around a very serious health issue and became better able to deal with lingering pain from a tragic loss.
While she still feels sadness and grief over the loss of her daughter, she has learned through the practice to let everything be as it is — no additional suffering or resistance layered over it. This has given the sadness a fuller and more integrated quality, and she no longer fears getting swept off balance by huge waves of it, because she has a practice to hold her aloft.
More stunningly, the doctors have found her blood oxygen levels consistently stabilized to the point where she no longer needs to sleep with the assistance of a machine! After being told she would always need it, and having a strong hatred for both the machine and the sense of being dependent on it, she now has a powerful feeling of freedom and sovereignty over her health.
This is the potential power that a regular meditation practice offers.
By taking it to heart, learning to trust her own way, and taking refuge in the vast ocean of her being, Pattie has truly transformed her life. I’m honored and humbled to have been a catalyst for that.
Teaching meditation is a passion for me. Any time I can open a door and help someone walk through and find their way through the thicket of information and mis-information out there — not to mention their own very real challenge around finding the time and wherewithal to fit one more thing into their overstuffed lives — it is a gift.
Ready to benefit from finally creating (or getting back to) your own practice? (no currently scheduled classes — have a few friends who want to learn? We can create one that works for your group!)
Let’s have a conversation about how you can get a sustainable, enjoyable practice going. Email me HERE and I’ll gladly fill you in!