We suffer from the delusion that the entire universe is held in order by the categories of human thought. - Alan Watts
Copyright © 2016 Euthymia Secular Meditation. John Schreiber. All rights reserved.
Some things you should know before we begin.
There are many definitions about meditation, what it is, and what it's not. My own experience tells me this...
Meditation is a practice that helps us to bypass our subjective thinking and experience, a source of much stress, anxiety and even pain for some.
There are a number of effective intentional regulatory strategies involving both focus and relaxation that help us into a state of mindfulness and pure awareness. This awareness emerges through paying attention on purpose, and nonjudgmentally in the present moment.
And if you believe the science, this practice in self-directed neuroplasticity can have a lasting impact on our physical, mental and emotional health. One example is the reduction of chronic stress and cortisol (the stress hormone), which in turn boosts our immune system and improves our critical thinking and even improves sleep.
My Teaching Philosophy:
I teach only secular forms of meditation and techniques supported by research. And while I feel it is largely unnecessary, people are free to bring their own spirituality or cosmology to their practice.
With any new complex skill, we learn by building on fundamentals. If you've ever learned to juggle for example, you mostly like were not told to start with three balls, throwing them into air and catching them while a teacher gave instructions. You begin with one, then two and finally three. I teach meditation with this same academic approach know as scaffolding. The first ball (skill) is relaxation, the second is attention or concentration and the third is awareness. These three things are what make up the experience of meditation.
The Goal of Meditation:
Victor Frankl once said that "In between all stimulus and response there is a space". And in that space we have a choice.
Meditation can make that space seem wider and this is kind of freedom. There is no freedom in reactivity. But when we stop emotionally and compulsorily reacting to events and circumstances, we are empowered to be better, more intentional, and happier versions of ourselves.
With regular practice, we can improves our awareness of this power of choice, that over time results in a compound effect of increased self-awareness, better physical health, improvements to relationships, decision making and emotional maturity.