Personalizing Your Practice

Woman meditating on rocks at the beach

When I started meditating a long time ago, I thought there was one way to meditate. I was taught to put my attention on my breath and just watch it with my crazy mind, until I learned to accept whatever unexpected visitor, as Rumi said in the Guest House, came to take my attention off the breath. This was how I taught meditation as well and how I personally meditated for several years.

Eventually I started encountering other teachers who taught me other ways to meditate, such as open awareness meditation. These are all mindfulness meditation practices, and squarely in the direction of what we teach at InsightLA.

I’ve spent the last several years learning the Jhanas and through those experiences I’ve learned even more ways to meditate.

In this class, which I first developed as the Director of Mindful USC as a second level mindfulness class, students get the opportunity to learn about nine different meditation practices. I decided this class would be interesting and useful for people at InsightLA.

I call this class Personalizing Your Practice since it gives you the opportunity to try out other ways to meditate to see if one or more different ways works better for you than the standard breath meditation.

So, each week you will experience one or two different meditation practices. But you will also learn a new technique for gaining more concentration in your practice. Finally, each week we look at the obstacles to deeper meditations. I end each class with a different contemplation for the week. These contemplations are meant to ground you, unblock your mind, and provide insights into your world.

I provide guided meditations for each major style I teach. These are on SoundCloud, which students will easily access.

Mindfulness meditation is a wonderful practice, and I am thankful I was first exposed to it during a very early retreat with Trudy Goodman. It took me years to learn that the practice was not one size fits all. Students in this class will learn in five weeks what it took me years to learn.

The class is meant to be fun, interesting, exploratory and useful. I hope to see you there.

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