We got lucky with the weather and another great turnout! It was wonderful to see so many of you back for the second week and new faces as well. For those of you who couldn't be with us, we worked with the body as the focus of meditation and also revisited "open awareness" from week 1. Open awareness practice uses the awareness that we already have as a spacious container for whatever arises (thoughts, feelings, information through our senses) without blocking or resisting anything. Mingyur Rinpoche refers to open awareness as objectless meditation, where the mind is not focused on any one thing, but rather is just natural and open--aware of being aware.
By contrast, in object meditation, we work with our senses as the focus of meditation. At first we may encounter sensory information as distractions during meditation (loud noises, temperature, physical discomfort), in Joy of Living we learn to use the distraction itself as the object of meditation, a place to rest the mind. Rather than resist or block sensory information, Mingyur Rinpoche invites us to make friends with it.
Our homework this week is working with the body as the focus of meditation. The body scan is a common practice, moving your attention from the crown of the head slowly down across the body to your feet. Another way to use the body is to focus on physical sensations in the body--whatever you notice--temperature, tingling, areas of tension, pleasant sensations, unpleasant sensations--just working with whatever shows up in the body.
It might help to work with this 14 minute guided meditation "Body, Space, and Awareness" with Mingyur Rinpoche--a great daily practice!
We will be meeting at the same location on March 10th, PranaMoon Yoga at the Hat Factory in Peekskill, just off Route 9. These 6 sessions are freely offered. Donations of any amount are welcome.
Best wishes along your path,
Max Maksimik & Amy Reyer
Hudson Valley Meditation Practice Leaders