About our Meditation Meetups - Mondays, Wednesdays, and Weekend Hikes

From: steve b.
Sent on: Saturday, July 11, 2009 8:28 PM
The meditations and other events are free.

Meditation : We have regular Meditation Meetups where we teach and practice Vipassana (buddhist), Zen, and other methods.

Spiritual Teaching: We have two teachers to learn from. Meditations teachers Larry Baker (Vipassana) and Sam Gabriel (Zen) both have over 30 years meditation experience.

Weekend Hikes : Sam Gabriel leads weekend hikes at places like : Mission Trails Regional Park, Torrey Pine State Park, and, the Beaches, that include meditations and Zen talks / discussions.

At both Monday and Wednesday night locations we have extra floor cushions, and, chairs and couches to sit on.

On Mondays there is a little introduction on how to meditate before we start, then we meditate for 45 minutes (the meditation is partially guided), then Larry talks a bit and answers questions, then we drink tea and socialize.

On Wednesdays we sit silently for 30 minutes, then we walk quietly for 10, the we sit silently again, then Sam talks, then we have tea and socialize.

You do not need to RSVP to attend any meditations. We sometimes turn off the RSVP setting (it says meetup closed) so just show up if you want ... To be safe check your emails (from this meetup group) or the schedule here to make sure we did not have to cancel.

We meditate just about every Monday and Wednesday (sometimes Sam does not put his Wednesday group up until a few days before because he likes to include what his talk is about in the announcement).

Both Mondays and Wednesdays are good for beginners. If you do not meditate yet and would like to practice before you come you can do this: Sit in a chair quietly and comfortably and keep your spine straight and back muscles relaxed. Close your eyes and start to notice your breathing. Feel your stomach as it rises and falls with each breath. Keep noticing your stomach rising and falling until you notice yourself thinking. This thinking will be taking your attention away from your stomach. Calmly identify what type of thought it is by saying to yourself something like: "worry" or "fantasy" or "planning" or "fear" or "doubt" or "joy" or "sorrow" or "anger" etc. Then gently let the thought go and return to the sensation of breathing in your stomach. Keep doing this and over time lengthen the amount of time you meditate in this way. The main goals for this type of meditation are to develop the ability to: 1) concentrate (in this case on your breath); 2) notice your thinking, and 3) gently let thoughts go. Being still with a quiet peaceful mind is not the goal. A quiet peaceful mind is more of a side effect that will come with time (and then leave again :). After all, we are humans and not the perfect little creatures that we keep hoping for.

In a nutshell, Buddha?s Three R?s of meditation are:

Recognize, Release and Return.

BUT to really master them?

find a teacher!

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