What we're about

Welcome to our meditation and discussion meetup. We're a group of friends who enjoy sitting together quietly for about 45 minutes and afterwards sharing personal and philosophical insights about a topic of interest.

Whether you're new to meditation and would like to learn how to, or you're a seasoned meditator with forty years of practice, sitting quietly with other meditators in a small group is a great way to deepen your experience of inner peace.

We meet in a private home in Monroe Township and seating is limited to 7 people. When you RSVP you will receive an email with the address and directions.

A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT MEDITATION:

There are thousands of ways to meditate. Most of them share a common theme: By not engaging with the activity in the mind over time that activity quiets down or disappears. During meditation, you practice "witnessing," i.e., not reacting to or not caring about the emotional promptings or thoughts that appear. This practice creates a healthier balance in your life between activity and stillness. Meditators often report feeling more peaceful, happy, and clear-thinking.

How I meditate: I sit in a chair with a high back that supports my head ("zero-gravity" recliner). I make myself comfortable, start a timer, and watch what happens.

I may drift into a quiet reverie (perhaps, hypnagogia). Or, a thought or emotion may come and go. Often, I get hooked in a thought stream or emotional reaction. Sometimes, noticing that, is enough to break the pattern.

Other times, the internal noise is as busy and alluring as when I'm not meditating. When that happens I use a "tool" to refocus from the thought- or emotional-chain-reaction onto a neutral "object of attention" I've learned over time doesn't trigger a reaction in me. I *inwardly* sense or "feel" the tactile up-and-down movement of the abdomen that accompanies breathing (i.e., the involuntary automatic diaphragmatic movement). Some people focus on the tactile sense of movement in the chest area that accompanies breathing.

Here are a few of the other popular "tools" or objects people have used for thousands of years to redirect or control the activity in their minds: Sensing the hands or feet, focusing on a picture or statue of a guru or deity, listening to a repeating inner or outer sound (e.g., a mantra), watching an inner light or the "third eye," etc., etc.

My general suggestion to anyone starting out is to use whichever "object" you're attracted to that keeps your attention from wandering. If it works it's the right tool to use.

In our meetups, each meditator is inwardly-focused and uses whatever meditation method she or he prefers. We don't have group guided visualizations. We simply sit together quietly for an hour or so before we start our lively conversations.

TOPICS WE'VE DISCUSSED IN OUR MEETUPS:

What do I want? Why do I want that? Why do I do what I do?

Should I believe my thoughts? What criteria or standard of evidence am I using to determine my thoughts are true? And why do I rely on that standard of evidence?

Illusion of Freedom or Choice: The Brain/Universe Is Creating "You" & "Your" Story.

Who or what am "I"? Is there a separate "me"? Where does that sense of "me" or "I" arise from? What about "me" is "mine"? Do "I" control "me"?

Is disappearance of the "me" possible? Would I still have preferences? Is this a contradiction?

More at:
https://twitter.com/hershstern

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