By: Josh Cohen, 889 Meditation Teacher
Like learning a new language or musical instrument, for many students beginning the practice of meditation can be a daunting task.
When we pause in our lives to meditate and investigate our nature we are immediately met with the thinking mind and the sensuous body. Our identity is so clearly connected to our thoughts and our feelings that our happiness becomes dependent on how they function and the feedback they provide.
Meditation invites us to take a deeper look into this mind/body phenomenon and observe the connection of how what we think directly influences how we feel in the body. And conversely, how feelings in our body directly influence the content of our thoughts.
We also learn how the mind becomes shaped by its past experiences which may cause us to mistake or inaccurately perceive what is happening in the present moment.
The habit patterns of attachment to pleasure and avoidance to pain are observed and by learning to weaken these bonds we gently move towards a more impersonal sense of being where our happiness becomes independent of what appears in our minds or how the body happens to feel in a given moment.
No matter how much we try to shape and set up our lives we are eventually faced with difficult and unwanted situations. Through regular practice a meditator is enabled to respond with more presence and skill when obstacles and loss occur and ultimately these challenges are seen as opportunities to develop equanimity.
And as a beginner with persistence becomes proficient in the musical scales and grammatic structure of a new language, the meditator begins to master the fluctuations of the mind and body and by doing so allows the song of clear being to always sing in the forefront of their experience.
In the talk that follows the philosophy behind the meditative process is explored. The discussion centers on the value of sitting with difficult experiences in our practice, highlighting how they help us to develop a strong and balanced mind.
The session also canvasses the influence of our environment on what we feel in a given moment and how as this understanding develops the distinction between inner and outer weakens allowing a more integrated and harmonious sense of being to flourish.
Josh teaches a Meditation Circle at 889 every Friday night from 7:00-8:00pm and runs our Beginner’s Club Meditation Program.