Lifestyle and Meditation Club Overview and Philosophy

Club meeting overview and philosophy- (october31, 2013 )

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Page 1: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Lifestyle and Meditation Club

Overview and Philosophy

Page 2: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Club Overview• Philosophy of the mind and reality• Addressing the points raised by Philosophy• Improving lifestyle based on this knowledge• Encouraging general dialog concerning the

Philosophy and meditation• Discussion about self-awareness, and its key

role in leading a more peaceful life• Techniques for meditation• Preparing for meditation

Page 3: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

What this club isn’t about (Disclaimer)

• Advocating any belief or belief system as final. Rather, we encourage the individual to foster a healthy curiosity.

• Addressing problems an individual may face personally. The goal is to present information which you might consider is applicable to your life, and in what way.

• Providing advice for anything outside the scope of this club.• Meditation will improve your ability to address the problems

you face, but will not automatically solve them for you.

Page 4: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Meeting Schedule and Process

• Club will meet every Thursday (SH 20, 12:30 – 1:45) and Friday (NAC 1/201 5:00 – 6:30), except on holidays and stuff

• We will E-Mail everyone on the mailing list with any updates or changes

• The schedule of events is posted on our website: asingh34.wix.com/meditation-ccny

• Most meetings will follow the pattern of Philosophy and Meditation• Some meetings will focus exclusively on one• It is important to follow the guidelines for meditation

Page 5: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Preparing for Meditation• You should not be under considerable mental, emotional, or physical

stress or imbalance. These should be addressed prior to meditation in compliance with professional medical advice.

• You should not have any appointments to keep or duties to fulfill during the meditation practice or immediately after. Also, all artificial distractions (technology) should be kept to a minimum.

• You should not have engaged in non-negligible physical exercise shortly prior to meditation. Also, you should try not to engage in non-negligible physical exercise immediately after meditation (at least 30 minutes)

Page 6: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Preparing for Meditation• You should not have consumed a full meal shortly prior (less than 2 hours)

to meditation. This is to ensure that the you are less likely to fall asleep during meditation.

• You should not meditate on an empty stomach. This is to ensure that the you are not distracted by hunger during meditation. If you have not eaten for a considerable length of time prior to meditation, then some light snacks will do (e.g. juice and a light sandwich), followed by a 15 to 30 minute gap before beginning meditation.

• You should not try to meditate after just having woken up or when considerably tired. In either case, it will be difficult to bring the mind to a calm focus as is needed during meditation.

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Preparing for Meditation• It is best to wear comfortable clothing. • You should use the bathroom as needed prior to

meditation. You should also make sure your nostrils are clear to facilitate better breathing. In addition to being a source of distraction, it prevents the practitioner from a deeply fulfilling meditation session.

• If possible, you should have some regular exercise routine, as during meditation breathing slows down and oxygen circulation should be optimum. This may be complimented or replaced with yoga.

Page 8: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Preparing for Meditation• You should meditate consistently at the same

time and place. This time and place should afford a calm, quiet, and comfortable environment. This is important as varying the time and place will become another source of distraction.

• Meditation is best done in seclusion.

Page 9: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Why Do We Need to Meditate?• We perceive and learn from the world around us through our

minds, level and quality of perception, and beliefs.• Inaccuracies or distortions in these can make it difficult for us

to see things as they are, causing inconvenience down the road. Examples include, sadness, anger, fear, optimism, pessimism, etc.

• In and of themselves, there isn’t necessarily anything “wrong” with them. They are expressions of your choices so far. It’s a matter of what you want, and that too is up to you.

• Our beliefs and perception, determine how we see the world and what we make of it. For example, a friendly person will always (or mostly) be friendly with other people because that is how they perceive them (or things) to be. Again, this isn’t good or bad, it’s a matter of choice, which is perfectly ok.

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Why Do We Need to Meditate?• How you choose to view the world, however, will determine

what you notice and don’t. It will affect your interpretations of events you observe and what you take from them.

• Although, every situation has so much more than what we notice. We may arrive at conclusions from our limited or biased perceptions, but we must consider how useful such conclusions will be.

• Indeed, you will eventually see that it’s better to do without beliefs, but that’s for later. Though, some basic beliefs will always be helpful such as it’s dangerous to touch hot objects.

• Conclusions from a limited perception can become cause for stress.

• Stress is a major source of distortion in our perception. It also is the cause for many physiological conditions.

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Why Do We Need to Meditate?

• How can we keep a distortion free perception?

• Have you ever had those moments when you’re “spaced out” and you suddenly have a moment of deep insight?

• If you remember, that happened when you were completely relaxed and in this “easy-going” state.

• Being relaxed (or stress-free) allows us “to be” and observe without distortion.

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Why Do We Need to Meditate?

• One of the primary benefits of meditation is that it greatly reduces stress.

• It also helps bring about a state of calm or stillness, which allows you to examine yourself and the world around you with clearer “eyes.”

• It will help you see things that were outside your awareness before. In effect, it allows you to identify distortions and inaccuracies in your beliefs and perceptions.

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How can we Meditate?• Everything you do is meditation. It varies only in

degree and quality. Examples include drawing, walking, studying, listening to music, and meditating. Anything that focuses the mind.

• We can meditate better by consciously setting time aside for meditation.

• The best form of meditation is the kind which is commonly associated with the term “meditation.”

• There are many techniques for meditation. Some of the simpler include, breath awareness, point awareness, self-awareness, and chanting.

Page 14: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

How can we Meditate?• In this club we will only focus on the first three.• The easiest form for beginners is chanting and

point awareness. These two serve mainly to help train the mind, although they carry the full benefits of meditation.

• We will always begin with regulating the breath to calm the mind and body and bring them to a relaxed state.

• The meditation practice should proceed as follows.

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How can we Meditate?• You should begin all meditation practice assuming a relaxed, yet

rectilinear, seated position, and ensuring that there is no physical, mental, or emotional tension present.

• This is best accomplished by becoming consciously aware of the tension and then slowly relaxing it.

• You should then proceed to take a few deep breaths to help bring an overall state of calm relaxedness and to ensure that your breathing is relaxed and regular.

• During meditation you may notice thoughts, sensations, emotions, or tension you hadn’t noticed before. You should calmly bring your attention back to the meditation (except if the technique used is self awareness), letting whatever it was that came up to pass on its own.

• The goal is never to resist these experiences but to let them happen while choosing to keep to your meditation. If you feel an experience is considerably intense, then you may wish to address that first.

Page 16: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Side note on the importance of Breath

• Breathing (well) is very important. It is the only “regulator” you have that can address your mind, body, and sense of well being simultaneously.

• Consciously breathing well will serve to ground you and bring your awareness back to the here and now.

• If you wanted to take just one thing from this club, it should be the decision to always consciously breath well (without losing awareness of your surroundings).

• Breath will be a recurring theme throughout the philosophy discussed at the club.

Page 17: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Meditation Techniques• Breath Awareness: Bring awareness to your

breathing and keep it there.• Self Awareness: You should start by becoming

aware of your body in a systematic manner, beginning at the head, then the eyes, ears, nose, neck, left arm, left hand, right arm, right hand, chest, left leg, left foot, right leg, and right foot.

• Choose to become aware of any tension, pain, or sensations present at that part. In the case of tension, try to relax it; otherwise, observe and then move on after some time.

Page 18: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Meditation Techniques• Finally, when you have “cycled” awareness throughout

the body, bring your awareness to the mind. Endeavor to simply notice what thoughts or emotions are present in the spirit of only wanting to observe or become aware. Let these thoughts or emotions pass of their own accord, while keeping conscious awareness.

• Contact or Point Awareness: Place your index finger on a small non-distracting object (such as an eraser) and bring awareness to the contact that will then exist. Alternatively, you may choose to “look” at a point directly in front of you, slightly above horizontal level with your eyes closed. This alternative should not be practiced if you experience difficulty arranging you gaze as such.

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Meditation Techniques

• Chanting: Though we will not practice this type of meditation, you may choose to try it independently. You should chant a simple word or phrase of your choice audibly, in a whisper, or mentally. Some suggestions for chanting words are Love, Peace, I am, Om.

Page 20: Club meeting  overview and philosophy-  (october31, 2013 )

Next Week

• More about the mind• Beliefs and how they affect our lives• Things which can cause distortions in

the mind or perception• Addressing these causes• Meditation Practice