Meditate More, Stress Less (August 2019 Newsletter)


Hello, don’t save this newsletter to read later. Spend a moment reading it NOW. Keep you eyes on the words and your mind on the contentsMeditation! It was my topic for the July newsletter article, and the bottom line was that your best meditation practice is as simple as staying constantly focused on the present moment. This month we look at it in practical terms.

We are sensory beings and our thoughts can easily be deflected to whatever triggers the senses at any point in time. But if you have experienced the deep silence and openness of meditation you may be searching for a way to replicate that moment over and over again. You can spend a lot of time and money going to the latest classes and groups that “teach” you meditation. There is nothing to be learned about the meditation practice itself. Many techniques can direct us in the process, helping to quickly reduce chatter in the mind known as ‘chitta vritti’ in yoga (see Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.2). Meditation is simply awareness with nobody and nothing present, especially not the practitioner with their thoughts, sensations, or feelings.

In Chapter 3 (Vibhuti Pada or Progression) of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, four qualities are required from the aspirant in order to succeed in their practice. These are dedication, zeal, constant and uninterrupted awareness, and perseverance.

Add to that a few other qualities described by Frances Vaughan, PH.D. (who researched the common ground between psychotherapy and spirituality). Meditation is not meditation without these: releasing negative emotions, effort and consistency, authenticity in expression resulting in self-trust (I call this transparency), insight and forgiveness of oneself, and love practiced in both giving and receiving.

To this mix of the old and the new directions, add freedom from one’s ego and the conditioning that makes up our interpretation of life experiences, and events and our oftentimes thoughtless responses. (Refer to Sutra 1.40)

At YWB we offer 10 different ways to practice meditation. These are simply methods. Try one or all, use one or switch as your needs change to allow you to grow into a deeper practice.

Learn more about the 10 methods i teach at YWB. This month let's walk the labyrinth together. It is simple, profound and magical!

Join us on Sunday, August 25th from 3 to 5pm, for ongoing sessions on Practical Meditation.



Chris Johnson