Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Syllabus, Winter 2009

This meditation class is a ten week course. It is recommended that You come to all of them, as they will build on what was learned the previous week.

This Course will focus on traditional meditation techniques from the far east. Many of the practices will have origins in Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, or Pre-Buddhist/Hindu Tantrism. This class will not require any particular belief system. You can be whatever religion you like and still derive benefit. This class will focus on the practical and transformative aspects of these traditions, and not the dogmatic or philosophic. Some stories and mythology from these traditions may be utilized, as they seem to have been designed specifically to illustrate points useful to the meditator. Keeping an open mind will help you to derive the greatest benefit.

Please keep a meditation journal (notebook) and bring it with you to class each session.
Please silence cellphones, or just leave them in the car.
Please don't wear strong perfumes.
Please be on time, (5-10 minutes early is on time), and refrain from excessive talking.

Topics for each class will be posted at least 24 hours before the class. You are welcome to print out the class topics and make notes on the printouts. Note taking is recommended.

This Syllabus is a work in progress and may be updated at any time to better serve you.

Week One

Covering the Basics
  • Introductions, "Hi, I'm Daniel"
  • How to get the most out of this class
  • What is meditation? What is not meditation?
  • This is an Inside Job
  • The necessity of motivation, interest, and curiosity
  • Creating 'intentions' to cement our motivations
  • Grounding into the body
  • How to sit and use cushions. No, your legs won't stay asleep forever.
  • The Basics of Shamata and Anapana Sati Practice
  • Practice Time (Anapana Sati)
Week Two

The Inside Job Discussed, dealing with the tension within.
  • You must do your own work
  • Noone else can do your work
  • You can't do anyone else's work
  • What is meant by 'work'?
  1. dealing with your inner tensions
  2. letting go of/facing your fears
  3. letting go of/living without your addictive patterns
  4. getting comfortable being inside your body in the present moment.
  • What happens when we meditate?
  1. we must collect our attention, this takes loving patience, puppy story
  2. finally there is some quiet
  3. we begin to notice tension, sometimes physical, sometimes psychic
  4. our unlived life comes forward for attention
  5. practice holding a loving space to witness
  6. housecleaning

Week Three

Sound Meditation

This week we will focus on sound meditation. This will include an introduction to sanskrit, the use of mantra, and also silent meditation on subtle sound.

  • The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
  • Start with one pointed awareness, and slowly expand to hold more
  • Practice time (intention, Anapana Sati, open to mindfulness of moment)

Mindfulness of the Body
  • continuum of pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant
  • Reactions of attraction, aversion, and ignorance
  • Training our ability to stay centered
  • Moving from good/bad to descriptive (long, hot, sharp, red)
  • Practice time (intention, Anapana Sati, open to mindfulness of the body)
Week Four

Mindfulness of the Emotions

  • Unacceptable Emotions vs. Acceptable Emotions
  • Coping Mechanisms and the Battering Cycle
  • The problems with aggression and repression
  • Skillful use of emotion

Week Five

Mindfulness of the mind

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