#1 I can’t make all of the sessions.
This is by far the number one thing I hear from students trying to figure out if now’s the time for them to take the 8 week program. Here’s what I tell them every time:
Meditation is just too important to put off, even for just a few months. It just is.
And truth be told, there’s rarely an absolutely perfect time for anything. So I ALWAYS try to encourage students to join us now rather than later, so that at least they can get practicing, get reducing their stress, get their minds a little more stable, and then a few of The Mindful Center’s core policies can help as well.
First, we offer the same 8 week MBSR class 3 times a week at 3 different locations. (Check our schedule here…) So say you signed up for the Wednesday class, but on week 4 your daughter has a recital that night. Would the Thursday evening or Saturday morning class work for you that week? If so, all of my students are welcome to float between classes as best suits your schedule, you don’t even have to let us know.
Or maybe week 2 you’re out of town all week and would miss all 3 options? You can always take any missed classes in the next 8 week program. Also, the course book is designed in a way to support your practice even if you have to miss a session or 2. And all of our instructors always shows up for classes at least 30 minutes early, so you can always come a little early to the next session and let them get you up to speed.
Lastly, if you start MBSR, but then your schedule absolutely explodes and you end up missing more than half the program, you can enroll in the next class at no additional charge. This last option needs some discussion with the Instructor, but…
Please know that The Mindful Center is devoted to trying to bring you benefit through the practice of meditation, so anything we can do to help get you in a program and practicing, we will do.
The most important piece is not to wait…it’s just too important. It’s your life we’re talking about, and learning how to more skillfully use your mind to bring benefit to yourself and those around you. Too important to let it loiter in the land of tomorrow.
#2 I can not sit still and even thinking about meditating for 20 minutes gives me the weeby-jeebies.
Think of the 8 week program as a training program for your mind, much like a mountain climbing class. If on week one we tried to take you to the Himalayas for a hike, most of us probably wouldn’t make it. So we start with some small hills, get to know the tools and basics of mountain climbing, and then over the weeks move into some broader hikes as suits your skill level. This is exactly how MBSR is designed. We don’t start sitting still like statue for 30 minutes. We start with a lying down meditation, that for most people feels really relaxing right from the get go.
And the truth of meditation is that you actually don’t need to be able to sit still to practice. We do eating meditations, walking meditations, moving meditations using gentle yoga poses…sitting meditation is just one form of practice, and even in that practice it’s perfectly fine to move and adjust to keep your body comfortable.
In MBSR we try to meet you where you are, and to offer you the teachings and the practices, and then you choose what resonates most with you. There are multiple paths of practice and all paths are precious.
#3 I’ve tried to meditate in the past and just can not stay with it…why will this be any different?
The truth is we need a teacher. Live, in person, standing in front of us, ready to shake our hands, answer questions, inspire, encourage, motivate. For most of us our familiar thought patterns are just too entrenched to really be able to create change without some kind of a teacher. And think about it, we get training in a whole lot of other areas of our lives that we deem important. You want to be a doctor or an architect? You’d never try to figure it out on your own. You’d get a teacher. You want a peaceful, centered happy mind? Same thing.
And the other piece of the puzzle MBSR supplies is a sense of community. The 3 things you need to develop an effective meditation practice are 1. a teacher, 2. the teachings, and 3. a community. MBSR offers all three for 2 full months, and these three things together can help us make the breakthroughs in our practice – the aha moments – that we need to start and stay on the path of practice.Read More
“After taking MBSR the first time, I learned so much and was so excited to really become a meditator! And then that same life pull of too much work and not enough time happened, and I found myself losing my practice. It was a relief to take it a second time…got me right back into Read the full article…Read More
In college, a man scaled the outside of my three-story brownstone and broke in to my apartment. He held me captive and threatened me before I was able to escape. I wasn’t physically harmed, and soon after they caught the guy and put him in jail. I received my first lesson in mindfulness in the days that followed this event…lessons that I have never forgotten and that have made me into the person I am today.Read More
It happens to all of us. We want to meditate, we know it’s good for us, and we feel a heckuva lot better when we do. But we stop. Days, weeks, months go by, and soon, when we start to even think about meditation, we get an uncomfortable pang in our heart….there’s another thing I should be doing but aren’t. And soon, meditation gets coupled with this sense of discouragement.Read More
It seems extraordinary that the one time in our lives we are supposed to be fancy-free of stress is when we are kids, and yet the US is seeing an alarming rate of kids rating their stress as something they ‘experience on a daily basis and that consistently interrupts the flow of their lives.’ But really, it makes sense. The more stressed the parents, the more stressed the kids, and it seems impossible to find anyone who isn’t stressing these days.Read More
When ABC News Nightline called to say they were interested in doing a segment on the Mindful Eating program I teach at UNM Center for Life, of course we were overjoyed. Does anyone else out there think that the way we approach food and weight issues needs an overhaul in this country?Read More
Everyone is hushed in the meditation room….up here it’s called a zendo. We are at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe on a four day retreat entitled Zen Brain: Consciousness and the Fundamental Nature of Mind. Some pretty serious stuff. And we are currently preparing for a talk by Dr. Cliff, a PhD from the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis.Read More
There are two ways to drink a cup of tea. One way we drink, the liquid goes down, the mind registers a glimpse of taste and warmth, and then we go back about our business. Almost like a car in traffic slowing down for an old lady to cross in front of us. We register Read the full article…Read More