A Few Days of Gratitude: Meditation Companions

handmade cards, collage artIt’s been a few weeks since I started facilitating two different meditation groups in town.  One meditation group would be a miracle.  So what does it mean that I’ve been blessed to play host to two of them?  An abundance of riches, it feels like to me.

The folks who gather at Lite for Life, a weight-loss center, are all new to meditation (except for my friend, Kim, the center manager).  Some have never tried it before and are a little nervous (Is this a cult?  Will we levitate?).  Some are testing the waters, dropping in a time or two, then leaving.  But since the group hasn’t met for very long, all that is in flux.  Which is right and proper.  It’s thrilling for me to help these folks learn a simple practice of mindfulness.  I’m honored to hold the space for them and field their questions.  That’s the one thing I’ve learned as a teacher —the teachings will rise naturally from the students’ experience of meditation.  There’s never any need to “prepare” a lesson.  Every session is new and different, and perfect for the people who are there.

The second group is an Unitarian Universalist Small Group.  We formed this more intimate group to gather each Sunday before the larger fellowship in order to meditate together and support each other in our spiritual search.  So far, the folks who have chosen to attend are all experienced meditators and have been practicing on their own for some time.  Sitting together in a group is new to most, and the differences and benefits have surprised and delighted everyone.  Again, I’m humbled and honored to be chosen as the facilitator—at least for the time being.  I imagine we’ll start passing around the leadership fairly quickly, as all these folks have so much to offer.

Grateful doesn’t begin to encompass what I feel about these two groups.  Teaching meditation is a calling.  When I told my psychiatrist that I was about to start this, the first question she asked me was, “How much are you going to charge?”  That shocked me.  But since I’m always going on about how poor I am, I thought I’d better take a look at that question.  Around the same time, a friend and I took a tour of the Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa.

I was a little shocked to learn that it costs $1500 to be properly trained in Transcendental Meditation.  I understand that there are different methods and practices, but that seemed extreme to me.  I understood then why my shrink thought I should be charging money for teaching.  But, in my tradition, meditation is taught freely.  It’s a practice and skill that is so beneficial to one’s body and mind, that everyone should have access to it.  At least that’s what I was taught.  And it settled my mind to make that clear.

Teaching and facilitating meditation groups is a skill I’m privileged to provide.  I enjoy the practice of teaching as much as the sit itself and know that I’m good at this Work.  What a blessing to serve and be part of a community again.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. littlesundog
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 11:37:26

    What a wonderful view, “in my tradition, meditation is taught freely.” Not that it is the same, but when my garden produces more of a bounty than I can use, I distribute it freely with family, friends and neighbors. It never occurs to me to sit up town at the farmer’s market to sell my abundance. It feels good to offer help or fulfill a need for others. I think it’s wonderful to pass on gifts and blessings.


  2. Kitty
    Nov 26, 2012 @ 11:22:45

    And… perhaps you simply do a Love Offering at your meditation sessions? Allowing the flow of abundance to include receiving and giving is a powerful thing! Just a thought.

    Love you.


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