On Meditation Workshop this Weekend. Message from John Halpern

Dear Friends of the Mystic Yoga Shala,

It’s a special occasion when a meditation teaching is offered at any center. I want to thank Amy Dechen Zezulka and the Shala staff for making this weekend workshop possible.

Here are the latest developments for the weekend.
1.    WORKSHOP SYLLABUS: The Saturday workshop will introduce participants to “Shinay” or calm abiding meditation. We will explore conducive, mental attitudes and motivation for meditation. Correct, alternative sitting postures, length of meditation sessions for beginners, following the breath practice, energy channel purification and yogic breath retention, outer and inner concentration techniques and a check list for maintaining a pure and alive meditative experience. Further, we will explore “Tonglen” or a compassion meditation practice that enables us to send healing and nurturing energy to others, through our altruistic intention and the actual awareness of our universal connection with all living beings.

2.    GROUP FEEDBACK DURING THE WORKSHOP: Over the past 2 years, in New York, we have had more than 200 hours of Shinay practice sessions. We find that individual feedback after each meditation session (3-7 minutes of shinay practice) empowers each of us to learn from each others’ experiences and questions. Everyone has an authentic experience to draw from and to contribute. Collectively, this group feedback supports each of us to hold our concentration and develop meditative skills when we practice. Because our normal grasping minds project an infinite display of thoughts, emotions and sensations when we attempt to meditate, these feedback sessions help us to use these “distractions” as tools for sharpening our minds. The "post meditation" experience in daily life is very much enhanced, as a result.

3.    REGULAR ONGOING MEDITATION SESSIONS: I’ve asked my friend, Lama Rachael Wood, to join the 2 workshops as an observer, with the intention of initiating ongoing meditation practice sessions at the center. Rachael is an ordained Tibetan Buddhist lama and a Boston resident. If the Shala community expresses interest in an ongoing supportive meditation routine, this is an opportunity to start.

Dechen has sent an email asking everyone to please bring a comfortable blind-fold to be used for a short time during the workshop, and a postcard or two of personal value and meaning. For those attending both days, the price is reduced from $60 to $50. Thank you.

If anyone has any questions about the workshop, please feel free to call or write me: John Halpern 917.991.9279 / john@mdsfilms.com

I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity of sharing Shinay with you.

All the best!