So, you've heard that meditation is good for you. You've looked into the research that says it helps with anxiety and depression, promotes better sleep, keeps you healthy in body and mind, enables you to manage stress and focus better, as well as to think creatively, relax at will and calm an overactive mind.
In other words, you are convinced that you should meditate, but:
- you don't know where to start
- you dont' have the time (or discipline)
- you can't sit cross-legged (and get restless, agitated or scared when you close your eyes or have to sit still)
- you can't switch off your mind
- you've tried it before and found it boring (or fell asleep, or didn't 'get' it, or couldn't work out what you were meant to be doing, or just found that nothing much happened)
- you already meditate but wish you could go deeper
- you were warned off it by some friendly minister who insisted that meditation is blasphemous and evil (yes, that does happen!)
The Melbourne Meditation Centre's online meditation course allows you to learn how to meditate from the comfort of your own home, with access to an experienced meditation teacher and everything you need to make learning meditation easy and enjoyable.
The course presents meditation in a simple, practical manner free of extraneous beliefs, jargon or dogma. You won’t have to adopt a new philosophy or change your beliefs or lifestyle. And instead of introducing you just to the techniques of one particular tradition we'll explain and guide you through meditations of all kinds. This gives you the opportunity to find out what works best for you.
More importantly, you'll be taught the 'mechanics' of meditation — how and why it actually works. This gives you the freedom to adapt meditation to your own unique temperament, lifestyle and needs. When you understand the principles behind meditation you don't need to force or discipline yourself to meditate — you can adjust the technique to suit yourself.
The course is divided into six lessons. The recommendation is that you complete one lesson per week, but you can go faster, or slower, if you want to. You'll get a comprehensive guide to meditation which aims to teach you the necessary skills from the ground up. You'll also have access to a range of guided meditations which you can listen to or download. You'll be introduced to spot meditations which you can use to destress wherever you are (in as little as 30 to 60 seconds), as well as formal practices designed for deeper relaxation, better health and self awareness.
Should you have questions about — or challenges with — any of the exercises, you can email Matthew Young, director of the Melbourne Meditation Centre. And once you've completed the six lessons, you'll have everything you need to continue meditating on your own.
I imagine that you'll be surprised at just how easy it is to learn to meditate, partly because the course will show you how to easily overcome the common difficulties meditators experience, and also because the lessons are designed to take you step by step, from short and easy foundational practices, through to the tried and tested techniques that can lead to all the benefits listed above. You won't be required to sit for hours on end, or to master any esoteric practices, nor will you be required to empty your mind of thought or to decipher vague and complicated instructions. If you can breathe, or enjoy listening to a piece of music, you have all the skills needed to benefit.