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Practicing Stillness Together by Tom Thompson

STILL. Perfectly still.

With a deep sense of joy, peace and well-being permeating every level of our being.

Being. Not doing. Just being.

This is Natural Meditation as shared at The Yoga Garden PBO every Sunday at 11 a.m.

Meditation has been researched over 2,000 times in over 500 universities around the world for the past 50 years. The scientific and medical research consistently shows that the regular practice of meditation produces brain wave coherence; stabilizes blood pressure; strengthens the immune system; reduces stress, anxiety, and depression; improves mental functioning; creates a happier, more positive attitude towards life; slows the aging process; dramatically decreases the fear of death; enhances the joy of living; increases self-confidence, creativity, spiritual faith, and awareness; and gives an enhanced sense of the unity of all life. And this is just the short list.

Meditation is simple, but not always easy. From an early age most of us have learned that if we want to get somewhere in life we need to stay focused, have clear goals, and work hard. But if we bring this attitude of effort to our meditation practice we won’t be able to meditate. Meditation occurs in an entirely different domain than the activities of our daily life. Meditation is being, not doing.

When we meditate we have to be willing to take our hands off the steering wheel of life for a little while and just let go and allow everything to be as it is. As our minds tend to have multiple control issues about almost everything, this is easier said than done, so we may gently focus our attention on one of the most natural, ongoing rhythms of life — our breath. Our breath naturally flows in and flows out all by itself, like gentle ocean waves.

As we meditate, we relax into this natural rhythm of our breath flowing in and flowing out. Our brain downshifts. As the brain hemispheres integrate and balance, our mind becomes more quiet. The stress and anxiety of our day-to-day life dissolves and a deep sense of peace and well-being permeates every level of our being. The cells of our body vibrate with energy and bliss. Regular meditation opens the doors to capacities most of us are not even aware we have.

Although many religious and spiritual traditions all over the world have practiced meditation for thousands of years, meditation transcends all traditions. We do not have to believe or accept anything to meditate, nor do we have to give up any beliefs we may cherish.

Although meditating alone on a regular daily basis is very important, weekly group meditation is deeply empowering. The transformative field of the whole group is much greater than the sum of its individual parts. In group meditation, something wonderful happens.

Every Sunday at 11a.m. at The Yoga Garden PBO, we have an open conversation about meditation, awakening, and related subjects. We end the hour with meditation instructions and about 20 minutes of meditation. Everyone is welcome. The only rule is to treat everyone with kindness and respect. Come join us!

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