My intention is to create a space for authentic
meditation practice, adapted to
a diversity of goals and needs. I have benefited from the generosity of great
meditation teachers, many no longer living, and feel a need to "pay it forward." **
The group offers an open, friendly space for people to come together
in silence. For those who wish, I will offer basic instructions for the
classic meditation practices, shamatha
-- which can be loosely
translated as stabilizing
(or centering, or calming) meditation and
meditation-in-action (or insight meditation) in which we learn to observe
our thoughts, feelings and sensations from an attitude of openness.
I have been a psychologist since 1986, earning my doctoral degree from the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. But I have been a meditator longer than I
have been a psychologist.
In the 1960's, when I first searched for meditation instruction, there were few
resources available. I took instruction from any teacher or meditation group was
available wherever I was living at the time. As a result I practiced with a number of different group using a number of styles of meditation over the decades.
Some of the training I received was in Buddhist meditation, and I had experience with the Theravadin Vipassana, Japanese Zen, and Tibetan Mahayana schools of meditation. I was fortunate to meet and be inspired by world-class meditators, many of them now deceased,such as the Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe
Dorje, and some still living, including
Tenzin Gyatso (the Dalai Lama) and Professor Namkhai Norbu the Dzogchen master.
Some of my training was purely therapeutic and medical, as in the type used by
Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Stress
Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and
Society in Worcester.
In addition to meditation I have practiced other mind-body disciplines at various
times, including Pilates, Hatha Yoga, Tai Chi, Aikido, and breathwork, and have had both received and had training in various forms of body work, including Craniosacral.
As a psychologist I naturally became interested in the areas of overlap between meditation and psychotherapy as ways of dealing with stressful emotions.
Over the years I have encountered people who wanted the benefits of meditation but felt they were unable to actually meditate. Since there are many forms of meditation, it has been my experience that there is always some method or form that can be adapted to each type of individual so that they can be successful.
Although there are Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates classes available in the Twin Cities area, to the best of my knowledge no one is teaching basic meditation from a broadly integrated experience of classical meditation traditions. It is my goal to offer this, within the limits of my time and energy, as a free not-for-profit public service.
If you are interested in supporting this project in some way, by offering space, publicity, participation, or whatever, please contact me.