Mindfulness Meditation
    • Learning how our mind creates our world

Meditation Mach 2

by on 05 November

     I recently purchased the best book on meditation I’ve ever seen. It feels like a new ball game, and my “meditation batting average” is increasing.

     The book states that “meditation is a science, the systematic process of training the mind”. It sets out ten Stages or levels of meditation. For each Stage, there is a Goal, Obstacles to overcome, Skills to develop, and a description of what Mastery of that Stage represents. Each Stage includes detailed descriptions, graphics, and tips. The keys to making this happen, to move toward Stage Ten, are the following:

·  understanding the two forms of conscious experience which comprise mindfulness - paying attention and peripheral awareness.

· mastering Stage One - meditating daily unless some major problem prevents you, and working diligently when you do meditate.

· working to overcome Five Hindrances which can take us away from paying attention during meditation and daily life

     The author, John Yates, Ph.D. - a meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Buddhist tradition and former professor with degrees in neuroscience and physiology – sets out the ultimate goal of meditation:

When life is lived in a fully conscious way, with wisdom,

we can eventually overcome all harmful emotions and behaviour.

     There are earlier benefits of daily meditation, however:

· enhanced concentration, lower blood pressure, better sleep

· treatment of chronic pain, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders

· valuable insights into your personality, behaviours, and relationships, making it easier to recognize and change past conditioning and counterproductive     views that make life difficult

· greater awareness and sensitivity to others, which can help at work and in personal relationships

· increased emotional stability when confronting the inevitable stresses of life

     Since I began following this comprehensive meditation guide about a month ago:

· my meditations are much more interesting

· my mind wanders much less

· my sittings seem to pass much more quickly

· I’m feeling the effects during the day – more attentive and a bit calmer

     I’m starting to incorporate this approach to meditation in my 7week (8 evening) course on Meditation and Mindfulness, which is largely based on the wonderful curriculum developed by Jon Kabatt-Zinn. And, I’ve asked my students to give me feedback on their “meditation batting average” (MBA).

     Since Stage One of the meditation guide involves establishing a daily meditation practice, I’ve asked them to report anonymously the ratio of their days of meditation versus calendar days since the course began. In other words, every day is an opportunity to “hit the meditation cushion” (or bench or chair). How many days since the course began (the “meditation season”) did they succeed in hitting the ball (the cushion)?

     I’m really pleased that almost all of them are reporting. And, their average MBA over the first two weeks is .730! They’re on their way to winning the “World Series” of self-understanding and a peaceful mind.


     The Mind Illuminated:

A Complete Meditation Guide

Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science (2015)


1 comment

  • Philip

    I have been reading and working on my meditation and mindfulness practice for almost two years now. I am a participant in Peter's course this Fall because he provides the necessary source of answers to my many questions. What he says in this blog is all true. I "suffer" from the many aspects of life he describes - anxiety, depression, arthritis, stress, the lot, and meditation-mindfulness has been a significant help. I sleep better now, without the CPAP, I cast off stressors more easily, and I am much more sensitive to my being than ever before - I have to watch for hypochondria!! Thank you Peter for the enlightenment.

    Philip Monday, 07 November 2016 13:38

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