On Meditation at StoneWind
Meditation in some form is found in all ancient cultures and has always been associated with the human drive to be "better." The ancient methods emerged from a variety of spiritual traditions across the world and were part of the practitioner's path to spiritual growth, physical health, emotional peace, and ultimately enlightenment. In the past, meditators learned the form of meditation practiced in his/her spiritual tradition and had neither the scientific background nor the desire to understand the underlying reasons for the effects their meditative practices had over time. It was enough to know the effects of meditation would come as surely as the sunrise.
In our Age of Information with its emphasis on scientific understanding, the beneficial effects of meditation on health have been the subject of extensive scientific study. Researchers have documented the effects of meditation on specific areas of the brain, the immune system, the heart, and health in general. Such research has opened meditative practice to everyone no matter their spiritual tradition—or lack of one. Now the "how" of meditation can be taught as "technique," divorced from the root spiritual traditions from which the techniques arise, while those in search of a spiritual practice can still seek out the spiritual tradition that suits them and find within it a rich meditative tradition with all the attendant benefits.
In this eclectic environment, generations of practitioners have discovered not only that meditation has beneficial effects outside of any spiritual context, but why certain ancient techniques work to produce the results on the body and mind. With our abilities to study the meditator's physiology during meditation we have been able to unlock many of the scientific secrets for success underlying these ancient practices. In this new climate of investigation and use, the many forms of meditation have become valuable tools for achieving the quality of life we have learned is possible and have come to expect.
"Meditation" is a general term for a wide range of techniques by which practitioners consciously control and direct their attention so as to alter their states of consciousness. In general meditative techniques lead the practitioner to still the mind, emotions, and nervous system during the meditation, thus relieving day to day stress and bringing the physical body to a deep state of relaxation and rejuvenation. With consistent practice over time, meditators enjoy many cumulative positive effects on their physical and mental health. For those who find quiet sitting impossible, there are also more active forms of meditation through which specific physical activities are designed to bring the practitioner into closer resonation with the energies of his/her body or of the earth and from there to a deep state of relaxation and altered consciousness.
At StoneWind Institute the student can choose to learn various forms of meditation either as "techniques" or as introductions to spiritual practice. Our goal is to open knowledge and abilities for people to use in whatever ways are appropriate for themselves.
Learning to Meditate
Types of meditation are classified according to the technique employed to take charge and direct the mind's attention, whether through breathing, mantra repetition, movements, or visualizations, but in general Meditators can achieve a state of healing stasis using any of a number of different techniques, all of which have been proven, when used properly, to produce marked beneficial physical and psychological effects. Not all forms of meditation are appropriate or even beneficial for everyone, but everyone can find a meditative form that is healing, beneficial, and enjoyable if allowed to experience the different techniques. The goal at StoneWind Institute is to help practitioners find the meditative method most compatible with their individual needs and preferences.
To that end we offer a range of meditating experiences beginning with a 9 hour Introduction to Meditation that allows students to try several forms of meditation then concentrate on the one that feels most compatible. Weekend courses focused on a wider range of meditative forms or on one specific type are offered, as well as four and seven day Meditation Retreats. Students can begin with any format appropriate to individual schedules and interests.
Meditation: A One Day Introduction
Open to anyone interested in exploring meditation, this course is a one day introduction. The course begins with a brief discussion of the art and science of meditation, the goals and techniques of meditation across different cultures, and the physical and emotionals effects to be derived from meditation. Participants are then invited to experience three meditative formats (mantra, mindfulness, and breathing) with the purpose of helping everyone find a personally compatible form of meditation for use in ongoing meditative practice. Students are given time during the day to practice privately both in a quiet indoor area and outside on StoneWind's grounds.
8:30am to 6:00pm
Weekend Introduction to Meditation
Course designed for those who have had trouble meditating in the past. It presents meditation as an ancient "energy technology" that evolved in a variety of cultural formats, all of which have been proven to produce marked beneficial physical and psychological effects in the practitioner. Course includes discussion of the goals and techniques of meditation across different cultures, but focuses on the meditative experience by leading participants through a range of meditation formats with the purpose of helping everyone find the most personally compatible form of meditation for use in ongoing meditative practice. The first day focuses on helping each participant discover one or two compatible forms; the second day focuses on practice with the chosen forms followed by a question and answer period to allow evaluation and understanding of exeriences.
Saturday 9:30am - 4:30pm