What is the purpose of this class?
We often find ourselves burning through our days, hurrying from one task to the next. The pace of our lives can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. We are always in the running and doing. In the chaotic pace of our lives, we rarely take the time to simply “be”.
First and foremost, the goal of our gathering is always to simply step aside from the busyness of our lives for one hour. However, the deeper purpose is to allow ourselves the time to connect with our lives from a place of stillness, non-judgment and self-acceptance.
Is it true that meditation helps reduce stress?
Yes! Studies show that a consistent practice can help you walk through the stress-filled moments of your life with greater ease. A study out of Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital showed a decrease in the gray matter density of your amygdala, the area of the brain responsible for anxiety, fear and stress. It also showed an increase in the areas of the brain responsible for memory, emotional regulation and self-relevance.
You can read the interview regarding the study with Dr. Sara Lazar here: Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain.
Is meditation hard? I’m not sure I will be able to do it?
It is in our nature to be still and turn inward. However, as modern humans, we live very complicated lives, which makes it difficult to disconnect from the constant distractions and let it all go. Most people find it easier to meditate in a group. It is very important to have a good teacher. Here is a quote from the Dr. Sara Lazar, Neuroscientist at Harvard, in the interview referenced previously, “The most important thing, if you’re going to try it, is to find a good teacher. Because it’s simple, but it’s also complex. You have to understand what’s going on in your mind. A good teacher is priceless.”
As a trained meditation coach and Chopra Center Certified Master Educator, I will help you explore the art of meditation and mindfulness with grace and ease.
I don’t think I can meditate for a full hour.
This is a common concern of those considering attending the class. We do not actually meditate for 60 minutes. As this is a guided meditation and mindfulness class, we usually begin with brief discussion about the foundation of our practice. We then weave this into our practice once we begin. The meditation begins around 9:20 with breath awareness to still the mind. We then experience different forms of meditation, moving gracefully from one to the next.
I use Tibetan singing bowls throughout the meditation to help create a soothing atmosphere and keep us grounded. The meditation ends approximately 5-10 minutes early to allow time to have a conversation on our experiences or to connect with others in the group. You can also make yourself a cup of tea in a to-go cup to bring with you when you leave.
My mind is so crazy. I have too many thoughts; I don’t think I can meditate!
Studies show that the average person has 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day. Unbelievable, right? Most of those thoughts are repetitive. Our minds continually bring us into the past and future – what has happened and what might happen. It just keeps rolling like an endless soundtrack.
As we sit and embrace silence, we learn techniques to tame the endless flow of thoughts by learning to slip away for a few moments at a time. When we mediate, we do not to stop our thoughts from coming.
Instead, we create a space where for a few moments, the chatter takes a back seat as we place our focus elsewhere. A diversion, so to speak, that permits us to take control and step aside from the ongoing inner conversation.
I noticed that you teach the Chopra Center’s Primordial Sound Meditation, is that what we will be learning at this weekly class?
The Primordial Sound Meditation program is a separate program and is offered a few times a year as a four-hour workshop. This is the signature program, where you receive your personalized mantra, based on your date, time and place of birth. It is a beautiful program when you are ready to take your practice to the next level. Visit the Judy’s Programs page and scroll down for “The Chopra Center’s Primordial Sound Meditation Program in New Jersey” for more details or feel free contact me if you are interested.
I see that you have floor seating- I’m not sure that I would be comfortable.
I set up the circle with floor seating/backjacks, which are actually quite comfy. There are also a few chairs available on a first come first serve basis, so it is advised that you arrive early to claim your space. If the class is full, I usually put out to a few additional chairs, just in case. In addition, if you prefer a regular seat and let me know in advance, there will be one set up for you when you arrive. You can always email me after you RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org and inform me of your preferences.
What time should I arrive?
With respect for the circle, we close the door at 9:05 for the morning class and 6:20 for the evening class when we begin. This was a very hard decision for me to make. However, it is necessary in order to begin on time and give everyone the experience that they deserve. I am there setting up at 8:45, so I suggest you arrive early, make a cup of tea and settle in.
Where are you located?
The classes are held at CoSpark in Matawan. The address is 935 Route 34, Suite #2D, however the entrance and parking lot are located on Route 79 in the same lot as Starbucks. We are located in the Main Street Village Executive Center, a big white office building, on the second floor. There are both elevators and steps.
Is there a bathroom?
CoSpark has a bathroom right in the office for your convenience.
Do I have to register?
It is required that you register. On the event page, you will scroll down until you see RSVP- you will enter the number of tickets, then your name and email and hit RSVP. Give the page a moment to load. Shortly afterward you will receive an email confirming your registration. No Payment will be requested. If you do not receive a response, email me email@example.com.
If for any reason, you prefer not to deal with the online registration, you can email me and I will register you personally. Registration is required in order to set the room up properly and to ensure that there is a seat for everyone. Visit the Event page for class dates and times each week.
What is the cost for the class?
The class is donation based. The minimum suggested donation for each class is $10.00. When you arrive, there will be a sign-in sheet and a bowl where you can place your payment. I also accept checks made out to Balance Your Life. No credit cards are accepted.
I hope this answers any questions you may have about our Meditation & Mindfulness Circle. If you have any additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond within 48 hours.
© 2017 Balance Your Life
Judy Banks, Stress Management & Mindful Lifestyle Coach
All right reserved- Reproduce with Permission only