I serve the spirit of love in this world. I believe that when we gather together, and speak from our deepest truth, that spirit is nourished within us, and brings us peace and purpose.
I lead meditation classes and men's circles in Portland, Oregon. I've been a meditator for 20 years, and I've trained as a social worker in group process and facilitation. I've led groups for parents, for men, as well as meditation classes.
Here are some common questions and answers about learning and teaching meditation, which I hope will give you a better understanding of my approach. The best teacher for you depends on your learning style, and where you are in the arc of your life - I am always available to answer your questions to discover if the teachings I provide are the most nourishing for you.
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What is your teaching style? I focus on being present to the calling of the moment. I have a wide array of approaches, including storytelling, poetry, talks on specific subjects, and many kinds of group and dyadic interactions - all are tailored to the needs of the group. Some of these needs become clear from the questions and comments of those in the room. Many times I rely on my intuition, or felt sense of what is in the "field". Since this is a core part of what I am teaching, I try to make use of this not-thinking-centered approach as much as possible.
How can you teach about things that cannot be described or thought? Meditation guides us to a purely present state, in which thinking is not the primary way of experiencing the world. Since words and discussion involve language and thinking, they can never describe the practice of meditation precisely. The core approach that I use, which we call "the practice of no problem" provides both a specific starting point for practice, as well as more nuanced layers which help lead us towards presence. The combination of actually sitting, then sharing and discussing the experience, and then sitting again with the discussion in mind, draws us away from a thinking-dominant experience. Sitting together in a group, even when the group is not experienced in mediation, can greatly amplify the sense of presence. It is the surprising power of being together in presence which particularly captivates me, and has led me to lead more and more of these group meditation trainings.
Why would meditation be beneficial to me? You may have heard about the numerous scientific and medical studies that demonstrate how mindfulness and meditation can reduce stress, improve productivity, and support a greater sense of health and well-being. I call these "material" benefits - they help us to lead a happier, healthier life, and for most people, that alone is worthwhile. The other effects of meditation are more difficult to measure, and so don't typically appear in research studies or publications. These non-scientific effects are the result of developing a practice of presence, which manifests in two ways. First, residing in the present moment greatly expands the possibilities available to you - you become more available for opportunities to change - your "habits" of diet, exercise and recreation can change in ways that better support you. Possibilities in work, family and relationships start to appear because of your availability. This can have a dramatic impact on the trajectory of your life. Second, the place of presence brings you to a deeper sense of connection with the world - both the human and natural world become available to you in a much more informative and fulfilling way. This also opens up your ability to nourish and love others in a more powerful and meaningful way.
Please contact me if you have questions or would like to work with me - your questions are important, and are doorways to understanding. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.