As Serenity expands its Group Meditation offerings I would like to take a few
moments to talk about how we view meditation and how our groups tend to work.
Modern science tells us of many benefits of meditation including lower blood pressure, stress level reduction, and better sleep patterns. Most of us who practice meditation would add to the list, a better understanding of ourselves and a generally calmer attitude towards life travails and petty indignations. Some form of meditation seems to be a part of most civilizations and some methods have been in use for thousands of years.
I was an occasional meditator for many years and mostly practiced when I felt the stress in my life becoming overwhelming. One day it dawned on me that if meditation could help when I was under a heavy stress load, perhaps, if used on a regular basis, it could keep my stress load from building up in the first
place. As I practiced on a more regular basis I began to study the different types of
meditation disciplines. I was struck, not by the differences, but by the
similarities. I also found that my own meditation technique (crafted by 40
years of intermittent practice) fell into none of the traditional methods. And
yet, I benefit enormously from my practice.
I don’t find it surprising that humans have found such diverse ways to touch
that place we touch when we meditate. We are an endlessly creative species. And
the similarities within all these practices? Well, how many shapes can a wheel
be? They were all created to get us to that place we go when we sit. That is
their greatest commonality.
My friend Sandy says that when she prays she’s talking to God when she
meditates she’s listening to God. I start my meditation each morning with the
affirmation I sit, I sit because it is what I do, I sit without thought of goal
or gain. Our respect for each other’s Way is evident and when you come to our
group your Way will be equally respected.
If you’ve never meditated before we can certainly help you find your own Way.
There’s nothing magical or difficult about it. You don’t have to sit
cross-legged on a funny cushion (but please don’t mind if I do). You don’t have
to stop your thoughts (unless you want to). If you do nothing but sit quietly
in a calm and supportive atmosphere you will begin to reap the benefits of
Our groups usually meet for 90 minutes. First, we typically have a short reading
and/or discussion about some aspect of meditation. We then have 30-45 minutes of
meditation, which could be a guided meditation recording, meditation appropriate
music, or guidance by a group member. We then have a short time to unwind,
discuss the day’s meditation, journal or sit quietly. Whatever the group
We presently have our Wednesday morning group which meets from 9:30-11:00 am but
if you would like to see a group at another time or in another format, let us
know. We will be expanding to evenings and weekends as new groups form. We have
a $5 fee per session to help defray the cost of the space, tea, and water.
As these groups grow I’m excited about meeting people with techniques new to me
and those who wish to begin meditating for the first time. Who knows what we’ll learn?
Jim – Serenity Community Member
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