FAQs About Mindfulness Meditation
I’ve tried meditation, and I can’t do it. Why should I take a class?
Meditation offers many proven benefits and is well worth the effort involved in establishing a practice. However, trying to engage in practice without guidance can be frustrating. Getting instruction from a qualified teacher and the having the support of a group can allow you to overcome any hurdles you might be experiencing. For some, though, individual sessions can be helpful, especially if you are suffering from anxiety or have experienced trauma.
I’ve never meditated. Will the Mindfulness Meditation drop-in sessions help me learn how to practice?
The best way to start a mindfulness practice is through an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Management course, or a 4-week intro course. But for anyone unable to commit to this fairly rigorous course, weekly drop-in sessions provide an opportunity to learn the basics of mindfulness and to connect with other people on the path. People who have already taken the 8-week program participate in these sessions, creating a mix of beginner and more experienced practitioners.
I haven’t taken a class since school and I feel nervous and shy. What if I don’t know what to do?
It’s not unusual for some of us to feel self-conscious when joining a group in which we don’t know other participants. It may be helpful to remember that you will not be alone with these feelings.
I believe you’ll find the classes warm, welcoming and supportive, and that you will quickly feel comfortable. If you're struggling, you're welcome to confer with me privately, and together we can find ways to help you feel more at ease.
My mind is too busy to meditate. Will this work for me?
Yes. Meditation will teach you to pay attention to what is occurring in the present moment, with an attitude of acceptance and curiosity. Through regular practice, the mind tends to become quieter, and the practitioner becomes better able to rest in a state of calmness and clarity. This is not about making the mind or thoughts “do” anything or change.
Do I have to practice every day?
Daily practice is encouraged and will produce the most benefit from the course. Even a few minutes a day will help maintain consistency. Committing to class attendance and home practice will enable you to gain the most from class series.
Although mindfulness meditation has proven helpful for anxiety, some people may feel some anxiety when turning attention inward. If this happens to you, you can see what it’s like to take an attitude of curiosity towards the experience – noticing the characteristics of anxiety and your thoughts about the sensations. Turning towards an unpleasant experience can help it dissipate. It is best to reach out to your instructor if anxiety interferes with your practice.
Do I have to sit cross-legged on a cushion to meditate?
No. Group participants are welcome to sit in a chair.
Do I need to register in advance of attending class?
It is best to pre-register ½ hour early for drop-in classes, to allow time to receive the Zoom link. It is necessary to pre-register at least several days in advance of multiple week classes.
Do I need to bring anything to meditation class?
You don’t need to bring anything unless you were asked to do so in a post-registration or other follow-up emails. Comfortable dress and a quiet space is recommended.