Meditation for Mental Focus
- All you need to start this course is a way to listen to audio files and a willingness to get to know yourself better.
- Ideally you would have a place at home where you can practice meditation and access to the guided meditation tracks during the day (on your phone, an mp3 player, a work computer, etc.). If you'd like to practice sitting on the floor, you should have a cushion or other good support for your seat and legs.
- It's best if you've already had some exposure to meditation (what it is, what the benefits are) before you start.
This course will take a beginning meditator--someone with a little experience already who wants to take their practice to the next level--deeper into the ancient practice of meditation, optimized for modern life. And it offers intermediate mediators a chance to cultivate one of the key skills in meditation practice: the ability to rest the mind on an object. This course offers guided meditations using imagery, focus on the breath and sensations of the body, and the cultivation of an open heart to help students strengthen their ability to rest the mind.
We'll use imagery and imagination to accept the support of the earth for the body and to feel the support our body offers. Through those, our mind receives support to rest naturally at ease. And we'll grow our capacity for compassion (especially toward ourselves) as the basis for our practice.
To cultivate these mental states of ease and compassion, there are video lectures about the theory behind what we're doing; 15-20 minute guided meditations, designed for you to use in a formal, seated practice; and very short meditations of two to five minutes to help integrate meditation and awareness into your daily life. Most of the actual instruction in this course is in the guided meditations, so there are more audio resources than video lectures.
As you work through this course, you'll train in techniques that can enhance your sense of well-being, decrease your emotional (and even physiological) reactivity, and develop your capacity for sustaining focused attention.
Who this course is for:
- If you've dabbled a little in meditation and want to develop a solid basis for your practice, this is the course for you!
- If you're an experienced meditator, this course will deepen your ability to rest the mind on an object and to bring compassion to yourself and others.
- If you're brand new to meditation and have never tried it before, you might want to take an introductory course before you start working on these specific skills.
Claire Villarreal has been wondering about the nature of reality most of her life and practicing various forms of Buddhism since 1997. She’s meditated her way around India, Nepal, and Thailand, with pilgrimages to Tibet. She completed a PhD on Tibetan Buddhism and contemplative ways of knowing in 2015 at Rice University, worked for Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism until early 2019, and is now a digital nomad and meditation instructor. Things that blow her mind include science, great storytelling, and Spinning.