Attention: struggling meditators. Is your discomfort distracting from your sitting?
We live in a complicated world that pulls our attention in every direction, tying us into stressful knots.
So we make time to sit and meditate. Only to discover a cruel paradox: instead of being relaxing, sitting itself becomes another knot. Discomfort becomes yet another distraction to contend with…
After just a few minutes we may be plagued by pain or numbness in the legs and knees, or maybe our lower back, shoulders, or neck. We strain to hold ourselves from falling backward or slumping. All of these distractions begin to pull increasingly at our attention.
Or have you ever gone to stand up when you are done only to find that it takes a few unstable moments, or even minutes, to get your legs back in working order?
Maybe you try to adjust your seating to buy a little reprieve. Or sit up "straighter." Or maybe you’ve been told to practice detaching from the discomfort. Mind over matter. Tough it out.
It is easy to find yourself less thrilled to sit each time. Or to push on only to become an old meditator all too fast, trading body for soul, nursing your achy knees.
The truth is, if you struggle at all with your sitting, you are not alone! I dare say this even puts you in the vast silent majority. But this is shallow comfort, because it just highlights how elusive a solution is.
The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to be this way!
Sitting easily upright, balanced, and free is part of our human capacity, and we can absolutely reclaim it for ourselves.
It’s just that we aren’t generally good at understanding how to find our way there. (It doesn't help that there is a ton of bad advice, and misplaced intentions floating around!) But once you understand how to apply a few principles, it not only isn’t that hard to improve your sitting, but it actually feels amazing and hones your attention in the process!
The more naturally poised your sitting posture, the better your attention.
Instead of being a struggle, the path to poised sitting posture is actually easy, intuitive, and available for all of us, no matter how much you’ve struggled in the past.
This online course, walks you through a series of guided movement meditations that build on your body’s natural learning ability. Exploring easy movements, and intuitively absorbing the strategies embedded in them, you will develop a new sense of what being effortlessly upright and balanced feels like. Once you recognize these sensations they create powerful feedback loops that continue to reinforce even more refined sitting.
You will start to feel the ground and your contact with it as a stable relaxed support that allows you to be bouyant above it. You will begin to notice the movement of your breathing throughout your whole body (and not in some woo-woo metaphorical way, but practically, so that you can allow for the rhythmic movement within stillness.) Your spine will begin to move fluidly along its full length, connecting your legs and head easily as it aligns in gravity. You will start filling in a picture of dynamic sitting from the inside, based on your actual sensations instead of trying to impose “correct sitting” from the outside. And as your sitting transforms, you will begin to welcome it as an aid to your attention rather than a distraction. Your sitting will start guiding you into relaxed, poised, awareness.
This is actually a huge thing. At least to me. Back when I was doing my Ph.D. work at Columbia University I studied the ways in which our education tends to separate the “body” from the “mind,” and the massive cost that we pay for this. When we bring them back together, we are actually bringing ourselves back to a much more powerful and effective mode of learning. One that has ripple effects way past the edge of your meditation cushion.
In order to encourage this ripple effect, I developed this course based on the Feldenkrais Method® of movement education, which taps into our nervous system’s working intelligence.
"The ‘lessons’ are designed to improve ability, that is to expand the boundaries of the possible, to turn the impossible into the possible, the difficult into the easy and the easy into the pleasant. For only those activities that are easy and pleasant will become part of a person’s habitual life and serve them at all times."
— Moshe Feldenkrais
Here's what you can expect from the course:
- As you are guided through these movement lessons, you will progressively find your way out of pain, discomfort, and distraction.
- They will introduce you to the sensations of dynamic, powerful sitting, that in turn provide a strong support for a sustainable and sustaining meditation practice.
- You will find that these sensations also follow you into the rest of your day, as you integrate the principles of effortless posture into your life.
I’ve taught these lessons to meditators at Columbia University, and in my private practice with everyone from successful artists to children with developmental difficulties (for whom sitting well makes a huge difference!) And after many years I am finally bringing them online, to share with the larger meditation community. The audacious goal is to reduce the struggle and difficulty that so many meditators encounter, and to share the power of poised sitting to transform our collective experience.
When you enroll in the course, here’s what you get.
- 6 hour-long guided movement recordings, giving you the fundamentals of effortless sitting.
- Do the lessons at your own pace, and whenever you would like. Revisit them as often as you would like.
- Learn how to set up your cushions to support you properly and reduce strain and effort.
- Introductions to the principles of effortless learning, and how to use your awareness, not effort, to bring about postural change.
- Short Guided Meditations you can do on you own, daily, or use as a way to start your regular sitting practice.
This course, however, is not for everyone. If you are looking for a quick fix without putting in the attention, this course is not for you. Even though the course materials will be available to you to revisit any time, it is important that you commit to trying new things and working through the material. You only get what you put into it, and my goal is to bring everyone through the course successfully. So if you are game, let’s do it.
So how much does it cost? Here in New York City, where I’m writing this, random classes of some sort of movement or another run anywhere from $15-30 for an hour class. This is over seven hours of audio, just by itself, and you can revisit it as often as you like. We’ll be aiming for a much bigger effect though, than just a series of classes. The goal is to fundamentally transform your meditation practice for the rest of your life. But I want to make sure everyone can commit to the future of a practice without pain and struggle, so I’m setting the cost of the course at $80.
OK, that's it. I’m not sure when we will run this course again. (And if we do, I’ll likely have to raise the price.) If you want to ensure a slot, jump in early. Looking forward to getting started!
To enroll, click on the “Join Now” button below.
Try it Risk Free for 90 Days: if you are dissatisfied with this course for any reason, I’ll refund you 100% and you can keep the lessons.
PS. Being able to sit with effortless balance and ease has a tremendous impact on your meditation practice, which then ripples into the rest of your life. These guided lessons are the most effective way to get you there that I know of. If you try them, and for whatever reason they don’t work for you, let me know and I’ll give you a full refund. Join soon to make sure you get a space!