Meditation Course Orientation

Welcome to Orientation!

Before You Begin Your 8 Week Meditation Course .  . .  Take a moment to reflect on what you hope to gain from this course. Maybe you are seeking a way to manage stress or anxiety. Perhaps you want to develop a new coping strategy or deal with challenging life situations. Maybe you hope to improve your ability to be fully present in life, or to be at peace with yourself and others just as they are. 

  1. The Orientation Exercise will help you answer this question and will create the foundation for your practice over the next eight weeks. Download this exercise document created in Word so you can type in it or print and fill out by hand. This exercise is very important because creating your meditation practice requires a lot of dedication. This exercise will greatly increase the odds you will stick with this 8 week course.
  2.  Create a digital manual for this course. I suggest that you set up a special folder on your computer desk top where you can store all the handouts and recording files. If you are well organized from the beginning you will be more likely to complete the entire course successfully.

What to expect?

Once each week

Each week you will listen to a 10 minute recorded lesson that will end with me guiding you into a meditation. You will also want to do the weekly journaling exercise each day which should take only 5 minutes.

Daily Practice You will be observing 20 minutes of daily seated meditation practice with a focus and a new skill each week.

In addition, there is Informal Practice, which will help you integrate the learnings and practices into your daily life. Unlike the formal practice, you don't have to schedule this into your day, it's simply having an intention to bring a special awareness into some of the activities that you already do on a daily basis. At the end of each day, you will take just five minutes or so to reflect on the day, using that week's Informal Practice sheet as a guide. Although this may look less important than the 30 minutes of scheduled formal practice, it is through the Informal Practice that you will see and realize the concrete and natural benefits of the learnings and practices of MBSR.

Health Considerations Many people come to the course with some physical limitations and it's important that you know that you are free to modify any of the practices, especially the yoga sequences, to make them best work for you. Being aware of your own limits, and modifying the practices when necessary is, in itself, mindfulness in action.

Also, during the course of this program, whether you have physical limitations or not, it is possible, even likely, that difficult feelings or unpleasant memories may arise. Since this program is done without interaction with an instructor, it is important that you take care of your own emotional and mental health. If things come up which are too difficult to handle, you should take a break from the course and/or seek the help of a good counselor or therapist. If you are under a counselor or doctor's care already, please let them know of your plan to go through this program, and keep them informed of your experience as you go along, so that they may monitor any unexpected reactions to the course or practices.

Ready to start? Once you've completed the Getting Started Worksheet you're ready to go! When you're ready, just click on Week 1 in the left-hand menu you see above (on a smartphone, touch the menu icon at the top left of the page). In this menu are links to each of the eight weeks, and the Guided Practices.