You wouldn’t consider going to a yoga instructor who only teaches one pose, attend a university where every class is exactly the same, or even have the same dinner every night, so why would anyone do the same meditation every day?
Using the same meditation technique day in and day out is like driving to the airport, but refusing to get out of the car. Yes, the car got you to the airport, but you’ll need to leave it behind if you ever wish to make your overseas destination. As straight forward as this logic is, there are still many people wasting their time on the same static meditation technique every day.
I’m not saying you can’t learn using static meditation techniques. It’s just that you shouldn’t expect to learn much. Why? Because life changes directions and evolves, so good meditative strategies should too.
The Buddhist tradition calls this “impermanence” meaning there’s an expectation that nothing will remain the same. This includes your mental and physical state. The way you feel with a head cold isn’t the same as the way you feel when hyper with excitement. Your mental alertness and concentration levels will also change throughout the day.
Static meditation programs fail to teach you;
- The adaptive skills you’ll need to deal with ever changing mental states.
- How to skilfully adjust your approach to deal with a variety of emotional states under varying circumstances.
- How to slow your mind when it’s racing, or refresh your mind when you’re feeling mentally sluggish.
Obtaining the skills listed above can make a huge difference to your quality of life, while preparing you to meet new challenges. In fact, the skills listed above are some of the things you should learn early in your practice because they are foundational and all of your future successes will be built upon them.
Even if you are unsure about your long term, or even immediate goals, your meditation practice should lead you to explore the possibilities. For example, when I meet a new student without clearly set goals, I’ll use a variety of meditation techniques during our first session.* Over the course of an hour I’ll introduce:
- Guided Relaxation
- Some form of “Basic Awareness” meditation (aka mindfulness)
- An “Awareness of Thoughts” technique.
- An “Awareness of Intent,” or “Equanimity” segment.
- A segment of Deep Meditation.
- Explanation of the techniques used, how they work, why you would use them, and tips on how to incorporate them into daily life.
* Each technique would take into consideration the location of the class and it’s surroundings.
I can’t overstate the importance of developing a good dynamic skill set to help you keep moving forward, continually developing new skills and abilities as you learn and grow.
If you’re ready for something more than a token static meditation practice, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss any specific goals you may, or may not have, and explore your options.
Sometimes we’re reluctant to reach out to someone we don’t know, or don’t want to bother them. Rest assured, I look forward to our interactions…and if you don’t reach out to me we’ll miss an opportunity to share our knowledge and enrich each others’ lives. ~Todd