I am not a school teacher, but; Twice a week I teach addicts how to meditate…

This week we had 28 in attendance (ages 17 to 70). To say that I sometimes work with resistance and distraction would be an understatement. The value and importance of creating a safe container in this setting cannot be overstressed, at least when it comes to expecting any benefit from the practice.

Solidity and authenticity are the key players in this role and relevance the best tool for respect and adherence. Folks are arranged in a semi / ¾ circle, 2-3 rows. I ring the bell to start the class and lay down what we’re going to be doing (setting expectations as well as allowing freedom to just observe from the sidelines) We get a mutual agreement of respect and confidentiality going right off the bat. Not just in what’s shared but what’s observed. We’re all down for a unique experience and we only take our own with us.

A mixed bag this week; What went well was a couple of people talked to me after and said they were blown away that they were able to “do it”, that the instructions given in ‘being mindful’ seemed much easier than that of “achieving a state of meditation” that they were expecting.

Challenging; There are always some noises offering distraction, in and outside the room. I offer this as an opportunity to observe reaction and response to noise. Labeling, feelings (irritated, curious, etc.). Also challenged by the “I can’t do this” comments. I let it go with acknowledging any effort at all. “Did you have one mindful breath? Cool, maybe next time you can go for two” 😉

Not so much questions, but statements of doubt in “I don’t think I can do this on my own”. I pretty much reply with the same suggestion of; try it at the next stoplight you sit at or maybe mindfully washing A dish. Then try to move on to a few stoplights or a sink full of dishes.