What is meditation?
Meditation, or mindfulness, is cultivating your innate ability to be present.
When you meditate, you stop “doing” things. Sitting still for even a minute, you notice how crowded your mind gets with thoughts. (That’s okay—minds are made for thinking!) Everyone’s mind is crammed with thoughts, emotions, memories, fantasies, and plans.) Or it may feel hard to sit still. No worries. The aim of meditation is not to stop thinking or be a statue. It’s just to sit quietly and notice deeply what is going on in your mind, body, and present surroundings.
To reduce stress. If you’re like most people, you consume 7.5 hours of media every day. Our minds tend to glom onto negative information, causing a cascade of chemical responses in the body that cause stress, anxiety, fatigue, and sickness. Meditating is an easy way to give your brain a rest. Even sitting still with the sound of traffic or bird song connects you with this very moment and is a kind of quiet, ordinary grace.
To Improve focus. When you meditate, you train the mind to be less distracted by your constant stream of thoughts. In some forms of meditation, one practices noticing thoughts and letting them go, over and over. You realize you don’t have to engage your every thought. You gain confidence in honing your attention to the task at hand.
To understand yourself and your life better. Meditating daily can help you better understand what is going on in your life. When you’re busy, feelings such as physical pain, anxiety, sadness, fear, or grief can easily get pushed aside until they reach crisis proportion. Meditation offers a natural way for you to notice emotions, thought patterns, and desires before they sweep you away.
To find contentment and connection with others. Over time, meditation naturally shows you that you don’t have to believe all of the thoughts racing around your head. You realize that you are not your thoughts. You can choose what thoughts to believe about yourself or a situation, dumping those that aren’t true or helpful. Emptied of the stories you compulsively tell yourself, you have no need to react. You inhabit each moment fully, naturally resulting in contentment and your ability to be more present with others.
Why meditate together online?
It’s easy, modern and friendly to the environment. Fix some tea and sit comfortably with your computer or mobile device. No driving, no traffic, no worries!
You can show up as you are. Whether you’re a busy professional, a new mom, or a retiree, you can show up in jammies or jeans for your Mind Oasis meditation class.
You can bring your dog (or cat)! They love to meditate with you.
You can stay connected when you travel or move away. Meet with your teacher and meditation community even when you’re away from home.
You can connect authentically with others. Unlike social media or email, Mind Oasis offers a way to genuinely spend time with others in meaningful way.
You can break down barriers. Mind Oasis students come from around the U.S. and around the world. Make connections with people different from you.
Why meditate in a community?
Most people find meditation difficult. Sitting still with a constant stream of thoughts is nerve-wracking and sometimes unpleasant. An experienced teacher can be a useful guide when you embark on a daily meditation practice. When you come together with others to meditate, you benefit from the accountability of a class and the company of people like you seeking the benefits of meditation. In turn, your presence provides the same support for others. Generosity and compassion for others are a natural byproduct of your meditation.