Discover how to de-stress, relax, feel healthier, feel happier, calm your mind, discover your inner peace and have more fun with meditation classes with Clare Josa.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation helps you quieten your mind, to reach beyond the everyday, mundane aspects of life and reconnect with a deeper sense of “who you really are”.
It is a journey that will take you from a place of stress, drama and discontent to happiness, inner peace, contentment and connectedness.
Along that path, we all encounter things that need to be released, in order to set ourselves free from the habits, thought patterns and limiting beliefs that have kept us stuck and separate for so long.
Meditation is not…
I had been practising meditation for about 20 years, when I decided to formally train as a meditation teacher, so I could help others.
That’s when I realised that I had never really “meditated”.
It was a bit of a shock! Sure, I had done classes, retreats and had a stack of “meditation” CDs at home, but few of them took me anywhere near that point of stillness, that point of peace, deep inside, that I had been searching for.
Because the “teacher” never shut up and there was always tinkly music in the background!
After 2 decades of studying, I had never been taught how to be “ok” with silence; with stillness. All the techniques I had learned were still about “doing” – following instructions that popped up almost constantly.
Even though there are many meditation techniques that can be performed while you are active – even in a noisy environment – I had never experienced the beautiful feeling of allowing my mind to come to rest and just “be”.
Everything I had tried before had, in fact, been based on deep relaxation or guided visualisation. And I experienced a huge difference in the effect of those, compared to deep meditation, which has been profound and life-changing for me. 🙂
Meditation is NOT about twisting your legs into a pretzel, hiding in a cave and chanting ancient Sanskrit all day (though it can be!).
It is a practice that helps you change your life. It brings you peace, calm, stillness and a vibrant sense of being totally “alive”.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation?
Some of the benefits of regular meditation practice include:
- Reducing your stress levels
- Getting your life back into balance
- Developing a “longer fuse” – being able to remain calm, even in emotional situations
- Improved physical, mental and emotional health
- Feeling happier – even moments of spontaneous joy
- Clearer thinking – you have been training your mind to chatter less!
- Improved concentration
- A sense of inner peace and stillness
- Feeling the strength (and desire) to finally deal with the “stuff” that’s no longer working in your life
Dispelling Meditation Myths
Myth: You have to train under a “guru” and change who you are
Fact: Finding a good teacher helps, but even just 10 minutes a day of mindfulness can have a big impact. Check out the latest research from Sara Lazar, showing that meditation can even make your brain grow!
Myth: Meditation drop-in classes work
Fact: You need commitment and dedication, to make progress.
Just as with any form of skill, to see results, a meditation student needs to commit to regular practice. A weekly, local meditation or mindfulness class is the ideal environment for this, because:
- you can ask the meditation teacher questions – they have been trained how to teach this stuff!
- you can benefit from the fact the teacher has probably faced similar challenges to you, on their meditation journey, and will have discovered some short cuts
- you can get feedback on your posture (meditating doesn’t need to hurt!)
- you can learn how to prepare for meditation, to get maximumm impact from your practice
- you can learn techniques to get back into that ‘meditative calm’ state, even when time is short
- you can share the experience with other students and even make new friends
- this moral support can help you find ways to fit yoga into your life, to help you feel happier, healthier and less stressed.
Over the years, we have repeatedly found that people attending drop-in classes make much slower progress than those who make the personal commitment to attending a term’s course.
Myth: You have to change your religious beliefs, to meditate
Fact: Meditation is accessible to everyone, regardless of their personal beliefs
Although the practice of meditation is rooted in ancient philosophy, to enjoy and benefit from meditation doesn’t require you to adopt any particular belief systems and it certainly doesn’t ask its students to have any particular religious background.
If you can daydream, then you can meditate.
Most cultures have practices that are akin to meditation. There’s nothing scary or cult-based about it.
What Makes Beyond Alchemy’s Meditation & Mindfulness Classes Different?
Rather than expecting you to turn up, rushed and stressed, twist your legs into a pretzel shape and suddenly empty your mind and feel inner peace, our meditation & mindfulness classes focus on good preparation first.
In order to be able to meditate successfully, you need to be relaxed and able to concentrate.
Few of us can do that spontaneously, as part of our busy lives. Most of us are more like grasshoppers, flitting from one thought or action to the next.
So our meditation classes typically take students through the following stages:
- Physical movement, to help you release the body’s tension and start to relax
- Deep relaxation – sitting or lying down – to help you let go and unwind
- Concentration techniques, to help you train your mind to focus on just one thing, rather than being a mutli-tasking grasshopper
- Training on how correct posture during meditation can impact the effectiveness of your meditating
- Discovering meditation and mindfulness techniques that work for real people, with busy lives
Our students tell us that they really value the level of preparation they get during the classes and see it as a ‘gold standard’ of meditation experience. This helps them relax and de-stress more easily during their day-to-day lives, and means they are more quickly able to get into a relaxed state of body and mind, to meditate at home.
How will I feel afterwards?
Students leave their classes feeling more balanced, less stressed, energised, refreshed and revitalised.
The goal of our meditation and mindfulness classes is to help you find a point of stillness, deep within you, that you can connect with, no matter how busy and stressful life becomes.
Why Bother With A Meditation Class?
Why on earth bother going to a meditation class?
Why not just listen to a CD or read a book?
Clare Josa, our meditation teacher, shares her personal story on this one in the video on the right.
Our research shows that a regular meditation or mindfulness class can have a major impact on the results you achieve.
Books and CDs are a great start, if you don’t have a good meditation class locally. But they have their limitations, too:
- Most ‘meditation’ CDs are in fact guided visualisations or deep relaxations. Whislt they help you relax, they are unlikely to take you to a real experience of meditating.
- Books can teach you techniques, but the experience of being guided through that technique by a real, live teacher is very different.
- You can’t ask a book or CD questions!
- Meditating with other people creates an wonderful space that allows you to go even deeper.
- A good teacher can tailor your meditation class to the needs of the individuals in the group. A book or CD has to be created to work for the ‘average’ student.
- Attending a weekly class gives you the moral support (and kick up the butt!) that most of us need to actually commit to regular meditation practice. It’s by far the quickest and most effective way to make progress and experience deep-acting results.
Our spring 2012 term of meditation and mindfulness classes will be starting soon.
They will be held near Forest Row in East Sussex.
We’ll be publishing times and dates, as soon as they are finalised.
Find Out More / Reserve Your Place
To find out more and reserve your place, please call Peter or Clare on 07919 11 4440. Or you can fill in the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
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Can’t Make It To A Weekly Class?
We run regular yoga and meditation weekend workshops in the East Sussex area (Forest Row / East Grinstead / Ashdown Forest). If you’d like to find out when the next course is running, please get in touch!