* Traditional style of teaching meditation failed

Today a woman in her fifties came to my classes interested in learning and practicing meditation. Her case is a classic instance showing how traditional way of teaching this great technique lets down the genuinely interested beginners with potential. After learning ‘focusing on breathing’ in my classes, she could make a successful beginning on the path of meditation and making progress in relieving her problems (6). 

Asked how she knew about my classes she explained. She searched on-line for Diwali (An Indian Festival of Lights) (1). She found the local Indian residents’ website Alabnydesi.com and in it, found my classes under ‘Stress management’ (2).  Asked about her interest in the ‘focusing on breathing’ technique, she said that she attended the 10 day residential program of  ‘Vipassana’ (also called insight meditation)   at a nearby center, 7 years back (3) (4). During the program, she was asked to sit on the floor and practice the ancient technique for hours. She was given minimal food for breakfast and lunch and an apple for dinner. She successfully endured the rigors of the program in spite of the the mental and physical demands on her. At the end of the program, she was asked to practice at home, for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. She found the practice useful and liked it but could not practice at home, under the guidelines given to her. She therefore totally gave up on it!

While I was in India, I knew 4 people in the company I worked for who did the same program earnestly for 10 days  but never practiced at home. One of them even did the program twice but could not practice at home due to the time pressure of job and family with children.

This is the reason why I have adopted the unconventional method of teaching the technique (5). In my seminars and classes, I ask the clients to practice the first step of of ‘focusing on breathing’ sitting in chairs or sofas, using their fingers. At the end, I suggest that they practice the technique at home, lying in the bed at night, to fall asleep! After they get used to the practice and get hooked on it, they  are likely to advance to the next steps as explained in this website (5).

(1) Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights)
(2) Albanydesi.com/Stress management
(3) How Can I Focus On Breathing?
(4) Vipassana (Insight meditation)
(5) Why do most people accumulate stress and suffer?
(6) Insomnia, Anger and Anxiety relieved

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