meditation

Mindfulness Meditation
“Mindfulness practice is simple and completely feasible. Just by sitting and doing nothing, we are doing a tremendous amount.”

Shambhala Sun

Weekly guided practices
Sundays 6:00-7:00 pm
Wednesdays 6:45-7:45 pm
Fridays 5:30-6:30 pm

Learn to Meditate for Free! Through a 45-minute Introduction with Bryan by emailing (or, calling 919-475-1355) to schedule a session.

What to expect
A relaxing temperature-controlled space with cork floor and imported lanterns, candles and incense (should no one be allergic).  Additionally, multiple meditation props will be provided, including mats, bolsters, blankets and eye pillows.

Often, there will be a theme chosen for the practice, along with wisdom teachings.  Otherwise, there will be soft periods of silence lasting 5-10 minutes, depending on the accumulated experience of the practitioners.

Meditation has been an integral part of Bryan’s Yoga practice for the past 30 years.  His first formal training was with Deepak Chopra in Primordial Sound Meditation.  Since then, he has studied Paramahamsa Yogananda’s Hong-Sau and AUM Techniques through the Self-Realization Fellowship (Los Angeles), learned Vipassana Meditation from Ines Freeman (Insight Meditation Center, San Francisco), practiced Vedantic Meditation with Dr. David Frawley and Yogini Shambhavi (American Institute of Vedic Studies) and for the last two and a half years, been trained  in Shamatha (Mindfulness) Meditation, according to the Tibetan Buddhist teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the modern spiritual classic, Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.  In addition to teaching Meditation to adults and groups, Bryan regularly shares mindfulness contemplative practices with children from the age of three and a half and older.

Frequently Asked Questions of Bryan regarding Meditation

What is meditation?
Although there are almost as many answers to the question as there are questioners, the definition I like the most is “the mental state of nondistraction”.  In other words, focusing.  For me, it is the simplest and most accurate way of understanding the practice from many different traditions.  In just a few words, all of the confusing conditioning around the practice is removed.  When working with both adults and children, we often repeat the definition to just initiate a reframing of the concept.  Try it!

What should I wear?
As in the practice of Yoga, loose comfortable clothing.  Something that you may feel comfortable while sitting in a relaxed, yet alert, position.  Of course, one may lie down if they become tired, or just need a break from sitting.

Do I need to ascribe to a particular set of religious or spiritual beliefs in order to enjoy the benefits of a meditation practice?
Absolutely not.  I cannot emphasize enough that our practice simply involves us  seated in an easy and comfortable position and directing our attention to the breath, or a beautiful object like a candle flame or flower.  Occasionally, we may recite a meaningful relaxing phrase or visualize a peaceful pastoral setting.

Why Mindfulness Meditation?
For me, it has been one of the most easily understood meditation practices that  I have studied and experienced over these past 30 years.  It is both simple and direct – uncomplicated.  Also, it seems to be readily accessible to a broad range of potentially interested practitioners.

What are the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation?
As the name implies, “being mindful”.  And, when we are mindful, we are more present – here and now.  It is then that a sweet, subtle awareness starts to expand, minimizing the influence that all of the circumstances and situations that we simply can not control hold upon us.

Often, the Tibetan Lamas talk about the importance of being happy and how this practice may foster greater happiness.  Most seem to consider happiness a primary life purpose.   Upon learning this, my mind was awakened to yet a greater existential objective.

Additionally, I think that it is important to consider that a precondition for happiness is the ability to be satisfied with what is here and now – regardless of our outer circumstances.  By devoting our attention to a mindfulness activity like the soft breath, we may transcend the chattering mind that often rewinds into past regret or fast forwards into future anxiety or fear.  Hence, we slowly grow into a restful contentment which may only be achieved by truly experiencing what is here and now – the essence of mind, rather than appearance of mind.  After all, what else exists?

For those seeking scientific, evidence-based studies, neuroscience appears to have picked up where psychology left off a number of years ago.  Specifically, there are a number of scientists examining the benefits of a regular meditation practice, including Dr.s Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Richard Mendius, MD and Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.  You may learn more about their findings in two recently published books, Buddha’s Brain, Happiness, Love and Wisdom and The Healing Power of Meditation.  Of course, you may also consult the National institute of Health or peer reviewed journals in neuroscience and psychology.

How may one learn more?
By simply emailing me at patanjalisplace@gmail.com, or telephoning 919-475-1355.  We are presently offering 45-minute Learn to Meditate for Free! Sessions if you would like an individual or small group setting.   Otherwise, you may choose to attend our weekly Guided Practices on Sundays from 6:00-7:00 pm, Wednesdays from 6:45-7:45 pm, or Fridays 5:30-6:30 pm.