Meditation Mondays

           

In this ten-week series, we’ll explore a collection of my favourite meditations combining interests from different areas of my training and practice: 

 

  • Transpersonal and Mindfulness based Psychotherapy, 

  • the Taoist practice of Qigong & the 

  • Vedic practices of Yoga and Ayurveda. 

 

Meeting each Monday morning at 10am on Zoom: 

We’ll cover the basics of meditation, demystifying the practice while each week experiencing a different approach. Prior to each practice I’ll provide background and context for the meditation that we’ll be exploring.

Each session will last approximately 30 minutes. If you’re unavailable at that time, there is an option to purchase the downloadable audio file so that you can practice when and as often as you like.

The more you practice, the more benefit you will experience.

 

Experience different paths to meditation so that you can find the one(s) that work best for you!

 

PRICING: 

Each live session is $15.

OR pay $20 for the live session and receive a downloadable audio file so that you can practice as often as you would like.

OR Save $30 and sign up for the whole series complete with all live sessions and downloadable audio files for $170 total.

 

REGISTRATION: To register, please contact Anne at anne_finlay@sympatico.ca with your selections. Payment can be made by e-transfer or if you don’t bank online we can discuss other options.

See dates and descriptions below:

1. Mindfulness Breath Meditation: February 22

Learn a mindfulness practice that increases awareness and cultivates calm. This practice will be based on the beautiful teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a remarkable teacher and author with whom I had the fortunate opportunity to be on retreat with in 2016. He is a Zen Buddhist monk who has been a pioneer bringing mindfulness to the West since the early 1970s, developing new ways to apply ancient wisdom to the challenges of modern life. His teachings are simple and profound.

Regular mindfulness practice can have a profound impact on our lives, reducing stress while increasing emotional and psychological wellness through the practice of being present to the here and now. 

2. Metta Bhavana: Loving Kindness Meditation: March 1 

Metta bhavana, or loving-kindness meditation, is a meditation method of developing compassion. It originates from the Buddhist tradition, but it can be adapted and practiced by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation; loving-kindness meditation is essentially about cultivating love for ourselves and others. 

3. Taoist: Embryonic Breathing Practice: March 8

Both a meditation and a powerful breathing practice, Embryonic Breathing theory and techniques were kept secret in Buddhist and Taoist monasteries. Practicing this breathing technique helps to establish your central energy system, conserve your energy, and store this energy. It increases awareness of the placement of the breath as well as offers an experience of deepening the breath and vital energy in the belly, the lower DanTien (energy center). 

4. Psychosynthesis: Wise Old Person: March 15

Psychosynthesis is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on personal growth and development. It can be viewed as a transpersonal approach because it integrates many aspects of the human experience, including spiritual, emotional, cognitive, and physical aspects. Guided imagery, meditation and journaling might all be used to help an individual become more introspective and creative. The Wise Old Person practice is a guided visualization meditation technique that is designed to help facilitate contact with one’s inner source of wisdom.

5. Vedic: Five Vayus Yogic Practice: March 22

Hatha yoga is more than just flexibility or strength in postures; at its foundation it is the management of prana, the vital life force that animates all levels of being. Experience a meditation that introduces you to the five movements of prana in the body, or “vayus”, that govern different areas and different physical and subtle activities. By becoming more attentive and aware of prana and its vayus, we can enhance and direct its flow through intentional breathing and meditation practices. This is a beautiful and relaxing practice that establishes balance and wellbeing in the body and mind.

6. Taoist: Healing the Organs and Emotions: March 29

According to Chinese Medicine and Taoist Qigong theory, emotions directly impact the wellbeing and functioning of the body’s organs. Each organ has a specific emotion associated with it and when these emotions are excessive, they can harm the organ and disturb the vital energy (Qi) of that system. This beautiful, guided meditation travels through the organs, replacing stagnation with healing colour and negativity with balance and wellbeing.

7. Vedic: Journey through the Chakras: April 5

A guided meditation to introduce you to the seven Chakras. “Chakra” is a Sanskrit word that literally means wheel or cycle. In the context of spiritual disciplines such as yoga, the chakras are considered to be wheel-like energy centers that are not physical but instead belong to the subtle spiritual body and connect it to the material one. The 7 main chakras are situated along the spine from the sacrum at the bottom up to the crown at the top of the head. Seen in the light of psychology, chakras are associated with color therapy, Maslow’s hierarchy, childhood developmental theories and more. Each of the 7 key chakras has a specific function that corresponds with particular aspects of our human experience. 

8. Mindfulness Body Scan: April 12

The body scan is one of the most effective ways to support a mindfulness meditation practice. The purpose is to tune in to your body—to reconnect to your physical self—and notice any sensations you’re feeling without judgement. While many people find the body scan relaxing, relaxation is not the primary goal. The goal is to train the mind to be more open and aware of sensory experiences—bringing awareness to the ever-unfolding present moment. With time and practice, the body scan can build your ability to focus and be more present in your life.

9. Progressive Muscle Relaxation Practice: April 19

Progressive muscle relaxation is a deep relaxation technique that has been used to help manage stress and anxiety as well as help relieve insomnia. It is done by tensing, or tightening, one muscle group at a time followed by relaxing those muscles. As such it teaches the body the contrast between feeling tense and feeling relaxed so that over time you become more sensitive and able to notice when you're tensing and use your breath and awareness to effect positive change. 

10. Heart Math Meditation: April 26

Based on the research from the Heart Math Institute, this heart coherence meditation is designed to help you relax and develop better Heart Rate Variability. It allows you to slow your breath while at the same time develop a sense of joy and compassion. With this meditation we create a state of coherence by releasing stress and shifting out of draining emotions such as frustration, irritation, anxiety and anger. When you are in a coherent state, your thoughts and emotions are balanced, and you experience ease and inner harmony. 

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As a Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Yoga Teacher and a trained Qigong and Mindfulness Meditation teacher, Anne brings together her understanding of Western psychology with Eastern healing arts to offer sessions and classes that are healing, informative and integrative. In psychotherapy practice for over two decades as well teaching healing arts for the last ten years, Anne has created and facilitated workshops, designed and led mindfulness programs, taught Yoga classes from a Hatha and Ayurvedic perspective and Qigong classes in the Zhang Zhuang tradition. Her interest lies in the process of embodiment as the way to heal mind, body and spirit and has found that the ancient systems of yoga and qigong offer opportunities to find deep grounding while increasing both self awareness and self compassion.