Why Learn From Me?
There are of course many options available for those wishing to learn meditation, especially here in Portland. Why should the prospective student choose my services over others? Truly, it's a matter of what you feel drawn to. If you like what you've read here, or if you've met me in person and feel that you click with me or my take on meditation, I hope you'll consider taking my course.
That said, it seems appropriate to offer a few details that I believe set me apart from the "competition", which I admit I know little about. After a cursory inspection of the local meditation "scene", these are the major distinguishing features that stand out to me:
No belief system
Virtually all options for learning meditation that I'm aware of involve religion or some other belief system. Even though most say that "no belief is required", I think it can feel uncomfortable learning in such an environment. My own experience of learning meditation involved a non-religious group that nevertheless had some serious groupthink that took a fair amount of effort to disentangle myself from. Having gone through such an experience, I think I can offer a course that is uniquely belief-free.
Not woo-woo / airy-fairy / new-agey
I am very rational and science-minded, and I have no interest in most "New Age" concepts.
Naturally, many people who are interested in meditation are interested in New Age things, and many of my past students have fit this description. I am perfectly happy to teach meditation to anyone, regardless of his/her beliefs or lack thereof. I simply wish to make it clear that what I teach involves nothing new-agey, as this seems to set my course apart from most other meditation courses.
It's about you
I don't tell you what the "right" way to meditate is, because there is no right way to meditate. During the course, we will discuss and practice several different techniques. Meditation is not serious business! You get to play around and discover what works for you. My goal with this course is to get you started down the path and to help you avoid some common pitfalls. If I've done my job right, then you will be well prepared to continue on your own and find your own way.
I'm a busy student with a worldly life
I lead a normal, busy life: I'm a full-time student with an active social life. I have the same stresses about money, debt, and my future that most of us have. When I was a "monk" for a few years, I was spoiled with a relatively easy and stress-free existence, and I think I often forgot what a full load was like. I think my current lifestyle gives me some credibility in the stress department.