Meditation practice offers the potential to access a deep level of release, relaxation and expansive spaciousness in body and mind. In my experience, this is often far greater than can be achieved through physical practices alone – and in my view, this is the real meaning of Yoga. These deeper meditative mental states accessed through meditation – sometimes referred to as Samadhi or Jhana, are also related to the concept of Wu Chi or non-duality found within the Daoist or Tai Chi philosophy.
I began to practice meditation from books and CD’s while studying psychology at university. Some years later I started attending meditation classes for a couple of years with a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk. My first meditation / mindfulness retreat experience was with Thich Nhat Hanh in 2008 (and again in 2012). In 2010, I attended my first 10-Day Vipassana Course (Goenka) and undertook several more of these of various lengths over the following years. In 2012, I attended my first week long meditation retreat at Dhanakosa Buddhist Retreat Centre, and have since attended a dozen or so retreats on various meditation themes – I continue to attend retreats at Dhanakosa whenever possible with various teachers. In 2022, I undertook a 7-day online retreat with Guy Burgs (The Art of Meditation). I’ve also explored ‘shamanic’ and other more creative approaches to meditation.
I teach meditation initially as an extension of yoga asana & pranayama practice and normally begin by focussing on aspects of physical posture and breath. This can naturally lead on to a more internally focussed practice, working with sensations and body scanning – moving towards a ‘just sitting’ style of open embodied awareness practice.
See also About Yoga section