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Meditation is a special method for familiarizing our mind with positivity, or virtue. The more familiar our mind is with positivity, the calmer and more peaceful it becomes. When our mind is peaceful, we are free from stress and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness.

If we train our mind to become peaceful we will be happy all the time, even in the most difficult conditions. But if our mind is not peaceful, even if we have the best external conditions we will not be happy. For example, if we are out having a great time with friends, and then we get upset about something, all peace and happiness automatically disappears. Therefore it is vital to train our mind through meditation.

MEDITATION CLASSES

All of our classes offer a chance to gain experience with different types of meditation. You can see an overview of the recurring weekly classes we offer on the Schedule-at-a-Glance page, or through the "Meditation Classes" drop-down menu.

A SIMPLE MEDITATION YOU CAN DO NOW

You can also experience the benefits of meditation on your own, through a simple meditation on your breath. You may find it helpful to set a timer for your meditation (5 or 10 minutes is a good amount to start with), but it's not necessary.

Find a comfortable seated position, where you can be both relaxed and alert. It's helpful to have a back that's straight, but not rigid. Rest your hands comfortably in your lap. To help maintain alertness, you can allow a sliver of light to enter through your eyelids, but if it's more comfortable you can gently close them.

Now turn your attention to your breath. Observe each breath as it comes in and out (preferably through your nostrils) without trying to control it. You are simply an observer. Focus exclusively on your breath. Allow your awareness of your breath to completely fill your mind.

When any other thoughts arise, let go of them and direct your attention back to your breath. Keep doing this each time you find a distracting thought arise. It might seem that the meditation is making your mind busier; but in reality you are just starting to notice how busy your mind actually is. Be patient with yourself, and just keep guiding your attention back to your breath.

• As your mind becomes more and more calm, and less and less distracted, you may find that a feeling of inner peace, relaxation, lucidity, or spaciousness arises. Enjoy the experience of that state and hold onto it for as long as possible. When it fades, return to observing the natural rhythm of your breath.

• When it's time to bring your meditation to a close, gently relax your concentration and open your eyes.

As you go about the rest of your day, try to hold on to whatever inner peace or good feelings you may have developed. In doing so, you can get the most possible benefit for yourself, and gain the ability to be of greater benefit to those around you.

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