Preparation for Meditation

This came up in the book study group (we are studying Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness, a basic book about meditation practice). This preparation is taught by  Culadasa (John Yates) in his book The Mind Illuminated.

Preparation for Meditation

  1.  Aspiration (Motivation) : Review your purpose for meditation. Be honest! Don’t judge your reasons. Be aware and accept them. Example: I want more peace of mind.
  2.  Goals Decide what you hope to work on in this session. Set a reasonable goal for where you are in the Stages. Keep it simple. Keep it small. Example: not to get annoyed when my mind wanders.
  3. Expectations Bring to mind the dangers of expectations and be gentle with yourself. Find enjoyment in every meditation, no matter what happens. There is no such thing as a “bad” meditation.
  4. Diligence Resolve to practice diligently for the entire session. Recall that the best way to overcome resistance is by simply continuing to practice, without judging yourself.
  5. Distractions Perform a quick inventory of things in your life that might come up to distract you. Acknowledge these thoughts and emotions and resolve to set them aside if they do arise. You may not be wholly successful, but at least you have planted a seed: the intention not to let them dominate your mind.
  6. Posture Review your posture and get comfortable. Attend to your supports, your head, neck, back, shoulders, lips, eyes, and breath. Relax and enjoy yourself. All the activity of meditation is in the mind, so the proper state for the body is like a lump of soft clay—solid and stable, but completely pliant. This will keep physical distractions to a minimum.

 It doesn’t matter how long you spend on the preparation, because it is a form of meditation. If your mind wanders, bring it back using the techniques described for breath meditation. The more often you do it, the faster it goes.

The four-step transition to the meditation object.

  • Step 1— Establish an open, relaxed awareness and attention, letting in everything, but give priority to sensations over thoughts.
  • Step 2— Focus on bodily sensations, but continue to be aware of everything else.
  • Step 3— Focus on sensations related to the breath, but continue to be aware of everything else.
  • Step 4— Focus on sensations of the breath at the nose, but continue to be aware of everything else.

New CMC Schedule

Monday, October 1:

11:00 am  30 minute Silent Meditation

11:40 am  20 minute Silent Meditation

All are welcome to either or both of these sessions. Please arrive 5 minutes early to get settled and avoid interrupting others’ meditations.

Wednesday, October 3:

11:00 am  30 minute Silent Meditation

11:40 am  20 minute Silent Meditation

All are welcome to either or both of these sessions. Please arrive 5 minutes early to get settled and avoid interrupting others’ meditations.

Friday, October 5:

11:00 am  30 minute Silent Meditation

11:40 am  20 minute Silent Meditation

All are welcome to either or both of these sessions. Please arrive 5 minutes early to get settled and avoid interrupting others’ meditations.


Summary: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Silent Meditations 11 –  11:30 and 11:40 – !2 noon.


Audio Teaching Sept 26

  • 12- 12:30 Silent meditation
  • 12:30 – 1:15: Audio Teaching (see below)
  • 1:15 – 2 pm: Discussion about the teachi

Please arrive before noon with enough time to get settled.

 This week we will hear Tara Brach in an interview by Tami Simon of Sounds True (https://www.soundstrue.com/store/about-us/our-vision) on her view of Waking Up.

Tara’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. The result is a distinctive voice in Western Buddhism, one that offers a wise and caring approach to freeing ourselves and society from suffering.

Tara Brach

Learn more about the meditation and study opportunities at Chapala Meditation Center at http://chapalameditation.com/


Audio Teaching @ CMC This Week

Wednesday, September 19 Noon – 2 pm

  • 12- 12:30 Silent meditation
  • 12:30 – 1:15: Audio Teaching (see below)
  • 1:15 – 2 pm: Discussion about the teaching.

Please arrive before noon with enough time to get settled.

This week we will hear Rick Hanson (https://www.rickhanson.net/ in an interview by Tami Simon of Sounds True (https://www.soundstrue.com/store/about-us/our-vision) on his view of Waking Up. Rick (https://www.rickhanson.net/) is a psychologist and neuro- scientist who has written and taught about the essential inner skills of personal well-being, psychological growth, and contemplative practice – as well as about relationships, family life, and raising children.

Learn more about the meditation and study opportunities at Chapala Meditation Center at http://chapalameditation.com/


EVENTS @ CMC this week:

EVENTS @ CMC this week:

Wednesday, August 29 Noon – 2 pm

  • 12- 12:30 Silent meditation
  • 12:30 – 1:15: Audio Teaching (see below)
  • 1:15 – 2 pm: Discussion about the teaching.

Please arrive before noon with enough time to get settled.

This week we will hear Jack Kornfield in an interview by Tami Simon of Sounds True (https://www.soundstrue.com/store/about-us/our-vision) on his view of ‘Waking Up. Jack (https://jackkornfield.com) is an author, Buddhist practitioner and one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West.

Friday, August 31: 11am – Noon, Silent Meditation

  • 11 – 11:30:         30 minute sit
  • 11:30 – 11:40:    10 minute walk, stretch, lie down, sit, your preference
  • 11:40 – Noon:    20 minute sit.

Please arrive at either 10:50 (for the 30 minute sit) or 11:35 (for the 20 minute sit)


EVENTS @ CMC this week:


Monday, August 27: 11am – Noon, Silent Meditation

  • 11 – 11:30:         30 minute sit
  • 11:30 – 11:40:    10 minute walk, stretch, lie down, sit, your prerence
  • 11:40 – Noon:    20 minute sit.

Please arrive at either 10:50 (for the 30 minute sit) or 11:35 (for the 20 minute sit)

Wednesday, August 29 Noon – 2 pm

  • 12- 12:30 Silent meditation
  • 12:30 – 1:15: Audio Teaching (see below)
  • 1:15 – 2 pm: Discussion about the teaching.

Please arrive before noon with enough time to get settled.

This week we will hear Frank Ostaseski reading the epilog in his book, The Five Invitations. The title of this chapter is “Dying Into Life”. It begins with a passage by the Persian poet Rumi:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

Where the two worlds touch

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

Each of the chapters in this book stands alone. It isn’t necessary to have heard any of the others in order to get deep meaning from an individual chapter.

Visit Frank on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/frankostaseski

Friday, August 31: 11am – Noon, Silent Meditation

  • 11 – 11:30:         30 minute sit
  • 11:30 – 11:40:    10 minute walk, stretch, lie down, sit, your prerence
  • 11:40 – Noon:    20 minute sit.

Please arrive at either 10:50 (for the 30 minute sit) or 11:35 (for the 20 minute sit)

Learn more about these opportunities at http://chapalameditation.com/


Teachings at CMC during September

Waking Up

A growing number of people are beginning to see things in a radically different way. In other words, more and more of us are starting to “wake up” spiritually—to discover an entirely new identity beyond the usual sense of who we think we are.

But what is spiritual awakening, really? How does it happen–and what are the consequences? Is it possible to attune to this dimension of experience at any moment?

In Waking Up, Sounds True publisher and founder Tami Simon speaks with some of today’s leading authors and teachers who will share their personal understanding of spiritual awakening—how it takes place, what changes (and what doesn’t), and how their experiences can inspire and inform our own realization.

For the four weeks in September we will hear audio teachings from western Buddhists teachers:

Jack Kornfield – “The Mandala of Awakening”
Tara Brach – “Loving Ourselves Into Freedom”
Rick Hanson – “The Neuroscience of Awakening”
Mark Nap – “The Call of Aliveness”


August 13-17

THREE EVENTS @ Chapala Meditation Center this week:

Monday, August 13: 11am – Noon, Silent Meditation

  • 11 – 11:30:         30 minute sit
  • 11:30 – 11:40:    10 minute walk, stretch, lie down, sit, your prerence
  • 11:40 – Noon:    20 minute sit.

Please arrive at either 10:50 (for the 30 minute sit) or 11:35 (for the 20 minute sit)

Wednesday, August 15 Noon – 2 pm

  • 12- 12:30 Silent meditation
  • 12:30 – 1:15: Audio Teaching (see below)
  • 1:15 – 2 pm: Discussion about the teaching.

Please arrive before noon with enough time to get settled.

This week we will hear Frank Ostaseski reading from his book, The Five Invitations. This week we will hear Frank presenting the second chapter in the Fifth invitation. The chapter is titled “Not Knowing is Most Intimate” and begins with a quote by Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between the two, my life flows.”

Each of the chapters in this book stands alone. It isn’t necessary to have heard any of the others in order to get deep meaning from an individual chapter.

Visit Frank on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/frankostaseski

Friday, August 17: 11am – Noon, Silent Meditation

  • 11 – 11:30:         30 minute sit
  • 11:30 – 11:40:    10 minute walk, stretch, lie down, sit, your prerence
  • 11:40 – Noon:    20 minute sit.

Please arrive at either 10:50 (for the 30 minute sit) or 11:35 (for the 20 minute sit)

Learn more about these opportunities at http://chapalameditation.com/


August 6 – 10

THREE EVENTS @ Chapala Meditation Center:

Monday, August 6: 11am – Noon, Silent Meditation

  • 11 – 11:30:         30 minute sit
  • 11:30 – 11:40:    10 minute walk, stretch, lie down, sit, your prerence
  • 11:40 – Noon:    20 minute sit.

Please arrive at either 10:50 (for the 30 minute sit) or 11:35 (for the 20 minute sit)

Wednesday, August 8 Noon – 2 pm

  • 12- 12:30 Silent meditation
  • 12:30 – 1:15: Audio Teaching (see below)
  • 1:15 – 2 pm: Discussion about the teaching.

Please arrive before noon with enough time to get settled.

This week we will hear Frank Ostaseski reading from his book, The Five Invitations. This week we will hear Frank presenting the first chapter in the Fifth invitation (“Cultivate ‘Don’t Know’ Mind”). The chapter is titled “The Story of Forgetfulness” and begins with a quote by Barbara Kingsolver: “A memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.”

Each of the chapters in this book stands alone. It isn’t necessary to have heard any of the others in order to get deep meaning from an individual chapter.

Visit Frank on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/frankostaseski

Friday, August 10: 11am – Noon, Silent Meditation

  • 11 – 11:30:         30 minute sit
  • 11:30 – 11:40:    10 minute walk, stretch, lie down, sit, your prerence
  • 11:40 – Noon:    20 minute sit.

Please arrive at either 10:50 (for the 30 minute sit) or 11:35 (for the 20 minute sit)

Learn more about these opportunities at http://chapalameditation.com/


Wednesday, August 1

REMINDER: this Wednesday, August 1, Chapala Meditation Center (5 de Mayo #260) will be presenting Frank Ostaseski reading from his book, The Five Invitations. This week we will hear Frank presenting the last chapter in the Fourth invitation, “Courageous Presence” which begins with quote from Audre Lorde: “ I realize that if I wait until I am no longer afraid to act, write, speak, be, I’ll be sending messages on a Ouija board, cryptic complaints from the other side.

The teachings will be presented from noon until 1:30 or 2 pm – depending on how lively the discussion gets. We begin with a 1/2 hour silent meditation, then the audio teaching followed by a group discussion of the teaching.

Visit Frank on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/frankostaseski