Working with a meditation teacher

Before late 2009, I meditated for several years without a teacher, usually for 20 minutes a day. My meditation sessions were relaxing. Sometimes they were expanding. Sometimes my mind was caught up in thoughts. Sometimes I entered deep states of bliss.

After the first few months, I did not have a sense of progression. What I experienced seemed to repeat itself at random. It was all beneficial, but random. I didn’t have a sense of where I might be headed, except there was a possibility that something called “enlightenment” might be at the end of this path.

I discovered that Peg was a meditation coach late last year, which encouraged me to commit to a daily practice. It actually seemed like a no-brainer, as in, “Mary Ann, you live in a city with a Zen priest who can function as a meditation coach! You are privileged beyond your wildest dreams and cannot pass this up!”

Today Peg encouraged the sangha members to meditate for 30 minutes daily and to meet with her weekly, and before each meeting, to remind her of our full name and our current practice. She coaches a stream of people on Sunday mornings.

By current practice, she means what she has coached us to do in meditation. For some, their current practice might be to focus on their breath. My current practice is to start with a body scan and then focus on whole body awareness.

This isn’t random. Peg has experience with both spiral dynamics and meditation, a powerful combination that means she has the skill and experience to know what to prescribe.

For instance, often a meditator will take a big leap in growth over a short time and then will level off into a plateau. The plateau is necessary to integrate the big leap. Then another big leap occurs, followed by a plateau. And so on.

She knows what the big leaps and plateaus are likely to be about, and through her coaching, can identify where a meditator is on the path and prepare them for what’s ahead.

Now I have a sense of progression and a teacher I can trust. It makes a difference. I’m actually going somewhere. It’s called maturity or enlightenment. They may even be the same thing.

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