Meditation - a look at Sri Eknath Easwaran's method
The meditation techniques of Sri Eknath Easwaran - founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in California and prolific author of many books - Interview with his long time student Susan Miller (taken from his book entitled Meditation)
Q. Can you tell us about this book on meditation and why you wrote it?
This new edition (published in 1991) coincides with a significant anniversary. It was twenty-five years ago that I was invited, under the auspices of the Associated Students of the University of California, to deliver a series of talks on meditation on the Berkeley campus.
Sri Easwaren passed on in 1999
By autumn of 1967, that series of talks had become the first academic course on the theory and practice of meditation to be offered for credit at a major American university. While funding lasted, it drew hundreds of students and hundreds more auditors – including, I like to remember, perhaps a dozen dogs.
That was the real beginning of this book. Previously I had simply worked instruction in meditation into my talks on world mysticism. At Berkeley I found myself facing the welcome challenge of a large number of serious, enthusiastic students who wanted to know the subject from A to Z – and not just intellectually, but practically as well. It was for them that I developed the systematic presentation you will find in this book. I taught them the same program I had followed myself; and after several more years of on-going weekly classes, which drew thousands of people of all ages and occupations, I distilled my presentation into this book. It is the kind of manual I had wanted when I was learning to meditate, but could never find – direct, simple, practical, and based completely on personal experience.
For this second edition I have added some new material at the end, but I found very few lines in the text that I wanted to change. That did not surprise me: every detail had been worked out long before, and the principles are timeless. I have taught this program so long, helped so many people apply it over so many decades, that I know every step of the way.
I can say this in humility because in an important sense this is not my method of meditation at all. It is simply my presentation of principles and practices which are themselves age-old. In every culture there have been men and women who would find familiar what I present in the following pages. But different epochs have different needs, and our own times – the tumultuous end of the twentieth century, the crisis of the industrial age – cry out for universality. “Truth is one,” says an ancient Indian scripture, “though we call it by different names.” The method of meditation presented here can be followed equally well in any religion or in none. I think that is the real secret of its appeal. It belongs to no movement, asks for no change of beliefs: it simply allows you to take the ideals you respond to and gradually, gracefully, make them part of your character and your life.
At the same time, although there are no new truths in these pages, I feel deeply gratified to get letters every week telling me that this little book speaks to people’s hearts in a way that nothing else has. It is doubly gratifying to learn of new applications: this method of meditation is being used in health education and twelve-step recovery groups, recommended by therapists, even made the basis of programs for teenagers. These developments are fulfilling one of my most ardent dreams: that over the years I might be able to extend to millions this precious skill that has such power to transform one’s everyday life.
In India, meditation is defined as “the end of sorrow” and “mastery of the art of living.” It is my deepest prayer that through this book you will find these promises fulfilled in your own life. (June 1991)
Q. What is meditation?
To begin with, meditation has nothing to do with the occult, the paranormal. When people ask me if I can bend a key with my psychic energy, I simply confess, “I can’t even bend one with my physical energy.” When they ask me, “Did you come to this country in your astral body?” I say, “Air India actually . . . pleasant flight.” If I want to find out what is on the other side of a steel door, I don’t try to “see” through it; I open it. If I am chilly, I don’t vibrate my limbs and call up astral powers I put on a pullover.
Jesus said succinctly, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” If you want to know how people have progressed on the spiritual path, just watch them in the little interactions of everyday life. Are they patient? Cheerful? Sensitive to the needs of those around them? Are they free from compulsive likes and dislikes? Can they work harmoniously with others? If so, they are evolving, though they may never have had a vision or psychic experience. But if not – well, they could have all the occult powers in the world; it would account for absolutely nothing.
Second, meditation does not mean making your mind a blank. The only way I know to do that – I’m not recommending this, now – would be to ask a friend to give you a hearty blow on the head. But we don’t want to be inert; we want to activate our intelligence and increase our awareness.
Nor can meditation be equated with any kind of hypnosis or state of suggestibility. As the wizards of Madison Avenue know, we are too easily charmed, too easily entranced. What we need is to break the spell. Meditation de-hypnotizes us and frees us from all dependencies and illusions. Some use the word meditation to mean discursive thinking or introspection. Perhaps they have in mind Rodin’s The Thinker – chin on fist, knitted brow, trying to figure everything out. A lot of us have already spent long hours letting the mind play on ideas or dwell on problems or run about as it will. It has not been very productive: the mind remains the same.
Meditation is none of these.
It is, rather, a systematic technique for taking hold of and concentrating to the utmost degree our latent mental power. It consists in training the mind, especially attention and the will, so that we can set forth from the surface level of consciousness and journey into the very depths.
Q. Can I meditate?
Modern psychology commonly asserts that we cannot enter the unconscious fully aware. Thy mystic responds, “Oh, yes, you can! I have done it.” The journey cannot be adequately described, but I like to think of it as a return from exile. Into those strange and wonderful realms we too can go, to challenge the wild beasts that roam there, search out the castle where old King Ego reigns in our stead, and claim our throne and the vast inner treasure that is rightfully ours. For this is our own land, the one to which we were born. Even if temporarily we endure banishment, even if the kingdom lies in some disorder because of the usurper’s misrule, we can return triumphant and set everything right.
But “challenging wild beasts”? It is no exaggeration: I mean the selfish desires and negative feelings that stalk us. How powerful they are! It has always seemed to me a little wishful to say “I think” or “I feel.” For the most part, our thoughts think us, our feelings feel us; we do not have much say in the matter. The door of the mind stands open all the time, and these unpleasant mental states can pad in when they will. We can have a drink, pop in a tranquilizer, lose ourselves in a bestseller or a ten-mile run, but after we come back the beasts will still be there, prowling about the threshold.
On the other hand, we can learn to tame these creatures. As meditation deepens, compulsions, cravings, and fits of emotion begin to lose their power to dictate our behavior. We see clearly that choices are possible: we can say yes, or we can say no. It is profoundly liberating. Perhaps we will not always make the best choices at first, but at least we know there are choices to be made. Then our deftness improves; we begin to live intentionally, to live in freedom.
For we can change all these things. We do not have to accept ourselves as we are. Genetic code or brain biochemistry, astrological configurations or Tarot readings, early traumas or upbringing – none of these can ever limit our potential. The Buddha explains, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” By changing the very mode of our thinking, we can remake ourselves completely.
Then we become master artists. It is no small thing to compose a sonata or write a perceptive novel; we are indebted to the great composers and writers who have given us beauty and insight into human nature. But I am most moved by the beauty of the perfectly crafted life, where every bit of selfishness has been carved away and what is thought, felt, said, and done are brought into harmony.
It takes time and sustained effort to fashion such a life. That is the challenge of it – and that is why it can appeal so deeply to people with a skeptical streak, who simply cannot take seriously claims for instant transformation put forth today. They know you cannot reverse long-standing attitudes and habits by signing up for an “enlightenment weekend,” any more than you can sit down at a piano and play Beethoven or Chopin after learning to find middle C.
For most of us, conditioning – habits of thinking, feeling, and acting – flows through our days like a powerful river. Understandably, we usually lie back and float downstream. When a river of anger rises, for example, it is so easy, so apparently satisfying, to let it carry us along. Just try swimming against it! Your teeth will chatter, your breathing will become labored, your legs will grow weak. But the spiritual life requires that we do just that: reverse our conditioning and swim upstream, like salmon returning home.
In India, when the monsoons come, the clouds gush torrents of rain for days, causing the rivers to flood and swell. Many of the boys of my village were strong swimmers and daring too. We tested ourselves by leaping into the churning waters and trying to swim straight across to the far shore. It might take an hour or more to fight one’s way across, and even then only a few heroes made it to the precise spot; most of us ended up hundreds of yards below. But everyone loved the challenge. You may be saying, “I’m not sure I can do this.” Everyone can do this. It is in our nature; it is what we were born for. By virtue of being human, all of us have the capacity to choose, to change, to grow.
I have developed a kind of deafness: I can no longer even hear excuses for not taking up this challenge and taking it up today. If people claim they are too busy, I say, “Then you’re just the person who needs the energy, decisiveness, and concentration that meditation can give.” If they object, “I just can’t sit still,” I say, “Try it – you’ll be surprised. Some of my friends were jumping beans before they learned to meditate.”
I admit to being terribly persistent in this matter. I don’t think we should postpone meditation until we move or clean the garage or have the transmission fixed or finish the semester or get over our sore elbow or find some extra time or anything else at all. Wherever we stand, whatever our strengths and liabilities, whatever our reservations, meditation can help . . . now.
Q. What is the Eight-Point Program
So far I have spoken only of meditation, but you will find this book presents a complete program for leading the spiritual life. Please understand that while this program has been adapted to the modern world, its disciplines are really universal. They come recommended to us by men and women down the centuries who experimented with them and discovered their potency in the crucibles of their own lives. That is their guarantee. To the limit of my capacity, I too have practiced these disciplines and taught them to hundreds of people, so I can testify to their inestimable value on the basis of personal experience.
Here are the eight steps of this program:
2. Repetition of the mantram
3. Slowing down
4. Giving one-pointed attention
5. Training the senses
6. Putting the welfare of others first
7. Spiritual companionship
8. Reading from the scriptures and mystics of all religions
It is essential that all eight of these be practiced daily. Though they may at first seem unrelated, they are closely linked. Quieting your mind in morning meditation, for instance will help your efforts to slow down at work, and slowing down at work will, in turn, improve your meditation. But suppose you try to follow only part of this program. Hurry at work and your mind will race during meditation; skip meditation and you will find it difficult to be both slow and concentrated. In other words, some of the steps generate spiritual power while others put it to wise use during the day. Unless you practice all of them, you cannot progress safely and far.
Naturally, certain disciplines will be easier for you than others. Give your very best to each; that is all that is expected. Mahatma Gandhi suffered many setbacks in the campaign to free India, but he was never despondent. He often said, “Full effort is full victory.” Maintaining your enthusiasm, being regular and systematic in your practice – these really count.
Have you heard the expression “heroes at the beginning”? All enthusiasm for the first few days, but then . . . Not long ago I watched the news coverage of the annual Bay to Breakers run, from one side of San Francisco to the other. Some fifteen thousand people showed up to participate . . . brand new color-coordinated nylon outfits, top-rated running flats, digital stopwatches, everything you could want for a serious race. And what enthusiasm at the start! Everyone bouncing along with jaunty, springing steps, grinning at the spectators, scanning the competition for an attractive face . . . this is the life!
The next morning, though, I read about the aftermath. Fifteen thousand may have started, but thousands never finished. Sure, at the beginning, everything feels fine. But out around Hayes Street – after the downtown traffic, the noise, the fumes – a lot of people begin to think twice. The pavement is hot . . . and so are those top-rated running flats. Hills are coming up, and the attractive face that refreshed your eyes has disappeared over the next rise. Up ahead a billboard asks, “Wouldn’t a nice cold beer go good right now?” Next thing you know, you’re sitting on a stool at Roy’s Recovery Room, watching the end of the pack trudge along and thinking, “Next year . . . ”
It helps to know at the outset that you will be running a marathon in this program, not simply jogging once or twice around a track. It is good to be enthusiastic when you sit down for meditation the first morning; but it is essential to be equally enthusiastic, equally sincere, at the end of the first week, and the end of the first month, and for all the months to come.
Q. What are the three stages of meditation? Let’s begin with the first stage.
If the whole vista of the spiritual journey lay before us we would see that it divides into three stages, each culminating in a remarkable discovery. These are profound experiential discoveries, not intellectual ones. They bring a different way of seeing life and the power to make our words and deeds compatible with this new vision. Mere belief or theory is never enough; we must change ourselves. As one Christian mystic observed, “Our knowledge is as deep as our action.”
Language cannot describe these inner experiences very well. When I say stages, I am only approximating. There are no sharp boundaries; everything takes place gradually over a long period. But perhaps a few analogies will make these discoveries easier to grasp.
In the first stage, we discover experientially that we are not the body. Not the body? A startling realization! We have been lured into believing precisely the opposite: that we are essentially bodies, and that a worthwhile life is one well packed with sense-stimulation and pleasure, with all the delights of food and drink, sun and surf, luxurious fabrics and devastating fragrances.
What is the body then? Let me put it this way. I have a tan Nehru jacket of worsted wool made about ten years ago in Hong Kong. It fits me nicely, and I give it proper care: I don’t drop it in a heap on a chair; I button it, smooth it out, and hang it up carefully in the closet so it will last several years more.
But when I wear this tan jacket, I always have another jacket on underneath: a brown one made in Kerala, India. It fits even better — not a seam anywhere – and has brown gloves to match. I take good care of it, too.
Now, you wouldn’t confuse me with my tan Nehru jacket, would you? Well, I have discovered after some years of meditation that this brown Kerala jacket, my body, is not me either, but simply something I wear. In fact, though you can’t see me do it, I have learned how to take it off during meditation, leaving consciousness of the body behind. When meditation is over, I put it on again so that I may have the privilege of serving those around me. Someday my tan jacket will wear thin and have to be put aside. And someday too my brown jacket will no longer be useful for service, and I will have to put it aside in the great transformation we call death.
The discovery that you are not the body has far-reaching consequences. For one thing, you no longer see black or brown or white people, but people with all kinds of beautifully colored jackets. You no longer identify people with their color – or their age or sex or hairstyle or any other peripheral matter like money or status. You begin to awaken to the central truth of life, that all of us are one.
Then, too, you develop the capacity to see clearly the body’s needs and how to provide for them wisely. You will not be taken in, for example, by just the taste of food, or by its color, or texture, or the sound it makes . . . or the sound the advertiser makes on its behalf. If the senses set up a clamor for junk food you can say affectionately, “Sorry, friends, that’s not fit for you.” The senses may be disappointed at first, of course, but your body will be grateful: “He really takes good care of me!”
Please do not think this means you lose your appreciation of food. Actually, it will increase. When you can change your eating habits at will, you not only enjoy wholesome food, you have the satisfaction of taking good care of your body. All the other things we charitably call food will leave you unsatisfied.
Wise choices in food, exercise, sleep – all these enhance your health. You feel vital, alive; fatigue leaves without saying goodbye. Minor ills like colds and flu will brush you lightly, if at all. Chronic complaints often dissolve, and you are largely shielded from many serious diseases like hypertension and heart disease. All this prolongs life and keeps you active, perhaps until the last day of this mortal life. In every tradition, sages often retain their vigor into their eighties and nineties.
In the first stage of meditation, then, we discover that our bodies are really garments we wear – or, if you like, vehicles in which we ride. After many years in this country (the U.S.A.), I have learned the ways of the automobile, and I feel comfortable with such a comparison. In the early days, though, I heard some expressions that confused me. Soon after I came to California I went on a trip with some friends. The lady driving suddenly announced with concern, “I’m out of water!” She looked all right to me – it hadn’t been that long since we had eaten lunch – but I suggested she stop at the café ahead. Then someone explained, “She means the car is out of water.” “Oh!” I said – thinking to myself, a little mystified, “Why doesn’t she say that?”
All these bodies of ours are just cars moving about – some compacts, some big sedans. Some of them can dash away from a traffic light; others take a while to get going, especially in the morning. Most were made in America, but we have a refreshing mixture of imports too.
Q. What is the second discovery?
Having come to realize in the first stage of meditation that we are not our bodies, in the second stage we make an even more astounding discovery: we are not our minds either.
Sometimes when I state that, I catch the look on people’s faces – a look that seems to say, “Just a minute! First, you tell us that we’re not our bodies. Okay. Sounds craz—— . . . well, unusual; but we’re suspending judgment. But now you tell us with a straight face that we’re not our minds either. My friend, you’ve just eliminated us completely!” When I see that look I hasten to add, “Wait a bit. There’s more to the story.”
If this body is like the body of a car, the mind is the engine – the most important part of the vehicle. As such, we ought to give it special attention and care. After all, you can get along with a Model T body – look at the last years of Albert Schweitzer, Eleanor Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw – if you have a Ferrari engine. But so many people who want a Ferrari body are content to keep an old Model T engine putt-putting along inside it. Most of their attention goes to externals: chrome hubcaps, Bordeaux cherry vinyl seats, geodoesic paint jobs, velveteen steering wheel covers, little dolls that shake their hula skirts in the back window. What is the good of all that if the pistons are worn out and your engine won’t perform? We need minds that are powerful, lucid, capable of discrimination.
And we need minds that will follow directions, not ones that are rebellious. Suppose I come out one morning, start up my car, and drive off to give a talk on meditation in Milpitas, south of San Francisco. As soon as I cross the Golden Gate Bridge, my car veers east towards Interstate 80. I keep trying to turn the wheel, but there is tremendous resistance – the steering mechanism is ignoring me. “Milpitas!” I protest. “We’re supposed to be going to Milpitas!” But the car only roars insolently, “Reno! Reno! We’re going to Reno!” Then I think I hear it snicker, “Why not sit back and enjoy the ride?”
Would we put up with that? Well, no . . . not from our cars. But most of us do from our minds. In theory we would like the mind to listen to us obediently, but in fact it will not – chiefly because we have never taught it how. Augustine’s words speak plainly: “I can tell my hand what to do and it will do it instantly. Why won’t my mind do what I say?”
Everywhere there are a few people who will not accept this condition, who see it as a loss of freedom, a kind of bondage. My grandmother, my spiritual teacher, knew nothing about cars, but she understood the mind. When I would give tit-for-tat to others, wax angry because they were angry or standoffish because they stood off, she would say, “Son, when you act that way, you remind me of a rubber ball. Throw it against a wall and it has to come back.” It took a while, but I finally resolved not to be a rubber ball in life.
At the outset I said that the spiritual life has nothing to do with the paranormal and the occult. But I do have one ability that seems to some people a kind of miracle, though it is simply a skill that anyone can develop through years of meditation: I can tell my mind what to do.
Where is the miracle? As Shakespeare’s Hotspur would say, “Why, so can I, or so can any man.” Well, here it is: when I tell my mind what to do, it obeys. If a craving should arise for something my body does not need, I smile and say politely, “Please leave,” and it leaves. If something big tries to move in – say, an angry thought – I don’t bandy words; I say plainly, “Out!” It goes immediately.
Meditation will do for you what it has done for all who practice it regularly: enable you to steer your car expertly. If you want to stay in one lane and cruise, your mind will obey you. If you want to change lanes or turn right or left or even make a U-turn, your mind will respond. When your mind does that at command, you have mastered the art of living. You are no longer dependent on external circumstances; you can decide how you want to respond, whatever happens. If a friend acts thoughtlessly, for example, you don’t have to dwell on it; you can fix your attention on the good in that person instead. If you begin to slide into a depression, you simply change your mind – you have learned how – and restore your equanimity and cheerfulness. You can now think what you want to think, and every relationship, everything you do, benefits enormously.
When you know you are not the body, you find it inaccurate to say, “I’m not feeling well.” Your body may be indisposed, but you are always well. Now, in the second stage of meditation, you discover it equally inaccurate to say, “I am angry.” The mind is angry. Instead of being consumed by anger, you can have a little fun at your own expense: “Hmm! There seems to be a nut loose up in there.” A mechanical problem – anger – has developed, and if you know how to lie down on your mental car creeper, scoot under your mind, and tighten things up – or, more likely, loosen them a little – the problem can be set right. And you don’t have to pay out two hundred dollars before you get your car keys back.
This perspective brings precious distance – detachment – from the problems of both body and mind. For one, negative emotions no longer threaten. I mentioned anger, but fear and depression come under control too. You can tune the engine of your mind very much the way you choose – in fact, you can come to have such mastery that even in your sleep, negative thoughts like resentment, hostility, and greed will not arise. You take full responsibility for your mental states as well as for your behaviour.
A well-tuned mind helps to conserve the vital energy wasted in negative emotions. No one would leave a car running in the garage all night, but we let our minds run on much of the time. No wonder we often feel tired and dispirited! This loss of vitality can even lead to illness.
Family and general practice physicians report that between seventy and eighty percent of their patients come in with psychologically generated complaints, vague feelings of “dis-ease.” The Buddha had an incisive term for this: duhkha, which implies “out of joint.” When vitality has been wasted we simply do not function well, like an elbow that has slipped out of place.
When we know how to set right any turmoil in the mind, all the power comes into our hands, to be used for the benefit of all. I cannot imagine a time when this was more essential. Every one of us has so much to give – more than we can realize – and it is so badly needed. Can we afford to waste it?
Q. What is the Great Discovery
Having discovered that we are not the body, not the mind – both subject to change, to growth and decline – the question remains, “Who am I?” In the third stage, the tremendous climax of meditation, we make the most significant discovery any human being can ever make: we find out who we really are.
As long as we identify with the body and the mind we bob around on the surface level of consciousness, chasing after the fleeting attractions of life outside us. Here a pleasure won, there one lost. A bit of praise today, some criticism tomorrow. Profit, loss, profit, loss. Thus our days are spent, and we are scattered, divided, restless, incomplete.
Now, in profound meditation, we drop below all that and become concentrated on one thing and one thing alone: our true identity. In this absorption, this great gathering within, we break through the surface of consciousness and plummet deep, deep into our real nature.
What we discover cannot be put into words, but thereafter we are never again the same. With all our consciousness gathered to an intense focus within, the boundaries that seem to separate us from the rest of the world disappear. The duality of subject and object, knower and known, falls away; we are opened to a transcendental mode of knowing. Albert Einstein must have glimpsed this when he wrote from the perspective of a great physicist:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
In this profound state all petty personal longings, all hungering and thirsting, all sense of incompleteness vanish. We discover, almost in every cell of our being, that deep within us we lack nothing. Our inner reserves of love and wisdom are infinite; we can draw on them endlessly and never diminish them.
Previously, vague tones of discordancy sounded through what we thought and did. Like a shoe that pinches, a dislocated shoulder, the wrong key in a lock, matters were somehow just not right. But now a sense of rightness pervades our life; we fit, we belong. This earth, nature, our fellow creatures, we ourselves – all things take their proper places in one grand harmony. Because we identify not with a fragment of life but with the whole, conflicts and division cease.
Of course, problems in the world remain – perhaps only now do we see just how threatening they really are. But we see too that they can be solved, and that we have the wisdom and resourcefulness with which to solve them. Those difficult stretches that test our mastery – sudden rises, hairpin turns, icy roads – we negotiate skillfully, like a practiced driver. And since we are fit to meet such challenges, they come – even big ones. But we stand ready: there will be difficult steering ahead, but we can manage it without fatigue or depression.
Life itself becomes an effortless performance – very much like the virtuosity of a renowned pianist or cellist. The artist makes it look so easy; we almost want to exclaim, “Why, I could play that way!” But what enormous practice goes into such mastery! Once, it is said, a great painter took a mediocre portrait and brought it to vibrant life with a few quick strokes. His students were awed. “How did you manage to achieve that?” one asked. “It took just five minutes at most.” The master said, “Oh, yes, it took only five minutes to do it. But it took twenty-five years to learn how to do it.”
This skill in living brings beauty to your relationships. Only the sense of separateness makes us quarrelsome or difficult with others, and now no one can ever be separate from you again. Imagine that the little finger on your left hand turns feisty. It looks over at the thumb, which is minding its own business, and says, “What’s that odd bird doing here? I’m going to tell him to clear out. If he doesn’t, he’s in for a drubbing!” What could be more absurd? Doesn’t an injury to the thumb hurt the whole hand, of which the little finger is a member? When you discover your real nature, you discover simultaneously that you and others are one. In harming them, you are actually harming yourself; in being kind to them, you are being kind to yourself. All life is your family now, and though you express it in different ways with different people, you fell towards each person – to use the words of the Buddha – as a mother does towards her only child.
This does not mean that differences of opinion all vanish. There is diversity on the surface of life; that is what gives it interest. But now you always have the ability to understand other points of view. Aren’t people essentially the same everywhere? The differences account for only one percent; the similarities, for ninety-nine. You can jump right out of your shoes or sandals into another’s and see things as they do; you can leap right across supposed barriers of age, sex, economic status, nationality. You live in everybody, just as everybody lives in you.
Attaining this state of consciousness is the highest goal we can have in life. Different religions have called it by different names: illumination, enlightenment, nirvana, Self-realization, entering the promised land or the kingdom of heaven within. But whatever the language, the experience is everywhere the same. Jesus called it “a pearl of great price.” Without it, our lives will always be wanting; even if we had to give everything on earth to obtain it, the cost would not be too high to pay.
May this pearl be yours!
If you are interested in this type of meditation, please contact The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation website: https://www.bmcm.org