The Essence of Meditation, One or Two-Day Program

Although we have heard of the inner peace that meditation promises to deliver, few of us have experienced it to any significant degree. The question is why? The Mahāsāra School of Meditation teaches a practice system that is simple yet extremely powerful, and which is more subtle than just learning how to watch our breath or our thoughts. In the Essence of Meditation seminar, we’ll receive profound teachings that’ll grant us access to our own inner awareness. Throughout the course, we’ll progress through a series of highly nuanced and targeted practices that’ll enable us to easily sidestep obstacles and attain deep states of awareness.

Andres has developed a perfect fusion of Tantric and Vedantic methods, informed by his more than twenty years of meditation practice and scriptural studies. It’s a “best of both worlds” approach, thoughtfully incorporating elements from India’s most important yogic traditions and distilling them into a simple yet powerful meditation praxis.

Through the practical knowledge gained in Mahāsāra Meditation, you will progressively deepen your experience of the bliss, peace, and exalted awareness that is your true nature.

Mahāsāra Meditation is accessible to everyone. No prior studies, experience, or affiliation to any religion, philosophy, or lineage is necessary to learn how to meditate. Beginner meditators will learn how to practice from the “ground up.” Experienced meditators will benefit by receiving profound teachings that will allow them to refine, reorient, and deepen their practice.

Benefits

The health benefits of meditation are well known. Studies from well-reputed universities and hospitals including Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts General Hospital have confirmed the significant benefits that stem from the practice. Meditation reduces stress, pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression while at the same time strengthening the immune and nervous systems. The studies also validate the cognitive benefits that meditation offers. Clarity of thought, sharper focus, and an increased amount of grey matter in the brain have all been documented.

Yet these physical and mental benefits represent only a small portion of the power of meditation. There is, of course, a profound spiritual dimension to the practice. Through Mahāsāra Meditation, we will learn how to make contact with and experience the bliss and peace of our own inner awareness. In fact, ancient wisdom texts proclaim that to become established in our own innate awareness is the highest purpose of a human life. The nectar of insight, bliss, peace, and expanded awareness that meditation yields are not a matter of wishful thinking or mere imagination. They can be experienced in a tangible way not long after we learn how to practice.

In the Essence of Meditation seminar, we’ll receive instruction on:

  • Establishing a strong conceptual foundation that will allow our meditation to significantly deepen
  • Establishing the right bhava (feeling) that will allow our meditation to become heartfelt and expansive
  • How to work with our thoughts in a positive and non-combative way
  • Understanding the difference between concentrative and so-called effortless approaches to meditation
  • Understanding the difference between guided meditations/visualizations and meditation proper
  • How to properly repeat a mantra
  • How to meditate without a mantra, if that is our preference
  • How to employ powerful dharanas (short contemplations) at the start of our meditation session to enable the mind to become profoundly still
  • The secret behind the power of attention
  • How to determine what the proper target of meditation should be
  • Understanding key tantric concepts, including how to work with the flow of shakti (spiritual energy) that is drawn into the body as a result of deep meditation
  • Why we should not worry about awakening our kundalini (coiled one) energy
  • Understanding kriyas (spontaneous actions) and their significance
  • Understanding visions, intense feelings, and other phenomena that can arise during meditation
  • An overview of the five key phases that unfold during a lifetime of meditation
  • How to set up an effective meditation space
  • Establishing proper posture, alignment, and breath
  • How to manage physical pains and discomforts while we are meditating
  • How to integrate our formal meditation session with the rest of our daily life
  • How to overcome perceived “dry-spells” and the feeling of lack of progress
  • Avoiding common hindrances that can adversely affect our meditation practice and more

While there will be periods of formal meditation throughout the seminar, the course does not involve long closed-eyed sessions as commonly found in Buddhist retreats. Until a solid conceptual and practical foundation is established, long meditation sessions (beyond one hour) are of limited benefit. In general, extended meditation periods should unfold in a natural and gradual way since it takes time for the mind and body to become fit to handle higher states of awareness (no one runs a marathon on their first day of training). For this reason, the course’s first priority is to grant access to the foundational framework needed to enable a lifetime of joyous meditation. There will be periods of discussion, Q&A, close-eyed sitting, guided meditations, as well as a brief introduction to the art of kirtan (chanting). While chanting in Sanskrit is not a necessary part of a meditation practice, the positive feelings invoked by the beautiful classical Indian melodies have been felt by many to be a powerful support to their meditation practice.

As mentioned, meditation is not limited to individuals who are pursuing spiritual goals. Regardless of whether we identify as religious, agnostic, spiritual, or atheist, the immediate benefits of learning how to quiet the mind cut across all philosophical outlooks. While the methodology taught in Mahāsāra Meditation is deeply anchored within yogic tradition, the practices are presented in a way that makes them equally valid and effective for any mindset.

I invite you to transform your life through the sublime practice of meditation.

“To achieve a higher state of awareness means to focus so intently on our feeling of being that it gradually overshadows our limited body-consciousness, leading to the realization that awareness is what we truly are and that the entire universe is in fact contained within that awareness.

—Andres Pelenur

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