TMS Session #2

Summary of the Jan.22 session: 

  • I reminded us of our two main motivations to be here: 
    • to learn the art and science of meditation, as a practical tool to become happier and reduce unnecessary suffering
    • to have a space, a refuge if you will, where every week you can just let go and be in the present moment, with advice and encouragement from a teacher and with support from a group (that literally circles the globe!)
  • Our first meditation used the body and the breath as anchors for our attention.
  • In our "I.R.L" (Inquiry, Response, Listen) interlude, we asked why it is that such a simple activity as focusing the attention on sounds, or on the movements of the breath, can bring a sense of calm and openness in a relatively short time. I will dole out many responses to this question in future sessions, but today we saw that
    • focusing on bodily sensations can give us a taste of freedom from obsessive thinking and worrying 
    • the anchors we use -- sounds, bodily sensations, breath -- all keep us keyed into the present moment, as opposed to thoughts, which take us away into future or past
  • We concluded with a "dessert" meditation of kindness and well-wishing towards ourselves and others.
  • You can see/hear a recording of the class here:

Guided meditation: This week's breath meditation is by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the seminal figure who brought meditation into the secular mainstream:

Try to do it a couple of times before Thursday. And if you didn't get to last week's guided meditation, here it is:


This week's Listening excerpt is very short (under 3 minutes), but it's a perfect explanation of the benefits meditation and mindfulness. The book that this comes from, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, is the gold standard of mindfulness books -- I highly recommend it as an accessory to our sessions!

I will send the Zoom invitation on Wednesday for the Thursday Jan.28 session. Looking forward to seeing you again!

Be well,


© Anthony Ackerman 2013