Exploring Meditative Ideals
Write a 400-500 word essay discussing 2-3 ideals that come up in meditation.
My intention for this essay is to get you thinking about how different meditative ideals function in meditation. There are no right or wrong answers in this assignment; this is simply a way to begin exploring your thoughts around meditation practice.
A meditative ideal is any concept that is held up as a perfected state, an optimal mode of being, or an ultimate experience/perception. Meditative ideals include, but are not limited to:
- Concepts about the present moment,
- What the nature of the true self is,
- Unconditional love and compassion,
- What it means to be non-attached or non-identified, or
- What “pure” awareness is.
For examples of meditative approaches that have many forms of meditative ideals, try listening to Adyashanti, Deepak Chopra, Pema Chodron, Tara Brach, or Ekhart Tolle, to name just a few popular teachers whose teachings include different kinds of ideals. You can listen to any of these teachers on YouTube for a sense of where ideals may show up. Or you can also listen to my guided meditations in the Yang Meditation lesson for examples of ideals in teaching.
Please note: You need not refer to these teachers I’ve listed; you can simply draw from your own study and experience.
I’d like you to identify 2-3 ideals, discuss what you think the intention of each ideal might be, and explore how the ideal might function within a meditator’s experience. What kinds of experiences are privileged by the ideal, and what kinds of experiences are dismissed or degraded by the ideal?
I want you to explore the influence that meditation instructions have on how meditators work with their experiences during meditation. What kinds of experiences – based on certain instructions (which frequently contain ideals) – are held as optimal experiences, and what kinds of experiences are devalued or seen as unimportant. Basically, I’m asking you to reflect critically on how meditation instructions influence what goes on during your meditation. And how do Yang and Yin approaches to meditation work with those ideals. (For example, how does Yang meditation work with being in the present moment vs. the way that Yin meditation works with being in the present)?
File format: Word Doc or PDF.
To submit your essay, click the button to generate an email – or just send me a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to attach your essay to the email (even though non-attachment is an ideal in meditation)!