meditation

A Note From George (November 2018)

 
52610fdd-56c3-482e-9d30-9fe1b0236201.jpg

The holiday season is upon us again. With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving looming, may I suggest the practice of Metta Meditation in Life. Touch into yourself, closing your eyes if there is the opportunity, careful not to create disconnection from the person in front of yourself, express Metta to yourself, “May I be peaceful.” Then, looking at the person in front of you, express Metta for them, “May you be peaceful.” Back and forth. This fosters mindfulness of self and mindfulness of others. If you can track how your experience of the other affects you, and how you their experience of you affects them, you will be in attunement to them. When we are attuned, we feel seen, understood, accepted, and loved. When we misattune or are misattuned to, we feel to opposite. Pay attention to who you can attune to in the whirl of the holiday gatherings, so when you need to connect, you know where to go. If no one is available in the flesh, use the phone. This is the time for gathering, so gather and enjoy!!

Exploration!!

 
 

The “Exploration!!” classes with Ben Smith at the Red Door in West Hollywood have been going great!! We are focusing on defining what makes life meaningful from a skills perspective. Looking through the attachment lens, there are three main drivers of meaningfulness. The first is having people that you feel safe with, that will make space for you when you feel threatened. The second, is that you have people that you can provide safe haven for, that you can take care of. And the third, is that you have people who will encourage you to explore what is meaningful to you, and who will welcome you back from your explorations with interest to find out what you found out. That opens up the whole “how do I maintain functional relationships” can of worms. (Different from the can of worms you go eat in the corner by yourself.) Then, how do I find a way for me and my group to make our way in the world. The conversation is getting interesting, please come. Reserve your spot here!

We have also started to live stream them on Facebook, so if you are unable to attend in person but would like to keep up with the conversation, please tune in every Monday at 7:30pm PT at facebook.com/mettagrouporg. (Or catch this past week’s class here!)

Mettagroup’s Winter Retreat at Seven Circles is still happening. The horrendous wild fires burning in so many places are thankfully nowhere near the retreat center. I am very excited to return to the wilderness for 10 days of deep practice. We still have some spaces available, please join us. Register here.

New solo sessions, new scheduling coordinator

 
8af8b0bf-0697-444d-ad44-83658ad84700.jpg
 

I would like to introduce you to David Kriegel, who is joining Mettagroup as the Scheduling Coordinator. He will be handling the calendar going forward. If you have mentoring, IPF and/or supervision sessions you need to reschedule, in other words, for all things calendar related, please connect with David at: scheduling@mettagroup.org.

Speaking of scheduling, here's something new!! Mettagroup is now offering single mentoring sessions. If you would like to talk with me about your practice on an as needed basis, you can set up a session by contacting David at scheduling@mettagroup.org or calling the office at 213-378-0489.

Your daily practice  

Keep in mind, that if you are unable to maintain a daily practice on your own, support may be the solution. Go live with Mettagroup’s Morning Meditation, 7:30 to 7:55am PT with Vipassana practice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Metta practice on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Read more here.

Or if you are the type that really prefers an ATM to an actual bank teller, then the Brightmind app and your phone is the way to go. If you haven’t already tried Brightmind, the only meditation app based on Shinzen Young’s teaching, with Shin himself guiding meditation, here is a link for that. 

However you decide to go, happy practice!! 

Mad love to you,
George

 

A Note From George (October 2018)

 

I'm very happy to announce a new drop-in class with Ben Smith called, “Exploration!” on Monday nights at 7:30pm at The Red Door in West Hollywood. I'll talk meditation, attachment conditioning as reflected in our individual capacities to explore what is meaningful, and Ben will cover the how-to of entrepreneurship to integrate meaningful work into a whole life. The classes are designed to provide instruction and support in meditation practice, instruction in how attachment conditioning shapes exploration, and with plenty of time to cover the how-tos of creating an entrepreneurial business and making it thrive.

unnamed-3.jpg

We will use Dan Brown’s Three Pillars approach for attachment repair: Ideal Parent Figure protocol for reparenting, developing of mentalizing, and developing our collaborative capabilities. As the human condition would have it, these three skills are essential to the practice of entrepreneurship. I think the synergy between these two worlds will be amazing. Please join us - RSVP here!

Karma & Generosity

Karma has a way of unfolding that is often unpredictable. For instance, some of you may remember a teaching on generosity I have offered may times. 

unnamed-4.jpg

You keep a dollar bill with you, and if you notice an opportunity to give it away, you do so mindfully, tracking your cognitive and emotional experience of generosity. Simple practice. Years ago, I was having lunch at a sideway café in (I am remembering Beverly Hills, but memory is unreliable) with Remi Kessler, marvelous Frenchman and documentarian. A homeless man approached the table asking for money, and I practiced generosity. Remi was so intrigued by this practice that he began a journey exploring the origins of homeless and our collective response to it. That exploration has resulted in a new documentary, The Advocates. Here is a link for conversation with Remi relaying his experiences coming to understand this terrible ongoing failure of our culture. The film premieres in theaters tomorrow, Friday, October 19th. Please look for it!

Calling all Shinheads!

Meditators often have found themselves wanting to have a daily meditation practice, but almost everything else in the world gets in the way of that ever @#$%ing happening. In our interweb connected, digital, phone-centered lives there is almost always an app for that. Shinheads of the world rejoice!! If you haven’t already tried Brightmind, a meditation app based on Shinzen Young’s teaching, with Shin himself guiding meditation, consider the possibility of inaugurating your new daily meditation habit. (Try it, you’ll like it.) Here is the link try try Brightmind.

Winter Retreat!

As Halloween is fast approaching and all that masked abandon is now the de facto start of the Holiday season, I think it is important to begin considering retreat for a silent New Year’s celebration. I point this out because Mettagroup is offering our Winter Retreat at Seven Circles Retreat Center in the Sierra Nevadas. Nothing quite rings in the New Year like supermarket cake, a cold Martinelli’s, and enlightenment. Book your spot here.

unnamed-5.jpg

Happy practice, love to you,
George

 

A Note From George (September 2017)

 
N#415-2016YNG.jpg
 

I hope everyone is happy and well. Mettagroup is excited to announce two new trainings for the fall of 2017: the Idealized Parent Figure Work Group, and Facilitation and Mentoring Training for our long-running intensives The Meaningful Life and Meditation Interventions for the Addiction Process. 

The Idealized Parent Figure (IPF) protocol is adapted from the Tibetan Mahamudra meditation practice by Daniel P. Brown et al, and is designed to repair attachment disturbances in adults. During the therapy, students imagine ideal relationships with ideal attachment figures replacing the actual relationship experiences with their actual attachment figures, updating their insecure attachment strategies with a secure working model of self and others. 

In delivering IPF to students, Mettagroup will develop three levels of care. Basic IPF will be included in first level curricula of The Meaningful Life (TML) and Meditation Interventions for the Addiction Process (MIAP) led by Mettagroup facilitators/mentors. As practice deepens, students will be supported psychologically by licensed psychotherapists in addition to Mettagroup facilitators/mentors. Some students may require a higher level of care than a Mettagroup facilitator and/or psychotherapist can provide, so a third level of additional support by licensed psychiatrists will be available as needed. Facilitators/mentors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists working with Mettagroup will need to have a practical understanding of the TML/MIAP curricula, including a developed meditation practice, and a working knowledge of IPF. 

At Mettagroup, we feel very strongly that the IPF protocol should be widely available to people living with attachment disturbance, so we do not wish to restrict dissemination of IPF training to people only interested in the TML/MIAP approaches. To that end, we have divided the training into two groups.

The IPF Protocol Work Group will train practitioners to use IPF, and provide ongoing support. Members will learn IPF by doing, and will be expected to both facilitate IPF for a member of the group and to receive IPF facilitation from a member of the group. Dan Brown will support the training during a two-hour video conference call every four to six weeks. Training in how to use the Adult Attachment Interview, and scoring services will be available to members. The group is open to TML/MIAP facilitators/mentors, licensed psychotherapists and psychiatrists. The group will be ongoing, and supported by member’s monthly dues. 

In addition, Mettagroup will offer an Attachment Theory and Meditation Basics course for therapists and psychiatrists who are interested in engaging this work but may not feel informed enough on the concepts and language of mindfulness meditation (and how it relates to attachment theory) to jump right into a work group. If you're interested in this course, follow this link and fill out the form to get in touch.

Mettagroup's Facilitator and Mentoring Training is a continuation and expansion of our existing mentoring training program that many of you may be familiar with. Focused on our signature intensives, The Meaningful Life and Meditation Interventions for the Addiction Process, it will have a special emphasis on teaching MIAP in treatment centers. The new format reflects the extensive expansion of these courses.

TML has been expanded to five levels of training, each in a six-month module. MIAP is offered in a 12-week, 36 class intensive outpatient format, and a six-month intensive post-acute treatment training. Students working with MIAP move to TML after stabilizing in their recovery from process and substance addictions. Meditation Mentoring training is a central part of our strategy. Students in the TML/MIAP Facilitator and Mentoring training will be supported in teaching classes, and working with mentees.  

I hope that we have peaked your interest. We are gathering names and contact information for those interested in these trainings. Please follow the links above to fill out the forms on our website and if you have questions, please feel free to call our office at 213-378-0489 to set up a time to speak with me directly.

Thanks,
George

Characteristics of Secure Attachment

 
support-phrases.002.jpeg

CHARACTERISTICS OF SECURE ATTACHMENT
Followed by the correlating meditations that are suggested.

1. A coherent thinking process – Right View; Mindfulness
2. Thinking about thinking – Investigating Self-generated Emotion
3. Seeing the value of attachment – Right View
4. Ease with expressions of self – Investigating Self-generated Emotion; Equanimity Practice
5. Clear manifestation of self – Equanimity Practices; Heart Practices
6. Forgiveness of self and others – Forgiveness Practice
7. Compassion – Heart Practices; Equanimity Practice
8. Balance/sense of humor – Present Moment Awareness
9. Recognizing different views of same experience – Heart Practices
10. Recognizing the effects of conditioning – Right View; Mindfulness
11. Seeing clearly what happened without minimizing negative effects – Heart Practices; Mindfulness
12. Authentic – Heart Practices; Mindfulness
13. Flexible – Heart Practices; Mindfulness
14. Generous – Generosity Practice; Heart Practices