Frequently asked questions
Learn to Meditate course
Do I have to sit on the floor to meditate?
No. Meditation can be done sitting in a normal chair. If you have any issues that make sitting in a chair uncomfortable, you can lie down on the floor (we provide mats for doing this). If you are flexible enough you may sit cross legged on the floor, or in a yoga pose, or you may even use a small meditation stool.
The main point is to be physically comfortable, with your back reasonably straight (i.e. not hunched over or bent). We spend time in the first class checking that everyone is comfortable – a little time spent here makes it much easier to enjoy your meditation experience!
What happens if I miss a class? Can I change classes?
If you cannot attend any class in a particular week, then we'll offer you a free Refresh and Restore session for each week that you miss. These sessions provide a great way to get more practical meditation experience. (Even if you didn't miss any classes, you still may like to attend these sessions, nominal fee applies).
If there are other Learn to Meditate courses running concurrently during one of our terms you are welcome to attend your class at any location that week to cover the same material. People do this all of the time – it is no problem at all. You don't need to phone in, just let the teacher know at the start of the class and they will look after the rest.
What should I wear to a meditation class?
Whatever you feel comfortable in. Some people need to arrive straight from work – work clothing is fine as we will be seated in chairs, just try to wear something not too tight around the waist. Casual clothing is also perfectly suitable. Facilities are available for changing.
What should I bring? Do I need to bring a notepad?
There is no need to bring anything – we have water available but feel free to bring your own water bottle. We have a range of chairs and some mats if you prefer to lie down during the practical meditation.
We provide a course summary at the start of the course – this has an overview of the course content, some of the Spot Meditations and some of the most popular longer meditations. Feel free to bring a notebook and pen if you like taking your own notes.
I tried to meditate before, but I couldn't stop all of the mind chatter – will it be different at a Lifeflow course?
Many people think that to meditate properly you have to get into a space where there is no 'mental chatter' at all, believing that 'if you haven't got there, then you have failed at meditation'. This is not true, and it causes many beginners a lot of unnecessary concern.
In our courses we spend a lot of time explaining about the nature of the mind, and that wandering is an inherent part of the meditation experience. We let you know what to expect, and how to work with it.
Even if your mind wanders a bit, you can still get the benefits from a meditation. Of course, you may also touch deeper experiences of calm when your mind is completely still – many people do experience this in our Learn to Meditate course. We explore this as well.
Is meditation difficult? Can anyone do it?
Anyone and everyone can meditate!
Meditation is actually just a technique that lets you open up something that is natural for all of us – having the mind still and open and your body relaxed. Everyone has felt this at some stage in their life. Meditation just gives you a way to return to this state.
There are two common problems that all beginners face with meditation: the first is posture, the second is using the appropriate meditation. We work very carefully to address both issues.
The problem with posture may be as simple as the way you are sitting – in every Learn to Meditate course we cover a whole range of ways to sit comfortably.
To address the second issue, we cover a wide range of meditations in each course. Out of this, you only need one that works, but many people find that nearly all of the meditations work for them. We teach short Spot Meditations that you can use anywhere (at work, at school, waiting in a supermarket check-out queue) as well as longer meditations that can give you a deeper experience of calm and bliss.
When I tried to meditate I just fell asleep. Is this a problem?
This is a stage that most beginners go through and is actually not a problem at all. Invariably it means that you are tired. (Often there is a degree of background tiredness that we are just not aware of. We usually don't notice this because our thoughts keep us revved up, so we never feel the tiredness until it is overpowering. Once our mind starts to settle and body starts to relax, this tiredness can be felt and at this point it is very easy to fall asleep).
In the course we'll explain what is happening, and what you can do about it. The worst side effect of falling asleep in meditation is that you'll wake up feeling more refreshed!
Can I use Lifeflow meditations to help with sleeping problems?
Yes. Many people have found great benefit when using Lifeflow meditations to help with sleeping issues. One of the biggest problems with not being able to get to sleep is thinking too much, having a head that is just too busy. Meditation provides many ways to let your mind settle, to let go of your thoughts and rest in the feelings in your body. This makes it much easier to fall asleep.
During the Learn to Meditate course we'll higlight a number of techniques that can be used to help with sleeping issues. These techiques have been tried and tested by Lifeflow teachers, so we know they work!
Does meditation have health benefits?
There have been many claims made about the curative effects of meditation. If only they were all true! The approach we take at Lifeflow is the view that there is normally a stress component in nearly all illnesses. In addition, one of the side effects of long term stress is decreased efficiency of the body's immune system.
Where meditation can be highly beneficial for health related issues is that you can learn to relax your body and calm your mind, and return your emotions to a state of balance. This takes enormous pressure of the body, and allows its own healing systems to work optimally. So, the health benefits are a (great) side effect of the relaxation that you can achieve through meditation.
Do I have to practise meditation every day to get any benefit?
The easiest place to start bringing the benefits of meditation into your life is to start with the Spot Meditations. They only take 20-30 seconds, and can be done nearly anywhere. For most people, that is all that they do between classes.
If you are motivated to do more practice by yourself, then you will find that a meditation CD can make it much easier to do.
Even just doing one Spot Meditation will bring some benefit, but doing more will bring greater benefit. With practice, you can learn to do all of the meditations by yourself.
I've learnt meditation before, should I start with the Lifeflow Learn to Meditate course?
This course is for anyone new to meditation, or anyone with limited experience with meditation, or anyone who is new to Lifeflow meditation. Many people who have tried meditation at other centres or schools have also benefited from coming to this course.
We have also found that students with significant prior experience have found great benefit from starting with our Learn to Meditate course. This has been in part due to the breadth of meditations covered plus the depth of the teachers' knowledge. We recommend all newcomers to Lifeflow to start with this course.
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Learn to meditate
Learn simple, effective techniques for bringing calm and balance into your everyday life.Find out more
We have highly qualified and experienced meditation teachers at all courses and retreats, each with a minimum of ten years training with Lifeflow.Find out more