Table of contents
Description of The Art & Science of Yogic Meditation
Discover a more powerful, nourishing and transformative meditation practice by combining the best of ancient wisdom and modern science to access the joy and wellbeing that is your birthright.
Whether this is your first experience with meditation or you’re a seasoned practitioner, The Art & Science of Yogic Meditation offers you support in understanding:
- The underlying structure of meditation
- The neuroscience of meditation
- The transformative power of meditation
- How to break free of compulsive thinking, emotional reactivity and negative beliefs
- The stages, phases, levels and practices of meditation so you can continue to progress into deeper realizations and great benefits
- Right relationship to, and functioning of the body, mind, senses and ego
- What lies beyond your sense of being a separate self — and how to experience it more and more
Through taking your practice to the next level, you will come to no longer view parts of yourself as broken and in need of fixing; rather, you can welcome them into your wholeness. And in that welcoming, spontaneous healing arises.
Meditation enables you to discover the peace that passeth all understanding, the peace that cannot be broken no matter what external circumstances you’re facing. You can confidently and courageously, as Indian yogi Paramahansa Yogananda wrote, “stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds.”
Your meditation then moves beyond a sitting practice into something incorporated throughout every minute of your day, creating and sustaining an underlying sense of peace and joy.
Before you can experience the bliss of a meditation practice that fits you as naturally as a child’s hand fits into its mother’s, it’s essential to understand both the art and the science of meditation so you can build your practice on a solid foundation and be completely comfortable with the principles and tools that will help you advance and deepen your practice.
What You’ll Learn In The Art & Science of Yogic Meditation?
Session 1: Waking In – Foundations of Meditation, Part 1
Setting the Stage for Meditation (August 9)
Meditation is not just something you do. It is the way you live your life. It is a call to action from the underlying force that has given birth to every atom in your body, as well as the entire cosmos. Meditation invites you to turn into yourself and be a totally alive, spontaneous and authentic human being across all levels of your humanness: body, mind, spirit, heart, emotions, thoughts, speech and actions.
The foundational practices of yoga meditation teach you how to welcome and proactively respond to each and every circumstance of your life so that your actions are in harmony, not just with yourself but with life itself. These foundational practices are designed to advance your understanding of meditation by supporting you to actualize forthright intentions within yourself and carry them with you in each moment of your daily life.
In this module, you’ll be introduced to:
- The map of yoga meditation
- Three levels and two paths of mindfulness
- Four phases of awakening
- How intentions nourish meditation
- Inquiries to discover your unchanging inner resource of wellbeing
- The function of the five senses, mind and ego
- The role of the 7th sense of non-separation
- Your innate unchanging ground of wholeness
Session 2: Waking In – Foundations of Meditation, Part 2
Core Principles & the Neuroscience of Meditation (August 16)
Certain core principles enable you to build a strong foundation for your practice of meditation. These principles help you learn meditation as both a daily practice and as a way of being and living in the world, enhancing your relationship with yourself and others at home, at work and at play.
Understanding what modern-day neuroscience reveals can also help you engage and follow through with your meditation practice by showing you what’s taking place in your body and mind as you engage the various practices of meditation.
In this module, you’ll discover:
- Core principles of yoga meditation
- Four neural networks involved with meditation
- Two styles of focused attention that deepen concentration
- How to step out of compulsive thinking and emotional reactivity
- How to open to insight and infinite possibility
- Simple practices that nourish heart-centered presence of being in the world
Session 3: Waking In – Foundations of Meditation, Part 3
Welcoming Opposites of Emotion & Cognition: Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Emotions & Thoughts (August 23)
Your sensations, feelings, emotions and cognitions are ever-changing. Yoga meditation helps you recognize these movements as messengers, designed to help you respond, rather than react, so that in each moment you feel deeply connected to yourself and in harmony with the world around you.
Meditation teaches you how to notice, welcome and proactively respond to these messengers of sensation, emotion and cognition. Your ability to engage them responsively, with right action, enables you to fully embody, actualize and individuate yourself as a unique human being so that you’re fully capable of navigating the ins and outs of your life and interactions. Your ability to respond appropriately grounds you and prepares you to navigate the realizations that are to come as you deepen your meditation practice.
In this module, you’ll discover:
- How to work with emerging psychic material on and off your meditation cushion
- Four internal needs that help you meet each moment responsively
- Six ways to proactively respond to sensations, emotions and cognitions as messengers
- How welcoming and engaging opposites leads to insight
- The neuroscience of emotions
Session 4: Waking In – Foundations of Meditation, Part 4
Experiencing Joy & Wellbeing (August 30)
Joy, wellbeing, love, peace, compassion and loving-kindness are qualities that naturally arise through meditation. Through meditation you can realize these as unchanging qualities that can exist alongside of, and independent of any achievement or changing state of your body or mind. The practice of yogic meditation doesn’t create these qualities. Rather, it helps unearth them so that you can recognize them as always present.
Like your ability to learn a language, joy, wellbeing, love, peace, compassion and loving-kindness are yours from birth. This explains why, even in the midst of pain and suffering, loss and grief, or sadness and depression, you can still feel them. They are always present, no matter what else is. Meditation supports you in experiencing them alongside every changing positive or negative state you may experience.
In this module, you’ll discover:
- The six innate and essential qualities that naturally arise through meditation: joy, wellbeing, love, peace, compassion and loving-kindness
- How to nourish these six essential qualities throughout meditation and your daily life
- How these six essential qualities are good medicines
- The yoga of sleep that nourishes these six essential qualities
- The neuroscience of joy and wellbeing
Session 5: Waking Up – Advanced Stages of Meditation
Separation & Ego-identity Fall Away (September 6)
There arrives a moment in yoga meditation when awareness makes a 180-degree turn upon itself, away from the objects arising in awareness, and inquires as to its source. Here, you wake up from the dream of being a separate self, and ego-identification and separation fall away. As you move beyond ego-identity and separation, your essential nature reveals itself as indescribable yet undeniably recognizable, as forever unchanging yet always fresh and brand new.
In waking up, shame, blame, guilt, self-judgment and other negative emotions fall away. You realize your true essence as beyond time, space and boundary. This is your unchanging wholeness, which is always present, loving, compassionate and welcoming. Here, all searching falls away and you awaken into the underlying Mystery that has given birth to you and the entire cosmos.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- The distinction between self and non-self
- How the triune brain creates separation and ego-identity
- Subtle barriers that obstruct awakening
- The natural process of release from ego-identity
- Awakening to what lies beyond separation
- Embracing your impersonalness amidst personal relationships
Session 6: Waking Down – Integration of Awakening, Part 1
Being Fully Human (September 13)
Waking up entails going beyond personal ego-based identity, where you realize your essential nature that lies beyond all conditioned beliefs of being a separate self. In waking up, you realize and celebrate your non-separate and impersonal interconnectedness with everyone and everything around you.
The next phase of awakening, “Waking Down,” involves enlightenment of your whole body, where you learn to integrate your awakened disposition of non-separation into the world of daily life, which is steeped in separation. Here, you re-engage your body, mind, emotions and cognitions as messengers that help you survive and thrive in the world. But you do this now with your 7th sense fully awake, which knows no separation even as your mind and five senses perceive separation.
Waking down entails stabilizing your ability to experience yourself as a unique personal-impersonal, non-separate expression of life, even as you go about relating and operating in a world that’s based on the myth of separation.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- Paradoxes and myths of enlightenment
- Who and what is in control of your life
- Differences between detachment, dissociation, disidentification and non-attachment
- Embodying the personal and separation amidst the impersonal and non-separation
- Doing, thinking and living from non-separate being
Session 7: Waking Out – Integration of Awakening, Part 2
Meditation as a Way of Living Life (September 20)
In “waking out,” you integrate your awakened disposition of non-separation into all of your relationships. Here, you deeply relax into unshakable faith and trust that you always know how to respond to every circumstance that life brings to your door.
Waking out entails living as the embodied, non-separate presence that you truly are, feeling interconnected with everything and everyone around you. Wellbeing, compassion and loving-kindness permeate your body, mind, speech and actions as effortless expressions of your essential nature.
You live the heartfelt recognition of everyone and everything around you as unique expressions of the underlying Mystery that has given birth to yourself, to them and to the entire cosmos. Here, you live free from ego-identification, and wisdom and love blossom as you embody the heartfelt realization that everything is indeed your self.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- Relaxing into effortless meditation
- Doing from being
- Being love incarnate: experiencing everything as yourself and yourself as everything
- Living from heart-centered presence in all of your relationships
- The integration of meditation into every aspect of life
- Connecting with your community of like-minded practitioners
- Next steps
About Richard Miller
Richard Miller, PhD is a clinical psychologist, author, researcher, yogic scholar and spiritual teacher. For 45 years, he’s devoted his life and work to integrating the nondual wisdom teachings of Yoga, Tantra, Advaita, Taoism and Buddhism with Western psychology. Among his mentors were Jean Klein, T.K.V. Desikachar and Stephen Chang.
Richard Miller, the author of Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, was named by Yoga Journal as one of the top 25 teachers of Yoga and Meditation in the West.
Richard Miller is the cofounder of The International Association of Yoga Therapy and founding editor of the professional Journal of IAYT. Richard Miller’s also a founding member and past president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology, and a senior advisor for the Baumann Foundation for the study of awareness and its impact on wellbeing.
Richard Miller is the founder, executive director and president of the Board of Directors of the Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI). Richard Miller has consulted on over 25 research studies on the efficacy of the iRest Meditation program developed by IRI — a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry, and a modern adaptation of the ancient nondual meditation practice of Yoga Nidra — on health, healing and wellbeing with diverse populations including active-duty soldiers, veterans, college students, children, seniors, the homeless, the incarcerated and people experiencing issues such as sleep disorders, PTSD, chemical dependency, chronic pain and related disorders.
In addition to his research and writing projects, Richard Miller lectures and leads trainings and retreats internationally.
More courses from the same author: Richard Miller
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