The Art & Science of Yogic Meditation by Richard Miller
Discover the keys to integrating ancient wisdom and modern science into a powerful, nourishing and transformative meditation practice and unlock the joy and wellbeing that is your birthright.
Science has unequivocally confirmed it: a consistent daily meditation practice is one of the most generous gifts you can give your body, mind and soul.
Meditation can lower your stress, enhance your energy, improve your sleep, make you mentally sharper, ease negative emotions and enhance positive ones… it can even optimize your work performance!
And on the spiritual level, as you take your meditation practice deeper, you improve your ability to access higher states of consciousness and directly realize, integrate and embody the underlying reality of your essential nature so that you experience radiant health and wholeness.
Through meditation, you can awaken to great love, kindness and compassion. More than that, you can awaken to unity consciousness and realize that there’s something within you that has never been hurt, never been broken, never been harmed, and has always been whole and healthy.
This all-embracing sense of oneness makes you feel more intimately connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you.
Indeed, the potential impact of meditation on your life is enormous…
So the question isn’t IF you should meditate, but rather HOW.
The Overwhelming Options for Meditating
The challenge is that there are just so many options for you to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin.
Are all meditation practices equal?
How do yogic meditation traditions differ from Buddhist and other traditions?
What works best and when?
How do I tailor my practice to my busy life?
These and many other questions may be going through your mind when you contemplate starting or deepening your practice. And it would take a lifetime to study and master all the intricacies of the countless practices and traditions that extend back for millennia so you can know which is best for you.
Luckily, neuroscience is now providing some clues, as cutting-edge research is revealing exactly what’s taking place in our bodies and mind as we engage in various meditation practices.
With that information, the most effective, powerful practices can now be distilled and shared.
The Value of a Master Guide
Rather than sifting through and distilling this vast array of information (from neuroscience and from the various traditions) on your own, what if you could take a 7-step virtual journey with a master guide who’s been at the forefront of meditation research for 45 years?
Such a guide can navigate you through the inscrutable mysteries of ancient traditions and modern science — and help you harvest the best advanced meditation practices from the Yoga, Taoist, Mahayana, Dzogchen, Zen and Judeo-Christian traditions, without having to devote years to learning highly complex protocols.
Spiritual teacher Richard Miller, PhD, the founding president and CEO of the Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI), and founding president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, was named by Yoga Journal as one of the top 25 teachers of Yoga and Meditation in the West.
Richard has devoted his career to integrating the nondual wisdom teachings of Yoga, Tantra, Advaita, Taoism and Buddhism with Western psychology, and applying those insights to the practice of meditation.
He 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 that effectively reduces PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain and chemical dependency while increasing health, resiliency and wellbeing.
This lifetime of hard-earned wisdom and knowledge is now available to you in a powerful virtual format. Over the course of 7 modules, Richard will share with you the insights and practices that can take you beyond effort and striving, into the ease of transforming your meditation from a hard-fought practice to an easeful way of life.
Whether this is your first experience with meditation or you’re a seasoned practitioner, this course 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 Discover in These 7 Modules
In this 7-part transformational intensive, Richard will guide you through the fundamental spiritual skills and competencies you’ll need to successfully integrate direct practices into your daily life to experience your innate, unchanging wellbeing and wholeness, no matter your circumstances.
Each contemplation and training session will build harmoniously upon the next so that you’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of the practices, tools and principles you’ll need to sustain your newly developed practice.
Session 1: Waking In – Foundations of Meditation, Part 1
Setting the Stage for Meditation
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 to 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 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
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
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
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 amidst 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
- Why 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
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
Waking up entails going beyond personal ego-based identity, and realizing 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 living, 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 of non-separation 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
In “waking out,” you integrate your awakened disposition of non-separation into all your relationships. Here, you deeply relax into unshakable faith and trust that you will 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 yourself.
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
Self Help – Self Help online course
More information about Self Help:
Self-help or self-improvement is a self-guided improvement—economically, intellectually, or emotionally—often with a substantial psychological basis.
Many different self-help group programs exist, each with its own focus, techniques, associated beliefs, proponents and in some cases, leaders.
Concepts and terms originating in self-help culture and Twelve-Step culture, such as recovery, dysfunctional families, and codependency have become firmly integrated in mainstream language.
Self-help often utilizes publicly available information or support groups, on the Internet as well as in person, where people in similar situations join together.
From early examples in self-driven legal practice and home-spun advice, the connotations of the word have spread and often apply particularly to education, business,
psychology and psychotherapy, commonly distributed through the popular genre of self-help books.
According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, potential benefits of self-help groups that professionals may not be able to provide include friendship,
emotional support, experiential knowledge, identity, meaningful roles, and a sense of belonging.