Premium Member

Mindfulness-Based Classes & Instruction in Central PA

Joshua David OBrien, OM

Hummelstown, PA 17036 phone: (717) 877-7664
Saturday, November 28, 2009
This Week’s Discussion:
Living the Four Agreements: A life changing Journey

This Week’s Practice:
Mindfulness Meditation

The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

See you there!

Click here for more information.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
This Week's Discussion:
The practice of Breath Awareness - The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.

This Week's Practice:
Breath Awareness and Mindfulness Meditation

See you there!

Click here for more information.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
This Week's Discussion:
Who am I . . . really, the illusion of a self, and the power of the now.

This Week's Practice:
Mindfulness Meditation

See you there!

Click here for more information.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
This Week's Discussion:
"Self-Love: A Path to Abiding Happiness"

This Week's Practice:
"Loving-Kindness" with a twist

See you there!

Click here for more information.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Today's Discussion:
The illusion of threat, fearlessness, letting your guard down, openheartedness, and allowing for a liberated reconnection with yourself, others, and Life.

Today's Practices:
Body Scan, Loving-Kindness, and Mindfulness.

See you there!

Monday, April 06, 2009

1st Annual Community Picnic and Meditation

Eat together, Play together, Meditate together

Hosted by the Meditation Community of Central Pennsylvania


Where:  Ft. Hunter – Riverside (West) Pavilion

When:  July 12th, from 1:00 to 3:00pm - Silent group meditation from 2:30 to 3:00pm


Free and open to the public – Join us!  Everyone is welcome!

Pack a lunch – We’ll be eating under the Riverside Pavilion.

Bring the family! – Amenities include a playground, grassy play area, and a scenic view of the Susquehanna.

Come early or stay late and make a day of it! - Fort Hunter Park offers picnic pavilions, children's play equipment, a river front walking area, and a portion of the historic Pennsylvania Canal Trail.


Register at or join our online community and RSVP by following this link.

Thursday, March 05, 2009
"Simple Awareness of the Breath"

“Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out. The first monk said, ‘Oh, no! The candle is out.’ The second monk said, ‘Aren't we not suppose to talk?’ The third monk said, ‘Why must you two break the silence?’ The fourth monk laughed and said, ‘Ha! I'm the only one who didn't speak.’”

In our formal (sitting) practice of mindfulness meditation we attempt to focus our attention on the sensation of the breath. Quite frequently, we find ourselves distracted by interrupting thoughts, swept away by daydreams, or entangled in emotional states that appear to arise spontaneously. When we recognize that we’re no longer solely paying attention to the sensation of breath, our goal is simply to take note, and then return our attention to the breath without judgment or commentary.

Instead, what most often occurs within our minds is fairly similar to the discourse among the monks. One aspect of our mind says, “Oh. I wasn’t paying attention. Pay attention to the breath.” Another aspect wonders, “What was I thinking about?” Another aspect asks, “What time is it? How long have I been meditating?” Still another aspect announces, “I’ve got so much to do today.” We can so easily be pulled into more distraction by the commentary that goes on in our mind that we fail to notice that we’re not paying attention anymore.

This is OK. Don’t add to the distraction by adding one more observation or comment. Let it all go and return to the breath. Mindfulness is a skill that must be practiced. Each time you realize you’ve been off somewhere else in your mind, and you return your attention to the breath, you’ve exercised that mindfulness muscle and grown a little bit stronger. But try not to let these thoughts distract you either.

Visit our home site at and join us every Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00pm for simple group meditation.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
The way we walk into a room says a lot about the way we live our lives. When we walk into a room curious about what's happening, willing to engage, and perceiving ourselves as an active participant with something to offer, then we have really shown up to the party. When we walk into a room with our eyes down, or nervously smiling, we are holding ourselves back for one reason or another. We may be hurting inside and in need of healing, or we may lack the confidence required to really be present in the room. Still, just noticing that we're not really showing up, and having a vision of what it will look and feel like when we do, can give us the inspiration we need to recover ourselves.

Even if we are suffering, we can show up to that experience ready to fully engage in it and learn what it has to offer. When we show up for our life, we are actively participating in being a happy person, achieving our goals, and generally living the life our soul really wants. If we need healing, we begin the process of seeking out those who can help us heal. If we need experience, we find the places and opportunities that can give us the experience we need in order to do the work we want to do in the world. Whatever we need, we look for it, and when we find it, we engage in the process of letting ourselves have it. When we do this kind of work, we become lively, confident, and passionate individuals.

There is almost nothing better in the world than the feeling of showing up for our own lives. When we can do this, we become people that are more alive and who have the ability to make things happen in our lives and the lives of the people around us. We walk through the world with the knowledge that we have a lot to offer and the desire to share it.

-- Author Unknown
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Emotions live in the body. It is not enough simply to talk about them, to be a talking head. We need to focus our attention on emotions where they live. This willingness to be present allows the emotion to begin to shift of its own accord. An alchemy starts to happen — a process of transmutation from something hard and leaden to something precious and powerful, like gold.

This is a chaotic, nonlinear process, but I think it requires three basic skills: attending to, befriending, and surrendering to emotions in the body. Paying attention to or attending to our emotions is not the same as endless navel gazing and second-guessing ourselves. It is mindfulness of the body, an ability to listen to the body’s emotional language without judgment or suppression.

Befriending follows from focusing our attention and takes it a step further: it involves building our tolerance for distressing emotions. When I was giving birth to my first child, my midwife said something that has stood me in good stead ever since: “When you feel the contraction coming and you want to back away from it, move toward it instead.” The feeling in the body that we want to run away from — that’s precisely what we need to stay with. A simple way to do this is to locate the emotion in the body and breathe through it, without trying to change or end it.

The third skill, surrendering, is the spiritual part of this process. Surrendering to suffering is usually the last thing we want to do, but surrender is what brings the unexpected gifts of wisdom, compassion, and courage. Surrendering is about saying yes when we want to say no — the yes of acceptance. This is what really allows the alchemy to happen. We don’t “let go” of emotions; we let go of ego, and the emotions then let go themselves. This is “emotional flow.” When we let the dark emotions flow, something unexpected and unpredictable often occurs. Consciously experienced, the energy of these emotions flows toward healing and harmony. I’ve found that unimpeded grief transforms itself into heightened gratitude; that consciously experiencing fear expands our ability to feel joy; and that being mindful of despair — really entering into the dark night of the soul with the light of awareness — renews and deepens our faith.

--Miriam Greenspan
Thursday, March 05, 2009
From “The Need to Win”
Chaing Tsu [5th century BC Taoist]

“When an archer shoots for nothing he has all his skill.
When he shoots for a brass buckle he is already nervous.
When he shoots for a prize of gold he goes blind, or sees two targets.
His skill has not changed, but the prize divides him.
He cares.
He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power.”

Now, I know that the subject here is attachment to outcomes, but as I was meditating on this today I was lead into an examination of what the target might be. As I looked more deeply into discovering what the most important target was in life, the following discourse in my mind played out. . .

Philosophically, hitting the target alludes to one thing, but aiming for the target something altogether different. In aiming for the target the skilled archer draws all of his faculties and all of himself into the present moment. He ignores all other distractions both internal and external.

In real life, there is only ever one moment. The past is gone; the future is an illusion. Only the unfolding present moment is real. Be here now, and your aim will be true.

Here’s my suggestion. Really be here. Really, truly, fully be in that moment of contact with people. Bring all of yourself heart, mind, and senses to that moment. I know Dan Millman says that there are no ordinary moments in life, and I agree. But, I don’t know of any moments in life that are more sacred than moments of contact with others.

If you’re holding hands with your loved one, really feel your hand inside of and around theirs. Really experience that moment fully. When you’re hugging someone, really experience all of your senses. Resist the distracting ruminations, daydreams, to do lists, and discursive thoughts in your own head. Try to really be there completely. When someone is talking to you really give your full attention to them. Look in their eyes, watch their face, take in their body language, and REALLY hear their voice. Try this next time. It makes a huge difference in the quality of your relationships, and ads invaluable intimacy and connectedness to them. They will notice the difference too.

Really BE Here
Scientists estimate that adults have over 50,000 thoughts a day. This continual chatter of the mind happens habitually without any conscious input on our part. In fact, it would probably be more accurate to describe this process as “thoughting,” not thinking. It just happens on its own, all day long, non-stop. If you’ve ever taken an account of these thoughts you know that they are mostly useless, and often stressful.

Upon taking up mindfulness meditation practice, one of the first things that people discover is that they are not their thoughts. There is the thinking, and the Awareness of the thinking. The moment they begin to identify themselves as the Awareness of “thoughting” instead of the “thoughting” itself a tremendous transformation begins to take place. Realize that you are not the voice in your head and you make one giant leap towards freedom and true happiness.

The second thing people usually discover is how powerless they seem to be in the face of this mighty torrent of thought streaming. In mindfulness meditation practice, we use the breath as a point of focus, paying attention to it as fully as we possibly can. This acts like an anchor, and helps us to retrain our brain to be more fully present and aware. Through the daily practice of mindfulness meditation, and through our efforts to live mindfully, we develop the ability to bring more of ourselves into this moment like the skilled archer.

In short, every bit of this discourse could be summed up in three simple words – “Be . . . Here . . . Now.” Mindfulness meditation is a tool you can use towards that end.
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