Reed Meditation is ONLINE

This post describes how Tuesday meditation at Reed will carry on through the coronavirus season. We will not meet on campus, but we will stick to our traditional Tuesday schedule and hold weekly meditation sessions ONLINE. You are welcome to join us. Learn more about how to stay connected below. Until then, please take care of yourselves and your households. A small amount of kindness and patience (even towards ourselves) goes a long way. Even a virus can’t keep up.

May 31 update – The spring semester is officially over, but meditation will continue right through the summer and you are welcome to join us on any Tuesday. Instructions for joining us online follow…

How to join Reed Meditation online. Reed meditation sessions will be held using the Zoom online “meeting” app. Download the app here for your computer, tablet, or phone (scroll down to find the right app for your device) and set it up (need help? check out the Zoom FAQ page). You can use this app for free and even use it to set up your own meetings (there is a 40 minute limit on meetings for “freeloaders” – our meditation sessions last only 30-35 minutes).

When Tuesday noon rolls around, grab your device and find a place to sit. Anywhere (your office, kitchen, front yard) is good as long as you have a reliable internet connection. Click the link for the meeting (see below), say “hi” or wave when you see me (Alan). Note: all attendees will see you if you turn on your camera so that is optional. Then, either mute your microphone or Alan will do that for you. And then sit. Most Tuesdays we will have time for a short greeting/check-in at the end of our meditation period, but that is optional too. If you have somewhere to be, click “Leave meeting” and go.

Links for meetings… The meeting link for each meditation session will be emailed on Monday to members of our mailing list and will also appear in the weekly entry in our Google calendar (ask Alan if you want him to share this calendar). Links will also be posted right here. The link for Tuesdays in May is https://zoom.us/j/639700409

Will the chapel also be open for meditation? Not at this time (learn more about current building access restrictions). (Apr 30 update: I relinquished our chapel reservation for May-August.)

New to meditation? It’s easily described. Simple to “do”. And yet, after giving it a try, many will think “I must be doing this wrong. It doesn’t ‘work’ for me. This is for other people.” If you’re having thoughts like these, you are not alone. Checking in with someone else can be helpful just for reassurance, if nothing else. I’d be happy to talk you about any stage of practice that you happen to be at, raw beginner to long-time practitioner. Just email me: Alan (alan@reed.edu)

If you’d like to delve around on your own, the materials in this blog provide a large repository of writings on meditation, how to get started, different ways to meditate (sitting, walking, working, focusing, not focusing, …), dealing with thoughts of “I can’t do this” and “it’s not working for me”, and so on. Unfortunately, they have all been posted at random times and there is practically no organization. Try clicking on the Instructions tag in the tag cloud on the right and see what pops up. (When I have a bit more time, I will try to add a “beginners” tag.)

Alan’s Final Tips. Regular mindfulness practice can help each of us stay grounded in this health emergency. When I was a child, my parents and their parents had already been dealing with the polio crisis for years. “Social distancing” was a familiar practice. When a national vaccination campaign finally got underway, we waited in long lines for our turn to get injected (this was replaced with sugar cubes when the oral vaccine became available). It was a national effort. EVERYONE did their part. Polio still resides in some communities around the globe, but many, many fewer people will ever need to worry about this horrible scourge. I am hopeful that our public health measures aimed at reducing, or even ELIMINATING, VIRUS TRANSMISSION will get us through the current epidemic.