hen crossing unknown mountains it is often helpful to engage a guide. An experienced guide will have traversed these particular passes hundreds of times in many different kinds of weather and at different seasons. The guide knows what equipment to bring along, and what to leave behind. When the going gets tough, the guide is familiar with the obstacles and his/her presence saves much unnecessary toil and may make the difference between success and failure.

Similarly, it is invaluable to have an experienced guide to assist in beginning and deepening a meditation practice. There are many books that offer instruction and inspiration, but only a personal relationship with someone who is familiar with the path can provide the intimate guidance necessary.

As a stress management strategy meditation yields remarkable results. Research indicates that 90% of all medical conditions are influenced by the mind. Conditions that meditation is being used for include: anxiety, panic attacks, depression, phobias, compulsions and addictions, relationship problems, insomnia, headaches, chronic pain, asthma, colitis, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic fatigue syndrome. Meditation is not "the cure" for these problems, but including it in a treatment program enhances healing or the ability to cope more skillfully. Meditation is a powerful adjunct to Western medicine.

The medical world has discovered meditation. Recognizing that the mind and body are more accurately described as the bodymind, researchers in the new discipline of psychoneuroimmunology are developing ways to use the power of the mind to assist in healing.

In working with psychological issues individual guidance helps a person practice meditation on a solid foundation. Without proper guidance the very personality patterns that one is hoping to influence often overwhelm a beginning meditator and failure ensues. A skilled guide can offer precise instruction and a variety of meditative techniques that avoid much unnecessary suffering. Instruction is individually tailored to the psychological and emotional strengths and weaknesses of the individual. Guided interactive meditation allows for accurate instruction as the practice deepens. Personalized support helps one to persist in establishing a regular meditation practice when the naturally arising obstacles of confusion, anxiety, pain, fear, anger, restlessness and doubt arise. Individual training includes the development of personal mindfulness strategies for making work, relationships, and daily life more conscious and fulfilling.

For spiritual seekers who are following the path of meditation, a guide or spiritual friend can provide guidance and invaluable company. As meditation deepens, one’s most cherished illusions are highlighted as the impermanence of all things becomes glaringly apparent. With insight into impermanence, the fleeting and somewhat disappointing quality of all pleasures, relationships, attainments and successes comes starkly into focus. The very foundations and nature of the self are questioned. Awakening to the vast freedom of our universal nature entails a correspondingly vast letting go. Our time-bound separate self, ignorant of the relief of freedom goes through many challenging experiences. Along the way a spiritual friend is a great blessing.

Individual training may entail from one or two sessions to introduce a person to meditation, to meeting weekly for a month or two, or to consultation over a period of months or years.

For further information, or to schedule an initial appointment,
please contact Robert Beatty at 503-223-2214.