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Too often, meditation instructions get in the way of meditative awareness for people, causing them to feel 'stuck in a rut' or even to give up on it entirely. Meditation teacher Jason Siff shows that sometimes the problem is in the traditional meditation instructions themselves, which set up a tension in us between what our own experience of meditation is versus what it should be. His solution: let go of the traditional instructions. Meditation is so native to us, he says, that you can learn it yourself, completely naturally, by simply sitting, recording your experiences, and reflecting upon them. The goal is in no way different from more traditional approaches to meditation. The insight resulting from a quiet mind remains the aim. Unlearning meditation simply shows you how to approach the aim from a different direction. The approach has been wonderfully effective for students in the author's workshops and retreats, opening up meditation practice for beginners and reenergizing the practice of people who have been at it for years.
Jason Siff is co-founder of the Skillful Meditation Project, based in the Los Angeles area. He was a Theravadin monk in Sri Lanka in the 1980s but returned to the U.S. in 1990 to study counselling psychology. He teaches regularly at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Cloud Mountain, and the Esalen Institute