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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The purpose of Bancroft Meditates

This blog and the weekly sessions we have at 16 Billa Street have a purpose, and that purpose is to provide a context for people to learn how to meditate and to practice meditation together.

In the past, I led workshops on meditation, teaching the particular style of meditation that I practice, and there was always a sense at the end of the workshops that we should continue to practice together.  That was what inspired me to start this group, and the Bancroft Family Health Team was willing to sponsor it.  How long the group will meet and whether it will continue under the auspices of the Bancroft Family Health Team are open questions.  My hope in starting the group was that it would continue as long as people wanted to meet and that it would eventually be self-sustaining.  Although I am assuming leadership of the group at this stage, I do not expect that I will continue to do so once the group is self-sustaining.

Despite the open-ended nature of this venture, there are a few principles that I think it is important to state.

1)   It is to be expected that participants in the group will come from a variety of religious backgrounds and that they may have learned to meditate in different ways and have different levels of experience with meditation.  Everyone is welcome to participate and all religious and meditation traditions will be respected, as will the past experiences you have had with the form of meditation you practice.  

2)  This group and the blog associated with it are educational in nature: to learn about meditation and to practice together.  By participating, you do not become a patient of mine or the Bancroft Family Health Team.  While it may be therapeutic to participate in the group and the blog, it is not a form of therapy.

3)  Unlike a therapeutic setting, there is no assurance of confidentiality.  While it is to be hoped that anyone coming to our sessions or participating in the blog will respect the privacy of other participants, there is no guarantee that they will.  For that reason, participants should be careful about self-disclosure.  If you choose to disclose personal information, please do so skillfully.

4) As moderator of the blog, I reserve the right to screen comments made by others that I regard as inappropriate.  Similarly, in the context of our meetings, I may at times steer conversations that I feel are getting off-track from our primary purpose, which is learning to meditate and practicing together.

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