with Anthony Dominic Chielli
Tuesday evenings (Starting October 10th)
7:00 – 8:00 PM
By Donation: $10 – $20 suggested
About the course:
No experience is necessary, and everyone is welcome!
Meditation is an ancient eastern practice that was designed to help develop a “fourth way” of thinking. The beauty of meditation is that we do not need to go deep into its history to understand it or benefit from it. I like to keep things simple and modern, although I recognize that those two things don’t always go together. This practice can be prescribed as the opposite of the way our fast-paced technology driven culture operates. Just as experiencing cold can make a hot shower much more enjoyable, the ability to calm your mind once a day helps us deal with the constant stresses of our fast-paced lives.
Most of my practices are based out of the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program, which was designed by John Kabat-Zin in the 1970s. The components of that program were revolutionary in extracting the beneficial aspects of meditation from the ancient practices, so it is a very simple straightforward way of looking at a sometimes extremely complex idea.
I have a bachelor’s of arts degree in psychology and I try my best to share what I have learned in school to help my students understand the source of meditation’s benefits. The brain is everything to us humans and what many of us don’t recognize is that our behaviors constantly change the way our brain works. It is like training a family pet—if you don’t give it enough time and attention it runs around chewing on everything, but if you teach it discipline and self-control, you end up with a calm well-behaved little companion. I try to share some of the basic science behind how and why this works with my students so they learn as well as practice.
How This Class Works:
I start each class with a reading or discussion to set the mood for our meditation (about 15 minutes). I find that just like letting your eyes adjust to the dark, it is important to begin calming your mind before you meditate.
- Each class will always include a sitting meditation where we will learn to use our breath to both center ourselves and quiet our thoughts (about 30 minutes).
- Lastly, I feel it is important to incorporate and cycle different types of meditation to develop and target different benefits, as well as give my students a larger number of tools to use in their daily lives (about 15 minutes).
I am an energetic young man with a strong sense of purpose and an old soul. My Buddhist uncle exposed me to meditation since I was very young. After his passing, I began to dig deeper into the practices of mindfulness and meditation. After a semester long MBSR-based class at my alma mater, Wilkes University, I was equipped with the most recent research and techniques.
I began my teaching career as a marketing intern for a local yoga studio. After working with my wonderful boss for some time she granted me the opportunity to start a class. It was a very new idea in the small town I’m from, and although many had heard about meditation and mindfulness, very few people had ever experienced the value of it. It was a fresh start for both the students and myself. Once I got a taste of being able to share what I knew, and watch meditation help those in the same ways that it had helped me, I couldn’t get enough. I began leading meditation sessions everywhere I could, even at parties with my friends, or with other classmates when they were stressing about tests.
My practice is simple, and that is what I think holds a lot of value. Meditation tends to be the antitheses of what our daily lives tend to be—stressful and complicated—so the practice should be peaceful and simple. I work mostly using meditations out of the MBSR program, since studies have shown them to generate some of the largest benefits. I try to also pull from works of the great teachers in the field of meditation and base a lot of my discussions on work done by Chogyam Trungpa, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Pema Chodron, some of the people who inspired me most.
The ultimate goal of my work is to not only show people how to meditate but explain why and how it works. I combine practice with intellectual value, as well as the neuroscience behind all of it. I want people to leave my class feeling good, with something to think about, and information to share.