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Serenity in West Vancouver
Can you sit still for three minutes doing absolutely nothing? That includes not using your mobile phone app to update your Facebook page to tell your friends that you’re just chillin’.
This is the first assignment in meditation teacher Thomas Kefferputz’s eight-week session that begins next week at the Lawson Creek Studio in West Vancouver.
For most, the sound of silence is awkward at first. His students give all kinds of excuses why they didn’t do their short homework assignment.
“The typical reaction is getting unrest because they’re getting aware of what they’re thinking. When we sit [still we have] more time to reflect on ourselves.”
At first, it’s impossible to push thoughts out of your head. Thoughts continue to swirl around: deadlines, mortgage payments, shopping lists, job stresses, relationship issues, etc.
“The mind is always busy. In the beginning we do it as easy as possible just to calm down the mind,” explains Kefferputz of the three-minute exercise that lays the foundation for a 20-minute meditation.
“Thoughts will automatically stop sooner or later.”
He knows what it’s like to have a racing mind.
A former businessman, Kefferputz started yoga and meditation in his late 30s as a way to help ward off job-related stress.
That took him down an entirely new path, eventually leading him to his teacher, His Holiness Lungtok Tenpa’j Nyima Rinpoche of Tibet.
For the past two decades, he’s studied meditation in India and Tibet.
Since moving to Vancouver from Germany in 1997, Kefferputz has led meditation classes throughout Metro Vancouver, using the Tibetan ‘A-Khrid’ and mantra mediation techniques in introductory and advanced sessions.
Of course, for all, it starts with three minutes of peace.
“Just try to have a least a time-out for yourself — [on a] park bench, wherever. Sit on your bum and do nothing.”
More than anything, meditation requires time and discipline, he says.
“You have to be slow with these things. Mostly [have] patience with yourself.”
And it’s not something he feels can be learned from a book.
“For meditation you need a teacher. You can’t read through it.”
Once you have the tools, a 20-minute meditation each day can significantly improve your quality of life, he adds.
“They always leave in a better mood,” he says about the students participating in his classes.
“The biggest one is you finally calm down. You get peace of mind. You react and act to daily challenges far more relaxed and with far more ease. And sooner or later you will improve your health.”
Meditation: A Path to Well-Being is an eight-week series presented by the Ferry Building Gallery at the new Lawson Creek Studio on Wednesdays (Sept. 12 to Oct. 31) from 7:30 p.m to 8:45 p.m.. To register (course #850518) call 604-925-7270. Cost: $90.