Everyone can benefit from meditation
Serenity Now was founded on two core principles: Everyone can benefit from meditation, and anyone who wants to learn to meditate can. So often I've heard people say things like, "Well, I'm interested in meditation, but I'm not a Buddhist." Or "It sounds interesting, but I'm not into all that 'spiritual stuff.'" The thing is, there really is nothing inherently Buddhist - or Taoist, or Hindu, or 'spiritual' - about meditation. At it's most basic level, meditation is simply about getting the mind to quiet down and help get a little space and perspective in your life. If you're pursuing a spiritual path it can obviously broaden and deepen your practice, but it's just as useful for what we normally call "day to day life." If meditation only worked on a peaceful mountaintop or in a sunny field it wouldn't be worth very much. The benefits of meditation can be found when you're sitting in bumper to bumper traffic; when you're stuck in line at the grocery store; when you're dealing with your boss, or your coworkers, or your clients; or any of the other myriad of problems and annoyances - big and small - that come with daily living.
Anyone who wants to learn to meditate can
The other thing I often hear is "Well, I've tried to meditate and I can't sit still for more than two minutes." Or, "I'd like to do it, but I can't keep my mind quiet for that long." Of course you can't! That's why you need to learn meditation in the first place! You wouldn't go into a yoga studio the first day and expect to put your feet behind your head, you wouldn't go to the gym if you haven't exercised since high school and expect to bench press your own body weight, and you wouldn't pick up a guitar if you've never played before and expect to sound like Jimi Hendrix. Meditation is no different. It's a skill that can be practiced and learned, like any other.
Jonas Simon has been a student and practitioner of meditation for over a decade, having studied and spent time at the Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, NY as well as The Meditation Learning Center in Mesa, AZ. His teaching style is derived mainly from basic Zen mindfulness practices and Vipassana insight techniques, grounded in the guiding philosophies of Thich Nhat Hanh and Eckhart Tolle. A native Chicagoan, he began teaching meditation in 2012, and is thrilled to bring his classes to the West Coast. He is also author of the book, “Zen and the Art of Waitering”, available on Amazon.com.