What we need from you
We need you to commit to this.
- We don't mean you have to commit to meditating everyday for the duration of this course.
- Nor do we expect that you'll never miss a class.
- We don't need you to complete the course in the 12 weeks we've suggested.
- We don't need you to do all the homework we assign.
We do mean that you are going to have do more than just read about meditation. We're going to ask you to do things (read: MEDITATE) and if you don't do most or at least some of them you're unlikely to get very far through the course. You're also unlikely to get anything of real value out of it.
If you’re not sure whether you want to meditate but are here because it’s free and want to check it out – go ahead, but please don't believe that you will actually get anything of value out of learning about meditation. Meditation is an experience to be had, not something to get knowledgeable about.
In addition, reading or watching the videos is absolutely not going to be enough for you to start a regular practice. If you read about meditation in this course you may agree that it’s a good thing. Even if you do agree it’s a good thing, the chances are you won’t do it. Not because there's anything wrong with you, it's just that most people can't add a new activity into their already overcrowded lives unless they have a very strong commitment to at least trying. Even then, many people who believe it’s worthwhile and really, really, really want to add it into their daily life still find it hard to do it.
There are complex psychological and behavioral reasons why it is hard for humans to change their routines and habits. It is hard to stop bad habits and hard to start good ones. But one thing that is absolutely required is for you to at least get committed at the beginning to DOING most of what we suggest.
We know – it’s a pain.
But we believe strongly it’s worth it and likely the only way we have a chance to succeed in getting you to meditate; and then to get all the benefits that come from regular practice.
Getting people to meditate when they pay and come to a class is very difficult. Here on the web there are two extra hurdles that are going to make it even more difficult.
1. It’s on the Web
When we schedule a twelve week course in a certain location at a specific time people have to make an effort to come along. If they miss the class, they miss the class – there is no opportunity for them to take it later, one day, sometime. As a result, if people decide to take the course they schedule that time in their diary and show up. If the class is at 7:30pm in the evening they might start getting ready at 6:30pm in order to arrive by 7:15pm giving themselves fifteen minutes to find parking and a seat. The in-person classes tend to last 90 minutes and then they might stick around to ask questions or chat, and then get home by around 10pm.
There are several advantages of making this available on the Internet. But what seems like one advantage – that it is always available, and that you can do it at 3am in your pajamas – can also mean that you never actually schedule time to do it. You can do it anywhere, anytime, but that ends up meaning you never actually do it.
If you were coming to an in person class you would likely have to schedule three and a half hours a week for class including travel, and if something else came up you might say, “I’m sorry.I’m signed up for a twelve week course. I can’t go bowling next Tuesday, but I could go next Wednesday”, for example. However, if it’s a web course you might say “sure, I can come to bowling” and think in the back of your mind … “I must remember to catch up on that meditation course”. But you never will, and the course along with your meditation practice will fade away.
All we’re asking for is about ninety minutes a week. Plus a bit of homework that you can do, or not. But the weekly class is really important for this to work.
Your best chance of overcoming this, is to schedule 90 minutes in your diary - and then actually keep the appointment. Please do this now for at least the first couple of weeks.
2. It’s Free
We want to make meditation available to as many people as possible regardless of income bracket. So we try to offer classes for free, or keep the price at as low as possible.
Some people say we are wrong to do this. They may be right. More than one psychologist has tried to convince us to charge for these classes. Not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the people taking the class.
That might seem crazy but the reasoning is that people need ‘skin in the game’ in order to make change happen. If someone has paid a lot of money for a 60 minute class, they are more likely:
- to show up on time and
- to pay close attention and
- if the instructor gives them advice and direction, they are more likely to follow it because they want to get their value for money.
However, if it’s free then they may not bother showing up on time and won’t value what the instructor has to say as much. Somehow subconsciously they don’t feel they ‘need’ to pay attention. They didn’t invest anything in the class.
On this basis we are making it harder to meet our objective of getting you to meditate because you aren’t paying for it, and you are not going to value a free class.
This is only true if you let it be true.
What is true is that you aren’t investing your money into this course. But you have already invested your time if you’ve read this far – and we propose to you that your time is always worth more than money. Money can come and go, but your time can never be reclaimed.
If it helps you to value this, the value of this course, if we were charging you for one-on-one time, would come to approximately $3000. So, if it helps you to take this seriously please send us $3000. Or send us $100, or whatever you want to incentive yourself to finish the course.
We can even do that with a guarantee. Many courses will say – "The price is [some random number they come up with like $797.99 + tax] but if for any reason you are unsatisfied, we will refund the money GUARANTEED." If you want to send us money to incentivize yourself but it doesn’t work out … let us know and we’ll refund you.
Or … the better incentive might be for you send us enough money for you to really, really want it back – and then tell us to keep it unless you finish the course. We’re happy to do that too, just let us know up front and then let us know when you finish.
But please don't send us money for the course (unless you really want to). The accounting will get complicated and annoying (unless it's as a donation, in which case we can handle the complexity).
Instead, see if you can realize that most of us have a peculiar relationship with money. We subconsciously value things that are expensive more than we value things that are free.
In this case … make a choice not to do that. Place the value on your time invested, and on the outcome of a meditation practice in your life – and commit to doing the work as much as if you’d paid a lot for this course.