The purpose of this group is, as the Buddha said, to seek out "wise & beneficial friends" who support us and our Meditation practice. This group is open to all schools of thought and meditation formats, and also for anyone willing to co-organize or suggest events. So you are thinking of taking college courses online, earning that degree that you have been thinking about for many years now.  That is great!
At the time of this post, it is estimated that somewhere around 7 million students are taking some type of course via distance learning.
The inspiration for this article came to me after watching more than a few students fail college in both the online format and hybrid settings. Be warned now – the questions I want you to think about are not ones that most colleges or universities will likely ask. As an aside, I am going to make the assumption you have already thought about the college’s accreditation status. Think of what follows as mental guideposts, designed to help you self-reflect and arrive at honest answers about how successful you may be in a given online degree program.
This particular question is perhaps the most difficult one that you as a potential online learner should ask yourself before you sign any documentation to take a college online course or enroll in a college degree program via distance learning. Do I have the time to take college courses online?  I cannot emphasize this question enough. Knowing how much time that you will need to put aside for studying will largely depend upon the course you are enrolled in, the specific degree program you are thinking about and the general rigor of the coursework. Schools like to use averages when they get the proverbial “How much time will it take me” question from prospective students.
Tip: If you really want to know how much time a given course at a school takes to complete, ask the admissions counselor or the professor of that class for the syllabus. This approach is truly the only way you are going to know how much time you need to set aside each week to successfully complete a class or degree program online. Essentially, a stable home life in the context of online learning means being in an environment that is emotionally nurturing and free of as many distractions as possible. Sometimes waiting for a life storm to pass can be very helpful with launching a new direction. You may be thinking, “Why on earth would this be mentioned?” The answer is very simple – there are sometimes “hidden” costs connected to online learning that you may have not have thought about or budgeted for. Once you get through your “Orientation Course” you then sign up for one of the required classes (aka core courses) that are required for your degree. I need to say here not every college that offers online courses charges these extra fees and not all of them try to hide the costs. As mentioned earlier, colleges offering online courses have fairly strict rules about when assignments must be turned in. While the admissions rep at the school may tell you “our professors try to work with students”, you need to know they may not be giving you the entire story. Again, find out the facts and then weigh this information with your current responsibility obligations to your household or employer (or both).
For example, a realistic goal may be to take 1 college course per tem for the first year and then gradually work your way up to 2 courses at a time. A good way to check and see if your goals are realistic is to list out what is currently on your plate in the here and now. Having attended our free intro session you will have the option to participate in our Beginner Meditation Course. Once you complete the course you will gain an all access pass that allows you to repeat our program, attend our weekly knowledge meetings and monthly dinner party events (indefinitely) at no additional cost. Cost: Each student will be asked at commencement of the course to make a sliding-scale financial contribution in exchange for their instruction. By the end of the study, those who had meditated showed a pronounced shift in brain activity toward the left, "happier", frontal cortex. Whereas many other meditation practices may require some degree of concentration, focus, or contemplation, Vedic meditation requires no activity. If you feel like your mind is always active, you are a perfect candidate for this technique because you don't have to "try" to stop thinking or "try" to do anything for that matter.
Meditators report experiencing deep rest, the release of stress, more energy, clearer thinking, better health, and improved personal relationships.
Each student is asked to make a financial contribution at the beginning of the Basic Meditation Course that is based on a sliding scale. Yes, but you must first come to an Intro Talk, unless you are being referred by someone who has already been given private training.
True quiet means keeping still when the time has come to keep still, and going forward when the time has come to go forward. Long time Neigong practitioners are known to reach wonderful states of sublime tranquility. We at the Tai Chi Center of Chicago are practitioners of the Kunlun Pai school of meditation.
It is required before entering the Ongoing Meditation program that you receive preliminary neigong instruction.
Seminars are offered once a year, privates and semi private are available to accommodate individual scheduling needs. If for any reason you think you might need to end a meditation session please sit near back door and leave as quietly as possible. If you need to change your position, move slowly, making the movement part of your meditation.
Private or semi privates with Elizabeth Wenscott - $100 for a in-depth one hour preliminary instruction. Once the required preliminary instruction is complete you are not required to join the Ongoing Meditation and Health & Philosophy course. Included in the Ongoing Meditation fee is the Health and Philosphy Study Group.Read the Health and Philosophy page for times and topics. A one-time introduction class, in which you'll learn three enjoyable ways to practice Mantra Meditation.

The Introduction to Mantra Meditation class is given in 16 branches of the public libraries in Chicago, Evanston, Wilmette and Winnetka - once every three months in each location. Experience compels us to point out that, although we always welcome questions, our class is not a discussion group.
Yoga and Meditation blog (for viewing on mobile, scroll down past menu)Insights, news and (our) opinions on the topics of yoga meditation. There is an old joke… a man asks his friend how his son is doing since he has been unemployed. Enthusiasm isn’t enough for the average person to learn a meditation technique for beginners. In order to get started on the right track, we strongly suggest taking a beginner’s meditation course. At the same time, you might want to try a few sessions on your own before you invest in a course. Begin with 20 minutes where you can sit uninterrupted and won’t be worried about rushing to do something else.
For the last couple of minutes, try this; choose something in your life that you want to think about (see this blog post for suggestions).
I really enjoy this group, the diverse life perspectives and worldviews and I am so glad to have found such a meaningful experience for my Monday nights and tools to use in daily practice. Namely we are looking for a group of beginning & advanced students, and anyone interested who is willing to learn, to motivate each other by coming to (and becoming a regular part of) a weekly sitting meditation group. The development of Wisdom through regular meditation practice can lead to a decrease of "suffering" as well as an increase in Inner Peace and Compassion for oneself & others. Let me be the first to applaud you for taking the initial steps to earn an important life credential. Examples including moving from a job to a career, earning more money and having a marketable credential. Instead, I want to help you gain greater insight into what it really takes to earn a degree online. In most all cases, these well intentioned learners failed because they made rosy colored assumptions about taking a college class through the Internet.  I recently spoke about adult learners and distance education in an article appearing in the Chicago Tribune.
Hopefully, you will find what follows practical in nature, placing you, the education consumer, in the right mental framework to make smart, informed choices about the investment you are contemplating.
Here I am specifically talking about online college admissions documents and online forms for student loans (aka: Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FASA]). Having a realistic understanding of your ability to dedicate time to a college course is critical to your success. Most schools will tell you the average time to put aside is anywhere between 10-15 hours per week. These cookie cutter answers that well intentioned admissions specialists share don’t do you a lick of good if, for example, you are enrolled in a doctoral program with 10 page papers due each week! If you are not able to get your hands on this information, find out what kind of assignments are involved in the class, particularly any information you can discover about essays and quizzes.
I recognize that everyone has some amount of turbulence going on at any one point in time however – some bumps are more problematic than others when it comes to online college courses. A few examples that come to mind include relationship problems, mental health challenges, divorce procedures or family drama. Just a practical tip here from someone who has seen too many students blow a wad of money on a degree program that they were unable to focus on because of instability at home.
When you fly a major airline from point A to point B, you already know to expect to pay extra money in addition to the ticket price for things like checked bags or food. FYI: They are supposed to be transparent per various laws and accrediting rules however, I am going to be straight forward with you here – the the fees can be hard to find because they are often hidden in the fine print! It’s up to you as an education consumer to do your homework and read everything all the same. Most online faculty members have high teaching loads and are not able to make exceptions for you because you have “special” circumstances like work.
In this course (for example) it would not be uncommon to see a writing assignment due each week in APA format, weekly quizzes and discussion assignments. An unrealistic goal however would be trying to take 3 courses at one time while also working full time and heading up a household. I absolutely encourage you to pursue your higher education dreams but do it in a way that sets yourself up for success rather than failure. Typically the course commences the day following the Introductory Talk and consists of four 90-minute sessions over four consecutive days. One group of volunteers then received eight weeks of training in meditation, while a control group did not. And over the course of about 20 minutes you let your mind settle down to increasingly quieter levels of consciousness by utilizing the sound of a mantra. And like yoga, Vedic Meditation can be practiced and enjoyed by anyone, regardless of cultural or religious beliefs, or lifestyle. Over 600 scientific research studies (many of them published in top scientific journals) verify and validate the benefits of Vedic Meditation in just about every area of an individual's life including: mind, body, behavior and environment. In this way rest and movement are in agreement with the demands of the time, and thus there is light in life.
The back is named because in the back are located all the nerve fibers that mediate movement.
Neigong translates as "inner work" or "inner cultivation" and is considered an important part of a Tai Chi person's complete practice. The Kunlun mountains are well known in Chinese mythology and are believed to be Taoist paradise. For those that find it hard to sit on a floor meditation mat then sitting in a chair is fine. This way you will support the best quality of stillness and silence possible for yourself and others in the room. Initiates will be instructed on how to maximize and customize their meditation practice using the standard Kunlun Pai neigong techniques.

Learn a relaxing and enjoyable practice that you can easily apply, which will give you peace of heart and mind, answers to your troubling questions, and spiritual awakening. Occasionally, someone tries to take over our class and "enlighten" our students by promoting their own path. In fact, there is a lot of effort required when you begin the challenge of retraining your mind. Meditation is an active process of disciplining the mind and finding the benefits in having greater control over your thoughts. It is a rare individual who can watch a few free YouTube videos and really begin with a solid foundation.
It should be quite comfortable and offer back support but not lend itself to you falling asleep (such as a Lazy Boy chair). What makes this meditation real is that you will note the separation between you (the observer of your thoughts) and the thoughts themselves. The decision to earn a college degree is probably one of the most important investments you will make in your lifetime. But here is the thing you need to know – the process of earning college credit online is a LOT of work and is not easy. On the flip-side, an undergraduate course in business ethics may only take you 5 hours of study time per week, depending upon the dynamics. While some of these situations may be temporary in nature (or at least seem that way) you need to really be honest with yourself and assess if these issues are such that they will derail your education investment.
You find out that you have to pay hundreds of extra dollars in fees and costs that you never knew about. Have you ever gone to the ATM and noticed the machine (bank) wants to charge you an extra $3.00 or $4.00 to use the box?
So here is my practical tip – don’t you dare sign anything until you know the total cost of the online college class you want to take and most importantly, if you can afford it! Folks, bear in mind that a lot of colleges are all too quick to get you to sign up for classes and “help” you with tuition assistance and loan paperwork at the beginning of the process. If you have the type of job that requires you to work overtime, irregular work hours or in a way that is unpredictable, think twice before committing to a degree program via distance learning.
If you run a busy household or work a job with crazy work hours, don’t expect the instructor you have in your college course to make exceptions for you.
The only exception to these rules are special situations, such as a military deployment or medical emergency – and both most likely need to have documentation. Simply put, it means looking at your schedule in a way that is free of distortions, commonly referred to as magical thinking.
If you have traditionally struggled with time management issues, be sure to read some of these time management tips!
Conveniently we offer the same session twice each day to accommodate people with different schedules.
If the movement of these spinal nerves is brought to a standstill, the ego, with its reslessness, disappears as it were. Meditators learn to generate, transform and circulate internal energy for the purpose of health and longevity by stilling, emptying and calming the mind.
Beginners ---and even those who have sat for years --- will sometimes find it difficult to empty and still the mind.
The first to visit this paradise was, according to the legends, King Mu (1001-947 BCE) of the Zhou Dynasty. During to the Cultural Revolution Liu Pei Zhong escaped and opened the Jingxiu Gong ("Unruffled Attitude," or "Undisturbed Attention" Temple) in the outskirts of Taipei, Taiwan where his teachings are still practiced today. This is disrespectful, especially to our students who have come to learn Mantra Meditation, not some other process. If these things are not there, when it gets tough or frustrating, most will allow those age old despairing thoughts to come in and convince you it’s not worth the effort. Have your back right up against the back of the chair so your back is straight but don’t go overboard and get too stiff. Local brick and mortar examples include the University of Illinois, DePaul University and Northwestern University. The course is structured to give you ample time to learn the technique and integrate the practice of meditation into your life within those four days. The Taoist attitude toward inner work is gentle, supportive and never far from a smile --- just keep going and good things will happen in good time.
He supposedly discovered there the Jade Palace of Huang-Di, the mythical Yellow Emperor and originator of Chinese culture, and met there Hsi Wang Mu, the Royal Mother of the West, who also had her mythical abode in these mountains. We are thankful that Grandmaster Hsu is willing to share his years of experience with us at the Tai Chi Center of Chicago. This meditation technique for beginners works because you don’t avoid your mind but you take it on.
These programs are in addition to the cadre of universities and colleges that are exclusively online. He no longer sees in it the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has the true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe and for acting in harmony with them.
The goal is not to sit is a weird way and then force yourself to relax even if you feel strained. Essentially go through your entire body and relatively quickly, try to relax the muscles consciously. You’ll find meditation easier and more enjoyable if you feel comfortable (but not sleepy). During the four days we will give you a comprehensive understanding of how Vedic meditation works and enough experience to feel competent as a meditator by the end of the course.

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