The Path of Preside Meditation
In this note I’d like to outline the path of how Preside is set up.
My goal for Preside is to teach a diverse array of methods to help people manage and empower their “inner voice”.
The inner voice is something we all have, that chattering, endlessly worried, constantly circling voice inside of us, which (for most people) is always hounding us and never lets us go.
Buddhists call it the “monkey mind”. Psych folks call it “mental self-talk”.
The first, basic action of meditation is to allow the chattering mind to quiet itself.
If you can hear your inner voice and then step back and exert no force on it, it will quiet on its own. This then opens the door to a very large space within you — a space which people have many names for — but the basic opening mechanism is very simple — it is simply to exert no force on your mind.
Over the course of teaching many thousands of students, and learning about their deeper needs and goals, I have structured Preside’s programs into three progressive phases:
- Stress and Anxiety Relief
- Healing Self-Negativity
- Following Your Bliss
I’ll cover each of these in turn.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
The first desire for most people is to calm their stress and anxiety.
For this, Preside offers a program called the Open Study Group, a free weekly series which teaches a complete set of meditation exercises and accompanying theory, aimed at the beginner who is interested in non-spiritual meditation for simple, quick relief of their everyday stress and anxiety. The typical mediation exercise is only 3–5 minutes long, and fully guided.
For students who have neither the time nor inclination to sit for 3–5 minutes, but who still need the calm of meditation, we offer another program called Zero Minute Meditation, which teaches a specialized style of meditation which you do in the background of your attention, so that you can do it even while checking your phone, running errands or doing email — this is why it takes “zero minutes”.
For students who have trouble starting up with any kind of meditation, but who are still looking for stress and anxiety relief, we offer a third program called the Calm Study Group, where we teach an array of techniques to engage and calm the chattering mind directly — without the use of any meditation.
Finally, for students who are more advanced in their practice and looking to go deeper, we offer the Clarity Study Group, which teaches advanced (but still accessible) techniques designed to help the student explore the deeper foundations of their “inner voice”, along with the opportunity to experience firsthand the “Ocean of Bliss” in deep meditation.
As a student further engages their inner voice, many will find that their inner voice is not just anxious, but actually highly self-negative and self-defeating, and in a kind of deep conflict with the “rest” of the self.
This inner conflict is almost always the result of a kind of accident in one’s early life, an unwitting mistake through which a part of you was deeply wounded, cut off and exiled from the rest of you.
For this need, we offer a special series of techniques, exercises and meditations called the Healing Series, which is designed to support the process of healing one’s own inner conflict, and protracted self-negativity.
Following your Bliss
Once a student has largely healed their inner conflict and self-negativity, a wonderful question arises:
“Now that you are free and at peace, what will you do with all that extra time and energy?”
At Preside, we strongly believe that every person has within them a collection of “lines of bliss”, which are innate and naturally-occurring, like the lines of grain in wood.
To find and follow these lines of bliss is to find, eventually, the true purpose and meaning of your life — which you will also discover to be deeply entwined with the well-being of the life of the world around you.
The most common barrier to bliss in most people is precisely this wound of self-negativity and inner conflict that we mentioned above — this is the angry inner voice that will staunchly hold that we “have no time” and are “too busy” to seek our bliss and true life purpose. There is really no arguing with this voice, since it comes from such a deep place of wounding and pain — and the only way to resolve it is to heal the underlying wound.
Once the wound is healed though, look out! With its barriers removed, your lines of bliss are unblocked, and will start to flow powerfully through you, and then extend out into the life of the world around you. You will enter into a deep and fruitful period of aligning all aspects of your life to be in concert with the naturally-occurring lines of your bliss.
To support this extraordinary process, we offer the Bliss Study Group, a special series designed to help frame and give context to the key issues you will encounter as you allow your bliss to unfold, and to support and accelerate your process during all its major phases, all throughout the rest of your life.
I started Preside in 2011 as a hobby-project.
My own bliss and true life purpose is developing Preside as a healing and nurturing resource for all people.
Before Preside, I was the founder-CEO of two venture-backed technology companies across the span of over 10 years. I still advise startups on fundraising strategy and management.
I hold degrees from Stanford (business school), Harvard (undergrad) and Regis (Jesuit secondary school).
I learned meditation as a child from family friends, and have been meditating for over 30 years.
My delight is to connect directly with people on the topics of meditation, healing and bliss. Feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I look forward to hearing from you!