I am the founder of the Yes 2 Life! Meditation Center in Pune and we conduct weekly meditation classes for those in Pune who wish to keep up with their practice. We do not charge anything for these classes, these meditation classes are offered twice weekly and free of charge. However, we are extremely selective about who we allow in our meditation sessions.
I get a lot of enquiries from people who wish to “try” it out or who wish to attend for like a month or so just to check if it suits them. We discourage such people from coming to our meditation classes in Pune. Of course at our meditation center in Pune, we do have other meditation based programs for people who wish to try out meditation for stress relief but including them in our regular meditation sessions is discouraged.
A meditation class is slightly different than a yoga class. A yoga class is about physical exercise, you go to the class, you do standing postures, forward bends, sitting postures followed a few moments of quiet moments lying on your back and you have given your body and muscles some wonderful strengthening and stretching. A meditation class is completely about the mind. There are no forward bends to perform or any stretches to reach out to, just very simple things to do with the mind. And this is the hardest part. And while one can will the body into a forward bend, for a beginner it is almost impossible to will the mind into silence. Meditation is one of those few areas where the sheer will is the hardest to apply. The only way to make progress in meditation is to practice, practice and practice. And this means giving time and having discipline. And hence we discourage any one with any short term expectations from attending our meditation classes. Meditation is more like a way of being that grows over you over time. If you start out with the intention of “just checking it out” it is very likely that you will give up before even tasting the tip of it. For that one has to arrive with the mindset of making a lifestyle change that I am going to incorporate meditation practice in my life hence forth and not just that I am going to “try it out” for x days or some such.
At our meditation center in Pune, the meditation classes are really about having a like minded community of people who come together and meditate together – what the Buddhists call “sangha”. When you meditate with like minded people you realize that energy is different. The atmosphere becomes conducive for meditation and you are able to reach the quieter stages relatively quickly. One of the reasons why we discourage beginners from attending our meditation classes in Pune is because beginners are incapable of sitting still for an hour and many times they start fidgeting and this disturbs the energy of the class.