Monday Meditation: An Interview with Papaha
I’m Meghan! I recently graduated from Pilgrimage’s Fall 2011 Yoga Teacher Training, and am enjoying my new gig working at the front desk. If we haven’t met already, I can’t wait to meet you!
One of my favorite nights to work is Mondays in North Park. I love seeing all the relaxed faces emerging from our guided meditation class, which starts at 6 pm. Have you been to one of our meditation classes? Have you ever wondered what it’s all about? I put on my investigative reporter hat (it’s actually an entire outfit) and sat down with Papaha Gosline to get some answers. But first, a little background on Papaha.
Papaha Gosline has studied meditation with Sri Chinmoy since 1982 and has been teaching meditation classes free of charge for over 25 years. He helped build Jyoti-Bihanga vegetarian restaurant and was one of their chefs for over a decade. Papaha now owns a gallery and art studio across the street from the yoga studio in Normal Heights that focuses on showing spiritual contemporary art and producing commercial design.
Inspired by the example of Sri Chinmoy he also lives a very athletic lifestyle teaching tennis part time, along with enjoying many other sports activities in sunny San Diego. “Learning about spirituality with Sri Chinmoy has revealed paths with heart, creativity and fulfillment. Meditating and working with the Sri Chinmoy Centre has been the most powerful and enlightening experience of my life.”
Meghan: Hi Papaha! How did you begin meditating?
Papaha: Reading spiritual books in high school, studying different teachers and masters…My parents had some close friends who followed a teacher in India, and I found them to be such peaceful, calming, beautiful people. I was inspired, and I saw you can be more spiritual through meditation and having a meditation teacher.
What can a new student expect in your class?
Almost all new students are able to feel a deeper sense of calm in the body and in the bodies energy. From that, they are able to begin to calm the mind.
What are the techniques used in class?
Breathing and relaxation exercises for the body and its energy and using visualization for the heart and bringing spiritual energy to the. The most fulfilling experience is when the peace of the heart becomes warm and expansive. This inner feeling clears the mind without any effort.
What are some of the benefits of a regular meditation practice?
Certainly there are health benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety, and agitated mental energy, but far beyond the physical attributes of meditation is discovering deeper sources of inner peace, inner beauty, and divine energy.
Besides attending our weekly classes at the studio, what advice can you recommend for to those who want to cultivate a home practice?
Its best to have a special spot at home for your practice. I especially like to meditate in the morning. Spend five minutes or so meditating daily and work towards making this a regular habit. I have take home sheets with different exercises available at every class. A truly fulfilling practice begins with the individual learning to find the source of the heart and inner light within. With practice, your own unique spiritual qualities begin to manifest out into the world.
Thank You Papaha!
I hope we answered some questions for those interested in learning a little more about our meditation classes. Until next time—Meghan the newbie!