David Gluck does not want to sound cheesy when he describes meditation. But the peace he feels while practicing truly brings him “to the other side.”
Gluck, a Japa yoga instructor, will close out the Mystic Heart Meditation Program with his sessions in Week Nine. Gluck’s sessions will take place at 7:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. daily in the Presbyterian House Chapel and at 4:45 p.m. Monday and Wednesday in Hurlbut Church sanctuary. Gluck will also teach seminars at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday in the Hall of Missions. His first seminar will touch on attachment and materialism, and his second seminar will be called “Why We Meditate.”
“You start to come into a realization that the fluctuations of our mind are just that — it’s your mind doing what your mind is supposed to do, which is to think and to function and to cognate,” he said.
Meditators are able to detach themselves from negative emotions, Gluck said.
“The more you can step back — as the teacher calls the ‘hallway effect’ or the ‘corridor effect’ — the more you can kind of get a perspective of something, the less you’ll form an attachment to it, the less you will have fear of it,” Gluck said.
In his own quest for peace, Gluck met Sharon Gannon, co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga method. She introduced him to the Raja yoga tradition and gave Gluck his first pair of mala beads, strands of 109 beads Japa yoga practitioners use to repeat a mantra 108 times. The physical practice of touching the beads while repeating a phrase helps people keep their place, the 109th bead symbolic of gratitude for teachers and community.
This practice is an illustration of the diversity of yoga, Gluck said, which is not just about fashionable workout clothing or going to a trendy center where people practice corporeal yoga.
“(Gannon) is unabashed about the fact that while today the school of yoga in the West is popularized predominantly by the physical practices, the Hatha yoga practices (weren’t) really clearly fleshed out until well after all of these traditions have been passed,” Gluck said.
He plans to explain the diverse practices of yoga during his seminars this week, where he will go more in-depth than he did in Weeks Seven and Eight’s meditation sessions. However, he will still host meditation throughout Week Nine, as he prefers showing rather than telling.
“I love talking about all of these things, but you have to do it,” Gluck said. “There’s a huge difference between riding your bike down a hill and talking about riding your bike down a hill.”