Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve heard of Mayu but I’m still not sure what a drop-in meditation center is. What do you do there?
We’re a unique business model—the only one in the country as far as we know—so we get this question a lot. We’re a community meditation center; we're not affiliated with any lineage or tradition, so we’re not promoting one teacher or type of instruction. We’re simply creating a quiet, peaceful environment and giving people permission to slow down, become quiet, and reconnect with themselves.
You have classes and you have drop-in meditation. What’s the difference?
Drop-in meditation is just like it sounds—come in whenever you’d like; stay as long as you wish. Even for our foot baths, you don’t need a reservation, and you can stay as long as you’d like. Some visitors stop in for 15 or 20 minutes, and others spend half a day with us.
Our classes, workshops and retreats happen either before or after our drop-in hours. We have a wide range of events, some of them happening every week, twice a month, monthly or quarterly. They may last one day or continue progressively for weeks or months. Some classes are drop-ins and others require pre-registration. You can find details about all our events on our Meetup page.
I’ve never meditated before; I have no idea what to do.
Don’t worry! Many of our visitors have never meditated before. We know the idea of meditation is intimidating, so we do everything we can to make our space welcoming to everyone, especially to beginners.
One of our most popular offerings are audio programs with guided meditations and meditation lessons. We provide iPods loaded with these meditations and teachings with headphones to anyone who wants to use them while they’re in the center. You can choose from many different topics, from a wide range of teachers. There are tracks from 5 minutes to 45 minutes in length. This is a great way to sample a variety of techniques and teachings until you find those you enjoy.
When I think of meditation I picture people sitting perfectly still on the floor. I can’t do that. How am I expected to sit?
Because we don’t promote a specific type of meditation technique, you’re able to sit in any way that’s comfortable for you. Many of our visitors sit in chairs or even lie down while they’re meditating. Of course, there are a lot of benefits to sitting on the floor. If that’s something you’re interested in exploring, we can offer individualized posture recommendations for you, specifically.
Regardless of the posture you use, we encourage people to experiment with various technques, such as closing the eyes or keeping the eyes open, breathing through the nostrils or breathing through the mouth, resting your hands face up or face down on your thighs, or having the hands or fingertips touching. There are subtle differences with each posture, and we like guests to experience those differences for themselves.
I’ve been practicing with a meditation group in town and I like the techniques they’ve taught me. Can I practice them at Mayu? What happens if I’m doing something different than everyone else?
Many people who come into Mayu are experienced meditators, each one doing techniques they’re familiar with. It’s not uncommon to have several people in our sanctuary at one time, all doing something different—for example, one may be using prayer beads, another meditating with mudras, and another doing slow movement. We’re always delighted to see how many different practices coexist well together—and even enhance each others’ practices. As a rule we tell visitors that as long as they’re quiet and respectful of the people around them, they’re welcome to do whatever meditation technique they prefer.
What are your rules while visiting the sanctuary?
We've tried very hard to create a beautiful, quiet, peaceful refuge for adults seeking time for inner reflection. Toward this goal, we ask all visitors to silence their cell phones and digital devices before entering the sanctuary. Electronics with screens (laptops, tablets, phones) are not allowed for drop-in meditation.
Likewise, in the manner of visiting a place of worship, we ask that you refrain from loud conversation while inside. Additionally, we've learned that a sanctuary of this size cannot accommodate the exuberant energy of children. We respectfully ask that you make other arrangements for your children before visiting. Lastly, we ask that you remove your shoes when you enter.
I have chemical sensitivities. Are you a fragrance free meditation center?
While it's a bold request and virtually impossible to police, we do ask that visitors refrain from wearing scented products if they plan to visit the sanctuary that day.
Most people choose body care products (shampoo, deodorant, lotion...) and home cleaning products (laundry detergent) that are pleasing to them. Often they have no awareness that the fragrances they carry could be unpleasant to others.
However an increasing number of people have allergies, asthma or other chemical sensitivity to a variety of common chemicals and fragrances. Reactions may include difficulty breathing, headaches, or nausea. When symptoms are severe affected individuals must either stay in a noxious environment or they're forced to leave.
Our hope is that everyone feels welcome and comfortable inside the sanctuary.
Tips For Arriving Fragrance Free:
• Wear clothes laundered in scent-free laundry detergent and avoid laundry softeners and dryer sheets
• Avoid cologne, aftershave and perfume
• Avoid hairspray, hair gel, and other strong-smelling hair products
• Use fragrance-free soap, lotion, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner
• Avoid use of essential oils
• Avoid tobacco products and smoke before arriving