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 people 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! Half the people who come in 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 popular offering we have are our iPods with hours of guided meditations and teachings about meditation. We provide the iPods and 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 in length anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. This is a nice way to sample a variety of techniques and teachings until you find a few 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 visitors here sit in chairs or even lie down while they’re meditating. Of course there are a lot of benefits to sitting on the floor and 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 people 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 – one may be using prayer beads, another meditating with mudras, another doing slow movement, etc... 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 environment and the people around them, they’re welcome to do whatever meditation technique they prefer.
How does payment work? I’ve heard you operate by donation but I read you also have memberships.
Our drop-in meditation is by donation – everyone is free to pay an amount that reflects the value of their time spent here. Average donations are $5 - $10, but larger or smaller amounts are always welcome. For people who want to support what we’re doing and to be a part of our community, we do offer memberships.
We offer one month trial memberships and gift memberships, but the majority are on-going monthly memberships. This is a nice way to get VIP treatment and leave your wallet at home. Memberships include free unlimited drop-in meditation, free and discounted classes, discounts on retail, free and discounted foot baths, discounts on private retreat room reservations, guest passes and much more. Visit our Memberships page for all the details.
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. 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 in the sanctuary, once you're beyond our retail area.