Vipassana

The path and practice of insight through mindfulness meditation
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    An Interview with Paul McBain Paid Member

    Profession: Student/FilmmakerAge: 31 Location: Chicago, Illinois More »
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    A Story for Sophie Paid Member

    Can you really just see?” the Theravada monk had asked. “Can you just listen?” We had gathered on the porch of a farmhouse in upstate New York. The weekend retreat had ended and a dozen of us sat with the orange-robed Bhante from Sri Lanka sipping tea in the early spring sun. Sophie, a college student like myself, had complained of the tedious "labeling" in the Vipassana practice as a technique for paying attention. And so the monk had challenged her. "Try it," he had said. "Try right now, for one minute only to just be, no labeling, no 'you' watching your breath. No 'rising, rising of the abdomen,' no 'falling, falling of the abdomen,' nothing, just being. Right here. Right now. Forget one minute. Ten seconds. Try it for ten seconds. All of you. No labeling, but no thinking." More »
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    The Unfamiliar Familiar Paid Member

    "A fresh look and a fresh listen,” said Robert Frost of a good poem. “Read it a hundred times: it will for ever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance.” A poem may not show us anything new, but what we see, we see afresh, and what we hear, we hear anew. Frost was talking about the poem itself: what it presents, and the way it does it, should strike us unexpectedly.
 The English novelist and scholar David Lodge asked, “What do we mean . . . when we say that a book is ‘original’? Not, usually, that the writer has invented something without precedent, but that she has made us ‘perceive’ what we already, in a conceptual sense, ‘know,’ by deviating from the conventional, habitual ways of representing reality.” It is newness of seeing, rather than newness per se, that counts. More »
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    No Magic, No Miracle Paid Member

    Purify your mind. This is how you can help society; this is how you can stop harming others and start helping them. When you work for your own liberation, you will find that you have also started helping others to come out of their misery. One individual becomes several individuals—a slow widening of the circle. There is no magic, no miracle. Work for your own peace, and you will find that you have started making the atmosphere around you more peaceful—provided you work properly. More »
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    Visible & Invisible Paid Member

    MUCH INK HAS BEEN SPILLED in recent years over the question of what con­stitutes genuine "American Bud­dhism." ls it the Buddhism of recent European­ American converts, or the generations-old tradi­tion into which many Americans of Asian ances­try were born? ls it a matter primarily of ideas or of practice? ls it meditative, devotional, or both? Must one be a member of a specific organization to be counted as a Buddhist, or should "free­lancers" be included as well? In short, are there any criteria at all for defining ''American Bud­dhism," and precisely who should be included in the picture? More »
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    Meditation en Masse Paid Member