Meditation

  • Catch and Release: Ponlop Rinpoche on Meditation Paid Member

    What does fishing have to do with meditation? In his recent article "Meditation: Catch and Release" Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche suggests using the fishermen's phrase "catch and release" as a way to work with thoughts that arise during meditation practice: We might think our meditation should be completely free of thoughts, with our minds totally at peace, but that's a misunderstanding. That's more like the end result of our practice than the process. That is the "practice" part of the practice of meditation -- just relating to whatever comes up for us. When a thought appears, we see it, acknowledge its presence, let it go and relax. That's "catch and release." More »
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    Meditation is what you make it Paid Member

    For the first two thousand years of its existence, Buddhism was mostly confined to monasteries with strict rules, timetables, and hierarchies. In contrast, Zen in America today finds the majority of its followers in the lay world, where most of us have families, jobs, and homes. Our zendos are places to visit, perhaps daily, but more likely once or twice a week: refuges, perhaps, from the “real world” of money and responsibility. Along with the “layification” of Zen has come a sharp distinction, for most of us, between meditation and the rest of life. While the monks of old lived and breathed, day in day out, year in year out, in an atmosphere of stillness and contemplation— their entire lives were one unbroken meditation!—we modern practitioners stop what we’re doing when we sit and restart our everyday lives when the bell signals that time’s up. More »
  • Watch: Om in! BuddhaFest Om Flashmob Paid Member

    From the BuddhaFest DC youtube channel, What if we could make a difference by doing something simple? A bunch of us walked into a bookstore in downtown Washington, DC, sat down and started chanting OM. Here's what happened. More »
  • Meditators have more brains Paid Member

    Psychology Today reports on a study that indicates that meditators have more gray matter where it counts: A study published in NeuroImage presents findings by a group of researchers at UCLA who used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of meditators. The researchers report having found differences between the scans, showing that certain brain areas of the long-term meditator group were larger than those of the non-meditating control group. More »
  • Nalanda Benefit Paid Member

    If you’re in the neighborhood Wednesday evening (June 9)—and the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy is your thing—Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science is hosting a panel discussion, “The Confluence of Two Streams: Buddhist Psychotherapy in the West,” at Tibet House in New York City. Participating are Nalanda’s founder and director, psychiatrist Joe Loizzo, and two other big names in the field, Paul Fulton, PhD, president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and psychoanalyst Jeffrey Rubin, PhD, author of Psychotherapy and Buddhism. The conversation should be lively: moderating is Robert Thurman, the charismatic Columbia professor and president of Tibet House US. More »
  • Watch Martine Batchelor: Meditation on the Breath Paid Member

    This week Martine Batchelor begins her four-week Tricycle Retreat, "Break Your Addictive Patterns." In her Week 1 teaching—a clip of which is posted below—she emphasizes meditation on the breath as a way to help us deal with our difficult habits, which can cause grief to ourselves and others. She gives very clear meditation instructions in her 20-minute video, with an emphasis on freeing us from the well-worn channels of thought we normally inhabit, and moving on to a freer more creative space. You can read meditation instructions from her book Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits here. More »