Meditation

  • More Good Work Paid Member

    In the most recent issue of Tricycle we included a brief piece about various organizations that are doing “Good Work” around the world.  In that spirit, I am very happy to share the news that Sensei Fleet Maull and Sensei Genro Guantt of the Zen Peacemaker order will be leading a Bearing Witness retreat to Rwanda this April. From the Peacemaker Institute website: In the tradition of the Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat co-founded by Roshi Bernie Glassman in 1996 and hosted annually in the years since by the Zen Peacemakers and the Peacemaker Institute, we will conduct a five-day retreat, bearing witness to the horror and tragic impact of the 1994 Rwandan Gen More »
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    The Joy of Equanimity Paid Member

    Equanimity is of tremendous importance both in the practice and in everyday life. Generally we get either swept away by pleasant and enticing objects, or worked up into a great state of agitation when confronted by unpleasant, undesirable objects. This wild alternation of contraries is nearly universal among human beings. When we lack the ability to stay balanced and unfaltering, we are easily swept into extremes of craving or aversion. The scriptures say that when the mind indulges in sensual objects, it becomes agitated. This is the usual state of affairs in the world, as we can observe. In their quest for happiness, people mistake excitement of the mind for real happiness. More »
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    Precious Silence Paid Member

    Those who are fond of retreats—writers, ecstatics, parents with young children—often comment on the silence such time away allows. Silence becomes something present, almost palpable. The task shifts from keeping the world at a safe decible distance to letting more of the world in. Thomas Aquinas said that beauty arrests motion. He meant, I think, that in the presence of something gorgeous or sublime, we stop our nervous natterings, our foot twitchings and restless tongues. Whatever that fretful hunger is, it seems momentarily filled in the presence of beauty. To Aquinas’s wisdom I’d add that silence arrests flight, that in its refuge, the need to flee the chaos of noise diminishes. More »
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    How does sitting upright help? Sylvia Boorstein answers. Paid Member

    Q: So, how does sitting still, upright, and resisting the temptation to move, focus and clear the mind? A: It is, indeed, a helpful technique. First, holding a styled position requires attention—attention brought to bear on the present situation—and so random thoughts are less likely to distract the mind. Second, the decisiveness in the mind that intends to be awake and present—“I’m doing this now”—also guards against distraction. And third, the mind itself, in a context of simplicity, has the natural tendency to return to ease. (I often think about the snow globes with lovely scenes at their center, scenes hidden from view as long as the “snow” is shaken up. More »
  • Tips on Mindfulness Meditation from Sayadaw U Tejaniya Paid Member

    BEFORE WE START practicing mindfulness meditation, we must know how to practice. We need to have the right information and a clear understanding of the practice to work with awareness intelligently. This information will work at the back of your mind when you meditate. 1. Meditating is watching and waiting patiently with awareness and understanding. Meditation is not trying to experience something you have read about or heard about. 2. When meditating, both the body and mind should be comfortable. 3. You are not trying to make things turn out the way you want them to happen. You are trying to know what is happening as it is. Read the rest here. Image © sayadawutejaniya.org More »
  • The self exists, it's just not as real as you think. Paid Member

    If a basic principle in Buddhism is non-self (anatta), is it incompatible with psychotherapy, which seems to be all about finding and understanding the self? The question is a little misguided, and in an ABC News NOW segment Buddhist psychiatrist Mark Epstein explains why: The self exists, it's just not as real as you think it is. You can watch the interview here. More »