Meditation

  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Warrior Mind: A new weapon for US soldiers Paid Member

    Does meditation have a place in the military? A recent article in Time magazine examines Warrior Mind Training, an increasingly popular program for US armed forces that centers on meditation exercises. Already offered at 11 military institutions, the Army plans to use the meditation program to train over 1 million soldiers in the art of mental toughness. Spearheaded by Sarah Ernst, the Warrior Mind Training program has been designed specifically for members of the military: Ernst and her colleagues researched the military mindset, consulting with veterans who had practiced meditation on the battlefield and back home. More »
  • Lama Surya Das on Why We Sit Paid Member

    In meditation we seem to be sitting by ourselves, but we do not sit just for ourselves. By focusing our attention on the breath, the body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations, or any other facet of our experience in meditation, we become more mindful—not mindless—through the transformative power of moment-to-moment alertness and presence of mind. Instead of absentmindedly stumbling through life like sleepwalkers, we can use contemplative practice to achieve extraordinary insight into ourselves and the world in which we live; to inhabit and appreciate more fully the here and now; to free our minds and open our hearts, and to relax into our natural state. The cultivation of mindfulness helps us wake up to things as they are rather than as we would like them to be. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Meditation: the new trend? Paid Member

    An article appearing in yesterday's Boston Globe suggests a new trend among young adults: meditation. Taking a break from the demands of Facebook and Twitter, young people are increasingly turning to meditation workshops and retreats to combat stress and refocus their attention. Institutions offering meditation classes, such as Insight Meditation Center (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, have seen a steady rise in the number of young adult applicants in the past few years. As Globe contributor Nandini Jayakrishna reports: Meditation groups say an increasing number of young adults are signing up for retreats and classes, seeking a temporary escape, a haven to reconnect with their thoughts. “Young people are much more stressed out than people 20, 30 years ago,’’ said Rebecca Bradshaw, one of the retreat leaders who also works as a psychotherapist. More »
  • Become Aware of Awareness Paid Member

    The goal of attention, or shamatha, practice is to become aware of awareness. Awareness is the basis, or what you might call the “support,” of the mind. It is steady and unchanging, like the pole to which the flag of ordinary consciousness is attached. When we recognize and become grounded in awareness, the “wind” of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking. As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us. More »
  • The path doesn’t save all its pleasure for the end. You can enjoy it now. Paid Member

    When explaining meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince. Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches the joy of effort by explaining that "the path doesn’t save all its pleasure for the end. You can enjoy it now." Read the rest here. [Image: Explosions in the Sky, David Poppie, 2007, mixed-media collage, 24 x 24 in.] More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Daily Dharma: Don't Eat Your Spinach Paid Member

    Now, if the practice is so good for us, why is it so difficult to maintain a steady practice? It may be that the notion that practice is "good for us" is the very impediment—we all know how we can resist what is good for us at the table, at the gym, and on the Internet. This mechanical notion of practice, "If I practice, then I will be (fill in the blank)," leads to discouragement because it is not true that practice inevitably leads to happiness or anything that we can imagine. Our lives, like the ocean, constantly change, and we will naturally face great storms and dreary lulls. How, then, to put our minds in a space where practice is always there, whether our lives are tumultuous or we are in the doldrums? It requires a completely radical view of practice. Practice is not something we do; it is something we are. We are not separate from our practice, and so no matter what, our practice is present. An ocean swimmer is loose and flows with the current and moves through the tide. More »