Meditation

  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    "Thinking too much can bring unbalance." Paid Member

    In the August 17, 2009 Science section of the New York Times, Natalie Angier writes: ...the brain can think too much, extracting phantom threats from every staff meeting or high school dance, and over time the constant hyperactivation of the stress response can unbalance the entire feedback loop.... Robert Sapolsky, a neurobiologist who studies stress at Stanford University School of Medicine, said, “This is a great model for understanding why we end up in a rut, and then dig ourselves deeper and deeper into that rut.... The truth is, Dr. Sapolsky said, “we’re lousy at recognizing when our normal coping mechanisms aren’t working. Our response is usually to do it five times more, instead of thinking, maybe it’s time to try something new.” Read the entire piece here. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Brain activity in nondual meditators and Alzheimer's sufferers "strikingly similar" Paid Member

    "[S]tudies suggest that there could be a striking similarity between the brains of meditators and those of people with dementia or depression." It's true, but it's not quite what it sounds like. While ordinary brains switch between two neural networks—one externally focused and the other internally focused—skilled meditators who reach "a state of oneness" seem to keep both networks going at once. Surprisingly, the same holds true for and those suffering from dementia, depression, or Alzheimer's. More »
  • Buddhism: Religion, Science, Both? Paid Member

    The "secularization" of Buddhism in the West has its countless proponents. But its secularization may often be little more than a wrong-headed denial of its religious roots. At least that's what we hear from our favorite Buddhist Geek Vincent Horn, who has posted to the Interdependence Project's "One City" blog, hosted by Beliefnet. While Horn acknowledges some of the positive effects of the secularization of Buddhist practice, in general, the trend doesn't sit well with him: More »
  • Does Buddhism serve as a bridge? Paid Member

    Can Buddhism strengthen ties to the church? An article in Sunday's Denver Post suggests that it does. Author Electa Draper investigates a growing interest in the meditative and spiritual aspects of Buddhism amongst Christian Americans, finding that many employ eastern religions as a tool to forge a deeper connection to their Christian beliefs. For many Christians cut off from the past, or alienated from the faith of their upbringing, Buddhism has served as the bridge to ancient wisdom. "The problem is the contemplative tradition in the Christian Church has had its ups and downs over the centuries," said Father Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk and leader in the Centering Prayer movement, a modern revival of Christian contemplative practice. "We sensed that the Eastern religions, with their highly developed spirituality, had something we didn't have," Keating said. More »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    Daily Dharma, August 11th, 2009 - What is Meditation? Paid Member

    Meditation, simply defined, is a way of being aware. It is the happy marriage of doing and being. It lifts the fog of our ordinary lives to reveal what is hidden; it loosens the knot of self-centeredness and opens the heart; it moves us beyond mere concepts to allow for a direct experience of reality. Meditation embodies the way of awakening: both the path and its fruition. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Daily Dharma, August 10th, 2009 - Disillusionment Paid Member

    Sometimes people feel that recognizing the truth of suffering conditions a pessimistic outlook on life, that somehow it is life-denying. Actually, it is quite the reverse. By denying what is true, for example, the truth of impermanence, we live in a world of illusion and enchantment. Then when circumstances change in ways we don’t like, we feel disappointed, angry, or bitter. The Buddha expressed the liberating power of seeing the unreliability of conditions: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation. Becoming disenchanted one becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion the mind is liberated.” It’s telling that in English “disenchanted,” “disillusioned,” and dispassionate” often have a negative connotation. But looking more closely at their meaning reveals their connection to freedom. Becoming disenchanted means breaking the spell of enchantment, waking up into a greater and fuller reality. This is the happy ending of so many great myths and fairy tales. More »