Meditation

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    Daily Dharma, August 27th, 2009 - Stop worrying about success Paid Member

    Some people think that one can become a buddha through meditation. This is wrong. The potential for Buddhahood is within your own nature. If it were true that Buddhahood depended on meditation, then if you stopped meditating after you became a buddha, you would become a common person again. The objective of practice is to be in accord with the natural way, so that your true nature can manifest itself. Just practice according to the methods taught by the Buddha and do not worry about being a success. –Master Sheng-Yen, from "Being Natural," Tricycle, Summer 1995 Read the complete article. Follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the Daily Dharma or Tricycle Community Newsletter More »
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    Falling off the cushion Paid Member

    It happens all the time. Life gets hectic. A meditator falls off the cushion. Here's a story about one who tried to find his way back on. [Image: © Jean-Paul Bourdier, land art, no title] More »
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    The dubious benefits of multitasking Paid Member

    Those who multitask the most tend to be the worst at it, say researchers at Stanford University: "Multitaskers are more easily distracted and less able to ignore irrelevant information than people who do less multitasking." No surprise. As Francis Dojun Cook wrote, doing one thing at a time is best: It is wonderful to learn to do one thing at a time. When we do formal zazen, we just sit; this means we do not add to the sitting any judgments such as how wonderful it is to do zazen, or how badly we are doing at it. We just sit. When we wash the dishes, we just wash dishes; when we drive on the highway, we just drive. When pain comes, there is just pain, and when pleasure comes, there is just pleasure. A Buddha is someone who is totally at one with his experience at every moment. More »
  • Mindfulness in Plain English and Beyond Paid Member

    The examiner.com has posted a short and sweet slide show of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana's Bhavana Society, the Appalachian Buddhist refuge tucked in the wilds of West Virginia. Bhante G, as he is affectionately called, is perhaps most widely known as the author of the bestselling classic Mindfulness in Plain English. Now, after nearly two decades, the Sri Lankan monk has followed up with an introduction to deeper states of meditation—Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, currently available from Wisdom Publications. More »
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    From Guantanamo to Shangri-La Paid Member

    Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God, is heading off to a meditation retreat tomorrow. He describes his feelings about the upcoming retreat and a silent retreat he attended five years ago)in The New York Times: So with the retreat approaching, I should be as eager as a kid on Christmas Eve, right? Well, no. Meditation retreats — at this place, at least — are no picnic. You don’t follow your bliss. You learn not to follow your bliss, to let your bliss follow you. And you learn this arduously. If at the end you feel like you’re leaving Shangri-La, that’s because the beginning felt like Guantanamo. You can find the rest here. And you can also read Tricycle's interview with Wright, from our Spring 2003 issue. More »
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    "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 »