Meditation

  • More on mindfulness & Buddhism Paid Member

    A few days back I blogged about a Washington Post article that discussed mindfulness's uses in dealing with diseases like cancer ("It's mindfulness but is it Buddhism? Does it matter?"). Given the number of comments and a few mentions on other blogs (our friend the Rev. Danny Fisher's, to name one), I invited B. Alan Wallace to comment. More »
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    It's mindfulness, but is it Buddhism? Does it matter? Paid Member

    In today's Washington Post, a New York clinical psychologist specializing in cancer treatment writes of her own stage II breast cancer diagnosis. A proponent of mindfulness, Mindy Greenstein remembers what she learned from another breast cancer patient before she herself was diagnosed: Every hour she spent ruminating about the pain that was awaiting her was another hour she wasn't fully engaged with her life, another hour she couldn't enjoy. She couldn't pretend she didn't know her prognosis. So she chose a different route. Quoting one of the most well-know Buddhist teachers in the West, she continues: Even the basic act of washing the dishes can be a mindful act if one is focusing only on washing the dishes and not on what activity comes next. More »
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    What's So Great About Now? Paid Member

    In today's Feature, Cynthia Thatcher wonders how we can get the most out of the present moment: "Be mindful." "Stay in the present." "Bare attention." We've all heard one of these phrases. And if you're more experienced in insight practice, these may be the watchwords that chime in the back of consciousness from morning till night, reminding you that everything genuine in the spiritual path is to be found in the now. But then one day you're sitting in meditation, trying to observe the rise and fall of the abdomen, or a thought, or pain, and it all seems terribly dreary. Suddenly a question floats like a bubble to the surface of your mind: "What's so great about the present moment, anyway?" Read the rest here. More »
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    The Aim of Attention Paid Member

    Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche writes: Ordinarily, our minds are like flags in the wind, fluttering this way and that, depending on which way the wind blows. Even if we don’t want to feel angry, jealous, lonely, or depressed, we’re carried away by such feelings and by the thoughts and physical sensations that accompany them. We’re not free; we can’t see other options, other possibilities. More »
  • Practicing Buddhism whether you're a Buddhist or not Paid Member

    "The greatest gift you can give someone," says B. Alan Wallace, "is your attention." I've just given him nearly 15 minutes of mine and it was worth it, and I'll listen to more tomorrow (thank you for the tip, William Harryman!). Here's the opening talk of a two-day retreat hosted by the Jefferson Tibetan Society of Charlottesville, VA,  focusing on The Four Immeasurables (the Brahmaviharas) and Shamatha (meditative quiescence), followed by a guided meditation. Wallace, a meditation teacher, scholar, former Tibetan monk and a longtime student of the Dalai Lama's, teaches that any of us can benefit from these practices whether we're Buddhist or not. Great stuff, take a listen... More »