Vipassana

  • Real Happiness 28-Day Meditation Challenge, Day 22 Paid Member

    I was looking forward to sitting in the office today. But when the time came my thoughts kept circling back to the various sex scandals whose echoes are ricocheting around the Zen community. It is depressing to think that we can't seem to keep sex out of the zendo. Articles like this from the New York Times make it seem like our lives are dominated by the sex instinct, no matter what our preferences are. So however civilized we may seem, we really haven't gone far at all from our days in the caves, the trees, the bottom of the ocean. Thanissaro Bhikkhu said: More »
  • It's not a zero-sum game: Day 17 of the 28 Day Meditation Challenge Paid Member

    I visited Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche in Boulder on Monday and before that spent some time reading his books. I particularly enjoyed reading about the folly of  jealously in The Light Comes Through: Buddhist Teachings on Awakening Our Natural Intelligence (I highly recommend it). I don't normally think of myself as a jealous person, but reading through the chapter on envy I had to ask myself: Do I always rejoice in others' success? Or do I sometimes feel a twinge of self-judgment? Since we're sitting the 28-day challenge this month, I thought I'd turn to Real Happiness for more guidance. It didn't disappoint—here's what I found: TRY THIS Enough Happiness to Go Around More »
  • Real Happiness 28-Day Meditation Challenge, Day 15 Paid Member

    We're now into the third week of our 28-day challenge. If you've made it this far, you've likely already overcome a couple of rough patches caused by what Sharon calls a core group of unhealthy human tendencies that are obstacles to happiness. They're the states of mind that distract us in meditation practice, and trip us up in the rest of our lives. Broadly speaking, they are: desire, aversion, sloth, restlessness, and doubt. More »
  • Real Happiness 28-Day Meditation Challenge, Day 10 Paid Member

    Today was all about the chattering mind: Do this, don't forget that, what about this. We may have a lot to do, but we don't need to let that tyrannize our minds. From Real Happiness: Our objective when we meditate is to know what we're thinking as we're thinking it, and to know what we're feeling as we feel it instead of mentally ending up on another continent, wondering how we got there. When waves of memories, plans, and random thinking seem overwhelming, focus on breathing softly without forcing the breath. This will settle the mind. Discuss Real Happiness in the Tricycle Book Club. Image: elasticcamel More »
  • Day 9: The Great Meditation Challenge Paid Member

    It's happened to all of us: We stub our toe, prick our finger, poke ourself in the eye. It's a painful experience. But the worst part of it is that our mind then leaps to judgments: "Why am I so clumsy?" "Why can't I be more careful?" "It's the story of my life!—I always do this!" Sharon Salzberg calls these thoughts "add-ons" in Real Happiness: I once witnessed a particularly good example of add-ons in action when I was teaching a retreat with my colleague Joseph Goldstein. We were sitting drinking tea when a student in some distress came in and said,"I just had this terible experience.''  Joseph asked "What happened?'' And the man said, "I was meditating and I felt all this tension in my jaw and I realized what an incredibly uptight person I am, and always have been and I always will be." More »
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    Real Happiness 28-Day Meditation Challenge, Day 8 Paid Member

    Looking for inspiration on how to keep it going as we enter the second week of the 28-day meditation challenge? Keep moving, nothing to see here. One of the first things you'll hear when getting meditation instruction is that you should pick a time and place to sit every day and stick to it with sticktoitiveness. Yet we've been having trouble squeezing in sits here in the Tricycle office. Yesterday a few of us were out most of the day on Tricycle business, and the few hours we were all together in the office, we couldn't manage to sit together. (It wasn't my fault—it was everyone else's.) Someone had a conference call, someone else just had to finish something or go somewhere. Don't worry, most of us managed to sit at home either before or after, so the challenge wasn't blown, but I was a bit disappointed. More »