Vipassana

  • 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 »
  • Day 4: Snow, Samsara, and You Paid Member

    Day four on the cushion. My thoughts are all over the place. What has to be done today in the office? Is it going to snow this weekend? How will I be OK when my parents die? I probably haven't learned a thing about meditation in all these years. But one thought that I had was a real pick-me-up: I was thinking about, well—don't let this creep you out—I was thinking about you. Usually sitting with my coworkers just makes me feel grateful that I have a job where office meditation is encouraged (and, in this case, not only encouraged but required!)—I see us as a little sangha. But today I imagined you and everybody else out there taking part in the challenge with us this month. My sense of sangha widened out to wherever you find yourself sitting today. This isn't just something nice to say; you can see the widening circle when you drop by the book club. More »
  • Day 3: The Great Meditation Challenge Paid Member

    Managing the magazine means I’m always looking forward, mapping out the calendar, checking the upcoming press schedule, assigning due dates. Often I find that my thoughts are 2 steps ahead of my actions. I love planning out each issue of the magazine, but sometimes I can get caught up with all my advanced preparations and forget about the present, the here and now. Yesterday as we sat, I found my mind wandering to the pages of my calendar, visualizing upcoming months and mapping out the next few issues. Then this morning, before I began my meditation, I was reading through the through the “Practice Preview” of the Week 1 Chapter of Real Happiness I came across the following passage: More »