Health

Buddhist practice begins with mindfulness of the body
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    What Is True Happiness? Paid Member

    For more than three decades, scholar and contemplative B. Alan Wallace has considered the perennial question What is happiness? from the dual perspectives of modern science and traditional Buddhist meditation practice. These two disciplines are at the heart of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, launched by Wallace a year ago to conduct rigorous scientific study of contemplative methods in collaboration with established investigators in psychology and the neurosciences. Initial research co-sponsored by the Institute includes the Shamatha Project, a long-term study of the effects of intensive shamatha—tranquility—practice on cognition and emotion, and the UCLA Mindful Attention Program (MAP), which is evaluating mindfulness training as treatment for Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). More »
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    Still on the Run Paid Member

    A distinguished athlete with nine years of competitive experience, Paula Newby-Fraser is known among a growing circle of fans as a "Zen triathlete." Often called “the Ironman competition” because of its great demands on physical endurance, a triathlon is a long-distance race that combines swimming, bicycling, and running. The triathlon will be formally recognized as an Olympic sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Born in Zimbabwe in 1962, Newby-Fraser spent her childhood in Durban, South Africa, studying classical ballet for many years. Her interest in Buddhism began when her mother, enamored of Asian and African religious culture, took her to a lecture by a Tibetan lama. More »
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    Commit to Sit: Eating Paid Member

    Guided Meditation: Eating Eating is a common daily activity that provides a very good opportunity for us to practice bare attention, free from the many concepts that may arise around it. Typically, the mind is quite heavily conditioned in various ways around food. Our conditioning may include desire, greed, fear, or anxiety -- perhaps even revulsion. So it’s very helpful to learn how to be with this essential aspect of our lives simply and directly, free of the conditioning or habituated concepts that may cause us suffering. More »
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    Strong and Silent Paid Member

    I just signed up for my first weeklong meditation retreat. I have a history of back pain and am a little scared of all that sitting. Is there anything I can do to prepare? WHEN I ATTENDED my first meditation retreat, I had the exact same issue. Within two days of sitting, my lower back began to hurt. I tried to sit ramrod straight and stretch on every break, but no amount of adjustment seemed to ease what was progressing from an intermittent discomfort to a constant ache. At the meditation interview, I threw all hopes of profundity out the window and shared my back troubles with the sensei. He offered me a simple piece of advice: "Get to know this pain." More »
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    This is Your Brain on Buddhism Paid Member

    SOMETIME IN THE 1980S while residing at a meditation center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I heard of Tibetan yogis being tested with rectal thermometers for increased body temperature, a side effect of the meditation called tumo, the inner heat that burns up subtle obscurations. The yogis, apparently, were uncomfortable with the experiment; someone told me one of them had died not long after returning to India and that the pool of tumo practitioners willing to participate in Western research had dried up for several years as a result. These were merely rumors, yet they revealed the beliefs and prejudices of both sides, as rumors tend to do, making the Westerners sound crude and ruthless, the yogis ignorant and superstitious. More »