Mindfulness (sati)

The meditation practice of maintaining awareness of one's body and consciousness
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    Instructions for Listening Meditation Paid Member

    Try to sit stable like a mountain and vast like the ocean.Listen to the sounds as they occur. Do not imagine, name, or analyze the sounds. Just listen with wide-open awareness. Let the sounds come to you and touch your eardrums. Go inside the sounds and notice their fluid nature. If there are no sounds, listen, and rest in this moment of silence. Notice how sounds arise upon certain conditions and disappear upon others. Do not grasp at any sounds. Do not reject any sounds. Just be aware of sounds as they arise and pass away. Open yourself to the music of the world in this moment, in this place. In your daily life, notice the positive and negative habits you might have in your approach to listening. What helps you to listen fully and spaciously? If you are in a place that is very noisy, how can you help yourself? Must you find a quieter place or wear earplugs? Or can you be with these sounds in a different way? More »
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    Meditation, Mental Habits, and Creative Imagination Paid Member

    We have to be careful not to think that meditation is about getting rid of thoughts. On the contrary, I would say that meditation helps us to creatively engage with our thoughts and not fixate on them. When people say they cannot concentrate, I say, “No, no, no! You are concentrating—too much on any one thought!” More »
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    Reflect, Without Thinking Paid Member

    Photographs by Corey Kohn Practice implores us to do the simplest yet most difficult thing: to sit still and simply be present. In meditation, we let whatever comes up, come up. We invite it in. We welcome all of it, including the resistance, the boredom, the judgments, and the endless spinning. We let it all come up and just watch it. When things come up that we don’t like, we try to remember that these thoughts and feelings are our teacher—we can learn from them. They’re not the enemy that we have to get away from. In other words, we don’t try to change our experience; we just try to be aware. Observing ourselves in this way does not require thinking, judging, or analyzing. It only requires watching. This is what it means to watch with curiosity as our experience unfolds, without trying to make ourselves different. More »
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    Mindfulness and Concentration Paid Member

                            Vipassana meditation is something of a mental balancing act. You are going to be cultivating two separate qualities of the mind-mindfulness and concentration. Ideally, these two work together as a team. They pull in tandem, so to speak. Therefore it is important to cultivate them side by side and in a balanced manner. If one of the factors is strengthened at the expense of the other, the balance of the mind is lost and meditation becomes impossible. More »
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    Getting Started Paid Member

    Rapid technological advances. Increased wealth. Stress. Stable lives and careers come under the pressure of accelerating change. The twenty-first century? No, the sixth century B.C.E.—a time of destructive warfare, economic dislocation, and widespread disruption of established patterns of life, just like today. In conditions similar to ours, the Buddha discovered a path to lasting happiness. His discovery—a step-by-step method of mental training to achieve contentment—is as relevant today as ever. Putting the Buddha’s discovery into practice is no quick fix. It can take years. The most important qualification at the beginning is a strong desire to change your life by adopting new habits and learning to see the world anew. More »
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    Sound Meditation Paid Member

    One specific method for practicing mindfulness of body sensations is to focus your attention on sounds. Sounds, like everything else, arise and pass away. Just by listening, you can experience the insight of impermanence, an understanding the Buddha taught as crucial for the development of wisdom. Early morning is great for listening. Sounds start to slip into the stillness. In a rural setting, the sounds are likely to be those of birds and animals waking up. In a city, sounds of outside action begin-garbage collection, building construction, traffic. Even in the rarefied air of a high-rise hotel room, plumbing sounds and elevator sounds and footsteps in the hall pick up in pace. Sit in a position in which you can be relaxed and alert. Close your eyes. More »