I’ve been meditating now for over 15 years. It’s one of the most important things in my life and also one of my favorite things to avoid.
My alarm is set for 5:45 am…I think. The theory is to have enough time to do at least an hour of meditation in the morning before I seize the day. What often happens is...
Anurag Agawal talks about meditation and the 'I Meditate New York' program.
Early this month, I was visiting a friend on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There, I discovered the BMW Guggenheim Lab, “ led by international, interdisciplinary teams of emerging talents in the areas of urbanism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education, and sustainability, the Lab addresses issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse”. And “Over the Lab’s six-year migration, there will be three distinct mobile structures and thematic cycles. Each structure will be designed by a different architect, and each will travel to three cities around the globe. The theme of the Lab’s first two-year cycle is Confronting Comfort—exploring notions of individual and collective comfort and the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility.”
Sounds sorta interesting. But what really caught my attention was that each Saturday morning a group called “I Meditate NY” was hosting a free meditation program. A clever take off on the old “I Love NY” ad campaign. That one was copied by everyone and soon you saw “I ‘Heart ICON’ <insert your favourite place/activity/restaurant/pop star/etc.>” pretty much everywhere. Behind the group is a world-wide organization called The Art of Living founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I am a sucker for clever marketing, so I vowed to go on the following Saturday.
When Ringu Tulku Rinpoche came to visit Lerab Ling for a few days this summer, I had a chance to show him this website. He really liked it. I asked him if he would share a few thoughts on meditation practice that we could share. He agreed and fortunately, I quickly found someone who could make the video. This is what he said spontaneously, no rehearsal, straight and direct from the wisdom of experience to you. Sorry it took so long to get this one up. But it was worth the wait!
Following up on what Sandra wrote in her last post about the pitfalls of meditation, watch Khandro Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche, two of the most prominient meditation teachers talking about "What meditation is not":
"In the practice of meditation, having developed a sense of trust in oneself, slowly that expands its expression outward, and the world becomes a friendly world rather than a hostile world. You could say that you have changed the world: you have become the king or queen of the universe.
On the other hand, you can’t exactly say that, because the world has come toward you, to return your friendship. It tried all kinds of harsh ways to deal with you at the beginning, but finally the world and you begin to speak with each other, and the world becomes a real world, a completely real world, not at all an illusory world or a confused world. It is a real world. You begin to realize the reality of elements, the reality of time and space, the reality of emotions—the reality of everything."
I just finished reading „In the Shadow of the Buddha“ by Matteo Pistono. It´s a fascinating book about a nearly decade-long pilgrimage through Tibet, on the footsteps of a great master of the past. And it’s also a detailed description of the author´s inner journey, a journey through the various levels of meditation.
After 8 years of sometimes dangerous travels, Matteo arrives at the last sacred place that his teacher had told him to go to – and finds a completely devastated, “empty” and abandoned place at the end of the world. Right there, with all his expectations being crashed, he has a fundamental insight.
Recently I was watching a movie called, “The Peaceful Warrior” about a young athlete at a California University who happens upon a spiritual mystic and teacher in the guise of an old mechanic working at the neighborhood gas station. One of his mysterious guru’s most pointed messages is that we completely miss out on life because we’re always distracted by thoughts of past and future. At one point he takes his student to a park and asks him to take a look around. The student replies, “There’s nothing going on here,” At which point the teacher takes the student by the shoulder and miraculously transforms his perception.
“If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.” – Pema Chodron
Does your mind get all unruly when you try to meditate?
Beginning meditators often feel disheartened when they find their mind besieged by more thoughts and emotions than ever. They might even give up, thinking that meditation will never work because their mind is just too unruly.
Even those who find meditation easy in the beginning, may soon encounter a time when their mind suddenly feels out of control. "Advanced" meditators also hit turbulence from time-to-time.
Here's the secret: If your mind is a bit wild, you are not alone! Agitation is one of the two main obstacles in meditation; the other is dullness. The great meditators of the past encountered precisely the same problems when they tried to meditate. Lucky for us, they found solutions.
Can we be wide awake and acutely aware of everything that occurs within and around us while being free from judging and comparing?