Here is Lynda from down-under back again...
Death comes to us all
I was reminded of that death comes to us all in the last couple of weeks. My good friend, a Tibetan lama, told us of the death of his younger brother in Tibet. I knew his brother and had spent many days with him. Then my father-in-law’s younger sister died, both of them from lung problems. And then, a few days later, my very dear cat died in her sleep. The next day, my sister told me my nephew’s 18 year old best friend had killed himself while on suicide watch in hospital. As soon as I got back to work in the New Year, I heard a man I work with had fallen down a cliff and also died.
Distractions of all kinds—speculation, daydream, fantasy, replays of how the recent past should have turned out, forming opinions about the people we meet—are totally normal daily mental events, part of the furniture of our mental living room. As someone I know once pointed out, the appeal is distilled into a single slogan in an old advert for Nintendo Game Boy: “Wherever you are, be somewhere else!”
Recently I caught up with Dominique Side, who is holding the What Meditation Really Is: Meditation and Health workshop in France next month. I had a camera in tow and Dominique answered some questions about the connection between meditation and health, what meditation really is and what meditation is not.
See the videos after the jump. Workshop space is limited, but you can still register here.
When was the last time you gave your mind a good hug? My mind loves being hugged and I love hugging my mind! Unfortunately I often forget to do it. Too many distractions!
The good news is that it is actually very easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. Here is how one of my teachers Tsoknyi Rinpocheexplains how to find and hug your mind. Warning: you might fall in love with your mind and get addicted to hugging it! ... but I think, if that were to happen, that would not be such a bad thing!
If you like intrigue, adventure, and an enticing spiritual quest, chances are you will be captivated by In the Shadow of the Buddha, Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet by Matteo Pistono.
For more than a decade, Pistono skillfully eluded Chinese security forces while gathering heart-wrenching accounts of torture and atrocities regularly and repeatedly committed by the Chinese government in Tibet. However, Pistono didn’t set out to be an espionage agent, nor did he train as the protégé of James Bond.
He journeyed to Tibet in 1999 on a pilgrimage following in the footsteps of an unconventional nineteenth-century Tibetan mystic named Tertön Sogyal. Pistono's spiritual odyssey involved numerous trips to Tibet and, in total, it stretched over a 10-year period of time.
Even before his travels to Tibet, Pistono was actively pursuing the practice of meditation in order to bridge the great divide he felt between his frenzied political work and the serenity he found on the meditation cushion. He wanted an effective means for addressing the turbulent emotions that engulfed him as he sparred with his political adversaries.
There are three mp3 files you can either play in your browser or download and play on your mp3 player of choice. First there is a guided posture audio file. Then there is one on meditating while watching the breath and another on meditating using a physical object. You can use these last two as guided meditations, they help you through the first 5 minutes and then the rest is up to you!
Get them here. And staaaaart meditating.
The New York Times ran an article on March 18th on Transcendental Meditation and celebrities which you can read here, providing you haven’t exceeded the Times new policy of demanding payment if you go over 20 articles in a month. Now, aside from the really cool photo and quotes from one of greatest all-time movie directors, sometimes quoted on WMRI, David Lynch, the article celebrated the latest celebrity to evolve into meditation practice, extolled some medical benefits of meditation and how the recession caused the lowering of the cost of a TM seminar and that in turn dramatically increased the number of people who practice TM. Sorry Jeremy, the celeb wasn’t Lindsay Lohan but we might be getting close.
But what caught my attention was the seeming implication that meditation was good for having million dollar thoughts, making successful hedge fund decisions, and generally being intelligent and creative while experiencing lots of bliss.
In case you haven't noticed, we now have a page listing special what meditation really is events. In the future we may also feature other events that we think you may find interesting.
Reading Ian’s inspiring post on Mingyur Rinpoche's explanation of the “The Real Essence of Meditation” reminded me of teachings that Mingyur Rinpoche gave in his public talk in Lerab Ling, 11 September 2010 on “Calming the Mind: The Practice of Awareness Meditation”.
In this teaching Mingyur Rinpoche explained the essence of meditation in a way that is very similar to the one that Ian shared with us. I very vividly remember how he made sounds with a meditation gong to demonstrate how we can understand what awareness is. It left a deep impact on me and really helped me understand better what meditation is about. The reason I mention this is because the event was streamed live world wide, the video is also available for your enjoyment on the video streaming archive page of the Rigpa website! Don’t miss it!