The Buddha, on the essence of his teachings, said that sentient beings must learn how "to tame this mind of ours." My dad, a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, often tried to get me to incorporate Buddhist principles in my life. I, however, did not understand the Buddha’s teaching until my summer at the Berklee College of Music, where I changed my understanding of what having a tamed mind actually means, and how it can help me become a better musician. In turn, I made quite an important discovery: playing music, for me, is a sort of meditation.
And this ruby red can help you with mindfulness too!
The system involves the use of a kitchen timer set to 25 minutes of time, but you can actually use any timer. This slice of time is officially called a “pomodoro”. Wind your physical timer or click the Pomodoro online time for 25 minutes. Then set out on a task without stopping until the timer rings.
Here’s where your mindfulness training comes in.
All through my life, I’ve wished that I could reduce or eliminate the suffering that others go through. I guess this is built into the basic pre-programming that comes with being human. Most of the time this desire is in relative abeyance and I’m distracted from it, as I'm busy coping with my life. There are people in my life with a lot of pain, but I don’t think about it often as there’s nothing practical that can be done about it --- and I hate problems I want to help with but can’t do anything about! And, like all of us, I have (too) many defenses which blunt my perception of others’ suffering – that’s something I’ve needed to work with all my life.
A few months ago at a meditation retreat for Business leaders in Australia called Practical Wisdom, which was led by Sogyal Rinpoche, I had the chance to ask a few top executives how meditation has helped them in their lives and in particular whether they had found any benefits in their work.
Here’s my interview with John Akehurst, a former CEO of a large oil and gas company, a non-executive director of a number of top 20 companies and a board member of Australia’s national reserve bank. What he said was quite incredible and possibly not what you would expect.
One of the first findings on the effects of meditation on the brain were very large amounts of gamma brain waves reported in long-term practitioners (Lutz et al (2004)). An important problem with that study was the fact that we had no idea how these gamma waves came about. Were they caused by the meditation or were the people that took part in this study simply weird people? Recently, a new study was published that shed light on this issue.
Just in case you are not a fan of a clear and determined intention to practice right after getting up or you don't feel like morning meditation is something to look forward to, maybe this one works ...
Our deepest wish as parents is for our children to be happy. We feel intensely our children’s pain and suffering and would literally do anything to help them. But often we find ourselves at a loss - we don’t know what is troubling them, or how to help, though we keep trying to talk it through, figure it out, fix it up!
Really listening and attending to our children can often be enough to ease their suffering. However, sometimes they do not know what is distressing them, or they may feel powerless to change an old habit such as worry and anxiety, an explosive temper, or fragile self-esteem. Some children also feel that they are in some way ‘bad’, they feel unloved and unlovable.*