This post was sent into us from Cynthia Choi, enjoy the post!
I’m sitting on my cushion, looking out the sliding glass doors at the valley below. The trees are bare. The land is sighing peacefully, catching its breath before winter. I fervently resolve to meditate on equanimity so that, for the sake of others, I may attain complete enlightenment.
Scientific evidence that mindfulness produces demonstrable effects on well-being and health is well established.(1) Mindfulness classes are offered in many different contexts, to healthcare professionals, secondary school students or patients suffering from depression.(2) There is now also a significant body of research showing that mindfulness-based methods to develop empathy lead to a decrease in the biological markers of stress. (3)(4) Participants found they had greater compassion for themselves and for others after just two weeks of applying the techniques.(5) Happier teachers means happier students. An article in next month's Review of Educational Research corroborates existing studies on how teacher empathy improves student's engagement and achievement.(6)
This was sent in by Melle, a friend of ours from the Netherlands...
Holding the train in your arms
The train can be an excellent place to meditate. Especially when you manage to get a seat. The train I regularly commute on is one of the busiest lines in the country. It has the airport as one of its main stops and lots of business people use the coaches as their first working space of the day. You have the grumpy people hiding in their papers, avoiding any contact, and the rise-and-shine early chit-chat ladies all mixed together in a relatively small room, travelling at about 100 km/hr. Feelings are bound to rise, and not always in a very flowery way.
Dr Paul Ekman is regarded as a world expert on emotions. His 1970s research shows that emotions are universal and the expressions associated with some emotions are common to all humans.
In recent years, Paul Ekman was invited by HH the Dalai Lama to enage in discussions on the nature and quality of our emotional lives and compassion, and co-authored Emotional Awareness.
This post was sent into us from Becky who has an interesting blog about sharing Meditation and Dharma with Children. Enjoy the post!
When you think about caring for another, and about arriving fully present at the bedside, what comes to mind? Does the idea of compassion in caring mean that we have to sacrifice some part of ourselves, or somehow “become” something we’re not in order to arrive present? Is there something that we lack that needs to be gained in order to be compassionate?
I have been traveling a lot lately (a lot of time spent on the NYC subway too!). I loaded up my Ipad with some books and here are mini-reviews of three of the best. One is about how the universe is based on awareness not sub atomic particles, another about how meditation can help you be a better healthcare professional and the last one is an extraordinary book of practice advice and autobiography by one of my teachers, Adeu Rinpoche.
Meditation without action can simply become another way to check out, to absolve oneself of one's responsibilities within the world, leaving us "blissed out" with no particular orbit within the "reality" that is our lives.
As a Registered Nurse, working at the bedside, I’ve found countless opportunities to check-in using my meditation practice, instead of disappearing. Sogyal Rinpoche, as well as other teachers, refer to this checking-in as “integration.”