Thursday, 25 August 2011 15:07

Feedack from AWAKE event

Here is what attendees of the AWAKE conference in Amsterdam said that they will take away from the evening:

Published in WMRI team
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 01:01

The Dangerous Habits of Coconuts

What do coconuts have to do with meditation?  Good question!  Here's the story.

One day, I was quietly walking along.  Minding my own business, but not especially brilliantly awake.

Suddenly, in the blink of an eye and with a thunderous roar, a slew of coconut bombs pummeled the asphalt.  Less than 30 feet in front of me.  

Needless to say, this brought me back to the present moment with a jerk.

We all know how difficult it is to crack open a coconut.  There's the hammer, nail and towel method, but this is still not a piece of cake.

But due to the force of gravity, the falling velocity of a coconut accelerates.  These puppies - 15 or more - literally exploded splashing a big stretch of the road with coconut milk and littering it with cracked nuts, white meat, and gigantic branches.

Published in Meditation Blog
Saturday, 13 August 2011 22:01

Meditating in the red

It is an ordinary Wednesday morning, I'm just arriving at my agency. Park the car, go upstairs, say hello to still somewhat sleepy colleagues on the way to my room. Wake up the screen and sign in to online banking. Like most of the mornings.
SHOCK! Red numbers. BIG red numbers, right in front of me on the screen, and it´s MY business account. Nothing to interpret, nothing to reconfirm, this is a matter of fact - the account is not only in the red, it's close to its limit. And it's only a few days until salaries have to be paid. In plain language: big problems ahead.

Published in Meditation Blog

A couple of months ago I wrote a series of blogs that explain how to begin to integrate meditative awareness, the state of non-distraction, into daily activities. Here everything is brought together so that you don’t have to go searching through many different posts.

Published in Meditation Blog

I am still blogging from the retreat (this might seem like a contradictio in terminis, but for me blogging is a way to reflect on the teachings we receive during the retreat).
A few days ago we had a wonderful visit from Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, who is one of the most important advisors for the Dalai Lama. In that capacity, he has not had a lot of time to practise, but he has a lot of experience bringing his practice into daily life.

Published in Meditation Blog

Recently, I've been writing a lot on using meditation within the field of nursing and healthcare. Really, besides the setting, which is important since as a nurse I am interacting with people who are suffering and really need my attention and compassion, there is no time like the present moment - wherever we find ourselves - to work with our mind.

Minding the bedside mindfully, aware, and compassionately comes from realizing the changing nature of our thoughts and from turning and returning the mind inward, transforming the stormy arisings of thoughts, emotions, and feelings and recognizing them to be impermanent phenomena like passing clouds in the sky.

Published in Meditation Blog

I ran into a young girl today, who was part of the Rigpa Yeshe (a parallel program for the children of people attending the retreat). We bonded over my iPhone 4 and the Zen timer app I have on it – it has gongs to start a meditation session; interval bells to divide a session into segments; programmable presets for your morning and evening practice and a journal option to record your thoughts. All in all it’s pretty cool in a very nerdy way, and Noa Sussenbach thought so too.

Excited to find somebody on my wavelength (and to talk about something other than mindfulness, awareness and spaciousness) I asked her if she wouldn’t mind participating in my blog. I was curious about the experience of this retreat from the perspective of a teenager, and also pretty amazed that a teenager would even come to a meditation retreat. When I was in my teens, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know my rear end from my front. I was definitely ensnared in the ocean of samsara, and its pounding waves of high school, boy crushes, mean girls and adolescent acne (a fate worse than death).

Published in Meditation Blog

According to an article by Thomas Roth, PhD in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine titled, Insomnia: Definition, Prevalence, Etiology, and Consequences, up to 30% of the adult population in the United States suffer from some form of insomnia or sleep disturbance. That's 90-million people just in our country who don't sleep well!

A common question that seems to come up in conversation a lot these days is whether meditation can cure insomnia. As an avid practitioner of meditation – and insomnia! – I can attest to the fact that meditation and mindfulness practices can help to alleviate insomnia. I'm not sure about cure, since underlying factors are usually to blame for sleeplessness.

Published in Meditation Blog

While there are many reasons to practice meditation, one of the main reasons that I have found to practice meditation is to be less distracted and more present, to be more aware of what is going on within my mind and to be more aware of those around me. With an increased awareness of what goes on in my environment, there’s also the potential to become more aware of what is happening to those around me and to attend to those who need my help or assistance. This “compassionate impulse” is a benefit that is not always found in discussions on meditation.

At its heart, a primary reason to practice meditation is to become more of who we inherently are; compassionate, present and aware. The state of non-distraction, which we gradually achieve as we progress in our meditation practice, brings us a mind that is aware of our moment-to-moment life, that in turn brings about a natural state of compassion, recognizing others as being equally as distracted and in need of awareness within their mind.

Published in Meditation Blog

Sogyal Rinpoche inspires us to begin the day by integrating our practice, even at the breakfast table!

Published in Meditation Blog