This five minute video is the first part of a fascinating skype conversation between Elizabeth Namgyel and Erric. Elizabeth describes compassion as a radical expansion of self. Then she gives some tips about how we can begin to cultivate this expanded sense of self.
There’s a standard American joke that goes, “A man walks into a bar…” and proceeds to have a short story ending with a punch-line. To get this post started right, I’ll finish the joke:
If you’re already on your cushion and working to tame your wild mind through meditation, then please congratulate yourself because you have already accomplished quite a lot.
If not, then you might want to read this…
Treatment Methods in Buddhist Psychotherapy
It is clear that all psychotherapies emphasize introspection aimed at self-understanding and rely on the healing relationship. The Buddhist method in particular, incorporates an insight-oriented dialog and interpersonal role-modeling during the session with a contemplative educational triad of meditation, study, and lifestyle between sessions.
There’s so much information available to us on how to meditate, when to meditate, even with whom to meditate. With what we have available, you’d think that we’d all be able to master meditation with ease. Nope!
Since first learning to meditate, after years of meditation, I’ve come to realize that there’s something that is definitely opposed to my peace of mind and finding my “meditative mind,” and that is…the soap opera mind!
Just the other day I found myself in the all-too-familiar situation of trying to explain what I do when I meditate to a curious and inquiring stranger. I’m sure this has happened to you before…You know, you’re sitting on the bus or in a coffee shop and you strike up a friendly conversation with someone next to you. One thing leads to another, and before you know it you’ve let it slip that you meditate. Then comes that slightly tense moment as you wait to find out whether or not the other person thinks you’re a total wacko and if you need to try and change the subject to something safer…like sports or IKEA.
This time it was a little bit different though…
In this video, Sogyal Rinpoche speaks about this awareness and how it relates to the three principles of shamatha or meditation.
Mindfulness probably means slightly different things in different traditions of meditation. At WMRI we usually talk about three principles for using an object, such as the breath, a candle or even the state of non-distraction itself, as the focus of our meditation.
1) Mindfulness – which is the pure knowing or awareness of the object.
2) Watchful Awareness – making sure that we are keeping our attention gently focused on the object
3) Abiding or Remaining Spaciously – It is said that we should ‘train in letting the mind remain’. We should remain in whatever we are aware of, be it:
—meditating with an object like watching the breath, or
—simply remaining in the state of non-distraction or pure awareness of the present moment.
Approximately forty-five people attended my talk, which took place in a conference room at the bank. I was really impressed by the people I met. They have very stressful jobs and not a whole lot of spare time and yet they made time to come and meditate and learn more about meditation. These folks were sincerely interested in learning how to uncover the inherent wisdom, love and compassion that we all possess. The fact that we could discuss the relationship between contentment, mind and meditation in a corporate environment is actually very cool.
Inspired by the previous post from Marieke van Vugt, I decided to try my hand at sharing what a "normal" day of work-integrating-meditation looks like.
Since preparing to publish my book, Minding the Bedside: Nursing from the Heart of the Awakened Mind, and starting my own business, the unfortunate fact is that the time for my "formal" practice has suffered. Yet, while I lament and moan about the lack of time to formally practice, it seems like the integration of practice into my daily life, and my ability to take life onto the path, has increased.