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Meditation Blog

Many meditation retreats, such as the well-known 10-day vipassana retreats consist not only of sitting meditation but also include frequent periods of walking meditation. To the bystander these walking meditations look something like zombie apocalypse--making them not immediately suitable for practising them in daily life. But you can adapt these methods to make the times you are getting from one place to the other be moments of sanity in your otherwise busy day.

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:12

In Memoriam: S.N. Goenka, Modern Meditation Pioneer

Written by Erric Solomon

It was with great sadness that I read about the passing of Satya Narayan Goenka last Sunday (September 30th), perhaps the most influential Vipassana teacher of the last 100 years.

Born in Burma (now Myanmar) in 1924 to Indian parents and raised in a devout Hindu household,  Goenka was a successful businessman. In 1955 he met the Vipassana teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin who he studied and trained under for the next fourteen years.

I just downloaded the new, absolutely free eBook, edited by Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz. Believe me when I say, you gots to get this! It’s called Compassion: Bridging Practice and Science it is the result of a workshop organized by Dr. Singer in the atelier of Olafur Eliasson and included some of the world’s top Buddhist scholars and teachers, scientists and representative from the best places doing compassion based training and research.

Saturday, 21 September 2013 00:00

Don't let the trigger trigger you!

Written by Marieke van Vugt

One interesting lecture during the International Conference on Mindfulness that I attended was given by Susan Boegels from the University of Amsterdam about mindful parenting. She talked about several things that are really interesting, even for a non-parent, which revolved to a large extent around dealing with triggers.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00

Curling yourself up into your suffering

Written by Marieke van Vugt

I was this past weekend at a retreat with Sogyal Rinpoche. One of the most striking things he said was that we tend to load a lot of suffering upon ourselves by identifying with our suffering, our doubts, our pain. And meditation practice is designed to really help you let go of this tendency. It helps you to dare to let be, to hang loose, because in some sense that is the essence of meditation. How does this work?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 00:00

Celebrating Engaged Interaction

Written by Josh Korda

There is a disposition in the West to direct our spiritual efforts towards solitary practice—eg. a daily meditation on the cushion—placing less emphasis on the role that interactive, human connections play in spiritual growth. While mindfulness developed in isolation can result in great breakthroughs, it certainly makes for a withdrawn and difficult journey.

Doctors, Nurses and care givers of all kinds often report that they go through periods of apathy, hopelessness, anxiety and depression in response to constant exposure to human suffering. This is sometimes referred to as “Compassion Fatigue”. Even being exposed to lost of negative stories in the news can trigger symptoms in people. So what is going on?

Thursday, 15 August 2013 21:32

An update on mindfulness research in Europe

Written by Marieke van Vugt

I just attended the First International Conference on Mindfulness in Rome. It is quite amazing to see how mindfulness research is thriving in Europe, and how many studies are being done. While the quality of the presented research varied, the range of presented topics was just as large, and included mindfulness in business situations, mindful tango, mindfulness for different kind of psychiatric conditions, and computational modeling of meditation (which was my contribution).

Thursday, 08 August 2013 12:57

Free of After Thought

Written by Tahlia Newland

Sogyal Rinpoche often quotes this meditation instruction of his teacher, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro: Remain free of after-thought. This is an instruction that I find very helpful, and I use it as a kind of slogan to help me do it. It works like this.

Monday, 15 July 2013 18:26

Reclaiming our Identity

Written by Josh Korda

It’s tempting to believe in the social identity: the roles we perform, the personas we embody, at work, with friends, amongst family gatherings. Over the years we become so caught up perfecting these roles that we forget they’re fabrications, based on exaggerating our “winning” traits—our knowledge, sophistication, skills, achievements, etc—while concealing what believe be our weaknesses—inexperience, confusion, disappointments, loneliness and so on.