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Meditation Blog

Friday, 25 November 2011 16:31

NYC What Meditation Really Is Events

Written by Erric Solomon

If you live near New York or know someone who does, you might want to check out one of the What Meditation Really Is events that are taking place in the next two weeks. More info after the jump...


Wednesday, 23 November 2011 01:26

Was Pizza Invented by Korean Buddhists?

Written by Erric Solomon

Watch this hilarious video about the origin of pizza.

Monday, 21 November 2011 11:30

Is Meditation a Foreign Idea?

Written by Ian Ives

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…

Saturday, 19 November 2011 02:06

Holding the Train in Your Arms

Written by Erric Solomon

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.

 

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.

Sunday, 13 November 2011 21:27

The power of habits

Written by Marieke van Vugt

In my research I have been thinking a lot lately about the power of habits, which was stirred by David Neal, who visited our institute and gave a talk about this topic. He showed how we think we are in charge of our lives and in control, and how we do what we want to do. But actually, we spend most of our time performing habitual actions (Wood & Neal, 2007)). This is why it is so difficult to kick our habit of distraction, for example.

Saturday, 12 November 2011 15:17

Eyes Wide Open at the World Bank

Written by Erric Solomon

I ventured down to Washington DC on Monday to give a talk at the World Bank on meditation. I was intrigued to learn that the World Bank has a meditation group.

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.

Friday, 11 November 2011 22:14

A(nother) Day in a (different) Life...

Written by Jerome Stone

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.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 18:15

Making the Mind a Peaceful Place

Written by Josh Korda

Most of us, by the time we reach adult life, develop ways of relating to the obsessive thoughts that visit us; those inner voices that relentlessly detail bleak tales about the future, mistakes made in the past, inventories of what's missing from life. The brain is set up to fret, and we all have to learn how to function in life without being dragged under by the it's constant jabbering. We're all after a little calm.

While we may understand that certain types of thoughts cause us a lot of stress, its less obvious that the mind's tendency to jump around, from one inner narrative to the next, plays a large part in our suffering. The mind doesn't generally roam in search of peace; the brain's subsystems that drive us tend to reward us for thinking about issues we believe effect our survival: from whether or not we'll ever find a lasting relationship, to attempting to predict our unknowable financial futures. Our thoughts promise us control and preparation; what they actually deliver is stress and suffering.

The Tenzin Gyatso Institute’s Scholars program is a revolutionary program, inspired by HH Dalai Lama, to bring the living tradition of Tibetan Buddhist wisdom together with the insight and intelligence of modern scientific research. If nothing else Tibetan Buddhist philosophy will become much more accessible and relevant for people if the world views that it refutes or builds upon weren’t only those that were in vogue in India fifteen hundred years ago. But as one scientist says in the following video maybe the Tibetans couldn’t have sent a man to the moon, but if they had been part of the project we could have gotten there without having to fight about it.