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Meditation Blog

In the great myth, Sisyphus is condemned by the gods, day in and out, to roll a large boulder up to the top of a steep mountain. When the stone reaches the peak, it rolls back down to bottom. And so he would have to start his task over, from the bottom of the hill, day in and out. The punishment is clear: in the hopelessness and repetitiveness of the punishment, the gods are forcing Sisyphus to confront that which most of us prefer to ignore: the futility that underlies existence. 

Theses days, it seems like nearly everyone is barely managing to cope with the stress of day-to-day life. In addition, we are often reacting to situations based on unhealed wounds resulting from traumatic childhood experiences rather than simply responding authentically to the present moment.

Thursday, 16 May 2013 11:28

Transcending our Addiction to a Busy Life

Written by Josh Korda

A busy life can be experienced as an addictive video game, comprising the twisty route from a morning coffee to the time we return home and close the door on the world and its demands. The circuit is strewn with pleasant opportunities—friendly conversations—which we navigate toward, and unpleasant roadblocks—impossible characters with impractical deadlines—which we try to avoid. Caught up in the game, our frustrations and disappointments are stifled so we can keep moving. We lose track of how these blocked emotions translate into stress carried in the body; our external fixation and continual thoughts relegate the body to the corners of awareness; the tension that lies beneath our attention spans often remains unnoticed.

A group of us joined Tsoknyi Rinpoche on a trip to Muktinath in the Mustang district of Nepal. At nearly 4,000 meters (or 13,000 feet), the views of the valley below and 22,000 foot mountain peaks was spectacular. But perhaps at least as impressive was that it is a sacred place of pilgrimage, where both Hindu and Buddhist meditators attained authentic accomplishment in meditation practice for over a thousand years.

Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:00

Having Nothing to Do

Written by Tahlia Newland

I never have nothing to do. There is always something awaiting my attention. I never get writers block, there is always something to write. Inspiration is never far away.

Until now.

I find myself in a top year ten Maths class without internet connection and without my computer. I brought my iPad with me, thinking I would answer some emails if the kids didn't need my attention. I left my laptop in the staffroom, but I can't connect to the Internet. Everything on my to do list requires the Internet. They're good kids. Great kids actually, they don't need my attention.

Clearly it's time to write something.

But what.

OMG

Saturday, 27 April 2013 00:00

The discipline of Happiness

Written by Tahlia Newland

It is easy to spiral into depression or to find our lives suddenly stressful and racing along at a clipping pace. It easy to stop it too, but we think it's difficult and so we make it so. Really, it's not. We just have to have a daily mediation practice.

But even if we know that a daily mediation practice will help us, we see it as just another thing we have to try to fit into our day, and our ego battles us all the way, always finding some reason why we can't to it today. Then we may feel guilty, which adds even more stress to the situation. And on it goes. It's easy for not mediating to become a habit. Even if we're just taking a break for a while, the break can become our routine. Making ourselves happy, as in truly deeply happy - the kind that doesn't rely on anything external - does take discipline. There's no way around it.

So how do we make the leap? How do we fit mediation into our day?

Thursday, 18 April 2013 18:56

Meditation meets technology

Written by Marc Jacquemin

I’m a geek. I love technology. I feel it empowers me to get what I need, or mainly what I don’t need but want, almost instantly. I want a movie, boom, it’s there, a song, click, I can start listening to it in less than a second. If I can’t remember something, I google it. You get the idea. 

So what does this have to do with meditation? So far, nothing it seems. Gizmos have become a major source of distraction, and in most case they play a big part, at least for me, in taking us away from the meditation cushion. It’s so easy to grab you iPad and spend hours on Facebook and Twitter, to start watching a movie on Netflix,and so on... We want to be entertained, distracted from our own mind because it’s much easier than spending 10 minutes on a cushion trying not to grasp at our thoughts and emotions. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:45

Getting Comfortable in Transformation

Written by Josh Korda

The passage to radical change in life can be stumbled upon via many routes, but they all have a common theme: it presents that which doesn’t fit into our standard modes of apprehension and understanding. Perhaps its a sudden realization of how vulnerable and subject to change are all our plans and expectations, thrust on us by a sudden, unexpected separation, career setback, a shocking loss. Or a recognition that we’ve become addicted to unsuitable habits and behaviors. Or it may be the dismay of recognizing how inadequate are the stories we’ve been reciting about our “self;” how they fail to capture our character, capabilities or weaknesses.

There are three common myths or misconceptions about meditation that can block us from realizing the power and benefit of practice. Yet, if we take a moment to expose them, we can easily figure out how to overcome them.

Sunday, 07 April 2013 17:13

Are you missing the point?

Written by Tahlia Newland

What is the point of all this posturing? This defending and promoting your point of view, as if only you know the truth and everyone else must have it wrong unless they agree with you. Why is it so important to be right when rightness and wrongness of ideas are only mental constructs, merely different ends of the same sliding scale, a scale that is  evaluated differently depending on who is looking at it. Does it even matter where you tip the scales from wrong to right when your ideas about reality are merely that, ideas, and not reality itself. Why spend your life trying to affirm your ideas about reality when you can experience reality directly?