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Saturday, 24 November 2012 18:50

How Quickly Can You Change Your Mind?

A few days ago I saw a power point presentation on you-tube about a recent study on the effects of meditation and compassion practice on the brain. While there have been more and more studies of this kind in the recent years and months, what struck me most about this study was that it showed just how easy it is to change our minds (or at least our brains) with such a little amount of time and effort.
Published in Meditation Blog
Friday, 27 July 2012 17:58

The practice of receiving criticism

I recently attended a retreat with Sogyal Rinpochein Amsterdam. One of the main themes of the retreat was about how to take the blame. Now this may seem like quite a strange concept: why should we be willing to take the blame in situations? It definitely was something to think about for me, which is why I am writing this blog.

Published in Meditation Blog

Elizabeth Namgyel describes compassion as a radical expansion of self.

Published in Elizabeth Namgyel

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.

Published in Meditation Blog
Monday, 13 February 2012 10:25

Meditation is the basis of happiness

Meditation is the basis of happiness. That might seem like a big, maybe even outrageous, claim to some of you, but it is the truth. How so?

Happiness doesn’t depend on what happens to you, but on how you see, think and feel about what happens to you.

Here’s an example: John and Jenny are visiting their Grandma. She serves them a cream filled chocolate cake. John is happy because he likes chocolate cake but Jenny is unhappy because she has sworn off eating chocolate cake and having one in front of her is making it extremely difficult for her to stick to her vow. It’s the same external situation for both people, but one is happy about it and one is unhappy.

Published in Meditation Blog

A little while ago I had a radio interview with the Dutch Buddhist Broadcasting company, and one of the things I talked a lot about with the interviewer was the relation between my meditation practice and my passion for ballet. Then when I read the wonderful book Confessions of a gypsy yogini by fellow blogger Marcia Dechen Wangmo, where she wrote about her passion for dance, I decided it was time to blog about it.

Published in Meditation Blog
Monday, 06 February 2012 19:58

Transforming Jealousy into Joy

Jealousy is a painful emotion, in part, because when we get jealous we lose our self-respect. It is deeply embarrassing to watch ourselves feel displeasure at the happiness and good fortune of others, whether it be their wealth, physical attributes, money...whatever.

I suppose, if we look at it in one way, it is good news that we feel disturbed when we feel jealous. This shows that we have a conscience – that in truth we really do want others to be happy and don’t want to feel uncomfortable about their good fortune. And yet we experience this inner-conflict.

Jealousy comes from feeling impoverished in our own minds. We wish we possessed the attributes that belong to someone else…therefore we feel we “lack” something in some way. So jealousy comes from being totally self-focused. Herein lies the problem.

Published in Meditation Blog
Thursday, 22 December 2011 11:13

Wisdom is what sets us free

Combining contemporary psychotherapy with the science and techniques of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Dr. Neale provides the conceptual maps, practical skills and emotional support that lead to optimal health and happiness. For more info check him out by clicking here.

Published in Dr. Miles Neale
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 18:53

Dr. Miles Neale: Wisdom is What Sets Us Free

A few weeks ago, I caught Dr. Miles Neale, a Buddhist psychotherapist, giving a talk at the Interdependence Project in New York. In my post last week on ethics and meditation, I didn’t mention one crucial part of the meditation lifestyle: Insight or Wisdom. 

Published in Meditation Blog
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 20:27

Meditate and...Change Your Brain In 8 Weeks?!


Meditation can change the brain. Wow! Did you read that? Last spring when I first found this post, it was all over the internet. In fact, the net was buzzing with the the results of this study carried out at Massachusetts General Hospital, headed by Sara Lazar at Harvard University. The results showed that by participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program, individuals were able to make what appears to be measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress.

Published in Meditation Blog
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