Mapping my mind: a summer doing contemplative science
Last summer, I was lucky enough to spend almost 2 months as a visiting scholar at the Mind & Life Visiting Scholar house in Amherst, Massachusetts. In this house, scientists…
How should we conduct research on contemplative science? News from the first European Mind & Life Summer Research Institute
I attended the first European Mind & Life Summer Research Institute. These institutes are designed to bring together researchers, philosophers, practitioners, and clinicians to talk about how to engage in…
Creating a compassionate organization
The second day of the Meditation & Human Values in the Workplace conference moved from the individual to the organizational level. We started out by hearing from Federico Daini-Jôkô Procopio,…
How to practically embody a strong personal ethics in the workplace
On the last day of the conference, Monique de Knop shared her experience in being a top manager in the Belgian government. She dissected what wisdom in the workplace really…
Meditation and Human Values at the Workplace?
With economic crises and various corporate scandals under our belt you may wonder whether meditation and human values actually exist in the workplace. Right now a group of people is…
Who Meditates at Work?
Do you start your work meetings with a couple of minutes of meditation? This morning, I talked with a teacher who has just introduced meditation into her classroom. "The great…
The Great and Curious Truth: Cultivating Compassion, The Contemplative Approach
Patrick Gaffney is one of the leading authorities on the contemplation and practice of compassion in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and I was lucky enough to hear him speak at…
Read This Book!: The Compassionate Mind Approach to Reducing Stress by Maureen Cooper
For the last month or so I have been reading Maureen Cooper’s fabulous new book, The Compassionate Mind Approach to Reducing Stress Reducing Stress. Combining an authentically Buddhist approach with…
Taking a bite of mindfulness
Eating is a very touchy topic in our society (see also this recent article on WMRI). There are enormous social problems associated with addiction to food (listen for a discussion…
Non-silent interaction meditation
If you are anything like me, you spend a good deal of time interacting with other people. Is it possible to integrate meditation in your interaction with others, and if…
Imaginary Limits: Grasping at Illusory I
From the perspective of science, there is no inherent reason for the human mind to have an underlying owner or "self." The brain, the physical structure that creates consciousness and…
To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him. If you want to attain perfect calmness in your zazen [meditation], you should not be bothered by the various images you find in your mind. Let them come, and let them go. Then they will be under control.
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When I was studying English literature, I remember being particularly struck by this passage in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own:
“What is meant by ‘reality’? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now in a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech—and there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Piccadilly. Sometimes, too, it seems to dwell in shapes too far away for us to discern what their nature is. But whatever it touches, it fixes and makes permanent. That is what remains over when the skin of the day has been cast into the hedge; that is what is left of past time and of our loves and hates.”
Elizabeth explains how we can understand reality just by wrestling with basic questions that we all have: "What is the basis of suffering? What causes happiness?"
In this 2 minute skype video, Elizabeth explains to Erric how we can understand reality just by wrestling with basic questions that we all have: "What is the basis of suffering? What causes happiness?"
I recently read a very interesting paper by Shadlen and colleagues, who discussed the neural correlates of decision making. In this paper they discussed the issue of responsibility: if our brain is fully deterministic, and our actions are governed by our brain, then can we said to be responsible for our actions? In particular, if there is a lot of noise in our brain, and that causes us to accidentally commit a negative action. So the question is: what are we to do?
Sometimes I feel like my life is spent in a dark, smoky, crowded, and noisy nightclub and that I’ve forgotten that there’s a door that’s always open if I choose to leave.
Not long ago, I fell in love with a beautiful woman. Gently, we became a bit closer. She rejected me, right at the moment, when I was SURE that we had just opened up for each other, and I thought I could FEEL the love she also had for me. At first, my mind reacted with complete disbelieve. It told me that this must be some kind of error. Something within her must have closed down, she might be just not able to face the love and affection for her. When the rejection was confirmed, it really hurt. I was left with the pain of feeling cut off something really precious. And I couldn’t escape facing some of my deep-rooted believes around love and relationship. Which turned out to be a great opportunity for development.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche shares a few words with our WhatMeditationReallyIs.com community.
Assimilation of the Truth into our life begins with the initial stages of study and analysis. Later, we contemplate this information, and as we become more accustomed and adapted to it, we will develop our understanding through meditation.
The spiritual teachings tell us that meditation can help us find true happiness. It is a small hobby of mine to collect quotes and post them on my twitter account! So here are my favorite quotes on happiness: