Meeting Compassionate Doctors, Scientists and Meditation Masters at the 2013 Buddhism and Medicine Forum
The fourth installment of the Buddhism and Medicine series of conferences, a grand experiment bringing together Buddhist Masters, Doctors and Scientists, took place from May 31st through June 2nd at…
What can we really count on?
One of the most fundamental insights of spiritual practice is that despite all the safeguards civilization provides, the feelings of security we achieve through work, relationships and family, etc, we…
Tahiti’s top 5 stress management tips
Maybe it all began with the florid yet languid images of Paul Gauguin. But maybe it was the exotic tale of sailors in Mutiny on the Bountyrisking all for the romantic…
Phakchok Rinpoche: Overcoming our Ego and our Judgmental Mind
Phakchok Rinpoche explains how we can identify our ego by observing the process of our judgmental mind. He goes on to describe that through meditation and compassion we can learn…
Remembering Sisyphus: Everyday life is fuel for Spiritual Practice
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…
Tsoknyi Rinpoche: Healing our Trauma and Stress
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…
Transcending our Addiction to a Busy Life
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…
Sogyal Rinpoche - Awake 2013 in Sydney
Here is a full teaching from Sogyal Rinpoche on meditation and understanding the mind which he gave in Sydney at the end of March 2013.
Phakchok Rinpoche - Creating space in daily life
Sometimes it seems so difficult to meditate. We might try to sit, but our minds are all over the place; or perhaps we have too much pressure and stress in…
Sogyal Rinpoche - Who are we?
In this video, Sogyal Rinpoche suggests an alternative to the habitual self-identification with our thoughts and emotions. Normally, it is as if the thoughts about who we are or what…
Adam Engle - Creating a planetary awareness of fitnees for the mind
Adam Engle argues that most of the biggest problems in the world and for individuals are made by human beings. But recent developments in contemplative science are paving the way…
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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If Jackson Pollock was the archetypal boozing, tortured artist, would he have painted anything worthwhile if he had found inner peace? Or would he have been an even better painter if he had indeed found inner peace.
If Steve Jobs was the super-cool Zen creator, would Apple even have come into existence if he had not meditated?
If, as Spike Milligan said “it is all in the mind”, how does sitting quietly to train your mind through meditation build creativity?
Maybe it is because of the type of mind meditation produces.
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.”
Every morning when I check my email I begin my day with reading an inspirational message called Rigpa Glimpse of the Day. (You can sign-up for free here.) A few days ago (to be exact on July 22) the message was about how we can inspire ourselves to enter into meditation. It quoted an excerpt from the section on Inspiration in chapter 5 of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche:
While many of my formal meditation moments may be focused on working with remaining in the present moment and resting, as best as I can, in a state of non-distraction, without altering my mind, there are times when I’m suddenly presented with an idea worth noting or taking down for use later on, after my session is over. And, sometimes these ideas are more than just worth noting, they’re actually pretty darn good insights – they’re AHA moments!
Michael Wood, Amsterdam 2007 | high-res image
Yes that’s right, contemplative photography: The Practice of Contemplative Photography by Andy Karr and Michael Wood to be precise, recently published by Shambhala. In it, an activity that too often places an overbearing emphasis on technology, equipment and technique meets two experienced meditation practitioners with an approach to the medium that focuses on developing the photographer’s clarity of perception.