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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After many years of teaching high school maths (amongst other things) in countries as far flung as the UK, NZ, and Eritrea I am currently managing the development of a series of courses providing a universal and non-sectarian training in empathy and compassion.
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 thing is," she said, "that it gives me a break in the day. And the kids love it, they keep asking for more!"
Two months ago, she thought meditating at work was simply impossible. Then, after attending a three day training on how to integrate meditation in the classroom, she gained the confidence to simply give it a try. And now, she is even prepared to have her inspector sit through a meditation session in class next week!
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 the Empathy and Compassion in Society conference in London in 2012. Patrick has kindly allowed us to reproduce the text of his talk here and you can also find the video of his talk below.
Patrick regularly teaches in Europe and the USA and will be leading a five-day retreat on Cultivating Compassion in Lerab Ling, near Montpellier, France, on 5-9 March 2013.
If you are interested in finding out more, please visit:
A few months ago at a meditation retreat for Business leaders in Australia called Practical Wisdom, which was led by Sogyal Rinpoche, I had the chance to ask a few top executives how meditation has helped them in their lives and in particular whether they had found any benefits in their work.
Here’s my interview with John Akehurst, a former CEO of a large oil and gas company, a non-executive director of a number of top 20 companies and a board member of Australia’s national reserve bank. What he said was quite incredible and possibly not what you would expect.
In January, I was fortunate enough to speak to Diane Grady about meditation. Diane is one of the founding members of a group of business and community leaders in Australia called ‘Practical Wisdom’ and has herself been on the board of a number of large Australian public companies for over 15 years. The Practical Wisdom group began about 12 years ago following a dharma talk given by Sogyal Rinpoche at the Australian School of Management and a question he posed: “Is this relevant to business?” The response was an overwhelming “Yes” and since then the Practical Wisdom group has gathered each year to receive further teachings on meditation and Buddhist wisdom. In addition, the group also now meets for a few hours each month to practise meditation together.