Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

Sit : Love : Give

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Blog

Jan 06, 2014

Separating feelings and thoughts

White isolated zipperOne of the participants in our current 28 Day meditation challenge reported that she was experiencing stress because of a new job.

New jobs can be very challenging and bring up a lot of self doubt. I remember that well.

She talked about “feelings of inadequacy and uselessness,” and I could instantly see a practice that would help her deal with the challenges of her new job. The practice is to distinguish between feelings and thoughts.

From the perspective of Buddhist psychology, inadequacy and uselessness are not feelings. Actual feelings that we might experience in a challenging new job include anxiety, or fear, or confusion. “I am inadequate” and “I am useless” are …

Jan 03, 2014

Drop the “only”

Buddha imageOur 28 Day Meditation Challenge, called Sit : Breathe : Love, started on January 1, with well over 1000 participants.

The aim is not just to try to meditate every day, but — far more importantly — to work on setting up the habit of daily meditation.

A few times people who are reporting on how they’re doing say they meditated, but it was “only” for 20 minutes or “only” for 15 minutes. I’ve said similar things myself.

But that word “only” bothers me. Using the word “only” is a great way of taking something you’ve done that’s good and making yourself feeling bad about it. Compare “I exercised three days this week” …

Dec 19, 2013

Open mind: focused mind

pier near the seaOne of my online students asked a really excellent question in relation to mindful eating, and in fact in relation to mindful activity more generally:

Should I focus on one specific sensation? But if I do so, isn’t it restrictive, replacing mindfulness of the whole experience of eating by concentration on only one of its aspects? In fact, I already faced similar questions when trying walking meditation. Walking involves so many movements, so many sensations… How to be mindful of all of them?

There are really two different modes of mindful attention, one of which is more narrowly focused, while the other is more open. Each is valuable in its …

Dec 18, 2013

When you’re afraid of meditating

Birds nest in old mans handsFor various reasons, we can sometimes experience a fear of meditating. We may know that meditating would help us, but we find the thought of getting on the cushion terrifying. Perhaps we bury ourselves in distractions in order to keep the fear at bay.

If this is something you experience, how can you deal with it? I’d suggest that rather than “be tough” and forcing yourself to meditate, it would be more useful to be accepting and compassionate toward your anxiety. Your anxiety isn’t intending to be your enemy — it thinks it’s protecting you from some kind of danger. It’s misguided rather than “bad.” So what …

Dec 17, 2013

Some of your “distractions” are not distractions

Stones on the seashoreOne of my students recently commented: “I regularly have to readjust my posture, which slightly changes now and then without my noticing it. These readjustments distract me from focusing on the body/breathing.”

What I suggested was that she might usefully reframe how she was seeing this situation.

If you’re being mindful of your body and making adjustments to your posture, then in a very important way this isn’t distracting you from your body. Making readjustments like this doesn’t even have to take you away from your breathing, since you can maintain awareness of your breathing and make adjustments in your posture in time with the in-breaths and out-breaths. For example …

Dec 12, 2013

Join us on January 1st for our 28 Day Meditation Challenge, “Sit : Breathe : Love”

sit : breathe : loveFrom January 1 to January 28, as part of our Year of Going Deeper, we’re running a meditation challenge.

This 28 Day Meditation Challenge, called Sit : Breathe : Love, has the aim of helping you to set up the habit of meditating daily.

The benefits of regular meditation have been demonstrated again and again in multiple studies. Meditating makes you happier, is good for your health, protects your brain from aging, boosts your intelligence, and helps reduce pain, stress, and depression.

But it’s not easy to set up a regular meditation practice.

So we’re here to help you!

The Aim

The aims in the 28 Day Challenge are:

  1. To work toward building

Dec 10, 2013

“Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me as my own thoughts.” Henry David Thoreau

Wha, wha, what!!??When I’m talking with people about the Buddhist teaching of non-self (anatta) they often say things like, “But how can you function in daily life without a self?” I usually answer, “Well, how do you function in daily life without a self?” Because Buddhism doesn’t say that we have to lose our selves — it says that we have no selves to lose. The reason we assume we have to lose our selves is because we walk around with the delusion that we do actually have a self in the first place.

So we all go about our daily lives without selves; it’s just that most of us drag around …

Dec 10, 2013

How to stop beating yourself up

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at Dec 10, 11.37.36 AMI’m leading a retreat in Florida, just south of Tampa, Feb 21–23. It’s on the theme of self-compassion and it’s called “How to Stop Beating Yourself Up.”

Self-compassion is at the heart of my teaching these days.

The retreat fees include food and accommodation, and they’re on a sliding scale.

Most us us have the habit of being unkind to ourselves. We talk unkindly to ourselves and often we sacrifice our own well-being in order to “get things done.”

On this weekend retreat, Bodhipaksa will introduce a step-by-step guide to self-compassion, so that we can learn to be less hard on ourselves.

To allow people of varying

Dec 04, 2013

Join us for a Year of Going Deeper

A year of going deeperJoin us for a series of free meditation events throughout 2014. We’re calling this our Year of Going Deeper.

The Year of Going Deeper includes events suitable for you whatever your level of practice, whether you’re a beginner interested in learning basic techniques or a more experienced meditator interested in cultivating deep meditative states and insight. You’re free to pick and choose which events you participate in.

  • Registration for these events is free, although donations are encouraged.
  • When you register for an event, you’re signing up for a daily practice reminder that will be delivered by email.
  • The newsletter will contain practice suggestions and links to guided meditations.
  • There

Dec 04, 2013

Overcoming resistance to meditation

Stacked of zen stones with orange ranunculus flowerNo matter how much experience we have of meditation being beneficial in our lives, and of not meditating making life harder for us, we can still end up experiencing resistance. And resistance to meditation can be very painful, especially when we get caught between that feeling that we “should” meditation and the feeling that we don’t want to.

Sometimes there’s a hidden agenda at work. We might on some level think that meditation is selfish. Or we might be worried about “not getting things done.” Or we might be afraid of change. If you can become aware of the underlying reason for your resistance you …