Long-time meditation practitioner and teacher Vajradaka gives practical suggestions about how we can rekindle faith in our meditation practice.
Many people struggle to keep up a regular meditation practice, even when they really want to. Here are a few practical guidelines.
Most of those who have difficulties are not disciplined enough in the way they work in meditation, and a measured amount of discipline each day can make the process easier and more enjoyable. For example, you can set yourself the task of shortening the time it takes you to notice when your mind wanders off. At the start of each practice form an intention to catch yourself as soon as possible each time your … Read more »
Many people think of thought as the enemy of meditation, and yet properly handled thought can be a helper and a tool. master meditation-teacher Vajradaka explains how.
One of the most common Buddhist meditation practices is the Mindfulness of Breathing. In one common form, as practiced in my own tradition (the Triratna Buddhist Community) and as taught on Wildmind, awareness of the breath is the main focus over four stages. The first two stages use counting as an aid to concentration, while in the third awareness is brought to the whole breathing process without counting. In the final stage the focus is the sensation caused by the incoming and outgoing breath around the … Read more »
Vajradaka looks back on a meeting in a smoky Jazz club and explores the mystery of empathetic communication between artist and audience.
I once had a chance encounter with a jazz musician that had a big effect on me and characterized some of the important qualities of living a creative life. At the time I was living up in the hills of Wales and coming down to London periodically. During one such visit I went to a jazz gig at the old Vortex in Stoke Newington, as part of the London Jazz Festival. It was smoky and dark with only a dozen people in the audience. We did not need much empathy to realize that … Read more »
In a series of articles exploring the art of meditation, Vajradaka shines light on the fine art of balancing activity and receptivity within our practice.
While teaching meditation or when discussing it with friends, I always try to keep basic principles in mind. Sometimes I refer to them overtly, but they are mostly in the background, providing the context within which the details of practicing meditation are explored. One such principle is the relationship between receptivity and activity. These are pillars upon which much of what happens in meditation practice rests.
Receptivity consists in the ability to notice and be aware in a relaxed manner. It enables us to absorb and integrate the different impressions … Read more »
As westerners engage ever more deeply with meditation we find that rather than trying to shoehorn our experience into traditional categories we must find a new vocabulary to express what’s really going on. Vajradaka, a renowned western teacher, finds new words to explain the path to one-pointedness.
It’s always a delight for me to explore how my own experience in meditation corresponds to traditional Buddhist teaching. What I sometimes find, though, is that a particular term in English does not quite point me in the right direction. For example, the terms “concentration” or “one-pointedness” do not correspond exactly to my experience.
Living and practicing meditation at Vajraloka Meditation Centre, I have occasionally found new phrases … Read more »