Apr 23, 2015
Meditation MP3 – The Heart’s Wisdom: Development of Compassion Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, King David, the Buddha, everybody.
It’s important to acknowledge mistakes, feel appropriate remorse, and learn from them so they don’t happen again. But most people keep beating themselves up way past the point of usefulness: they’re unfairly self-critical.
Inside the mind are many sub-personalities. For example, one part of me might set the alarm clock for 6 am to get up and exercise . . . and then when it goes off, another part of me could grumble: “Who set the darn clock?” More broadly, there is a kind of … Read more »
Apr 23, 2015
A well-known Buddhist teaching explains that all (or at least most) beings have, at one time or another in the inconceivable past, been close family members:
From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration [saṃsāra]. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating and wandering on [literally “saṃsāra-ing”]. A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find… A being who has not been your father… your brother… your sister… your son… your daughter at one time in the past is not easy to find. [Māta sutta]
A millennium or so later … Read more »
Apr 23, 2015
Meditation MP3 – The Heart’s Wisdom: Development of Compassion Clifton B. Parker, Medical Xpress: Compassion meditation focuses on benevolent thoughts toward oneself and others, as the researchers noted. It is different in this aspect than most forms of meditation in the sense that participants are “guided” toward compassionate thoughts.
The research article, “A Wandering Mind is a Less Caring Mind,” was recently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
“This is the first report that demonstrates that formal compassion training decreases the tendency for the mind to wander, while increasing caring behavior not only towards others but towards oneself,” said …
Apr 22, 2015
Meditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Calmness, Awareness, and Love (complete album) Reetu Gupta, Huffington Post: This is a question that is posed to me quite regularly, and I can see the skepticism in people’s eyes — the fear of meditation, and the preconceived notions that the only people that meditate are/were Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. However, I am also regularly asked, “Reetu, why do you always seem at peace? Why do you seem like you are happy from the inside? How are you so centered? So positive?” Well, this is because I meditate.
When our bodies become overworked, the body …
Apr 22, 2015
Someone wrote to me the other day, asking for advice:
I just started regularly meditating about a month ago. I’m scared to continue now though. I had a sudden feeling of self resentment and I felt it so deeply. I remembered the bad choices I have made in my life and felt so unworthy of love and compassion. I felt unworthy of the meditation itself. I felt like I was the most selfish person in the world. I can’t even begin to describe how painful it was.
What she’d described is what we call the “hindrance of doubt.” There are five of these hindrances, which are mental patterns that stop … Read more »
Apr 21, 2015
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, with Jon Kabat-Zinn and others Sarah Boseley, The Guardian: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be as good as pills at stopping people relapsing after recovering from major bouts of depression, according to a study.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed from mindfulness techniques, which encourage individuals to pay more attention to the present moment, combined with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), specifically to try to help people who have recurring depression.
It teaches people to recognise that negative thoughts and feelings will return, but that they can disengage from them. Rather …
Apr 20, 2015
So why should we go out of our way to develop mindfulness?
Mindful presence feels good in its own right: relaxed, alert, and peaceful. Not contending with anything. No struggle.
In addition to the inherent, experiential rewards of mindful presence, studies have shown that it lowers stress, makes discomfort and pain more bearable, reduces depression, and increases self-knowledge and self-acceptance.
To quote the father of American psychology, William James: “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very … Read more »
Apr 20, 2015
I just wanted to flag up that in late May and June my friend Harshaprabha of the Triratna Buddhist Order will be offering the opportunity to meet with like-minded people in Goderich, Guelph and Sudbury, Ontario.
He has planned a diverse set of events, ones which he believes will meet the expectations of those living in those places.
This is the first of his 2015 visits and one he is particularly looking forward to; not just meeting old and potentially new friends but the first time he has put on events in Sudbury.
Harshaprabha lives in the UK but has family ties to Ontario. He’s visited the province many times … Read more »
Apr 20, 2015
Guided Meditation for Children – Journey Into the Elements, by Chitra Sukhu Instruction in the art of mindfulness is emerging in grade schools around the country to help children relax, focus, and help others. But it still has a long way to go to become part of the curriculum nationwide.
On a recent Thursday just after lunch, 20 first-graders gathered in a circle on the carpeted floor of their public school classroom in Santa Fe. Some sat cross-legged and others on their knees, each with one hand clasped in front of them or resting on their stomachs. Their teacher, Katie Norton …
Apr 18, 2015
Meditation MP3 – The Heart’s Wisdom: Development of Compassion Jill Stark, Western Advocate: Be kind and you will be well. It has been the cornerstone of Eastern philosophy for centuries.
But what if recognising our shared humanity was more than just a sentimental ideal? What if consciously practicing kindness could change the wiring of your brain and make you live longer?
This is neuroscience’s latest frontier – a growing body of research that shows compassion could be the key to improved health, happiness and longevity.
Brain imaging reveals that exercising compassion stimulates the same pleasure centers associated with the drive …