When in doubt, breathe out – the power of breathing properly

February 24, 2017

woman breathing

Vidyamala’s online course, Mindfulness for Women, starts March 1. Click here for details.

Breathing properly is immediately helpful because the first thing most of us do when experiencing stress and pain – be it mental, emotional or physical – is inhibit our breathing. Try this short exercise:

Make a fist with one hand. Notice what’s happened to your breathing. You’ll probably notice you’re holding it. Now imagine breathing into the fist. What does it want to do? You’ll probably find it wants to release a little.

The fist in this exercise is a metaphor for any kind of discomfort or stress. When we are not aware, we automatically tense against the stresses of life with … Read more »

Seven ways meditation can help you be a better lover

February 14, 2017

Although Buddhist meditation was originally practiced mostly by celibate monks and nuns, who were not only forbidden from having sex but even from having physical contact with the opposite sex, mindfulness practice can significantly enhance your love life. And by “love life” I don’t mean just sex, but your entire life with someone you’re emotionally and physically intimate with. But sex too!

Mindfulness Helps You Be Present for Your Partner

First, being mindful helps us to be present for our partner. So much of the time when we’re with another person, we’re not really there. Nowadays it’s common to see couples sitting together in a cafe, but focused on their phones. A modern prayer for … Read more »

Mindfulness for Women: Claire’s diary

February 13, 2017

Vidyamala Burch

Vidyamala’s course, “Mindfulness for Women,” starts March 1, 2017

The Mindfulness for Women online course, starting March 1 on Wildmind, is based on the book I co-wrote with Journalist Claire Irvin. Claire hadn’t meditated before we worked on this project so she gamely kept a diary of her efforts which are accessible, often hilarious, and moving. Here’s her diary of her first attempt to meditate:

Claire’s Diary Week One: Body Scan

It’s 9.30 on a dark early-spring evening. My husband Stuart is away and I’ve finally got Amelie, six, to go to bed (she will take any opportunity to delay bedtime, and an absent parent is as good an excuse as any). On

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Mindfulness: Authority bias and finding out who is really in charge? Changing our inner world

February 10, 2017
wildmind meditation news
Change your inner world with Harnessing the Power of Kindness (MP3) by Bodhipaksa!
Sandy SB, Vajra Blue:

A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on.
Mark Twain

Mindfulness is becoming ever more popular and is in danger of being seen as a panacea for all the problems that trouble the human mind. Even when the practice is divorced from the other elements that form part of a spiritual path, it can be a useful tool for self management and helping to create greater contentment for our lives.

Practicing mindfulness can help us to work out …

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Self-compassion is not self-indulgent

February 7, 2017

grey wolf

One common concern about self-compassion is that it’ll make us lazy and self-indulgent — that if we become more self-compassionate we’ll lack motivation. Self-indulgence means avoiding difficulties, which may benefit us in the short term, but which is detrimental in the long term. Self-indulgence is when we cop out. So we might imagine that when faced with doing something difficult, we’ll let ourselves off the hook in order to be “kind” to ourselves. But that’s the opposite of what actually happens.

Self-compassion means giving yourself support, understanding, and encouragement when you face difficult experiences. It helps you to face your difficulties.

Self-compassion recognizes that your long-term happiness is served not by avoiding challenges, but in … Read more »

Everyone is suffering

February 6, 2017

During times of direct uncertainty caused by a change of political power everyone is impacted. And no matter what side we are on, everyone experiences suffering of some kind. Suffering is the first noble truth and no one can escape that. Buddhist Teachers are often asked how do we practise during turbulent times, when civil liberties and freedoms are being taken away?

As Buddhists we have to remember that while some of us may think our civil liberties and freedoms are being taken away, there are other people who think they are gaining freedoms and civil liberties. That some of these people were perhaps angry when the government of their choice was not in power.… Read more »

How mindfulness can help all women achieve their potential

February 5, 2017
Vidyamala Burch

I am proud to come from New Zealand, which in 1893 became the first country in the world in which women gained the right to vote. More recently, New Zealand was also the first democracy to have all key Government roles fulfilled by women, e.g. Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Governor General. I also come from a long tradition of strong women and I feel I owe it to my courageous and heroic forebears to do all that I can to stand tall and true in my own life.

I want to let other women know about how mindfulness has transformed my life over the past thirty years, and how it can transform their lives … Read more »

The why and the how of life

January 30, 2017

woman walking on a road

You have two big decisions to make in life.

  • The first is, Where do you want to go?

This is your life’s “why” — your purpose.

  • The second decision is, What are you going to do to get there?

This is your life’s “how.” How are you going to live? What choices are you going to make that are in line with your purpose and that take you in the right direction? How are you going to navigate life’s dilemmas? How do you make choices? To what are you going to say “yes” and to what are you going to say “no”? Who are you going to travel life’s journey with?

Get the why and … Read more »

Mindfulness leads to appreciation of entertainment’s little moments

January 23, 2017
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Practice mindfulness with Mindfulness of Breathing (MP3) by Bodhipaksa!
Mary Ellen Wright, Lancaster Online: Everyone seems to be practicing mindfulness these days.

They’re trying to live in the moment — taking time to pay attention to, and be grateful for, the everyday things that can enhance our lives if we let them.

One of my perpetual, unofficial New Year’s resolutions is to practice mindfulness in my consumption of entertainment.

I strive to benefit from the little things others might not notice — and, in the process, squeeze every bit of pleasure possible from a performance or event.

I thought of this concept recently at the end …

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Can you be mindful and still feel angry?

January 17, 2017
wildmind meditation news
Check out Guided Meditations for Stress Reduction (MP3) by Bodhipaksa!
Peggilee Wupperman Ph.D., Psychology Today: Mindfulness will not turn you into a feel-good Zen zombie.

If you struggle with dysregulated (addictive/impulsive) behavior, you might have heard that mindfulness can help you overcome the behavior.

In fact, you have likely seen numerous articles on how mindfulness can help you with pretty much every problem you have ever had (Dysregulated behavior! Anxiety! Relationship issues! Work stress! Ingrown toenails!). You may even have been pressured to practice mindfulness by friends or colleagues.

And you may be feeling a little irritated—or just plain angry…

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