Jul 21, 2015
InformationIsBeautiful.net reviewed 75+ studies and compiled all the evidence in one graphic and datasheet.
What are the effects of meditation & mindfulness, according to the latest scientific research? What’s it good for? And while we’re at it, what’s the difference between meditation and mindfulness anyway?
Click on the graphic above to get more information.
Jul 20, 2015
I just got word of a Kickstarter for an interesting new meditation tool.
For many people, sitting cross-legged isn’t comfortable, or even possible! For those who aren’t so flexible, the traditional kneeling, or “seiza” posture is very handy. It provides stability, comfort (once you figure out the right height, angle, and floor cushioning), and a sense of groundedness (certainly compared to being perched on a chair).
A good seiza bench, usually made of wood, can cost anything from $60 to $200 for a decent model.
The Now Bench is a different approach, using modern foam technology. It’s a simple U-shape, allowing the bench to find the right angle for having … Read more »
Jul 17, 2015
What does consciousness want? I don’t mean what do “you” want. I mean, what is consciousness fundamentally about? What is it trying to do? What is its nature?
Consciousness is undefinable. We can look at the brain with fancy machines and see activity going on. We can study neurons and understand the physical processes by which, for example, vision takes place. But how actual experience comes to arise on the basis of this is something that isn’t understood. This has been called the “hard problem” of explaining consciousness because scientists and philosophers don’t even know how to begin to think about this.
The philosopher and neuroscientist Alva Noë has … Read more »
Jul 15, 2015
The big news in the Buddhist world recently was a gathering of Buddhist teachers and leaders at the White House – yes, that White House. My heart leaped with joy when I saw photos of members of the group holding up three banners with these words:
The Karma of Slavery is Heavy
I vow to work for racial justice
The Whole Earth is My True Body
I vow to work for climate justice
U.S. Militarism Breeds Violence Not Safety
I vow to work for peace and freedom
Jul 13, 2015
Letting Go Into Bliss (Aug 12-Oct 30) is an exploration of “jhana” — a joyful state of focused attention that can arise in meditation. We’ll be learning how to allow jhana to happen.
On this 80 day meditation event, you’ll learn to:
- Notice and counteract the various ways your mind suppresses joy
- Calm the mind, using a variety of techniques
- Deeply relax the body, allowing physical pleasure to arise
- Tap into an innate sense of joy
- Develop the mind’s ability to focus undistractedly
Signing up for this event gives you access to:
- Emails (roughly every other day) with practice suggestions
- Access to guided meditations
- Support in our online community
This … Read more »
Jul 08, 2015
There’s a discourse in the Buddhist scriptures that’s long intrigued me, and which I think can be interpreted as giving an account of a time that the Buddha quit as head of the monastic community. The discourse itself seems confused and contradictory, which suggests to me that the monks who passed it on weren’t sure how to handle it, and may have tried to tone down what actually happened. On the other hand maybe I’m reading too much into this particular sutta. You can make up your own mind.
The discourse in question is the Cātumā Sutta (Majjhima Nikāya, 67). It tells of a time that the Buddha was on … Read more »
Jul 06, 2015
This morning as I was walking to the office, I noticed that I had an earworm stuck in my head. In case you’re unfamiliar with this term, it refers to a song or jingle that runs in a repetitive loop in the head. Often it’s only one or two lines from a song. Sometimes it’s not even a song we like. It may even be one we detest.
I have a very effective technique that not only helps get rid of earworms but also turns them into mindfulness triggers should they recur, but this morning it occurred to me that mantras could be regarded as a form of self-induced spiritual … Read more »
Jun 29, 2015
This is a preview of the first of the posts from our forthcoming online meditation event, “Just Being, Just Sitting.” This event runs from July 1–28, and is by donation. Click here for more details or to book your place.
“Just Sitting” is a meditation practice where the aim is just to be, allowing thoughts, feelings, and sensations to come and go within awareness. It’s a very open and spacious meditation practice, in which there is simply the observation of whatever arises in experience, whether that’s from the body, the mind, or sensations arising from the outside world.
In a sense, this is a meditation practice without a goal. … Read more »
Jun 26, 2015
Sit : Breathe : Love is a 28 Day Meditation Challenge with the aim of helping you to set up the habit of meditating daily.
It’s suitable for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners.
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 aims in the 28 Day Challenge is to work build up a daily habit of meditation by … Read more »
Jun 25, 2015
Just Sitting is a form of meditation in which we simply allow the mind to settle itself. It is a practice of non-doing. As we sit, we allow thoughts to pass through the mind unobstructedly — and without getting caught up in their storylines. In time the mind stills, and a state of pure, effortless awareness emerges.
In this 28 day event you’ll learn to:
- Sit without judgement
- Allow thoughts and feelings to arise and pass without obstruction
- Rest in an open and expansive state of awareness
- Enter an effortless state of meditation
- Recognize that it is not “you” who meditates, and allow your meditation to unfold spontaneously, from within