It’s always good to remember that life isn’t easy.
I don’t mean to say that life is always hard in the sense of it always being painful. Clearly there are times when we’re happy, when things are going well, when we feel that our life is headed in the right direction and that even greater fulfillment is just ahead of us, etc.
What I mean is that even when we have times in our life that are good, that doesn’t last. In fact, often the things we’re so excited and happy about later turn out to be things that also cause us suffering.
For example, you start a brand new relationship and you’re in love … Read more »
Watch your thoughts; they become stories
Watch your stories; they become excuses
Watch your excuses; they become relapses
Watch your relapses; they become dis-eases
Watch your dis-eases they become vicious cycles
Watch your vicious cycles they become your wheel of life
quote by Vimalasara 2016
Going forth is an aspect of step 6, placing positive values at the centre of our lives. Siddhartha the prince went forth from a life of indulgence because he could see clearly how it was hindering his growth. He could not find the answer to the end of suffering if he stayed in a hedonist world that was at the centre of his Mandala. When he left the palace that … Read more »
Living With Awareness: Practical Techniques and Exercises for Cultivating Mindfulness is a 28 day meditation event, starting February 1, exploring the practice of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with our experience. When we’re not mindful, we get carried away with our thoughts and emotions, which leads to stress, anxiety, depression, anger, and distractedness.
When the quality of mindfulness is present, we have a greater ability to choose our thoughts and emotions. It has been clinically proven to reduce stress, promote feelings of wellbeing, and improve mental and physical health.
Register today for Living with Awareness!
Our mindfulness meditation … Read more »
By way of background, despite having been a meditation teacher for years, I used to have difficulty maintaining a daily meditation practice. I’d meditate daily for weeks or months, but then miss days here and there. For the last few years, though, I’ve been more of a rock-solid daily meditator.
Still, although I’ve meditated virtually every day for the last three years, my practice can still be a bit thin at times. This is because I’d gotten into the habit of meditating in the evening. Why? In one word, kids. Having two young kids does not make it easy to meditate in the mornings. My personal time shifted to the evenings, when I could … Read more »
Scientists believe that your brain has a built-in “negativity bias.” In other words, as we evolved over millions of years, dodging sticks and chasing carrots, it was a lot more important to notice, react to, and remember sticks than it was for carrots.
That’s because – in the tough environments in which our ancestors lived – if they missed out on a carrot, they usually had a shot at another one later on. But if they failed to avoid a stick – a predator, a natural hazard, or aggression from others of their species – WHAM, no more chances to pass on their genes.
The negativity bias shows up in lots of ways. For example, … Read more »
Recently I wrote a piece saying that I’m making a effort to remember to be happy. When I say that I need to remember to be happy, what I mean is that I need to pause, be mindful, and notice if there’s anything I’m doing that is inhibiting my well-being. Often I do this through asking the question, “Could I be happier right now?”
Often when I ask this question I find, in fact, that I’m being a bit willful and overly intense in the way I’m working. I get very focused on the thing I’m doing (writing an article, for example) and lose touch with how I’m feeling while I’m doing that task. … Read more »
I’ve made and immediately forgotten too many New Year’s resolutions to be a believer in them, but the start of a new trip around the sun still makes me reflect on changes that I want to bring about in my life.
One thing that started popping into my mind toward the end of last year was the realization that I often forget to be happy.
It seems that just about any time I want, I can access happiness—or at least I can access a greater degree of peace, calm, well-being, and emotional positivity than was present just a moment before.
It works like this: I’ll be doing something, like working, reading, or browsing the web, … Read more »
Want to try a little experiment?
Stop breathing. Really. For a few seconds, maybe a few dozen seconds, and see how it feels.
For me, this experiment is an intimate way to experience a deep truth, that we live dependently, relying on 10,000 things for physical survival, happiness, love, and success.
For example, within half a minute of no air, most people are uncomfortable, after one minute, they’re panicking, and after four minutes, they’re brain-dead or severely damaged. Second by second, your life and mind require oxygen, the plants that “exhale” it, the sun that drives photosynthesis, and other stars blowing up billions of years ago to make every atom of oxygen in the next … Read more »
I see a lot of confusion about whether it’s OK to have goals in spiritual practice, and in meditation in particular. A lot of people think it’s wrong to have goals, and think of being goal-oriented as a peculiarly western phenomenon. I disagree on both counts.
The Buddha was supremely goal-oriented, and he encouraged us to be likewise. His last words were “Strive conscientiously.”
He opens one sutta with the words, “And how, monks, does a monk cultivate the heart’s release by loving-kindness? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?” In a conversation with a monk he says “It’s good that you understand that I have taught the Dhamma with total … Read more »
We have two transformative online events starting today!
The first is Optimize Your Brain: Awaken Your Full Potential With Meditation, which combines practical meditation instruction with the latest neuroscience to help you rewire your brain for calmness, presence, health, happiness, and harmony. Click here to learn more »
The second event is our 28-Day Meditation Challenge: Sit Breathe Love. This introduces crucial meditation techniques and also gives support and encouragement as you set up the habit of having a rock-solid daily meditation practice! Click here to read more »