Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

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Jun 24, 2015

From shame to self-worth: evolutionary neurobiology of shame

Jbilo al atardecerHave you ever scolded a dog and seen him or her look guilty?

Obviously, animals do not have the elaborated textures of thoughts and feelings that humans do. But our emotions, even the subtlest ones, have their roots in our ancient evolutionary history. By understanding that history better, we do not reduce our feelings to animal instincts, but instead find illuminations from our past that paradoxically give us more choices in manifesting ourselves as fully human.

We can find two sources of shame spectrum emotions in our evolutionary history.

First, many animal species live in social groups with clear dominance hierarchies. Once those pecking orders are established, it can be … Read more »

Jun 16, 2015

Speak truly

mighty oak treeIt’s been said that the most powerful tool for physical health is a fork (or spoon), since the choices you make with it determine the good or bad things you put into your body.

In the same way, perhaps the most powerful tool for your mental health – and certainly for the health of your relationships – is your tongue. Thousands of times each day, it (or your fingers on a keyboard: same thing) offers the good word or the bad one out into your world.

If you say what’s true for you, and say it clearly and kindly, you get one kind of results. But if you use a … Read more »

Jun 12, 2015

Watch the “Saving Mes Aynak” official trailer

I’ve talked here before about Brent E. Huffman’s film, Saving Mes Aynak, the making of which Wildmind helped sponsor. Mes Aynak is a unique archaeological site: an abandoned Buddhist city in Afghanistan, where priceless relics have been unearthed. Unfortunately a Chinese mining consortium plans to destroy the entire site in order to mine for copper. This is equivalent to Greece bulldozing classical buildings like the Parthenon.

Saving Mes Aynak follows archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save this 5,000-year-old Buddhist archeological site from imminent demolition. So far only 10% of Mes Aynak has been excavated, though, and some believe that future discoveries there have the potential to … Read more »

May 26, 2015

What a bicycle can teach us about changing our habits

In the video above, Destin Sandlin, creator of the Youtube channel “Smarter Every Day,” demonstrates an interesting paradox: that we can know something and yet find it hard—even impossible for a while—to act on that knowledge.

The bicycle he’s showing off has been rigged so that the steering operates in reverse. Turn the handles right, and the front wheel turns to the left; turn them left, and the front wheel turns to the right.

One one level, learning this is easy. You can take in the simple fact: “turn the wheel the opposite way of the way you want to go when riding this bike” in jut a few seconds. … Read more »

May 25, 2015

Life as a glowstick

Nora Meiners sent me a link to this video of herself performing “Glowsticks” at the Women of the World Poetry Slam. It deals with the familiar parental situation of dealing with a child who can’t get his head around the impermanence of a toy, and makes the connection with the impermanence of our own lives. We’re more like glowsticks than not…

Nora graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Creative Writing but started writing poems fairly only recently She has competed in the National Poetry Slam for Boston Poetry Slam (2013) and Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam (2014). She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I like the poem, although I’d love … Read more »

May 22, 2015

Buddhists are pro-environment, pro-evolution

evo_env-relig3

Josh Rosenau, evolutionary biologist and Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education downloaded the 2007 version of Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey and mapped the correlation between attitudes on the environment and attitudes on evolution. The result is the graph above. His blog post on this graph is here.

In the original survey, people had been asked which of these statements they most agreed with:

Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy; or
Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.

The second question asked people to agree or disagree with the statement:

Evolution is the best explanation for

Read more »

May 19, 2015

An important appeal: please respond!

MULTITUDE OF HANDS

The short version

We need to raise $4,000 so that we can redesign our website, making it easier to use generally, and also making it much more accessible for users of mobile devices, such as smartphones.

  • If you prefer to use Paypal (whether or not you have an account), you can click here and enter your chosen donation.
  • If you want to use a credit card, you can click here, enter the amount you want to donate, and then click on “add to cart.”
  • And lastly, checks can be mailed to: Wildmind, 55 Main St. Suite 315, Newmarket NH 03857, USA.

The more detailed version

We’re calling this our “Multitude of … Read more »

May 16, 2015

Pop Art Buddhas

buddha-four-20130130-wingsdomain-art-and-photography

“Pop art,” Wikipedia tells us, “is an art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States … Pop art presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular culture such as advertising, news, etc. In pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, and/or combined with unrelated material.”

For some reason I found myself using Google’s images search to look for Pop Art representations of the Buddha. There’s rather a lot of them out there, and I’ve included a few here, with links so that you can support the artists, if you’re so … Read more »

May 15, 2015

We can save a precious Buddhist archaeological site!

Brent Huffman, who travelled to Afghanistan to film the desperate efforts by archaeologists to document the ancient city of Mes Aynak before it turns into a Chinese-funded open-cast copper mine, wrote today to point out these new artifacts, which were recently unearthed:

The unheard-of level of preservation on discoveries just like this is one of the many reasons why Mes Aynak provides such a unique insight into Buddhism and Afghanistan’s past. This historical treasure must be protected and preserved!

Mes Aynak (“little copper well” in Pashto) is a mountainous site in the Taliban-controlled Logar Province, Afghanistan, 25 miles southeast of Kabul near the Pakistan border. Mes Aynak contains the … Read more »

May 15, 2015

“A Love as Deep as Life Itself” begins June 1st

A Love as Deep as Life Itself
Click here to register for A Love as Deep as Life Itself!
In this 28 day event we’ll explore the quality of upekkha, or loving wisdom.

This event is by donation and is suitable for people who are familiar with lovingkindness or compassion meditation.

Upekkha is often translated as “equanimity,” but this is just a secondary aspect of this quality. Upekkha rests on an awareness that for beings (including ourselves) to be truly happy, they need spiritual insight.

Therefore, the practice of upekkha involves cultivating insight as we develop metta (kindness), karuna (compassion), and mudita (joyful appreciation). Not only do we cultivate insight ourselves, but we wish that all beings … Read more »