You are not your story, mistake or inner critic’s comments

August 24, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMargarita Tartakovsky, Psych Central: So many of us take one isolated event — a mistake, a painful situation — or the critical comments of our inner critic and let it color who we are. Completely. It’s as though we become this one thing. This one negative thing.

Maybe your inner critic regularly spews remarks about your weight and how you look disgusting and horrible in everything. So you become the person who looks disgusting and horrible all the time.

Maybe you made a big mistake or a bad decision, which you regret. So you become the person defined by that decision, that one mistake.

Maybe you’ve …

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Meditation trickles down to ‘regular’ people

August 21, 2015

wildmind meditation newsKathleen McLaughlin, The Bulletin: When Kevin Meyer picked up Transcendental Meditation in 1971, the practice was sweeping college campuses. The Beatles had made a pilgrimage to India a few years earlier, so meditation was cool, but it also required some pretty big life changes.

“It was a struggle because you couldn’t drink or smoke pot for 30 days before the training,” Meyer said. In that way, he said, meditation was like a “counter-culture to the counter-culture.”

Meyer, 63, has been meditating off and on since his days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, mainly because of the calming effect it has on his everyday life. Meditating first thing …

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August 20, 2015

dream bigIf you live in or near Connecticut you might be interested in an event I’m participating in that takes place from September 13–14, 2015. It’s at The Spa at Norwich Inn, which looks like an amazing place. I’m really looking forward to going there.

The event is “Dream Big! The Power of Health and Inner Peace.” It’s organized by Marie Mozzi, who was formerly the director of the spa at the world famous Greenbrier, in West Virginia.

Being healthy, vibrant, and filled with peace and passion requires a real sense of self, the ability to dream, set goals and the desire to achieve whatever you set out to do…

Fall is the perfect time

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How mindfulness is so good at connecting well-being to academic achievement in class

August 20, 2015

wildmind meditation newsThe Mindfulness Pedagogy: There is a rhythm to all complex behaviour. When energy is expended it must be restored (stay with me here). The heart beats and rests, we breathe in and out, we work and rest (please stay with me). Learning is no exception – it is very fatiguing.

It requires tension and the right degree of anxiety to go out and meet the challenge, to adapt, and to accommodate. No muscle in the body can function for more than a few seconds without rest. The secret of any continuous endeavour, any task requiring effort and perseverance, like learning is the secret of rhythmic …

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How an intensive ten-day meditation retreat could transform your life for the better

August 19, 2015

wildmind meditation newsZoe Schlanger, The Independent: It was 5:30 in the morning on my third day of silent meditation when I noticed something in me take a sharp turn left. I was groggy, frustrated by my inability to sit still and hungry for the breakfast that was still an hour off. I got up from the spot on the floor of my bedroom where I’d been attempting to meditate and walked outside, to the new-growth woods behind the residential quarters at the Vipassana Meditation Centre in Shelburne, Massachusetts. It was springtime, and the outdoors seemed spring-loaded with potential: the buds on the trees were sharp little things …

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Teach mindfulness, invite happiness

August 17, 2015

wildmind meditation newsErin Sharaf, Edutopia: By objective measures, our young people are more anxious, more depressed, and have more psychopathology in general than students did a few decades ago. This has important implications for educators, school administrators, and society at large. What if our traditional school systems are unwittingly contributing to the problem — and what if a relatively simple practice could help?

As we are all well aware, the current educational system is narrowing its definition of what defines student success. It’s almost all cognitive knowing, as evidenced by standardized testing. The pros and cons of that system have been widely debated, so I won’t rehash them here. However, a …

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Hiding from pain by pursuing pleasure

August 13, 2015

Fun fair long exposure Photo taken at the fun fair of Hoorn

There’s a famous teaching, the Sallatha Sutta, in which the Buddha discusses our suffering as consisting of “two arrows.” The first arrow is simply the unavoidable suffering that we all experience as a result of being human. We’re all going to experience loss, hurt feelings, physical pain, illness, etc. The wise person simply observes this pain mindfully. The unwise person responds to suffering through resistance: “Why is this happening to me? This is terrible!”

The Buddha called this reaction “grief, sorrow and lamentation,” and he pointed out that this was like responding to the first arrow with a second one! Our resistance to pain simply causes further pain—perhaps even more than we’d originally experienced. … Read more »

Help new Buddhists in India go on retreat

August 13, 2015

2456436261_befc012827_oBorn as an “untouchable” in India (literally considered so polluted that a caste Hindu would have to purify him or herself after making physical contact) Bhimrao Ambedkar publicly converted to Buddhism on 14 October 1956, in Nagpur, India.

The significance of this is that, despite having been banned from sitting in a schoolroom with other (caste Hindu) children, Ambedkar had managed to gain an education, study abroad, and had become India’s first law minister—and the architect of the newly independent country’s constitution.

Ambedkar realized that most ex-untouchables were chained to the idea that they are inferior and that it was by changing themselves—through the practice of the Buddha Dhamma changing those deep-seated ideas—that they could … Read more »

Why some schools are making time for meditation

August 12, 2015

wildmind meditation newsJessica Kendorski, Full disclosure, I mediate almost every day, and I’m in good company. Each year more and more people, from super star athletes to successful CEOs, are attributing at least part of their success to a regular meditation practice. For me, meditation helps keep me present and reduces my stress level, and existing research supports those benefits. A recent analysis concluded that adults participating in mindfulness mediation programs show reduced anxiety, depression, and pain.

Now, schools are getting in on the mindfulness and meditation trend, and many schools around the country are finding time for meditation, silence, and stillness.

But what …

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My two forthcoming events at New York Insight

August 11, 2015
My book, "Living as a River," is an experiential exploration of the Buddhist teaching of non-self.
My book, “Living as a River,” is an experiential exploration of the Buddhist teaching of non-self.
Last year I was honored to run a workshop on self-compassion at the New York Insight Center. I’ve been invited back to teach again this fall, and this time I’ll be involved in two events.

“Debugging the Dharma”

The first one isn’t on the NYI website yet, as far as I know. I’ll update this post when that changes. It’s a conversation between myself and James Shaheen, editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. We’ll be discussing the topic “Debugging the Dharma” as part of NYI’s Dharma in Dialogue series, which has included teachers such as Sam … Read more »