January 2003

Dear Wildmind Subscriber,

A Happy New Year to all our subscribers! May this year bring you happiness, fulfillment, and prosperity. And may it bring us all peace.

In this issue:

  • New Year Resolutions
  • Meditation in the News
  • Give $1 to Wildmind
  • Our Online Courses
  • New Material on Wildmind.org
  • Classes in New Hampshire
  • Book of the Month
  • Quote of the Month

Our next online courses start on Monday, January 6!

Make Learning Meditation Your New Year resolution

According to a new BBC survey, the most popular New Year resolution is to learn a new skill.

Here at Wildmind we'll do our best to help you get the most out of life by offering access to powerful tools for personal and social change.

Are you concerned about your relationships, health or financial situation? Are you pressured for time, and feeling stress on a regular basis? Are you dissatisfied with your life? Are you searching for the means to improve yourself?

Our online courses offer what you need to create more balance in your life, maintain fulfilling relationships, make time for yourself, and create beliefs, opinions and points of view that work for you, rather than against you. You can check out our course offerings below.

Meditation in the news

You might want to check out the following news stories that touch on meditation. It's great to see how the practice of meditation is becoming ever more mainstream

Resolve that 2003 will be a year of peace
A journalist reflects on peace, calling 2003 "A Year of Meditation". 12/31/02

Teacher honored -- uses meditation in classroom
Poetry teacher uses meditation as a process to help her poetry students get more in touch with their creative sides. 12/27/02

Peace meditation in Sri Lanka's Parliament
In view of ushering peace and prosperity to the country, all parliamentarians will observe meditation and take part in inter-religious services. 12/22/02

You can read all of our collected news stories at Wildmind's Meditation in the News section.

Give $1 to Wildmind

As a nonprofit organization, our mission is to benefit the world by promoting awareness and compassionate values through the practice of meditation.

If you've benefited from our site and would like to help us out, then making a small donation can help us enormously in fulfilling that aim. Of course you can always give more than a dollar!

Title: Seven great reasons to learn meditation with Wildmind
  1. Personal attention: In your online journal you'll have an ongoing practice discussion with Bodhipaksa, who will give you encouragement and personal feedback based on 20 years' experience.
  2. Depth: As you reflect in your journal, get feedback, and gain insights from learning new practices, you'll take your meditation practice to a new level of effectiveness.
  3. Quality: Access to outstanding written and audiovisual materials online.
  4. Support: You'll benefit from the discipline of a structured four-week course.
  5. Convenience: Log on when you want, fitting classes into your schedule when it's convenient.
  6. Flexibility: Download audio files that will guide you through meditation at any time.
  7. Availability: Courses start every month -- check website for dates.

Our online courses

A student comments:

"I have found this course incredibly helpful. Your comments have been insightful and practical. I would definitely like to take another course. I would also like to encourage others to benefit from the course."

Marilyn, New Hampshire, USA

We offer four online courses as well as our popular Life Member Program. For more information, click on any of the photographs or links and you'll be taken to our online store, where more details are available. Our next online courses start on Monday, January 6!

Life member program
Life Member Program

Lifelong access to all of our course materials, but without personal feedback and guidance. Suitable for self-directed students.

The Path of Mindfulness and Love

"The Path of Mindfulness and Love"

Our introduction to meditation, teaching the fundamental principles of mindfulness and lovingkindness, and helping you as you set up a regular practice.

Change Your Mind

"Change Your Mind"

A level two course, introducing advanced techniques for combating negative mental states and for cultivating calmness, energy, contentment, and concentration.

Entering the Path of Insight
"Entering the Path of Insight"

Introducing the practice of insight meditation, which helps us to appreciate the interdependent nature of the reality we live in.

Awakening the Heart
"Awakening the Heart"

An alternative level two course, introducing the cultivation of lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and emotional balance.

New material on Wildmind

We've posted no fewer than 28 new pages since the last newsletter. You can find all 28 pages by following the links to the main pages below. These are all translations from traditional Buddhist texts on meditation and on how to bring the spirit of meditation into your life.

* translations by Bodhipaksa.

Correction to December Newsletter

This page was previously on the site but got "lost". Then we posted a broken link in the last newsletter. Hopefully we've gotten it right this time!

Classes in New Hampshire

Bodhipaksa will be leading several meditation courses in New Hampshire starting January.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a clinically proven eight-week program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and others at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. We have 8-week classes starting:

  • January 20, Manchester, NH
  • January 21, Portsmouth, NH

For further details or to reserve a place, point your browser here.

Buddhist Meditation

We have an eight-week course starting on January 9 at the Body Mind Sol Center, upstairs from the Blue Moon, 8 Clifford Street, Exeter, NH. Call (603) 778-6850 to reserve a place, or visit this page for more details.

Book of the month

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
by John Kabat-Zinn (paperback, $12.57)

Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, is perhaps the best-known proponent of using meditation to help patients deal with illness.

But this book is also a terrific introduction for anyone who has considered meditating but was afraid it would be too difficult or would include religious practices they found foreign. Kabat-Zinn focuses on "mindfulness," a practice that involves living in the moment, paying attention, and simply "being" rather than "doing." While you can practice anything "mindfully," from taking a walk to cleaning your house, Kabat-Zinn presents several meditation techniques that focus the attention most clearly, whether it's on a simple phrase, your breathing, or various parts of your body.

If you're interested in buying this book from Amazon.com, click on the cover or title above.

The Buddha

Quote of the month

"Never, indeed, are hatreds
Pacified by hatred in this world.
They are pacified by love.
This is a timeless truth."

The Buddha
From the Dhammapada (tr. Bodhipaksa)

Our habitual impulse when we think we're under attack is often to defend ourselves by hitting back. When we're on the receiving end of someone else's ill will we respond with ill will. However this "defense" often leads to more suffering for ourselves and others.

This is natural, but not inevitable.

The beauty of mindfulness is that it allows us the freedom to respond creatively to our experience rather than simply lashing out. Mindfulness involves observing our experience in a "decentered" way. We're aware of our thoughts and emotions, and we're aware that they do not define us -- they're simply patterns manifesting in our consciousness.

Sometimes those patterns are helpful to us, and at other times they lead to a great deal of pain.

When we practice mindfulness we're able to recognize habitual patterns unfolding, we're able to tell whether they're likely to be helpful or unhelpful, and we're able to choose to let go of unhelpful patterns of behavior in favor of helpful ones.

The Metta Bhavana (Development of Lovingkindness) meditation practice uses mindfulness of our emotional experience to practice cultivating positive and helpful responses.

Only love will pacify our hatreds and create peace in our lives. And we can't just cross our fingers and hope that love will grow in our lives. Love is a skill, and like all good skills it is learned through practice.


Copyright © 2003, Bodhipaksa.