www.wildmind.org Wildmind

May 2003

Dear Wildmind Subscriber,

A very warm welcome to Wildmind's latest newsletter!

Our next online meditation courses start Monday, May 5. Our courses can help you to deal more effectively with stress, so that you can experience more joy and creativity in your life. Make sure you book your place now so that you can experience the benefits of meditation.

In this issue:

  • Meditation in the news
  • Give $1 to Wildmind
  • Our online courses
  • Preorder Bodhipaksa's new book!
  • Wildmind's CD still #1.
  • Book of the month
  • Quote of the month

Meditation in the news

We've been busy collecting together recent news stories about meditation. You can see our full index of news stories here.

Swede to be expelled over Falungong link
Thai immigration police are preparing to deport a Swedish follower of the Falungong religious sect on suspicion she planned to stage a protest during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
| 05/01/03 |

The brain at prayer
Ever since he was five years old, Andrew Newberg has been asking himself the big questions - why are we here? Is there a God? How big is the Universe? Now as a neurologist and radiologist, Dr Newberg is still asking big questions about how the mind and brain work
| 04/28/03 | ( Alternative Realaudio version )

Researchers focus minds on mechanics of meditation
For decades, open-minded Westerners - patients and doctors alike - have been touting the medical benefits of meditation. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate and respiration; to reduce anxiety, anger, hostility and mild to moderate depression; to help alleviate insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes and infertility; and to relieve some types of pain, most notably tension headaches.
| 04/28/03 |

A monk in the lab (An article by the Dalai Lama)
"I believe that there are practical ways for us as individuals to curb our dangerous impulses -- impulses that collectively can lead to war and mass violence. As evidence I have not only my spiritual practice and the understanding of human existence based on Buddhist teachings, but now also the work of scientists."
| 04/27/03 |

The Benefits of Meditation (Psychology Today Magazine)
The brain waves of meditators show why they're healthier. Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex--brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. In other words, they were calmer and happier than before.
| 04/24/03 |

Cambodian Monks Use Meditation to Quit Smoking
Cambodia's Buddhist monks, dragged last year into the front line of the southeast Asian nation's fight against smoking, are proving surprisingly adept at kicking the habit, campaigners said on Friday.
|04/24/03 |

Class Explores Meditation
Three credits, three 50-minute classes weekly...inner peace? Not quite, but if you take ASIAN 277: Meditation in Indian Culture, you will at least be introduced to the concept of meditation.
| 04/23/03 |

begging bowl


Give $1 to Wildmind

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 give something back, then making a small donation can help us enormously. Of course you can feel free to 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 of meditation.
  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 the website for dates.

Our online courses

A student comments:

"I have been meditating for over five years and the changes I've noticed in my practice over the last few weeks have very notable."

A current student.

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, May 5.
Book now!

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. ($95)

The Path of Mindfulness and Love

"The Path of Mindfulness and Love"

Our introduction to meditation, helping you to transform your life through mindfulness and lovingkindness, and helping you to set up a regular practice. ($65)

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. ($65)

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. ($65)

Awakening the Heart
"Awakening the Heart"

An alternative level two course, introducing the cultivation of lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and emotional balance. ($65)


book cover


Order Bodhipaksa's New Book from Amazon!

Wildmind: A Step-by-Step Guide to Meditation is now available from Amazon.co.uk at a price of 11.99. This edition is not available in stores in the US. However...

Amazon.co.uk is happy to ship books to the US and elsewhere in the world at a reasonable rate, so wherever you are you'll be able to order the book in advance and have it delivered to your door.

Click on the image or title to go to Amazon.co.uk so that you can buy your copy (although it'd make a great gift as well!).

cd cover

Wildmind's CD still #1!

Bodhipaksa's popular CD of guided meditations is Amazon.com's best-selling guided meditation title for the second month running. Of course you don't have to go to Amazon to purchase it -- you can buy it here.

book cover

Book of the month

Who Is Myself?
by Ayya Khema (Paperback, $10.47)

Ayya Khema, who died recently, was one of the foremost Western meditation teachers. Her teaching style is accessible while at the same time coming from deep experience of meditation and Buddhist practice. In this groundbreaking book, taken from teachings given on meditation retreats, she gently and skillfully guides readers through the meditative path, showing how to develop calmness and concentration. There aren't many books on meditation that are likely to become modern classics, but this is one of them.

Ayya Khema wrote twenty-five books in English and German on meditation and the Buddha's teachings; her books have been translated into seven other languages. During her extraordinary lifetime she established several Buddhist practice centers around the world, including Wat Buddha Dhamma in Australia, the International Buddhist Women's Center and Nun's Island in Sri Lanka, and Buddha-Haus and Metta Vihara in Germany.

If you want to buy this book from Amazon.com, click on the cover or title above. To purchase from Amazon.co.uk, click here.

Portrait of Ekhart Tolle

Quote of the month

"To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe. I call it stillness, but it is a jewel with many facets: that stillness is also joy, and it is love."

Eckhart Tolle

Stillness. The word may suggest passivity, but as Tolle's quotation suggests, this is far from being the truth. Stillness is not a lack of activity but a lack of reactivity.

When we react, our mind acts in a knee-jerk way to situations that we find ourselves in. We're generally unaware of just how reactive our minds are until we sit down to meditate. As we try to keep our awareness on the sensations of the breathing, we find that the mind starts to wander. With rapid succession we play out mini-dramas of conflict and desire, fear and doubt, longing and loathing. This is what Tolle calls "mental noise". One thought leads to another and another -- seemingly uncontrollably -- until at some point we "wake up" and realize that we've been completely distracted.

It's these moments of "waking up" that are so important in meditation. In those moments we are temporarily free from the torrent of thoughts, and we can choose to bring the mind back to the breath once more.

Over time the mind starts to become more still, calmer. Over time we become better at spotting when the mind is getting caught up in habitual reactions, and are better able to let go of those thoughts in order to experience the present moment.

Initially, the stillness we experience may simply bring a sense of relief from the stresses brought about by the reactive mind, but in time -- as we learn to appreciate the present moment -- we find that calmness is positively joyful. This joy, as Tolle points out, is a gift. It's something that affects not just us but also the people around us. Our own calmness reminds others that they too have a choice not to get caught up in their own reactive tendencies.

That stillness leads also to love. When we're caught up in our own inner dramas we're not really able to be fully aware of the people around us. Instead we're self-absorbed. By stilling the mind we're able to respond more fully to other people's concerns. We're able to empathize, and to have a genuine concern for others' well being.

So stillness is not inactivity. It's a lack of reactivity, and it's the basis for both joy and love. When we learn to meditate we not only benefit ourselves; we give a gift to everyone who encounters us.


Copyright © 2003, Bodhipaksa.