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December 2003

Dear Wildmind Subscriber,

Welcome to our latest newsletter. Once again, we bring you a roundup of recent news-stories about meditation, a book recommendation (actually it's a CD this month), a quote of the month with commentary by Bodhipaksa -- and of course news about our forthcoming courses. And we have news of a whole new section on the Wildmind site.

As the northern-hemisphere autumn turns to winter, many people find that there's a natural phase of turning inwards. 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. Our next online meditation courses start Monday, December 1.


In this issue:

  • New material on Wildmind
  • Meditation in the news
  • Workshops in New Hampshire and New York
  • Give $1 to Wildmind
  • Our online courses
  • Book of the month
  • Quote of the month

New material on Wildmind

With Dharmapriya's permission, we've reproduced the images and text from the booklet accompanying his yoga CD (see book of the month). You can check out this extensive guide to Iyengar-style hatha yoga at http://www.wildmind.org/meditation/yoga/.

yoga illustration


Meditation in the news

As always, we've collected together recent news stories concerning meditation.

Meditation center to incorporate spiritual elements (Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh)
The Woodlands Foundation broke ground Monday on a 2,000-square-foot meditation center in which architect Tasso Katselas incorporated what he sees as important elements of spirituality: earth, water, fire and sky.

Voters say no to 'meditation and music' (ABC News, Denver, CO)
Voters in Denver have soundly rejected what was perhaps the most ridiculed item on any of the ballots Tuesday -- a measure that would have required the city to reduce stress.

Luxury Goods: Retreats (Spectator, UK)
Most of us have, at some time or another, found ourselves craving a short period of time away from demanding people -- or, to borrow another ghastly phrase from the ever-expanding self-help lexicon, 'me time'.

How to Stay Relaxed and Calm: Meditation Techniques (About.com)
People who meditate have long known that this practice has positive health benefits that include improved energy and calmness of mind.

Meditation - a Great Way to Build Bridges (ic Northern Ireland)
American actor Michael O'Keefe traded the glitz and glamour of Hollywood for a cuppa in the Lord Mayor's parlour yesterday. The star of American sitcom Roseanne is on a 10-day visit to Belfast to host a series of workshops in Mindfulness, a meditation system based on ancient Buddhist principles and widely used as a way of coping with stress, and as a tool in conflict resolution.

'Peace on Earth is my priority' (The Telegraph, UK)
David Lynch, known for his nightmarish movies, wants to solve the world's problems through the gentle art of meditation.

Many meditate to stay focused (The Minnesota Daily)
Seated on small black cushions on the floor of a small Coffman Union room, the Diamond Way Buddhist Meditation group settles in for its weekly meeting at the University. Some sit with legs akimbo. Others sit with a leg on each side of the cushion. Some hold beads with their eyes closed, deep in concentration.

Stretched for life (Times-Picayune, New Orleans)
It's the great American question: What's the return on my investment? Stephen Cope sought to answer it on the subject of yoga, putting the question to 25 of the top yoga and meditation teachers in this country and Canada in his book "Will Yoga & Meditation Really Change my Life?"

Seeking their place in NH universe (Nashua Telegraph, NH)
Ed Rietman used to drive his wife crazy with his chronic road rage. It flared every morning when the Nashua physicist battled Route 3 traffic - sometimes for two hours - to get to his job in nearby Chelmsford. Nowadays, Rietman tools down the right lane during rush hour, content to travel at whatever pace is set by the car ahead of him. His philosophy is that he gets there when he gets there. "I'm completely transformed," he said. Rietman attributes his new attitude to the Buddhist meditation practice he began five years ago.

What has science to do with religion? (Straits Times, Singapore)
"...mystical experience is biologically, observably, and scientifically real."

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin Texas (About.com)
My visit to Lake Austin Spa Resort helped me find something I didn't realize I had lost. My breath. Living life can take our breath away. We get so busy, we forget to breathe - or at least how to breathe well. Our breath becomes shallow and quick. We become out of breath and don't even know it.

Mind at peace (Miami Herald, Florida)
Five adults gathered in a northeast Miami library one recent evening to learn a meditation technique that spans centuries and continents, from India to Aventura, from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to the Beatles.

Tibetan centre relies on visiting lamas (Montreal Gazette, Canada)
Rigpe Dorje Centre, which has new quarters on Décarie Blvd., is a haven of Tibetan Buddhist meditation in Montreal.

Tech's Daniels finds quiet time with meditation (Rockdale Citizen, GA)
Georgia Tech running back P.J. Daniels has used meditation to become the leading rusher in the ACC and only the sixth player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards.

Lecture, classes introduce State College to Buddhism (Penn State Collegian, Pennsylvania)
Penn State students, faculty and local residents were able to get an introduction to Buddhist culture and meditation this weekend.


Forthcoming workshops with Bodhipaksa in New Hampshire and New York

Bodhipaksa

Saturday, Dec 6.
Awaken Your Spirituality -- Develop Your Intuitive Voice & Inner Power
at the Learning Annex, NYC. 10am to 6pm. "Bodhipaksa shares recent research that's uncovered how the Buddhist practice of mindfulness meditation contributes to mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Practice meditations and learn how it can have a profound effect on your happiness and soul." Check website for details.

Sunday, Dec 7
Meditation workshop, hosted by the NYC branch of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. See website for details.

Sunday, January 18.
"Yoga and Meditation with the two Scots". Led by Bodhipaksa and Gregor Singleton, New Hampshire Power Yoga Studio, Merrimack, NH. 10am to 3pm. Check website for details.


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 over 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.

A Current Student Writes

"I think I must be nicer and happier because everyone around me seems to be happier and nicer back to me. And I'm more observant and appreciative of little things. All very wonderful changes."
Valerie, current student.


Our online courses

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, December 1.
Book your place 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

Book of the month

Body Wisdom Yoga by Dharmapriya (CD plus 40 page booklet, $21.50)

I know that doing yoga is good for my body, but I find it hard to motivate myself to get along to a class and even harder to practice on my own.

So I've recently started to use this yoga practice CD in order to help me develop the discipline to get my body more flexible. It would never have occurred to me that a CD would be so useful for yoga, but when Dharmapriya sent me a copy of his CD I knew I'd found an invaluable tool. Dharmapriya is a yoga teacher from Canada who now lives and teaches in Germany and the surrounding countries.

As I explain in the introduction to the new yoga section on Wildmind, yoga can be a very useful complement to meditation, helping to make the body more subtle, bringing greater mindfulness of the body, and helping to make energy available.

Dharmapriya's instructions are clear and precise, and I found it surprisingly easy to follow them, particularly when I referred to the photographs included in the booklet that accompanies the CD. Starting with the relatively relaxed and centering Diamond Pose and Child's Pose, we're led through leg stretches and a variety of standing poses (triangle Pose, the Warrior Poses, etc.). Stretches for the arms and trunk are also included, and the CD ends with the relaxing Corpse Pose.

Although the CD is almost an hour long, it's easy to skip tracks or even, for the more technologically advanced, to program your CD player to do a shorter, more customized routine.

I'll certainly be using this CD repeatedly to help me restart my yoga practice.

(In the UK, the CD is available from Windhorse Publications).


Thomas Carlyle

Quote of the month

"The greatest of all faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none." -- Thomas Carlyle

Usually a few weeks into a meditation course I joke with my students that meditation actually makes you more stressed by making you realize that you have problems you'd never even suspected, and tell them that meditation being an antidote to stress is just a sales pitch.

I'm only half joking.

It's actually quite true that meditation helps us to become more deeply aware of ourselves. We discover delightful things about ourselves (for, example, that if we exercise patient attention the mind becomes more still and the heart more content), but we also discover uncomfortable truths about ourselves. One of my students recently wrote, "I used to think that I was a very kind loving person with a big heart, I am coming to see this is not the case at all." This was a big shock to her -- I guess it always is when you have your illusions about yourself shattered.

But in the long-term, is it better to be comfortable with yourself as you unconsciously make others miserable, or it it better to experience the pain of knowing yourself so that you can bring about positive change? I know what my answer would be.

Meditation may give us an uncomfortable ride as we start to see ourselves more clearly, but it's usually just a period of turbulence on an otherwise productive and fulfilling journey.

It's for that sort of reason that I recommend practicing not just mindfulness, but also cultivating lovingkindness. We need to have patience and kindness as we learn to see ourselves more deeply, "warts and all". Mindfulness helps us to see ourselves more clearly, while metta (lovingkindness) helps us to accept what we find with understanding and compassion.

Bodhipaksa


Copyright © 2003, Bodhipaksa.

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