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Your Mind" ($75)
the Heart" ($75)
the Path of Insight" ($75)
Course Schedule for 2004
Bodhipaksa is taking a few more breaks this year in order to
go on retreats, to teach a summer course at the University of
New Hampshire, and to concentrate on writing projects, so please
remember to plan ahead if you're interested in taking one of our
courses. You can sign up for any course at any time.
Courses start on the following dates:
Seven Great Reasons to
take a meditation course online:
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.
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.
to outstanding written and audiovisual materials online.
benefit from the discipline of a structured four-week course.
Log on when you want, fitting classes into your schedule when
Download audio files that will guide you through meditation
at any time.
There are many opportunities each year to take a course. See
the dates above for details.
A current student writes...
"Your course has helped me in calming down. I notice now that
I am less prone to anger as I used to be. I used to have a very
short fuse. Now that fuse has increased substantially. I enjoyed
your course immensely and will probably take it again in October
as a refresher."
Mike Armstrong, New Mexico.
Dear Wildmind Subscriber,
Welcome to our newsletter for June, with a roundup
of recent news-stories about meditation, a book recommendation,
and a quote of the month with commentary.. We also have news of
a retreat exploring Mindfulness that Bodhipaksa is leading in
Montana in September.
Our next online meditation courses start Monday,
October 4. Make sure you book
your place now.
In this issue:
- Meditation in the news
- Support our translation project
- September retreat in Montana
- Wildmind's new online store
- Our online courses
- Quote of the month
- Book of the month
Meditation in the news
Here are last month's news stories concerning meditation, from
hi-tech games involving biofeedback to encourage relaxation, to
news of the growing popularity of meditation to promote health.
Once again, transcendental Meditation is mired in controversy,
with some schools eliminating it from their curricula in order
to avoid promoting religion, while others are keen on adopting
it in order to reduce stress, and a former benefactor of the TM
movement has withdrawn his financial support.
peace of mind on holiday (The Korea Herald)
While most tourists taking their holidays in Thailand are drawn
to the vibrant entertainment offerings in Bangkok, shopping
or nightlife, others are here seeking something more elusive:
inner peace. Situated in bustling Bangkok, the Buddhist meditation
center at Wat Mahadhatu attracts as many as 600-700 tourists
for retreats each year.
a game out of finding inner peace (Buddhist News Network)
In an age when most publicity for video games is reserved for
the violent (Grand Theft Auto) and the ultraviolent (Manhunt),
two Colorado entrepreneurs just want everybody to take some
deep breaths and grab some inner peace. In The Journey to Wild
Divine, Kurt Smith and Corwin Bell have designed a computer
game that teaches players to use biofeedback sensors worn on
three fingers to help them control various events. Yes, in this
game, the joystick is your body.
Larkhall attic Margaret turned into a Buddhist shrine (Evening
Times, Glasgow, Scotland)
Margaret Fergusson's quiet Larkhall bungalow would be like any
other in her street. . . if it wasn't for the huge Buddha that
sits outside her home. Inside, her loft has been converted into
a makeshift shrine, which Margaret affectionately calls her
rabbit hutch. The reason for the outsize Buddha and the indoor
shrine is that Margaret is a Buddhist - a religion she took
up 10 years ago to cope with the daily stresses of her job as
a chemist in the Blood transfusion Service.
in Motion (Yoga Journal)
Learn how to infuse your hatha yoga practice with the meditative
quality of metta, or "lovingkindness."
meditation on lessons of life (Movie Review) (Arizona Republic)
Spring Summer Fall Winter . . . and Spring may be the antidote
to Mel Gibson. It is one long, intensely beautiful Buddhist
meditation on the passage of life and time, the acceptance of
responsibility and the release of desire. It is as quiet as
The Passion of the Christ is violent.
Alternative medicine gains popularity (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Alternative medicine - including yoga, meditation, herbs and
the Atkins diet - appears to be growing in popularity in the
United States, perhaps because of dissatisfaction with conventional
care, the government said Thursday. More than a third of American
adults used such practices in 2002, according to the government
survey of 31,000 people, the largest study on non-conventional
medical approaches in the United States.
Americans seek out alternative medicine
More Americans are turning to herbs, meditation and other non-conventional
care, often because they feel let down by mainstream medicine,
a new survey says. The government's survey, the most comprehensive
look yet at the use of alternative medicine in this country,
found more than a third of U.S. adults used such medicine in
2002. If prayer is included, 62 percent of American adults used
religion for everyone? (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, Scotland)
The robes are mustard and plum. The glasses are thick as jam-jar
bottoms. The head is shaven to a dark, prickly fuzz. The smile
can only be described as beatific. When the Dalai Lama steps
out on to the stage of the SECC in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon,
the applause generated from 10,000 admirers will match that
for U2, Britney Spears or any other previous occupant of the
Ministry denies plan for TM in schools (Newsday trinidad,
trinidad and Tobago)
The Education Ministry yesterday denied any plan to introduce
transcendental Meditation (TM) into schools, as was being reported
in some media claiming TM would soon be introduced into the
school's curriculum. Responding to queries by various persons,
the Ministry yesterday issued a release advising of its policy
when introducing new elements into the school curriculum. "The
process is one of consultation, research and investigation.
No one and no organization has approached the Ministry of Education
with respect to the introduction of transcendental Meditation
techniques in schools," the release stated.
create sand mandala in meditation room (Brattleboro Reformer,
A group of around 25 Putney School students and staff members
sat on the floor of the Currier room in the school's new art
center one day last week. Before them, two Buddhist monks sat
on pillows chanting a prayer. Their low, guttural voices weaved
in and out of unison. Incense burned on a table. When the praying
ceased, one of the monks launched into a teaching, what has
become known on campus as the "dharma discourse."
earns high marks (Yoga Journal)
Preteens who learn to quiet their minds enjoy greater self-esteem,
a recent study has found."It gives you a boost in the morning,"
says eighth grader Kenia Bradley about the meditation practice
she has learned at school. "When you don't meditate, you get
tired during your classes."
on the wing and a prayer for big match (Evening Times, Glasgow,
A team of Buddhist monks swapped their sandals for football
boots to take part in the most predictable game of the season.
Six Tibetan monks, who had never played football before, took
on a host of former Old Firm stars in a charity tournament this
weekend. But there was no point betting on a winner because
both teams played for a draw.
Health briefs (LA Daily News)
I barely have time to exercise. How can I add meditation to
my daily routine?
a mission (The Observer, UK)
As the exiled leader of Tibet flies into Britain, supporters
detect a fresh urgency in his pleas for an end to Chinese oppression.
At 68, the Buddhist monk knows his people's hopes live or die
for a solution (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii)
A Honolulu church believes it's found the perfect site for a
meditation center, a wooded mountaintop retreat with an ocean
view. But there's no peace and quiet to be found in the reception
from the neighbors.
Mountain's developer cuts ties with group (Winston-Salem
Journal, North Carolina)
A developer of the more than 7,000 acre Heavenly Mountain resort
in southeastern Watauga County says he is severing ties with
the transcendental Meditation movement and Maharishi Mahesh
A timeless tool for a changing world (Lompoc Record, California)
With wars, terrorism, and the sluggish economy constantly in
the news, people seem to be feeling less certain about the future,
and more certain about the need to find a greater sense of well-being
in their lives. Accordingly, there has been a renewed interest
in meditation all across this country, and many studies have
shown that there certainly are physical and mental benefits
of meditation in reducing stress and stress related illnesses.
of Heavenly Mountain disputed (Watauga Democrat, North Carolina)
The man who, along with his twin brother, owns most of the land
at Heavenly Mountain Resort, has disavowed the spiritual movement
that helped establish the retreat. David Kaplan, who owns the
largest privately-owned land tract in Watauga County, publicly
repudiated the transcendental Meditation (TM) movement and its
founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in a letter released Tuesday
to Heavenly Mountain residents and the public.
little meditation can be good for the health (Financial
It initially sounded one of the most incongruous questions to
be put to a company chairman at this year's annual meetings
season, or indeed any year's: "What," a shareholder asked Sir
Christopher Hogg of GlaxoSmithKline at yesterday's AGM, "do
you think of meditation . . . ?"
controversy (The Journal News, New York)
It seems harmless enough: With eyes closed, you sit upright
in a quiet room and mentally repeat a word for 10 to 20 minutes
-- a technique known as transcendental Meditation. When young
children practice it twice a day, according to research provided
by the national Committee for Stress-Free Schools, it decreases
their blood pressure, improves their grades and lowers their
under strain (trinidad and Tobago Express)
What if the key to putting an end to murder, rape, alcohol and
drug abuse, youth deviance, teenage pregnancy and many other
problems that plague society could be found in an organ of the
body that weighs only about three pounds?
practicing what Weil preaches (Daily Herald, Chicago)
Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton is an example of
the symbiotic nature of traditional and alternative medicine
in the suburbs. The hospital has been on the leading edge of
integrative medicine for a decade, combining massage, meditation
and acupuncture with physical rehabilitation to speed up recovery.
considers 'TM' in schools (trinidad and Tobago Express)
The use of transcendental meditation in schools is being considered
by the Ministry of Education as a tool to deal with the problem
of troubled and under-performing students.
more popular than ever, flexes body and mind (Good Housekeeping)
Ever since Oprah featured a segment on yoga and Madonna beat
back her nasty side with namastes, Americans can't get enough
of the ancient Indian practice. Though 5,000 years old, yoga
has boomed in recent years, with private instructors, gyms,
community centers, even churches offering classes to help people
wind down, focus, get limber and stay fit.
OKs changes to Cabarrus charter school (Charlotte Observer,
Curriculum viewed as religious removed.
travels far to present new path (Express-Times, Pennsylvania)
Venerable Luangpor Thong Abhakaro traveled from Thailand to
spread the word about a particular practice of meditation he
claims can end suffering, if practiced correctly, in three years
or less. Mahasati meditation, based on moving with awareness
rather than sitting still with the eyes closed, was invented
by Abhakaro's mentor, Luangpor Teean Jittasubho, in 1957.
to soul (Indianapolis Star)
...Joslin maintains that through chants, visualization and attention
to the most obvious aspects of the present moment -- the weather,
pain or breathing -- the simple run can become the basis for
a profound spiritual practice.
as a 'reversible disease' (Globe and Mail, Canada)
Doctors at a center in B.C. are involving cancer patients with
their own healing in a holistic approach, with surprising results.
meditation' -- it's not just a nap Regularly tuning out 'mental
chatter' can have long-term benefits, researchers say (Kalamazoo
Meditation -- a quiet, peaceful place where you gently brush
aside the incessant mental chatter -- is more than a restful
state. It may also be a place for insights, a place that may
help you "see what you are really all about," says Patricia
Frawley, a psychotherapist at Mid-America Psychological Services
Growing popularity for stress relief, spirituality (Jakarta
In the last month, no less than three major spiritual leaders
-- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amma and Dadi Janki -- have visited
Jakarta and Singapore as part of their world tours. Known around
the world for their powerful messages of peace and love, they
attract hoards of followers and encourage hundreds to take up
meditation and prayer regardless of religion.
Support our translation project
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 donation can help us enormously. You can give as little
as a dollar, but of course feel free to give as much as you want!
All contributions will go to our translation
fund, which aims to help us translate Wildmind into other
languages in order to help people around the world develop mindfulness
We'll shortly be launching a Spanish version of our site, and
Polish and Russian translations are not far behind.
Big Sky Mind Retreat
Led by Bodhipaksa
The practice of mindfulness, in which we observe our experience
with acceptance, kindness, and curiosity, can lead not only to
stillness of mind but also to a profound change in the way we
see ourselves and our relationship to the world. We can come to
realize that our normal sense of ourselves, in which we are in
some sense separate from the outside world, is but an illusion,
and can come to appreciate ourselves as part of a greater, interconnected
whole. We can learn to sit like a mountain and to find a deep
contentment in having a mind that is as expansive as the sky.
On this retreat, deep in the heart of Big Sky country, we'll
be exploring mindfulness and the practice of dissolving the boundaries
of the self so that we can expand it outwards until "self" and
"other" have little or no meaning. We'll use a variety of forms
of the mindfulness of breathing practice and walking meditation
in order to stabilize the mind, and we'll use the six element
practice in order to let go of our limited ways of seeing ourselves,
and to enjoy seeing ourselves as part of an interconnected reality.
The retreat will be conducted mainly in silence, with talking
only during meditation interviews and question and answer sessions.
Both reading and communication with those who are not on retreat
can have an unsettling effect on the mind, and in order to facilitate
greater stillness of mind we ask you to leave all reading materials,
cell phones, laptops, etc., at home or to check them in on arrival
and not to use them until the retreat ends.
For further details, visit the website of the Rocky
Mountain Buddhist Center.
Quote of the month
" Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
-- The Buddha
There's a story that when Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa
and leader of the Tibetan Karma Kagyu lineage, was dying of cancer
in 1981, one of the disciples attending his deathbed was overcome
with sadness. The Karmapa beckoned him over to his bedside reassured
him by whispering, "Nothing happens!"
Every session of meditation is a preparation for death. In meditation
we are constantly brought up against the things we hold on to:
our inability to forgive, our belief that we'd be happy if only
we could make some unpleasant part of our life go away, or if
only we could have some pleasant experience that currently eludes
us; in short, if only we could arrange life to be the way we want
it to be.
Of course we can sometimes temporarily remove unpleasant
things from life and can sometimes arrange to have only pleasant
things in our experience, but we can't keep things this way, and
it's for this reason that we suffer. So in meditation, our task
is to notice the mind grasping, and to let go and embrace the
moment, accepting both pleasant and unpleasant experiences with
equanimity. Meditation is ultimately a practice of letting go,
and helps us to live wisely be recognizing the impermanent nature
of the world we live in.
Dying also involves letting go; although we may not want to do
so, we have to let go of life, work, our bodies, all manner of
unfinished business, and perhaps most importantly our connections
with other people. We could say that the more we hold on, the
more difficult it is to face death, and the more we have practiced
the art of letting go and embracing change, the easier death will
So meditation is a preparation for death, and according to some
Buddhist teachings death is actually very similar to meditation,
in that it's an opportunity to experience the need to let go,
and so to experience the mind more deeply. Because the 16th Karmapa
had spend much of his life in meditation, there was nothing to
fear in dying. To him death was just another meditation, and so
when he died, "nothing happened".
We may not be confident that when death comes we'll be able to
face it with total equanimity, but at the same time the more we
practice letting go in meditation, the easier it will be to embrace
impermanence and to face change -- in every aspect of life --
Lost Art of Compassion : Discovering the Practice of Happiness
in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology
by Lorne Ladner (Hardcover, $16.77)
(Click on the title to purchase from Amazon.com, or click
here to purchase from Amazon.co.uk, Hardcover £11.73)
There has been a steady trickle of books by Buddhist therapists
recently, exploring the overlaps between western therapeutic models
and practices and traditional Buddhist approaches to dealing with
human suffering (see Tara
Brach's "Radical Acceptance" and Tara
Bennett-Goleman's "Emotional Alchemy"). Both systems
have as their aim the reduction of suffering, and while at times
the approaches may differ, there is also considerable overlap.
There exists considerable possibility for cross-fertilization,
and Ladner's book is to my mind the finest fruit of that process
Ladner's book is more Buddhist than the other two examples I
have picked, and for me that's a bonus. While Brach and Bennett-Goleman
look mainly towards a rather secularized form of mindfulness meditation
for the Buddhist component of their mix of Buddhism and therapy,
Ladner draws more widely from Buddhist mythology, meditation,
and ethical teachings. "The Lost Art" contains so much
Buddhism that this book would almost (but not quite) serve as
an introduction to the subject even for a complete novice to the
Choose any two pages at random from Lorne Ladner's book, "The
Lost Art of Compassion", and there's likely to be enough
wisdom there to keep you thinking and boost your practice for
months or even years to come. Ladner's writing, perhaps because
he doesn't strive to write in a way which is ornate or poetic,
has a rare clarity and is devoid of the sentimentality that I
thought detracted from both "Radical Acceptance" and
I particularly appreciated the way in which at the end of the
book Ladner outlines a summary of compassion practices for easy
reference, showing how traditional Buddhist practices can be used
as therapeutic tools, and how we can each become our own therapist.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning
to deal better with their own suffering, or who is interested
in the overlap between Buddhism and therapy. This book will certainly
make a lasting difference to my own practice and my own approach
Copyright © 2004, Bodhipaksa.
Wildmind, PO Box 212., Newmarket NH 03857, USA.
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