Our Online Meditation Courses
Path of Mindfulness and Love" ($75)
Your Mind" ($75)
the Heart" ($75)
the Path of Insight" ($75)
Member Program ($125)
Course Schedule for 2004 and early 2005
There are only three courses left before the
end of the year, so please remember to plan ahead if you're interested
in taking one of our courses. You can sign up for any course at
Courses start on the following dates:
A 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,
Meditation has been shown in clinical trials to
reduce stress, boost the immune system, and to promote mental
health, so with the US election looming and the flu season approaching,
what better time is there to learn to meditate!
If you've ever wanted to learn powerful techniques
for reducing stress and for learning conscious relaxation, sign
up for one of our convenient online meditation courses. Our courses
offer a rich experience, with online readings, guided meditations
in MP3 and RealAudio format, a discussion forum, and personal
attention in your online journal.
And our courses are suitable from complete beginners to more
experienced practitioners. You'll learn powerful techniques for
reducing stress and developing patience, relaxation, and calmness.
Our next online meditation courses -- from all
levels from beginners onwards -- start Monday, November 1.
Make sure you book
your place now.
In this issue:
- Meditation in the news
- Support our translation project
- Quote of the month
- Book of the month
Meditation in the news
As always, we bring you a selection of news stories from around
the world on topics related to meditation. As you might expect
many of the stories deal with the role meditation can play in
fighting stress and promoting health.
Two stories this month relate to Wildmind: one is a mention of
a workshop Bodhipaksa will be leading at the prestigious Greenbrier
resort in West Virginia, while another story features Aryaloka
Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire, where Bodhipaksa
leads workshops and retreats.
Please note that some of the news sources require a subscription.
Oct 28 Relief
from stress just a mouse click away (New Kerala, India)
Online meditation service offers relief from stress.
Oct 27 Health
Tip: Handling Stress (Forbes.com)
Helpful coping techniques from the Mayo Clinic include mindfulness
Oct 26 Relieving
stress could be just a breath away (Ledger-Enquirer, Georgia)
Students of the Art of Living program say breathing techniques
can bring greater awareness, a fuller and happier life, less stress,
greater mental focus, and a bevy of other health benefits
Oct 26 China's
former leader sued for genocide (Scoop)
New Zealanders sue Jiang Zemin for persecution of meditation movement.
Oct 26 Buddha
has cure for Colly (The Mirror, UK)
Ex-England soccer striker Stan Collymore uses meditation to treat
depression and aggression.
Oct 21 Guru
fights stress with a breath of fresh air (IOL, South Africa)
"The worldwide trend of turning to intensive training in
how to lower stress and finding renewed energy and clarity through
Hindu breathing techniques is paying off."
Oct 19 Meditate
and cut crime (trinidad and Tobago Express)
Centre hopes to spread, through prayer and meditation, a peaceful
attitude that will help reduce crime.
Oct 19 Meditate
on this (North Carolina State Technician)
Meditation is a difficult and rigorous practice, but the benefits
are worth the effort.
Oct 16 Delving
into alternative care (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Nontraditional treatments draw increased interest, research funding.
Oct 14 Dharma
takes root in the suburbs (Boston Globe)
Story about NH Buddhist groups, including Aryaloka, where Bodhipaksa
Oct 14 Best
winter deals at top resort spas (About.com)
Details of a meditation seminar Bodhipaksa is leading at the exclusive
Greenbrier resort, West Virginia.
Oct 6 Meditation:
Aware of present moment (South Bend tribune, Indiana)
The idea of uncluttering our minds transcends faiths and cultures.
Oct 5 New
Age techniques for a new age of soldiers (Kansas City Star)
A US army doctor introduces alternative therapies -- including
meditation -- to soldiers in Iraq.
Oct 3 Mindfulness
takes on new meaning (Mercury News, San Jose, California)
Mindfulness has become to the 2000s what angels were to the 1990s,
spiritual trend watchers say.
Oct 2 Couples
having fertility troubles might try acupuncture and meditation
New programs at Stanford, Kaiser-San Francisco, Harvard and UCLA
are using relaxation techniques - acupuncture, meditation and
art therapy - to help couples with their struggle to have a baby.
Oct 1 Flag
down that rage (Business Line - Chennai, India)
Agitated responses cause everyday accidents -- from dropping things
to job-related errors and auto mishaps.
Oct 1 Meditation
serves different purposes (Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio)
A journalist shares advice from a friend on meditation.
Oct 1 Practical,
yes, practical aspect of meditation (Akron Beacon Journal,
"Some of you may be doing it without knowing it."
Meditation and families
Do you have a story about how meditation has benefited your family?
Have you tried teaching meditation to your children? If so we'd
be very interested in hearing from you so that we can add more
of a human interest angle to a proposed new section for the Wildmind
site on the topic of families and meditation. Please send your
stories to us at the address this email was sent from.
Quote of the month
"A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own
-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
Seneca here is of course not suggesting that we merely give in
to our whims and appetites -- which often represents the worst
of our nature -- and in fact he saw this being in accord with
one's own nature not as the starting point of a quest to find
fulfillment, but as the end point of such a quest. In order to
be in accordance with our true nature we must first of all undertake
a process of discovery to find what, exactly, that nature is.
Meditation is an ancient tool that can greatly aid in the process
of self-discovery that helps us find the fulfillment Seneca refers
to. Seneca holds that "true happiness consists in not departing
from nature and in molding our conduct according to her laws and
model". Through meditation we learn to see that all things
are impermanent, and that this is the true nature of reality.
We also come to see that on a deep emotional level we don't want
this to be the case. When the mind has a pleasurable experience,
we want to attach to what it sees as the source of this experience
in order to prolong or repeat that experience. And when we have
an unpleasant experience we want to push away, hurt, blame, or
destroy what the mind sees as the source of the unpleasant experience.
The mind is constantly at this game of trying to cling to some
things and to push others away, and yet everything is impermanent.
In reality there is nothing to cling to -- for how can we hold
onto something that changes -- and for the same reason there's
nothing we can push away. When we start to recognize the futility
of trying to hold onto that which cannot be grasped, and see that
acceptance of impermanence is the only rational way to live in
an impermanent universe, we start to experience a deeper level
of well-being and fulfillment.
At this point the way we are living our lives is in accord with
the impermanent nature of the mind, and with the nature of the
world that we live in. But getting there is not something that's
easy to do alone. In his writings Seneca emphasizes that without
appropriate guidance our desire for happiness may well lead to
greater suffering, and that without that guidance the harder we
strive for happiness the further we remove ourselves from it.
It's therefore essential, he says, to obtain "the advice
of some experienced person who has explored the region which we
are about to enter".
In the Buddhist tradition this is what's known as spiritual friendship,
or kalyana mitrata: the guidance of others on the path,
and especially those who have explored the path a little further
than we ourselves have. We all need this guidance as we explore
new territory on this sometimes difficult exploration and uncovering
of our true nature.
Book of the month
by Kerry Lee Maclean
(Click on the title to purchase from Amazon.com, or click
here to purchase from Amazon.co.uk, Hardcover, $11.17 or£8.00).
When challenged by a philosopher that his explanation of the
Buddha's teachings was so simple that a four-year-old could understand
it, a Zen teacher replied that, yes, this was true, but that an
84-year-old could have trouble putting it into practice. Although
some of the principles of Buddhist meditation are indeed so simple
that a young child could understand them, there has until now
been an absence of instructional material aimed at children.
In fact, Kerry Lee Maclean's book is the only book I know which
aims to introduce young children to meditation. In traditional
children's storybook style, with attractive illustrations and
simple language, Maclean's book shows how much our lives consist
of rushing around, and shows how the practice of sitting quietly
and following the breath can help to settle the mind.
Maclean's illustrations show little piggies rushing around at
school, playing competitive video games, having fights over toys,
and getting frustrated over things going wrong: scenarios that
all parents (and children) are familiar with. Having outlined
the problems that our overloaded young piggies are faced with
these days, Maclean goes on to offer an alternative, introducing
the practice of mindful breathing (anapanasati) in simple language
that even a four year old could understand. She uses simple, attractive,
and evocative language such as, "Peaceful piggies sit like
a king or queen on their throne, feeling the solid earth beneath
them and the big sky all around them". This imaginative yet
grounded approach is likely to be very effective with young children.
The youngest people that I've taught meditation to have been
around 10 or so, but Maclean's book is aimed at a much younger
audience, and should be suitable for four to seven year olds (the
advance publicity says five to nine year old, but I think most
nine year olds would find the illustrations too childish, and
that some four year olds would love to follow the storyline and
Maclean is well qualified to write such a book, having been meditating
since se was 14, and now being the program director of the Colorado
Shambhala Children's Rite of Passage project. More importantly,
she has raised five children and taught them to meditate to help
the family weather a domestic crisis.
I welcome this book as a valuable tool for parents and teachers
(including meditation teachers who are more used to working with
adults), and hope that Kerry Lee Maclean will produce many more
books introducing children to meditation.