Our Online Meditation Courses
A student writes...
"If this was one of those college
course evaluation forms I would be filling in all 5's for 'excellent'
on course materials, format and the like." Rori
Path of Mindfulness and Love" ($75)
Your Mind" ($75)
the Heart" ($75)
the Path of Insight" ($75)
Member Program ($175)
Course Schedule for early 2005
Remember to plan ahead if you're interested in
taking one of our courses. You can sign up for any course at any
Courses start on the following dates:
01, 2005 (Tue)
04, 2005 (Mon)
Seven Great Reasons
to take a meditation course online:
- Personal attention: In your
online journal you'll have an ongoing practice discussion
with your teacher, who will give you encouragement and personal
feedback based on many 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
- Quality: Access to outstanding
written and audiovisual materials online.
- Support: You'll benefit from
the discipline of a structured four-week course.
- Convenience: Log on when you
want, fitting classes into your schedule when it's convenient.
- Flexibility: Download audio
files that will guide you through meditation at any time.
- Availability: There are many
opportunities each year to take a course. See the dates above
Help Survivors of the Tsunami
Recent news has been dominated by the aftereffects
of the south Asian tsunami, and we encourage you to give
to the Red Cross and other aid organizations. Although the
tsunami happened a few weeks ago, there will be a continuing need
for financial aid for a long time to come.
Dear Wildmind Subscriber,
Several news stories this month report on claims
that meditation can bring health benefits by lowering blood pressure.
Not only does meditating bring lasting health benefits, but anyone
can have access to the greater peace of mind, contentment, wellbeing,
and improved relationships that come from the practice of meditation.
If you've ever wanted to learn powerful techniques
for reducing stress, staying healthy, and for learning conscious
relaxation, sign up for one of our convenient online meditation
courses. These courses offer a rich experience, with online readings,
guided meditations in MP3 and RealAudio format that you can download
to your computer, a discussion forum, and personal attention in
your online journal. And you have access to all these things 24/7.
Our courses are suitable for anyone from complete beginners to
more experienced practitioners. You'll learn powerful techniques
for reducing stress and developing patience, relaxation, and calmness
in a friendly and supportive environment.
Our courses are currently led by Subhadramati, an outstanding
teacher who taught meditation at the London Buddhist Centre until
she moved to Dublin, Ireland, in 1999 to help establish the Dublin
Our next online meditation courses -- from all
levels from beginners onwards -- start Tuesday, March 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
Please note that some of the news sources require a subscription.
We recommend using BugMeNot
to bypass registration and to preserve your privacy. We also recommend
the free Firefox
browser for a safer surfing experience. (We're not associated
with Firefox or BugMeNot in any way. We just think these are cool
products that you might find useful).
Feb 25 Meditation
can bring new mothers peace of mind (Modern Mom)
Postpartum depression affects nearly 20 percent of new mothers.
It usually occurs in the first two weeks to six months after the
baby is born. One way to prevent postpartum depression is to focus
on the positives of being a new mother.
Feb 21 Hypertension:
Meditation that aims to relieve stress may benefit blacks.
(Courier Press, Kentucky)
High blood pressure affects blacks in the United States in disproportionate
numbers. Might transcendental Meditation (TM) - designed to reduce
stress, which can lead to hypertension - offer a long-term remedy?
Feb 17 Meditation
may cut future heart disease risks (Web MD)
Even teens stand to benefit, study shows
Feb 16 University
offers meditation classes (Daily Mississippian, Mississippi)
Many find meditation a very practical way to deal with everyday
stress and anxiety.
Feb 15 Meditation
helps students (International Herald tribune)
New research appears to be strengthening the case for teaching
transcendental meditation in US schools, showing it to be a means
to improve the concentration of students.
Feb 14 New
$20 million cancer center opens in Columbus (Ledger-Enquirer,
The center has a meditation room and meditation gardens and holds
art therapy, yoga, tai chi and nutrition classes.
Feb 14 Good
health starts on the inside and moves outward. (The Daily
Five years ago, Dr. Nancy Mramor was diagnosed with leukemia.
She was told the prognosis did not look good. So she put to the
test what she had been teaching for several years - mind-body
Feb 13 Peace
of Mind (The Missourian)
Mindfulness techniques help stressed-out people stay calm and
Feb 12 Dose
of spirituality has healthful effect (Boston Globe)
A variety of studies suggest that emotional happiness, including
the kind often found among members of spiritual and religious
communities, bolsters the immune system against the flu, colds,
and other illnesses.
Feb 12 Meditation
may help lower blood pressure (AP Wire)
Marion Williams knows she has a hard time relaxing. She leads
a busy life as a traveling nurse, grandmother of 10, and advocate
for nursing home residents, and for years she had high blood pressure.
"It was due to the stress," said Williams, one of many black Americans
who has battled high blood pressure.
Feb 11 Campus
establishes new Buddhist Studies Center (UC Berkeley News,
Buddhism's New Age-type appeal has launched literally hundreds
of self-help books, scores of films, and captured the imagination
of more than a few Hollywood superstars.
Feb 9 Meditation
calms blood pressure, too (Forbes)
transcendental meditation (TM) reduces hypertension and cuts down
on the need for blood pressure-lowering medications, according
to a study in black Americans.
Feb 8 The
silent treatment (The Hartford Courant, Massachussets)
Bringing a little sunshine into your life with meditation as part
of mind-body therapy.
Feb 8 Mindfulness
meditation helps relationships (News-Medical)
Besides being a boon to the greeting card and florist industries,
Valentine's Day reminds many Americans of the importance and great
joy of their romantic relationships, especially courting and marriage.
Feb 8 Firsthand:
A Look at Yoga and Religious Belief (Yoga Journal)
A Buddhist, a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim share how they blend
yoga with their religious beliefs.
Feb 6 Spiritual
focus aims to give work more meaning (Daily Breeze, California)
"There's so much frustration in the job market because people
are not attached to their passion," advocate says.
Feb 5 Ways
of meditation similar, but object varies among faiths (Sun-Sentinel,
"A lot of people say they've learned meditation from Buddhist
or Hindu teachers. I also see meditation mentioned in the Bible,
like in Psalm 1. Is everyone talking about the same thing?"
Feb 4 Meditation
takes mind off matters of society (Post Independent, Colorado)
As cell phones ring, e-mail piles up, and work and off hours blend
together, it is nearly impossible to stay centered in today's
Feb 4 Health
Watch: Meditation Help (KTEN, Oklahoma)
Experts say meditation helps eliminate stress, promotes health,
increases creativity and intelligence, and brings you inner happiness
Feb 2 Knowing
how to listen is as important as talking to God (The Oregonian,
God is always trying to tell us something. The question is not
whether God is trying to tell us something, but, 'Are we listening?
Feb 1 Meditation
charges brain, study shows (Orlando Sentinel, Florida)
The benefits of this age-old practice appear to be a sharper mind
and higher awareness.
Quote of the month
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
- Philo of Alexandria
Dealing with other people is one of the trickiest aspects of
trying to live with mindfulness. Just watch your speech over the
next few days and see how often you criticize other people, belittle
their achievements, make assumptions about their motivations,
blame them for things that have happened to you, or make judgements
marquerading as observations. You may be surprised just how habitual
and unconscious our tendencies are to do these things, to the
extent that it's often only in retrospect that we can see that
we've acted in this kind of way.
We tend to act in this way because we cling to the idea that
the world (including other people) should act in ways that meet
our expectations. We regard ourselves as being at the center of
the world, and get upset about any evidence to the contrary. But
of course other people, don't, for some reason, regard us as being
the center of the world -- usually they're too busy doing the
All of us, whether we know it or not, are engaged in a battle
for happiness. The more conscious of this we are, the more likely
it is that we'll be able to find the happiness we're seeking.
And Philo, an early Christian whose name means "love,"
points out that if we recognize that we're all engaged in the
same struggle to find happiness, we'll feel better about the otherwise
inexplicable tendency that people have to act in ways that don't
make us happy.
When someone does something we don't like -- whether it's to
get angry with us, to eat that last cookie we had our eye on,
or to break an agreement they'd made with us -- it's invariably
because they thought or assumed on some often unconscious level,
that these actions would, in the long term, bring them happiness.
Their actions, in other words, are part of the same struggle or
happiness that we too are involved in.
We all have the desire to seek happiness, but unfortunately we're
not very good at bringing that desire to fruition. Reaching for
happiness we inadvertantly grasp suffering. This is trues for
us, and it's true for all others.
Simply to recognize that other's actions are part of a quest
for happiness can free us from a great deal of our own suffering.
And if we can begin to empathize with others to the extent that
we can recognize that their fundamental motivation is to seek
happiness, we can begin to empathize with the suffering they experience
when, as often happens, their efforts don't bear the fruit they
had expected. We can move from resentment to kindness, and we
can move from frustration to love, as we recognize that we are
all in a common struggle for happiness, contentment, and wellbeing.
Book of the month
Little Instruction Book, by Jack Kornfield ($10.00, paperback)
This delightful little book by Jack Kornfield, former monk, co-founder
of the Insight Meditation Society, psychotherapist, and author,
is a collection of pithy aphorisms along with six short guided
The aphorisms, collected from a variety of meditation teachers
such as Ajahn Chaa, Robert Aitken Roshi, Suzuki Roshi, and Thich
Nhat Hanh, as well as the Buddha himself, provide rich food for
reflection. Although the entire book could be hungrily devoured
in an idle hour, the ideal would be to savor each quotation as
the potent yet subtle delicacy it is, letting the effect sink
in and allowing the mind and heart to make connections with one's
personal practice and life.
Take this one: "The trouble is that you think you have time."
Or this: "When you walk, just walk. When you eat, just eat."
Or this: "In the end these things matter most: How well
did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you learn
to let go?"
These and any of the other 121 quotations in Buddha's Little
Instruction Book can help us to look at our life and practice
anew, bringing a sense of curiosity and the dawning of an "aha!"
The six meditations at the end of the book are beautifully crafted,
with the language very simply yet richly giving instruction in
classic Vipassana sitting meditation, as well as in walking meditation,
eating meditation, and the cultivation of lovingkindness (metta),
forgiveness, and compassion (karuna). The meditations are not
overly structured but are more free-flowing and organic, although
they are also very rich and the guidance, if returned to again
and again, will be found to be fresh and multi-layered.
My only regret is that for all but a handful of the quotations
no references are given, but given that Kornfield writes that
the words are sometimes taken not literally but in the spirit
of meditation masters, it's perhaps fitting that so many of them
stand on their own.
This is a book that I will certainly return to time and time