Also available online at http://www.wildmind.org/newsletter/200512.html

December 2005

Our Online Meditation Courses

A student writes...

"I've had wonderful results from the metta [lovingkindness] practice at the end of this week. Situations in which I would normally feel stressed or that I had to prove myself have been much different. When faced with people or a group, I send out metta and that seems to take away anxiety and change the dynamic."

Life member program

  "The Path of Mindfulness and Love" ($90)

  "Change Your Mind" ($90)

  "Awakening the Heart" ($90)

  "Entering the Path of Insight" ($90)

  Life Member Program ($175)

Course Schedule for 2005 to 2006

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:

  Dec 5 to 30
  Jan 2 to 27
  Feb 5 to Mar 3
  Mar 5 to 31
  Apr 3 to 28

Seven Great Reasons to take a meditation course online:

  1. 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.
  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: There are many opportunities each year to take a course. See the dates above for details.

Dear Wildmind Subscriber,

Welcome to our latest newsletter. As usual, we bring you a round-up of the latest international news on meditation as well as news of Wildmind's meditation courses.

Since this is traditionally a time for giving and for thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves, we'd like to highlight Wildmind's "Buddhism Behind Bars" project. To find out how you can help inmates who are reforming their lives through meditation, see below.


In this issue:

  • Wildmind's online courses
  • Meditation in the news
  • Buddhism Behind Bars project
  • New material on Wildmind
  • Support our translation project
  • Review
  • Quote of the month

Our next online meditation courses start next Monday, Dec 5.

Meditating has been shown in clinical studies (see our news section, below) to boost the cerebral cortex and to slow the brain's aging.

If you've ever been curious to find out more about meditation's powerful potential for reducing stress, staying healthy, and for encouraging conscious relaxation, sign up for one of our convenient online meditation courses.

These four-week courses offer a content-rich experience and interactive 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 December courses will be led by Sinhendra, an accomplished teacher who is part of the team at Dharmavastu Buddhist Study Center in northwest England. Sinhendra has a background in theatre arts, and has done post-graduate study in the history of ideas.


Our next online meditation courses -- from all levels from beginners onwards -- start Monday, December 5. Make sure you book your place now.

Meditation in the News

Nov 30 Dalai Lama gets meditation lesson (Wired). The Dalai Lama was in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, meeting with President Bush, giving a public talk on the subject of global peace -- and learning about meditation from Western scientists.

Nov 29 Prep school practices meditation (News 14, Carolina). "Stress management empowers students and fosters self-control."

Nov 29 Finding my religion (San Francisco Chronicle). Buddhist teacher and author Jack Kornfield on mindfulness, happiness and his own spiritual journey

Nov 29 Fruit of Christian meditation (The News Today, Philippines). There are various approaches to Christian meditation but the goal and fruit of it is a maturing in the love of God and neighbors.

Nov 29 Science of meditation (The Coloradoan). The ancient practice of meditation may change the brain in a way that helps boost attention, according to studies out recently at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Nov 28 Western-style meditation may have benefits (Quad-City Times, Iowa). Meditation appears to produce structural changes in the brain — even in over-scheduled Americans.

Nov 24 Regular meditation slows the ageing brain drain (Australian Doctor). You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to benefit from meditation — researchers have found changes in the brain’s physical structure among typical working Westerners who fit regular meditation into their daily routine.

Nov 22 Dean to greet Dalai Lama (Belfast Telegraph). Dalai Lama to meet local Christian clergy and other faith leaders at a special public service of meditation at St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast.

Nov 22 Ulster peace bid by Dalai Lama (Belfast Telegraph). The Dalai Lama has paid a warm tribute to the reconciliation work of the Corrymeela Community at the start of a three-day visit to Ulster.

Nov 21 The power of Om (Boston Globe). Meditation research is coming of age, as neuroscientists measure its surprising benefits

Nov 17 Clearing up facts about transcendental Meditation (Oregon Daily Emerald). Vice President for the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace challenges earlier article.

Nov 16 Meditation makes rheumatoid arthritis easier to bear (MedPage Today). Meditation can ease the physical and psychological impacts of rheumatoid arthritis, a small randomized study suggests.

Nov 16 Meditation May Alter Brain, Delay Aging (Fox News). Early research suggests that daily meditation can alter the physical structure of the brain and may even slow brain deterioration related to aging.

Nov 15 Meditation: Brain booster? (My DNA). According to a study published in the November issue of NeuroReport, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that certain areas of the cerebral cortex - the outer portion of the brain - are thicker in people who meditate regularly.

Nov 14 Studies: Meditation, light exercise boost brain (NBC4i, Ohio). Scientists believe meditation and light exercise could help maintain good brain health.

Nov 14 Meditation can be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis patients (New Kerala, India). Meditation which has proved to be a great stress buster can also reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Nov 14 Meditation can boost your gray matter (MSNBC). ‘Buddhist Insight’ practitioners build thicker cortical regions

Nov 14 Dalai Lama says science, Buddhism share goals (Newsday). The Dalai Lama urges collaboration with neuroscientists on contemplation and its effects on the brain

Nov 13 (USA Today). Say 'om': Meditation may aid in brain function. The ancient practice of meditation may change the brain in a way that helps boost attention, according to studies out Sunday at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Nov 12 Ulster visit by Dalai Lama to celebrate Corrymeela anniversary (The Belfast Telegraph, Northern Ireland). The Dalai Lama, one of the world's foremost religious leaders, is scheduled to visit Northern Ireland later this month

Nov 12 Christians seek peace through meditation (Toledo Blade, Ohio). Every Thursday evening, a small group gathers at Pilgrim United Church of Christ for an hour of serious quiet time.

The goal? To escape the distractions of daily life and tune in to God through meditation.

Nov 11 The links between the Dalai Lama and neuroscience (National Public Radio). The Dalai Lama will present a lecture to the world's largest group of brain scientists this weekend.

Nov 11 Researchers say meditation benefits chronic stress (AXcess News). Meditation, which brings about mental calm and focus, alleviates "adventitious" suffering.

Nov 10 Dalai Lama brings message of nonviolence on campus visit (Stanford University News). Just before addressing the sold-out crowd for the mass meditation and teaching event in Maples Pavilion on Friday morning, the Dalai Lama endeared himself to the approximately 7,000 students, worshippers and other eager guests with one simple gesture—he took off his shoes.

Nov 10 Free your mind (The Washington Examiner, D.C.). Nearly a hundred Library of Congress employees packed a small conference room Monday, giving up their lunch hour to sit straight in their chairs, relax their hands and let go of their preoccupations.

Nov 10 Meditation can increase the brain's grey matter (Daily News Central, Las Vegas). Meditation has been linked to structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing, according to research published in the November issue of NeuroReport.

Nov 10 Meditation movement lacks proper credentials (Oregon Daily Emerald). "We don’t dispute the fact that meditation in general can be calming and beneficial. Yet we raise questions consumers should seriously consider before purchasing this commodity as a means to attain peace."

Nov 9 Dalai Lama focuses on science, not politics, during Washington visit (VOA). Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says he is trying to keep the focus of his trip to Washington on scientific, not political, matters.

Nov 8 Buddhist temple in Catlett reaches out to county neighbors (Fauquier Times-Democrat, Virginia). For the fifth year, members of Wat Lao Buddhavong offered thanks to the residents of Fauquier County.

Nov 8 900 scientists protest Dalai Lama’s lecture on meditation (WebIndia123). More than 900 scientists have signed a petition to prevent the Dalai Lama from presenting a lecture on meditation as an antidote to stress and tension in Washington.

Nov 6 For a Week, D.C. focuses on meditation (Washington Post). Susan Green is a lawyer who specializes in resolving disputes through mediation rather than in court. The District resident also meditates four evenings a week, and she is convinced that the spiritual practice has improved her conflict resolution skills.

Nov 5 Lynch is spreading the gospel of meditation (Seattle Post Intelligencer). You may not think of quirky director David Lynch as a poster boy for mellow, but his tone grows rapturous when he speaks of the bliss he has found through 32 years of transcendental Meditation.

Nov 5 Pushed to the extreme (The Standard, Hong Kong). The Falun Gong's recent court victory in Hong Kong put it in the spotlight once again. But it is no nearer acceptance by mainland authorities.

Nov 4 Health center to offer lessons in meditation (Portland State University vanguard). ‘Mindfulness Meditation’ to be offered winter term at no extra charge

Nov 4 Silver River Institute brings meditation to the fast pace folk (Canton JOurnal, Mass.) "In western culture, most people run around like chickens with their heads cut off, losing touch with what's important."

Nov 4 Thousands join Dalai Lama for Stanford meditation (Mercury News, California). The Dalai Lama held a mass meditation session before throngs of people at the Maples Pavilion this morning

Nov 3 Meditating on the mind (San Mateo County Times, California). Science, spirituality merge for Dalai Lama's Stanford visit.

Nov 3 transcending Meditation (The Daily Californian). If you didn't know that David Lynch followed the Maharishi School of transcendental Meditation, then you will soon.

buddhism behind bars


Support the Buddhism Behind Bars project

Wildmind has been active since 2003 in the State Prison for Men in Concord, New Hampshire, working with inmates who have an interest in meditation or Buddhism.

Buddhism Behind Bars is a book that Wildmind plans to publish in late 2006 or early 2007. It will be a compilation of writings by inmates and prison volunteers from across the world. In it you'll read accounts of how meditation and Buddhist practice have transformed lives, bringing insight where there was delusion, kindness where there was violence, and peace where there was turmoil.

We're making contributing to Buddhism Behind Bars into an educational opportunity for inmates. Each writer is assigned a writing mentor who will help the prisoner to find his voice in order to tell his story effectively.

We will be making copies of Buddhism Behind Bars available free of charge to inmates. To help us reach as many inmates as possible, please consider making a donation to support our work.

New Material on Wildmind

We're posted a section on meditation resources for inmates, and a brief explanation of some of the work we do behind bars. You can find this section at: http://www.wildmind.org/meditation/prison-dharma.

We've posted a Russian translation of our posture workshop at:

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our translation fund, helping us to continue this valuable work.

MP3's available on our online store


We're pleased to announce that all of our CDs are available as MP3 downloads in our meditation supplies store, either as individual tracks or as complete CD downloads.

We even have available Bodhipaksa's new CD, Guided Meditations for Busy People. It's available right now!


begging monk

Support our translation project

Our mission is to benefit the world by promoting awareness and compassion through the practice of meditation.

Join our list of benefactors! 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 (which are tax deductible) 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 and compassion. We now have French and Spanish versions of the site online, and Chinese, Polish, and Russian versions are in preparation.

anais nin

Quote of the Month

"The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself."
Anaïs Nin

It's easy to think of a spiritual life as being somehow "elsewhere" or as being something that we can only aspire to in the future. But a true sense of spirituality comes from looking deeply into our present-moment experience and seeing more truly than we currently do.

When we sit to meditate we don't try to escape who we are, rather we learn to be comfortable with being who we are. Living deeply, in the context of meditation, means unlearning our habits of craving, aversion, and delusion: habits which prevent us from acknowledging our experience fully.

In practical terms, this means opening up to whatever happens to be present in any give moment. Fear arises, and we fully acknowledge and experience it. Anger arises, and we don't indulge it, but neither do we push it away. Instead, we notice it; take an interest in it; even have compassion for the suffering that accompanies it like a shadow. Craving arises, and we appreciate its qualities of aliveness and its tender beauty, until it fades back into the void from where it came.

Ultimately, we learn to appreciate in meditation, by means of this process of mindfully observing phenomena, that all experiences whatsoever are impermanent. All experiences pass; both the painful ones and the blissful ones. And in time we can come to see not only that they are transient, but that they are not, never were, and never can be a part of us in any real sense. They're simply experiences that arise and pass. This is a truth, "beyond ourselves," that we can only realize by living life more fully, not at some distant time or place when conditions will be perfect for living spiritually, but right here, right now, in this very moment.




Copyright © 2005, Bodhipaksa.
Wildmind Meditation Services Inc., PO Box 212., Newmarket NH 03857, USA.

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