How firmly should you pursue your intentions?

August 28, 2014

Rural road through the field in the mountainsHow firmly do you pursue your intentions? Neither too tight nor too loose a rein.

As with the balance of the capital city and the provinces, it’s worth considering what your tendencies are and if there is an imbalance. For example, some of us hold onto our goals to a fault (myself, ahem) going down with the ship – pull up! It’s a trap!! – while others give up way too soon or don’t take their own needs and wants seriously enough.

From the Buddhist perspective, the path that leads to the greatest well-being and goodness for oneself and others steers clear of over-striving on the one hand – clinging is, after all, the primary … Read more »

Kindfulness of breathing (Day 12)

April 23, 2013

Lotus, isolated on whiteDo you find it a bit much doing lovingkindness practice every day? Do you feel the need to stay in balance by doing other practices, like mindfulness of breathing? I don’t blame you!

In our last special project, which was to meditate for 100 days (the 100 Day Meditation Challenge) we got about a week into it and then I realized I’d become a bit clearer about the intention behind the challenge. It’s happened again!

Someone wrote in our Google+ Community (a place where people are sharing their experiences of participating in 100 Days of Lovingkindness and giving each other support and encouragement) saying that she was getting a bit bored by doing only one … Read more »

“Pocket Peace: Practices for Enlightened Living,” by Allan Lokos

September 29, 2010

pocket-peaceIn Pocket Peace, Allan Lokos, founder and guiding teacher of the Community Meditation Center located on New York City’s upper west side, offers some practical advice for those of us who are seeking to create more balance in our lives.

It’s no newsflash that living in modern times can be a challenge to the development of our spiritual selves. The truth of the matter, however, is that there have always been daunting challenges to developing a strong spiritual practice. Early Buddhists recognized this by creating the “Paramis,” or “Perfection Practices.” In this book, Lokos re-investigates the Buddhist “Paramis” and builds on them by offering effective “pocket practices” that we can use to better ourselves … Read more »

Vajradaka: A fine balance

February 19, 2008

Balanced stonesIn a series of articles exploring the art of meditation, Vajradaka shines light on the fine art of balancing activity and receptivity within our practice.

While teaching meditation or when discussing it with friends, I always try to keep basic principles in mind. Sometimes I refer to them overtly, but they are mostly in the background, providing the context within which the details of practicing meditation are explored. One such principle is the relationship between receptivity and activity. These are pillars upon which much of what happens in meditation practice rests.

Receptivity consists in the ability to notice and be aware in a relaxed manner. It enables us to absorb and integrate the different impressions … Read more »