Make a donation to Wildmind, and receive a 2.5 hour mindfulness audio download

March 5, 2013

help support Wildmind's workHere’s what I’m planning. I want to create more, and specifically I want to record two meditation audio programs this year. To do this I need to take a couple of months off from teaching my online courses, which creates a bit of a financial problem for Wildmind because we’ll be earning less and because we live on the edge (and not always on the right side of the edge!)

So, I’m asking for donations. And anyone who makes a one time-donation of $15 or more, or who sets up a recurring donation of any amount will receive a free download of the first of these programs, which will be based on my online course, … Read more »

“We make a living by what we make, but we make a life by what we give”

February 1, 2013

Bodhipaksa“We make a living by what we make, but we make a life by what we give.” These words are often attributed to Winston Churchill, but they appear to be the work of the prolific “anon.”

I had trouble sleeping last night, which is very unusual for me. I was rather anxious about money, since Wildmind had a very bad year financially and lost a lot of money. I’d actually expected to make a loss since we moved into a larger office and I took on an office assistant to free me up to spend more time on creative tasks. But working on the end of year accounts was rather troubling, because the losses were … Read more »

Sit : Love : Give (Part II)

January 25, 2013

sit : love : giveSit : Love : Give is two things.

First, it’s what we do. We believe in the power of meditation to bring more mindfulness and compassion to the world in order to make it a better place. So we sit.

Through sitting we develop love.

Out of love we offer Wildmind to the world, in order to make meditation more accessible. Google Analytics tells us that there were 2.5 million page views on out site last year. That represents a lot of learning about meditation, and hopefully a lot of practice of meditation too. That’s our giving.

And second, we encourage you to sit, to develop love, and to give to the world around you.… Read more »

Sit : Love : Give

January 10, 2013

Portrait of beautiful young woman meditatingWildmind recently went ad-free. The income from carrying ads was certainly useful — it costs a lot to run a site this size — but carrying advertising here seemed both esthetically and ethically ugly. So they’ve gone! And we feel great about it!

However, it takes about 80–100 hours a month to curate, write, edit, and post the articles you read here, and if you enjoy and benefit from what we do, we’d ask you to consider making a regular donation.

Dana, or giving, is an ancient Buddhist tradition, and we’d much rather rely on the generosity of you, our readers, than bombard you with advertising.

We’re calling this project “Sit : Love : Give.” … Read more »

Kinder children are more popular

December 30, 2012

Victoria Gill, BBC: Performing deliberate acts of kindness makes pre-teen children more popular with their peers, say scientists.

A team led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, “assigned” children three acts of kindness each week for four weeks.

After the four weeks, children were happier and more liked by classmates.

The researchers say than encouraging such simple “positive acts” could help children to get along with classmates and even prevent instances of bullying.

The findings are published in the open access journal Plos One.

Cuddling and cleaning
Working with 400 school children aged between nine and 11, the team assigned whole classrooms either …

Read the original article »

Give yourself the gift of kindness

flower in handCan you remember a time when you offered a gift to someone? Perhaps a holiday present, or a treat to a child, or taking time for a friend – or anything at all. How did this feel? Researchers have found that giving stimulates the same neural networks that light up when we feel physical pleasure, such eating a cookie or running warm water over cold hands. Long ago, the Buddha said that generosity makes one happy before, during, and after the giving.

Then there is receiving. Can you remember a different time, when someone was giving toward you? Maybe it was a tangible, something you could hold in your hands, or perhaps it was something … Read more »

Very religious people may be more likely to give even when they don’t feel compassionate

“Love thy neighbor” is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less likely to be motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people.

In three experiments, social scientists found less religious people’s generosity was consistently driven by compassion. For highly religious people, however, compassion was largely unrelated to how generous they were, according to the findings which are published in the July issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The results challenge a widespread assumption that acts of generosity and charity are largely driven by feelings of empathy and compassion, researchers said. … Read more »

How to appreciate and receive life’s gifts

March 12, 2012

Life gives to each one of us in so many ways.

For starters, there’s the bounty of the senses – including chocolate chip cookies, jasmine, sunsets, wind singing through pine trees, and just getting your back scratched.

What does life give you?

Consider the kindness of friends and family, made more tangible during a holiday season, but of course continuing throughout the year.

Or the giving of the people whose hard work is bound up in a single cup of coffee. Or all those people in days past who figured out how to make a stone ax – or a fire, edible grain, loom, vaccine, or computer. Or wrote plays and novels, made art or … Read more »

10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy

February 19, 2012

I’m a science geek as well as a Buddhist geek, and recently when I was leading a retreat on how to bring more joy into our lives I found myself making a lot of references to an article published in Yes magazine, which touched on ten things that have been shown by science to make us happier. It seemed natural to draw upon the article because so much of the research that was described resonated with Buddhist teachings.

So I thought it would be interesting to take the main points of the article and flesh them out with a little Buddhism.

1. Be generous
“Make altruism and giving part of your life, and be Read more »

Do all you can, with what you have, in the time you have, in the place where you are.

January 9, 2012

One of the strangest and most meaningful experiences of my life occurred when I going through Rolfing (ten brilliant sessions of deep-tissue bodywork) in my early 20’s. The fifth session works on the stomach area, and I was anticipating (= dreading) the release of buried sadness. Instead, there was a dam burst of love, which poured out of me during the session and afterward. I realized it was love, not sadness, that I had bottled up in childhood – and what I now needed to give and express.

We can hold back our contributions to the world, including love, just as much as we can muzzle or repress sorrow or anger. But contribution needs to … Read more »