Dalai Lama appoints American as monastery abbot

October 6, 2012

Via NPR.

Michel Martin: if you wanted to predict just who the Dalai Lama might select to lead one of the faith’s most important monasteries, you probably wouldn’t think about a boarding school educated, globe-trotting New York photographer whose grandmother was one of the most celebrated fashionistas of her time, but that’s just who the Dalai Lama did select, saying his, quote, “special duty is to bridge Tibetan tradition and the Western world,” unquote.

Nicholas Vreeland is the new abbot of the Rato Monastery in India and he joins us from there now. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us.

NICHOLAS VREELAND: Thank you. It’s an honor to be here.

MARTIN: Now, in my … Read more »

The quiet hell of extreme meditation

August 24, 2012

Michael Finkel, Men’s Journal Magazine: These are my final words: “Why a camp chair?” I speak them to a man named Wade. Wade from Minnesota. I’m in line behind him, waiting to enter the Dhamma Giri meditation center, in the quiet hill country of western India, for the official start of the 10-day course. Wade tells me that this is his second course and that he learned a valuable lesson from the first. “I’m so glad I have this,” he says, indicating the small folding camp chair tucked under his arm. I utter my last question. It’s never answered. One of the volunteers …

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Spiritual help for violence victims

August 16, 2012

Sanjeev K Ahuja,, Hindustan Times: The terror-struck managers, supervisors and engineers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant — who witnessed violence at the factory premises on July 18 — have been attending meditation and spiritual classes at the Brahma Kumari Om Shanti Retreat Centre (ORC) since July 30. ORC members have also delivered discourses for the workers, who were arrested on the first day of the attack, in Gurgaon jail.

“The first batch of 35-40 managers attended a two-day workshop on July 30-31. ORC director BK Ashsa Didi also addressed the staff.

Besides meditation, the workshop also stresses upon how workers should overcome fear and improve inter-personal relations,” said BK Sanjay of ORC.

“A total of … Read more »

Yoga and meditation for Indian Olympic hockey team

July 17, 2012

Set to return to the Olympic stage after eight years, the Indian hockey team is working hard on being a mentally strong unit by practicing yoga and meditation before the London Games.

“Olympics is the topmost event and we are playing there after eight years. So, naturally there is pressure to perform. We are practicing Yoga daily for 40 minutes to enhance mental strength,” said Indian captain Bharat Chetri.

“We also have an interactive sessions with coach Micheal Nobbs and Trainer David John daily in which they share their good experiences. John has also started an innovative mental visualisation session on a daily basis which is a sort of meditation,” he said.

The mental visualisation … Read more »

Indian golf star Anirban Lahiri counting on meditation for victory

March 28, 2012

Indian star Anirban Lahiri will be banking on meditation to guide him to a successful title defence at the Panasonic Open India which starts on Thursday.

The in-form Lahiri will lead an international cast of Asian Tour stars at the Delhi Golf Club which includes Ben Fox of the United States, Prom Meesawat of Thailand, the highest ranked player this week, Siddikur of Bangladesh and Indian-specialist Rikard Karlberg of Sweden.

Lahiri credited his meditation for his superb form this year where he won his second Asian Tour title at the SAIL-SBI Open at the same venue last month and qualified for his maiden …

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Meditation to help Indian students keep stress at bay

March 19, 2012

Dipti Sonawala: With a view to helping school students to de-stress themselves, the [Maharashtra] state education department has decided to introduce compulsory sessions of meditation in schools across the state.

According to officials, the new initiative — Mitra Upakram — will be implemented from the next academic year so that students are able to fight stress and stay mentally fit. The officials of state education department say this will help sensitise students and also help in improving their concentration.

Throwing light on the initiative, Dr Shridhar Salunkhe, director of secondary and higher secondary education, said, “It has been observed that the level of …

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Transcendental billionaire

March 7, 2012

Naazneen Karmali, Forbes: Every day busloads of tourists arrive in Gorai, a seafront suburb of Mumbai, and head to Esselworld and Water Kingdom, two popular theme parks built by Indian billionaire Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group.

Since 2008 the traffic to Gorai has jumped several-fold. Around 10,000 of those people are seeking something other than a ride down a water slide. They are going to the giant golden pagoda. You can see it from miles around rising from the trees in a sharp fingerlike spire aimed at the clouds.

The people are going to the pagoda to sit in Vipassana, an ancient Buddhist meditation style seeing …

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The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom Selected and Edited by Jack Kornfield

December 20, 2011

“In these pages you will find the Dharma … Dharma is kept alive by those who follow the path,” writes Jack Kornfield, the beloved American Buddhist teacher and co-founder of Spirit Rock meditation Center, near where I live in San Francisco.

For the past two months I have had this little book in my messenger bag, a compilation of selections that Kornfield tells us will “bring the Dharma eloquently to life for us in our own time, place and culture.” Indeed it is full of inspiration, and has been a treat to open it, never knowing what treasures will await on the page, as I ride the train during evening rush hour, as I relax … Read more »

Mumbai attacks survivors preach forgiveness

November 27, 2011

On the third anniversary of the start of the deadly attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that left 165 people dead, the BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan reports on some of the survivors who are preaching forgiveness in a newly published book.

The Mumbai 25 – as they were known – were in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 as part of a meditation retreat.

Two members of the group were killed in the attacks, but the survivors hope that showing compassion will bring something good from a terrible tragedy.

It was a last-minute cancellation that led Linda Ragsdale to travel from the US to Mumbai in November 2008.

She …

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Indian government wants bureaucrats, inmates to meditate

September 20, 2011

Sanjeev Shivadekar: Meditation is the latest mantra which the state administration is keen on adopting to enhance efficiency in Mantralaya [the administrative headquarters of the state government of Maharashtra in South Mumbai].

At a recent meeting with senior bureaucrats, chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad advised babus to consider conducting vipassana and meditation courses to enhance the output of the administration. Gaikwad also recommended these techniques to the student community as well as a tool for prison reforms.

“Vipassana is a methodology that helps one gain control over the mind, which helps in increasing work efficiency. I start my day with meditation and it really…

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