Sit : Breathe : Love (Oct 27 – Nov 23)

October 22, 2014

YOGD_email_graphic_sitbreatheloveWant to experience the physical and mental health benefits of meditation, but have trouble setting up a regular practice?

Sit : Breathe : Love is a 28 Day Meditation Challenge, with the aim of helping you to set up the habit of meditating daily.

The benefits of regular meditation have been demonstrated again and again in multiple studies. Meditating makes you happier, is good for your health, protects your brain from aging, boosts your intelligence, and helps reduce pain, stress, and depression.

But it’s not easy to set up a regular meditation practice.

So we’re here to help you!

The aims in the 28 Day Challenge are:

  • To work toward building up a daily habit
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How to get out of a bad mood: 12 tips

September 30, 2014

wildmind meditation newsJoyce Marter, LCPC, PsychCentral: Large and rapidly moving, ominous clouds of negativity roll into my mind, infuse my thoughts and deeply darken my mood. As I exhale, I feel the irritability fume from my nostrils like fiery smoke from a dragon’s. As I bristle with defensiveness and hostility, I feel the energetic spikes of anger jet from my spine, creating a non-verbal warning to others to steer clear. My eyes narrow and shoot lasers of fury. My tongue sharpens and my words become cutting and biting. As waves of anger ripple through my body, my energy and power grows. My walk becomes a …

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Intimacy and autonomy working together

August 1, 2014

Couple holding hand at sun riseIntimacy and autonomy are channels for expressing your natural goodness. For example, being kind toward someone naturally involves both an affinity with that person and a certain autonomy for the kindness to be genuine.

Besides its obvious rewards in everyday life, intimacy supports personal growth and spiritual practice through bringing you into relationship with things. Into relationship with your innermost experience and that of the people around you: the joys and sorrows, the suffering and its causes and what leads to its ending. Into compassion, kindness, and service: Love thy neighbor as thyself. Into relationship with a supportive community. And – if it’s meaningful to you – into relationship with God. Autonomy, too, supports personal … Read more »

Is the intention a goal or already realized?

July 25, 2014

golden hourDo you express the intention as a goal or as something already realized?

This gets at a recurring question, even a debate, in Buddhism (and also in psychology and in some religions): Is it about progressing toward an enlightened state, or is it about uncovering the enlightened condition that has always been present? I can’t do justice here to the nuances of that consideration, but I can say what many wise people think is at the marrow of the matter: both are true. (Darn that middle way.)

In other words, it is powerful to focus on intention both as an aim toward a target, and as something that is already the case. The phrasing, “May … Read more »

For people who hate their bodies

June 14, 2014

Image adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photograph by reway2007Not many people like their bodies. The typical reaction from looking at oneself naked in the mirror lies somewhere on a spectrum from mild disappointment to outright revulsion, with a bit of disbelief thrown in (how did I get so old? where did those wrinkles come from? where’s my hair gone?)

I had a little epiphany the other day, though. I’d been talking with my girlfriend, who I adore. She’s beautiful. Really beautiful. And she’s also afflicted by doubts about her attractiveness. So when we were talking she was going over some of the things she didn’t like about her appearance (wrinkles, etc) and I’m, like, “I don’t care. I love those things about you. … Read more »

Google’s ‘Head of Mindfulness’ speaks out

wildmind meditation newsJo Confino, A growing awareness of the importance of our emotional fitness is mirroring the same journey of acceptance that physical exercise took in the last century, says Chade-Meng Tan, Google’s head of mindfulness training. Tan says that mindfulness opens the doorway to loving kindness, which is at the heart of business success.

Chade-Meng Tan’s job description would never get past most companies’ human resources departments. As the head of mindfulness training at Google, his role is to enlighten minds, open hearts and create world peace.
But he hopes that one day, his role will become commonplace. A growing awareness of the …

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Lovingkindness meditation: another guided meditation MP3

May 4, 2014

Another of the recordings from the retreat I’m currently co-leading at Aryaloka retreat center. The retreat’s on creativity and meditation, and I’ve been noticing how self-critical (i.e. “perfectionist” many creative people can be. So I threw in this short meditation at the end of the evening in order to connect us with the fact that life is messy, that we don’t “do life” perfectly, and how this can be an opportunity for us to develop more empathy and kindness rather than to beat ourselves up.

I hope this is of benefit to you. (By the way, the meditation room is kind of noisy, and the recording equipment wan’t great. And it’s only very lightly edited … Read more »

Intention of non-ill will

May 2, 2014

yellow flowerHere we give up angry, punishing reactions toward others, animals, plants, and things. If such attitudes arise, we resolve not to feed them, and to cut them off as fast as we can.

The Buddha placed great stress on the importance of releasing ill will. In the extreme, he said that even when we are being grossly mistreated by others, we should practice good will toward them, and wish them the best.

To be sure, that does not mean turning a blind eye toward injustice and mistreatment – of ourselves as well as others – nor does it mean turning our back on skillful actions of protection, advocacy, and betterment. It is perfectly appropriate to … Read more »

4 ways to meditate during your day

April 11, 2014

wildmind meditation newsHerald Sun: Finding time to relax and close your eyes isn’t always possible. Fear not – you can do these four meditations anywhere, no shut-eye required.

1. In the shower: Waterfall meditation
Waterfall meditation Shinto priests use the cold crashing force of waterfalls in purification rituals. This is a far more pleasant version.

How to do it:

Adjust the water to your ideal temperature. Take a few deep breaths and set your intention to use this time to meditate. Feel the water on your head and dripping down onto your shoulders, arms, torso, legs and feet. Become mindful of the scent and texture of the …

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Decide on love

April 2, 2014

Valentines heartJeff was convinced he’d fallen out of love with his wife, Arlene, and that nothing could salvage their twenty-six-year marriage. He wanted relief from the oppressiveness of feeling continually judged and found wanting. Arlene, for her part, was hurt and angry because she felt Jeff avoided any real communication or emotional intimacy. As a last-ditch effort, she convinced him to attend a weekend workshop for couples sponsored by their church. Much to their surprise, they both left with a glimmer of hope for their future together. The message they took away was “Love is a decision.” Their guides at the workshop had insisted that while we don’t always feel loving, love is here should we … Read more »