Four tips for meditating in public

March 24, 2014

Girl meditating in the parkI love meditating in public places. I’ve meditated on park benches, and on trains and buses and airplanes. I’ve done walking meditation on country lanes and on busy city streets.

One benefit of meditating in public places is being able to squeeze a bit more meditation into your day. If you regard meditation as something you can only do in a special room, relatively free from audible distractions, then you’re limiting the amount of time that you can spend meditating. If you regard these other times I’ve mentioned as being fair game, then you have many more opportunities for practice.

There are just a few things I’d suggest you bear in mind if you’re going … Read more »

Planting ourselves in the universe

October 18, 2012

Here in this body are the sacred rivers: here are the sun and moon, as well as all the pilgrimage places. I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.
—Tantric song

When I meet with people at retreats or in counseling sessions, some will tell me they feel numb, lost in thoughts, and disconnected from life. Others might tell me they are overwhelmed by feelings of fear, hurt, or anger. Whenever we are either possessed by our feelings or dissociated from them, we are in trance, cut off from our full presence and aliveness.

In Buddhist meditation training, awakening from trance begins with mindfulness of sensations. Sensations are our most immediate … Read more »

War and Peace at the Metropolitan

December 26, 2009

A fundamental precept of Buddhism is the ability to reach Enlightenment – an awakened state of spiritual alertness – in a single lifetime. Avenues to this higher state of being include the chanting of mantras and the performance of mudras – ritual hand gestures.

Another path to Enlightenment, one often used in conjunction with mantra-singing and mudras, is meditation upon particular religious diagrams known as mandalas. These extremely complex rituals are usually taught and performed within the presence of a highly trained master. A select few of these original mandalas are now on display at a The Metropolitan Museum of Art in an exhibit entitled “Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars.”

At the very center of … Read more »