Meditation “flash mob” convenes at Austin capitol building

The Statesman reports on a Meditation Flash Mob, that converged on the State Capital grounds in Austin to promote a message of peace and harmony.

People convened at the Capitol on Sunday afternoon for the first Austin flash mob meditation. They meditated all over the capitol grounds from noon to 1 p.m. using their meditation power to bring positive intentions to the state. Then they moved inside the Capitol and formed a circle in the rotunda and chanted OM for about 20 minutes.

This was the second such event in Austin, and the organizers said in a press release that they would be joined simultaneously by eight other cities around the nation including Los Angeles, … Read more »

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King Jr.

January 17, 2011

MLKKing intended these words as a comment on the Vietnam War specifically, and on war generally, but when I hear them I think of more day-to-day concerns, and of the way in which our ideals—the way we want to live our lives—become separated from how we actually live, moment by moment. We may want peace in our lives, but we more often end up with strife.

It seems every close relationship we enter is begun in the future hope of continued shared happiness, intimacy, and joy. And yet if we’re not careful we end up with distance, bitterness, and blame. We’d like to get from point A to point B, but end up at point … Read more »

Tibetan Buddhism can solve global conflicts: Karmapa

January 5, 2011

The four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism are trying to find common ground to carry forward Lord Buddha’s teachings in way they can be used to resolve geo-political conflicts, says Thrinley Thaye Dorje, the 17th spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

‘The awareness that the four schools have to find common ground is getting stronger. It will happen because unity among the Buddhist sects is crucial to world peace,’ 27-year-old Thrinley Dorje told IANS in an interview in Bodh Gaya, the seat of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment.

‘It can solve conflicts because the teachings of Buddha are based on bringing inner and outer peace,’ he added.

The four schools are the ancient … Read more »

Meditation opens path to inner peace

December 7, 2010

Every day, almost without fail, Connie Tellman escapes to the solitude of her grown daughter’s former room to meditate.

After doing yoga postures to relieve body tension, she sits cross-legged on a pillow, hands resting on her knees, eyes closed. For 15 minutes or so, she silently repeats her personal mantra, breathes rhythmically from her diaphragm and methodically touches the 108 small wooden beads of her mala necklace.

“Your mind concentrates on the breath,” said the 52-year-old Indianapolis woman. “You go within and close out the distractions of the world, so you can focus on your inner self.”

Local people who meditate agree on how it makes them feel: peaceful, calm, centered.

Read the rest Read more »

Virginia mother and wife of Mumbai victims seeks to help children in conflict areas

November 12, 2010

Virginia resident Kia Scherr walked quietly through the jasmine-scented halls of Mumbai’s Oberoi Trident high-rise hotel as Indian staff members gently smiled.

On Nov. 26, 2008, her husband, Alan Scherr, 58, and their 13-year-old daughter Naomi were killed when gunmen opened fire in the hotel’s oceanfront restaurant. The Scherrs were among six Americans killed in the Mumbai attacks, which left 166 people dead and more than 230 wounded.

Now Kia Scherr has come to India to meet President Obama during his three-day visit to Mumbai and New Delhi. She said she wants to thank him in person for the condolence letter he wrote her after the attacks, which were carried out by 10 gunmen from … 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 »

“Together Under One Roof,” by Lin Jensen

August 31, 2010

Together Under One Roof by Lin JensenLokabandhu, a peace activist, finds Lin Jensen’s new book to be a moving evocation of Buddhism’s ethos of lovingkindness.

Together Under One Roof is Lin Jensen’s third volume, and follows in the footsteps of Bad Dog! and Pavement (already reviewed here). It’s a more slender volume than the others, but still a delightful read and in places very moving.

Like the others, it’s a series of essays in which he takes an ordinary event and reflects upon it, drawing out of it some nugget for reflection, some correspondence with the teachings of Buddha or Zen, some motivation to deepen his practice. In this way he — and we — come to see ourselves … Read more »

Taking your practice on to the streets

August 10, 2010

The image of meditators remaining aloof from the world, caught up in examining the metaphorical fluff in their mental bellybuttons, still lingers on despite the fact that many practitioners are deeply involved in social actions like feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, teaching prison inmates, and working to solve environmental issues.

Hopefully the first-ever Symposium for Western Socially Engaged Buddhism, organized by the Zen Peacemakers, will help put the myth of the disengaged meditator to rest, especially since the event’s speakers include some big names from the world of Buddhism (and beyond).

Starting Monday, Aug. 9 through Saturday, Aug. 14, influential pioneers of Western Socially Engaged Buddhism will speak and engage conversations

Read more »

Swami meditates upside-down over a bonfire, for world peace

As millions of religious-minded are visiting the ongoing ‘Maha Kumbh Mela’ or, the biggest religious bathing fair in Haridwar city of Uttarakhand, many holy men have become a major draw here for the unusual feats or the meditation methods.

One of such holy men is Swami Vijayananda. He has turned a star attraction here, as everyday he hangs himself upside-down for eight hours on a bonfire.

He says it is his way of performing penance for world peace and will continue meditating in this manner for 21 days.

Talking to the reporters Swami Vijayananda Maharaj said that he meditates in order to pray for world peace.

“This is a throne on which I am meditating … Read more »

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time.”

martin luther king jr“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation for such method is love.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I feel it when driving — that desire to get back at the person who cuts me off, or who tailgates, or who nearly hits my car while talking on a cellphone — that surge of fear and anger that causes the heart to beat faster and the hands to tighten around the steering wheel and the thoughts to turn to revenge. If I … Read more »