Meditation: easy or hard? Ten observations

September 29, 2015

wildmind meditation newsPeter Navratil, Huffington Post: I have read a quite a few blogs and articles on meditation recently, and I get a bit confused at why so many people describe their daily practice as a painful process. Some detailing a daily ritual that sounds like torture.

Then I remind myself to think back to when I first started or attempted to meditate. Yes it was mostly frustrating. I did experience aches and pains in my body which tended to dominate the process along with many random thoughts.

At about the same time I did a series of courses where I studied the Yoga Sutras. It …

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You need more than a book to learn loving-kindness

April 8, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Development of Lovingkindness / Metta Bhavana Kira M. Newman, GGSC: A new study suggests that experience trumps intellectual knowledge when it comes to fostering compassion.

If a visitor from another planet arrived on Earth and asked you about the meaning of love, would you point him to Greater Good‘s articles on the subject? Or would you try to do some intergalactic matchmaking?

This question speaks to the eternal debate between book knowledge and street smarts, theory and practice, knowing intellectually vs. knowing experientially.

Now, scholars from the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and Michigan State University have addressed …

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The progress question: like any artistic endeavor, meditation is a matter of practice

March 31, 2015

wildmind meditation newsKen McLeod, Tricycle: “I’ve been meditating for some time, but my mind seems just as chaotic and confused as when I started. Am I doing something wrong?”

Almost everyone who practices meditation has similar concerns, no matter how long they’ve been doing it—whether three weeks, three years, or three decades. When students confront me with the progress question, I just try to redirect their attention. I’ve found that the best thing is for them to just keep practicing.Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality, by Pema Chödrön (3 CD)

We call meditation “practice” for a reason …

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Why mindfulness is just the beginning

August 13, 2014

wildmind meditation newsDavid Mochel, The Huffington Post UK: Huffington Post, Forbes, New York Times, Bloomberg News, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Business Insider — articles on mindfulness are everywhere these days. It is difficult to avoid some mention of this ancient practice in the media. While it is most directly linked with Buddhism, the practice of using your attention on purpose and accepting external and internal events has been taught by the Stoics of Greece, as well as contemplatives from Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and many other faiths. The body of scientific evidence pointing to the physiological, psychological, and social benefits of this practice is large and …

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Kindness to you is kindness to me; kindness to me is kindness to you

June 11, 2014

PartnershipI usually describe a practice as something to do: get on your own side, see the being behind the eyes, take in the good, etc. This practice is different: it’s something to recognize. From this recognition, appropriate action will follow. Let me explain.

Some years ago I was invited to give a keynote at a conference with the largest audience I’d ever faced. It was a big step up for me. Legendary psychologists were giving the other talks, and I feared I wouldn’t measure up. I was nervous. Real nervous.

I sat in the back waiting my turn, worrying about how people would see me. I thought about how to look impressive and get approval. … Read more »

Ten tips for setting up a meditation practice

May 3, 2012

The benefits of meditation come with regular practice, and that means making it part of your life. That’s one of the great challenges of learning meditation, so here are ten tips for establishing a meditation practice.

1. Get some instruction

You can learn the techniques of meditation from books and CDs: there are some good ones around (check out our shop). But it helps a lot to learn from a real person.Take a course – or go to a class where you can ask questions about the issues. In time, it helps to have friends or even teachers who are more experienced meditators than you are.

2. Settle on a practice that suits you… Read more »

Mysticism: where the dharma rubber hits the road

April 29, 2008

iStock_000004953282XSmallIn Sunada’s view, mysticism isn’t about indulging in out-of-body experiences as a way of escaping the world. It’s about meeting the world head-on and learning directly from it. It’s about as practical as it gets.

If you’ve been reading my blog articles for a while, you may have gathered by now that I’m a rather down-to-earth sort of practitioner, with a keen interest in how meditation and Buddhist practice interplays with the practical aspects of our daily lives. So when I heard that this month’s topic was Mysticism, well, my first impulse was to take a pass. How does Mysticism relate to everyday life? Like Bodhipaksa (as he mentions in his related article), my … Read more »