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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: retreats

Wildmind Meditation News

Dec 24, 2010

Explaining why meditators may live longer

meditating on a pierThe image of the ancient but youthful-looking sage meditating on a mountaintop might be closer to reality than you think, according to a new study that found that after a three-month stay at a meditation retreat, people showed higher levels of an enzyme associated with longevity.

The study is preliminary and didn’t show that meditation actually extends life, but the findings suggest a possible means by which it could.

Researchers led by Tonya Jacobs of the University of California-Davis compared 30 participants at a meditation retreat held at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado with matched controls on a waiting list for the retreat. Participants meditated six hours per day …

Wildmind Meditation News

Aug 28, 2010

101 Places Not To See Before You Die

An Overnight Stay at a Korean Temple

In theory, an overnight stay at a Korean temple sounds like the perfect activity for anyone struggling to escape the pressures of modern life. You’ll meditate, you’ll learn about Buddhism, you’ll go vegetarian. Concerns and cares will slip away as you drift into a blissful state of conscious awareness.

Unfortunately, that’s not what it’s like.

I signed up for one of these sleepovers through a program called Templestay. Created in 2002 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism — the largest Buddhist order in Korea — the Templestay program aims to allow visitors to “sample ordained lifestyle and experience the mental training and cultural experience of Korea’s ancient Buddhist tradition.” In other words, it’s a chance …

Wildmind Meditation News

Aug 12, 2010

Thich Nhat Hanh to visit Malaysia

Renowned Vietnamese Buddhist monk and poet Thich Nhat Hanh, 84, leads retreats worldwide on the art of mindful living. He believes that we can learn to live in the present moment through “mindfulness”, rather than in the past and future. That is his key teaching.

“Dwelling in the present moment is the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world,” said Nhat Hanh, a Zen master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Fondly called Thây (Vietnamese for teacher) by his students, Nhat Hanh, who’s also a peace and human rights activist, lives in exile in Plum Village which he founded in 1982 in southwestern France. In this Buddhist “meditation community”, he teaches, writes and works to help …

Sunada Takagi

Aug 10, 2010

Living the Dharma

Sunset over Long Ridge near JikojiAs many of you know, I was away on a month-long meditation retreat during July. I have to say it was the most valuable thing I’ve done in years. It will take me a long time to digest and write about it, but here’s my first stab.

The retreat was at the Jikoji Zen Center in Los Gatos California. It’s about an hour south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the middle of acres and acres of nature conservation land (http://openspace.org/). My favorite spot, pictured, was along a west-facing ridge that overlooked vast tracts of mostly uninhabited mountains. The sunsets were …

Mandy Sutter

Aug 10, 2010

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

I made three resolutions for this year’s summer trip:

· be extra patient with my partner
· don’t drink wine every day
· meditate

By the end of week one however, wine bottles were chinking in campsite recycling bins, I’d shouted GET ON WITH IT several times and had only meditated once, on the first morning.

Something about good resolutions makes me do the exact opposite. I want to be a better person. But it’s as if my definition of ‘better’ doesn’t always win the rubber stamp of approval from some mysterious internal committee. And this committee has a habit of voting with its feet.

Earlier this year, for example, I booked onto a two-week …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 27, 2010

That misery called meditation

imsRobert Wright, the New York Times online columnist and author of The Evolution of God, is pretty much what you’d call a cynic. That’s why I was surprised when he spoke with such reverence of the period he spent meditating at a silent Buddhist retreat. “When I came out, I was quite different,” he told me. “It was one of the best things I’d ever done.”

What could bring such joy to a cynic? The way to find out was to go to Barre, Mass., home of the Insight Meditation Society, where Wright went on his pilgrimage many years ago. Founded in the 1970s by a group of Westerners who had spent …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 20, 2010

Get enlightened on Germany’s meditation trail

bavariaIn harmony with the rushing Ammer River, Norbert Parucha, our guide, recites Lao Tse. Poised on a rocky ledge overlooking the water, he stands craggy-faced and as solid as an ancient tree. He might be part of the mountain’s landscape but for the soothing melody of his speech and the rugged hiking boots on his feet.

Here, along the Ammergau Alps Meditation Trail, he calls us to contemplation. We stand, above the rapids, embraced by a belt of wine-bottle green pine trees and a smattering of moss-covered boulders. His words flow out into the brisk air and down to the water. It’s our job to catch them like summertime fireflies in a …

Sunada Takagi

May 19, 2010

Reconnecting with silence

paperworkBeing fresh off a retreat this past weekend, Sunada shares what it’s like to be in silence, and why it’s a good thing. Even if one doesn’t go on retreats, she thinks there are many reasons why it’s important to bring more silence into our lives.

A lot of the time we chatter just to fill the air. Not that talking is a bad thing. But sometimes we talk just because we’re uncomfortable with silence. We think of silence as the absence of something. It feels, well… empty. Not normal.

Wildmind Meditation News

May 14, 2010

Get meditative with Korean Air

Maybe it’s because air travel has become so stressful: Korean Air is now offering meditation, chanting and a Buddhist temple sleepover as part of a new “Templestay” tour.

Korean Air and Hanjin Travel have teamed up to offer travelers a peek – the tour lasts 24 hours – into the traditional culture of Korean Buddhism and let them relax and rediscover their “true selves” amid peaceful surroundings.

Visitors will get tours of five Korean temples, live the strict life of a Buddhist monk –wakeup time is 4 a.m. sharp – and take part in a formal monastic meal (no talking or wasting of food allowed) and ancient tea-sipping ceremony. There is also time allotted for …

Wildmind Meditation News

Oct 21, 2009

The Way of Mindfulness: A winter meditation immersion retreat

santa cruz mountainsOur good friends at the Triratna Buddhist Community’s San Francisco center are holding a winter meditation retreat. The annual winter meditation immersion retreat is held in silence, simplicity and spaciousness among the magical redwoods and madrones of the Santa Cruz mountains.

The program offers sustained periods of sitting and walking meditation, periods of instruction and guidance and the experience of living with a like-minded community of those curious to go deeper into meditation practice. Participants range from beginners just introduced to meditation to seasoned practitioners. Those introduced to meditation through an introductory course or drop-in class are welcome to join the retreat.

The four presences of mindfulness, body, feelings, mind and dhammas …