An ode to solitude: the beauty of just sitting

October 6, 2015

wildmind meditation newsGabriela Maya Bernadett, Tiny Buddha: “I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Meditation makes you realize it’s not so much the silence as it is the not being around people that’s so profound. No human interaction, a human break if you will, is its own simple kind of joy.

Who knew that as a species who can’t function without the social ties of community, it is solitude that re-charges us and gives us the strength to go out into the big, bad world and interact with that lovely mess I like to call humanity?

In our hyper …

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Meet the monk who spent spent 19 years in one room after China invaded Tibet

March 20, 2012

Joyce Morgan, Sydney Morning Herald: After China invaded Tibet in 1959, a young monk went into solitary confinement. He remained in a tiny dark room in the capital Lhasa for 19 years.

Choden Rinpoche’s confinement was self-imposed and he spent the two decades secretly meditating and reciting sacred texts he had memorised.

Rinpoche had none of the ritual objects, no altar, or books associated with a monk, just a set of rosary beads he hid under his blanket. Even retaining these was dangerous.

“If you kept even one scripture text, that is a serious crime – more serious than keeping a gun,” he said through an …

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600 years of solitude, by Michael Chaskalson (Kulananda)

October 28, 2008

Skelig islands. Original image copyright Ian MulvanyOn the Irish isle of Skellig Michael, Celtic Monks once pursued a tough life of meditation. Kulananda (Michael Chaskalson) feels a connection across the centuries with these vanished contemplatives, and senses a continuity between his own efforts and theirs.

I am traveling about the Kerry coast with the team that runs the Dublin Meditation Center. As the Center’s president, I visit from time to time, helping out where I can. We are getting to know one another better, getting to know Ireland together, adventuring around its glorious coastline on a kind of pilgrimage.

One evening we set out in search of a place to hold an impromptu meeting: three members of the Western Buddhist Order … Read more »

Blaise Pascal: “All of man’s misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room”

October 25, 2008

Blaise Pascal Everyone is prey to distractedness, to seeing solace in activity as an escape from experiencing ourselves. In fact this is one of the major obstacles to a meaningful life. Bodhipaksa argues, however, that the force underlying our distractedness is a creative one, and that properly channeled it can take us all the way to enlightenment.

I’ve always been fond of this saying from Pascal’s Pensées, which reminds me that not being at peace with ourselves is a human condition rather than a uniquely modern one. All people at all times have suffered the pains of boredom, self-doubt, loneliness, irritability, restlessness, and anxiety that come from not being at peace with ourselves. I’ve experienced my … Read more »

Being an introvert in an extroverted world

October 23, 2008

tree at sunsetIntroverts can feel at a disadvantage when everybody else around them seems so comfortably extroverted. But Sunada feels that the world benefits from the influence of qualities that come naturally to introverts. She explores ways that quieter types can be more “out there” without having to compromise who they really are.

Are you an introvert? When you’re feeling tired or stressed out, do you prefer to be by yourself – and do things like curl up with a book, soak in a hot bath, or go for a walk alone? If you’re a meditator, chances are pretty good you’ve got introvert tendencies. I definitely do.

 We pause and reflect before we speak … we’re conscientious

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