Making the practice your own

January 4, 2012

When you first learn to meditate, it’s appropriate and helpful to take on structured practices. There are plenty of such practices available – ones for cultivating absorption, such as mindfulness of breathing, or for ‘positive emotion’, such as metta bhavana, or general overall mindfulness, such as systematically cultivating awareness of the ‘four foundations’ – body sensations, hedonic feeling-tone, mental activities and dhammas or ‘ultimates’.

Structure is usually very helpful for learning the ropes. All Buddhist practices are pragmatic – the main question to bear in mind is ‘is this working’? Is it effective in cultivating the quality that it’s intended to cultivate? If it is, then it makes sense to continue pursuing this approach as … Read more »

Eleven steps to inner clarity

April 26, 2009

diamondHow well can our views and convictions withstand the spotlight of awareness? Dhammavijaya show us how we can scrutinize our beliefs, and outlines the benefits of increased clarity.

What is a belief? Where do our beliefs come from? Are beliefs important and if so, why? Are all beliefs of equal value? If not, why not? How can we tell if our beliefs reflect the way things really are?

When I have put these questions to people in Buddhist centers recently the discussion they have provoked has been remarkably lively. Perhaps it is refreshing to be asked about our beliefs because so often we are simply told what to believe. This started early in life when, … Read more »