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Wildmind Meditation News

Dec 30, 2011

The real Buddha Bar, tended by Tokyo monks

Another Friday night at this tiny neighborhood watering hole in Tokyo: By 7:30, the bar stools and tables in this cozy joint are filling up; office workers settle in with their cocktails and Kirin beers. And by a little after 8, it’s time for the main act.

Vow’s Bar in the Yotsuya neighborhood has no house band, no widescreen TV, no jukebox. But it does have a chanting Buddhist monk so tipplers can get a side of sutras with their Singapore Slings or something even more exotic.

A pair of younger monks — conspicuous with their shaved heads, bare feet and religious garb — man …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Nov 03, 2011

Steve Jobs’ private spirituality now an open book

Daniel Burke: He considered moving to a Zen monastery before shifting his sights to Silicon Valley, where he became a brash businessman.

He preached about the dangers of desire but urged consumers to covet every new iPhone incarnation.
“He was an enlightened being who was cruel,” says a former girlfriend. “That’s a strange combination.”

Now, we can add another irony to the legacy of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs: Since his death on Oct. 5, the famously private man’s spiritual side has become an open book.

A relative recounted his last words for The New York Times. A new biography traces his early quest for enlightenment …

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Wildmind Meditation News

Oct 27, 2011

Professors practice Buddhism, have zendo for community practice

Ben Harris: Practicing Buddhism is more of a lifestyle than a religion for Don Socha and Brigitte Bechtold.

Socha, a lecturer at Central Michigan University, has been formally practicing Buddhism since 2000. He said he met a monk who taught in CMU’s Spanish department who introduced him to groups in Montreal where he went for meditation sessions.

He was ordained Bodhisattva in 2002. He said a Bodhisattva is someone who has devoted his or her life to the Buddhist precepts, such as not stealing and not lying.

“In a sense, we’re trying to alleviate suffering in the world. It’s one of the Four Noble Truths,” he …

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Danamaya

Sep 05, 2011

“Hand Wash Cold” by Karen Maezen Miller

This is my first time reviewing a book for Wildmind. I agreed to write this on Bodhipaksa’s recommendation that this book might be “up my alley” since one strong interest I have is in how the Dharma works for me in my life right here and right now. This is how Karen Maezen Miller’s book, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life, came into my hands.

Another thing I especially delight in is books written by women. Sexism is a meme that’s still alive and well in the world, and I love coming upon anything that tends to dispel that kind of malignant influence. Dharma books by …

Akashavanda

Jun 13, 2011

The Open-Focus Brain, by Dr. Les Fehmi & Jim Robbins

My first read of The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body, by Dr. Les Fehmi and Jim Robbins, generated mild interest in the science behind Dr. Fehmi’s techniques and descriptions of case studies using the techniques.

However, the night I listened to the guided exercises on the attached CD, I had one of the most relaxed, light, and blissful experiences I’ve had in the last eleven years as a serious meditator.

I was able to reach a state I’ve only accessed during long silent meditation retreats.

The Buddhist concept of emptiness came vividly alive in my body, whereas before it had been mostly an …

Bodhipaksa

Jun 06, 2011

Loving Touch: An extract from “How to Train a Wild Elephant”

elephantThe following extract from Jan Chozen Bays’ How to Train a Wild Elephant is reproduced with the permission of the publisher, Shambhala Publications, Inc.

The Exercise: Use loving hands and a loving touch, even with inanimate objects.

REMINDING YOURSELF

Put something unusual on a finger of your dominant hand. Some possibilities include a different ring, a Band-aid, a dot of nail polish on one nail, or a small mark made with a colored pen. Each time you notice the marker, remember to use loving hands, loving touch.

DISCOVERIES

When we do this practice, we soon become aware of when we or others are not using loving hands. We notice how groceries are thrown into the shopping …

Vicky Matthews

Jun 02, 2011

“You are Here” by Thich Nhat Hanh

“Happiness is possible,” Thich Nhat Hanh reassuringly begins the three-CD audiobook You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment.

I arrive back from two months in India and twenty days of Vipassana insight meditation retreat, where I was practicing mindfulness, and waiting for me on my doorstep is a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s You Are Here

It promises to offer simple and effective practices for cultivating mindfulness. Perfect, I think to myself as I try to maintain the few remaining grains of equanimity I had cultivated back in India. 

Title: You Are Here
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Read by: Lloyd James
Publisher: Shambhala
ISBN: 978-1-59030-727-4
Available from: Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.com.

Thich Nhat Hanh …

Bodhipaksa

Apr 17, 2011

How to Train a Wild Elephant, by Jan Chozen Bays

elephantI remember that “wow” moment when I first read Thich Nhat Hanh’s now-classic The Miracle of Mindfulness, in which he outlines, very simply and with a sense of authenticity, powerful and effective methods of bringing mindfulness practice into daily life, such as washing the dishes as if they were sacred objects, and eating mindfully.

That “wow,” was uttered repeatedly, in with an even greater degree or reverence and appreciation, while I was reading How to Train a Wild Elephant, which is a worthy successor to Thich Nhat Hanh’s earlier work, taking the teaching of mindfulness practice to a new level.

I had heard of Jan Chozen Bays, mainly in the context of …

Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 04, 2011

Meditation improves meetings

Ten minutes of meditation before a meeting could significantly improve its outcome, according to research by the Kyoto Convention Bureau.

A group of 20 did five separate exercises – including memory, language, comprehension and listening tests – on two separate occasions, 12 days apart.

Before the first session there was no preparation, but before the second participants each did a 10-minute meditation exercise.

The study found that after the second session delegates showed an average improvement of 12.5% in completing the tasks.

The largest individual improvement across all the tasks was 21%, while the smallest individual improvement was 2%.

Reverend Matsuyama, a Zen Buddhist priest, who…

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conducted the meditation session, said: “It is a simple principle; if your …

Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 18, 2011

Zen master: Religion distracts from universal truth

As they say, the more you do it, the more it happens. No one may relate to this better than Zen master Miao Tsan. If you have ever experienced a “Zen moment,” you can perhaps imagine how Tsan must feel, since he made a habit of these moments that now comprise his existence.

Master Tsan, the abbot of Vairocana Zen Monastery in California, who spent 20 years as a monk searching for enlightenment, teaches internationally through lectures and guided meditations that religious institutions and traditions only allow for harmful patterns that distract us from the universal truth.

He relates the idea in his book Just Use This Mind: Follow the Universal Truth of Oneness of Mind, Body and Spirit, a best-seller in …