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 …
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 intellectual understanding. Not only … Read more »
The 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.
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.
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 … Read more »
“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.
… Read more »
Title: You Are Here
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Read by: Lloyd James
I 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 quotations … Read more »
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…
conducted the meditation… Read more »
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 … Read more »
The emotional undertow of aging, I think, is a feeling of loss — Loss of youth, loss of dreams, loss of possibility.This quality is what used to be referred to as mid-life crisis. Other phrases have come into vogue now — such as the cheery “60 is the new 40” — but the undertow of such homilies is still loss. Is there some way out of this sense of loss, some fresh point of view that assuages the pain of it? Actually, there is. Aging is not a matter of years — forty, sixty, eighty — but of life process. Everything is aging, all the time. We age from our first breath. The problem is
If asked about the Zen Buddhist Temple on Packard Street in Ann Arbor, most people would probably think of the wall that separates the temple from the street.
“The wall is there not to separate us from the rest of the town,” said senior member Catherine Brown of Ann Arbor.
It serves, instead, as noise barrier. Silence plays a key role in a Zen Buddhist service.
Upon entering the temple, those in attendance sit in quiet meditation for about 20 minutes. This is repeated at the end of service.
Meditation is integral to the Zen Buddhist belief system. Meditation is how Siddharta Gautama reached enlightenment to become the first Buddha, according to tradition.
Kim McCusker … Read more »