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Wildmind Meditation News

Dec 08, 2010

Zen meditation, a cure for unhappiness in South LA

As you read this article your mind is likely to wander off onto other thoughts; trouble at work, your evening plans, a mounting to-do list… and you might be all the more unhappy in life as a result of such distracted thinking.

According to a recent study in the November issue of Science Magazine, whether and where people’s minds wander is a better predictor of happiness than what they are doing. The study included more than 2,200 people around the world who agreed to use an iphone app called trackyourhappiness.

A team of Harvard psychologists contacted the participants at random intervals to ask how them how they were feeling, what … Read more »

Kim Bülow Bonfils

Nov 01, 2010

“Sex, Sin and Zen,” by Brad Warner

sex sin zenZen teacher and writer Brad Warner tells a story about the origins of this book. When Warner was visiting Montreal to deliver a talk on Zen, a rather eccentric member of the audience asked him: “Are Buddhists allowed to jack off?” He swiftly gave the short answer: “They’re encouraged to.”

The book “Sex, Sin and Zen” could be seen as the long answer to the same question. Or rather, to all the questions about Buddhism and its attitudes toward sex – if indeed such specific Buddhist attitudes exist.

Brad Warner has acquired a certain reputation as the “punk Buddhist” – a rock bass player turned Zen Buddhist and teacher – … Read more »

Wildmind Meditation News

Oct 14, 2010

Meditation in hospitals, and formidable women everywhere

Hospitals and meditation are coming together, what with the growth in mindfulness-based programs that started with Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction several decades ago. Sutter Hospital, in California, is one of the latest to add a Meditation Garden.

Meanwhile, at an Asheville, North Carolina, hospital, meditation is being used to help breast cancer patients. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, a study “found patients using the body/mind/medicine therapies, including guided imaging, reported lowered blood pressure, heart rates and anxiety levels.”

In military medicine circles, the army’s plans to build up mental ‘resilience’ in soldiers serving in Iraq include a meditation room with stained glass windows.

There’s an Asheville connection … Read more »

Renee Miller

Sep 07, 2010

“The Flowing Bridge,” by Elaine MacInnes

flowing bridgeWriter Renée Miller introduces a book on Zen koans written by Elaine Miller, who is both a Catholic nun and a Zen priest.

When we step to the edge of our experience and then have the courage to take yet one more step, we are often surprised to find that the anxiety we felt at taking that “one more step” vanishes in a whole new feeling of expansion. When it comes to religious thinking, we are accustomed to holding fast to our familiar patterns of belief and tradition because what we know or have been taught feels like a protection and security for us. The religion itself may put constraints … Read more »

Lokabandhu

Aug 31, 2010

“Together Under One Roof,” by Lin Jensen

Together Under One Roof by Lin JensenLokabandhu, a peace activist, finds Lin Jensen’s new book to be a moving evocation of Buddhism’s ethos of lovingkindness.

Together Under One Roof is Lin Jensen’s third volume, and follows in the footsteps of Bad Dog! and Pavement (already reviewed here). It’s a more slender volume than the others, but still a delightful read and in places very moving.

Like the others, it’s a series of essays in which he takes an ordinary event and reflects upon it, drawing out of it some nugget for reflection, some correspondence with the teachings of Buddha or Zen, some motivation to deepen his practice. In this way he — and we … Read more »

Bodhipaksa

Aug 07, 2010

Farewell, Robert Aitken Roshi

Robert Aitken

Photo credit: Robin Scanlon

Robert Aitken Roshi, one of the most influential and respected western teachers in the Zen tradition, has passed away. I have to confess that I’m not that familiar with his writings (so many books, so little time) but I’m glad that although the man is no longer with us, he leaves an extensive body of work. Here’s one example of his teaching that I came across.

Recently, an old-timer came to me and complained that he no longer felt enthusiasm for his practice. I questioned him and learned that he was limiting his zazen to his visits to the Zendo. I can understand how his

Read more »

Wildmind Meditation News

Jul 07, 2010

Purposeful Zen meditation (audio)

On the 21st of June 2010, Lynn Thompson, host of Living on Purpose, sat down with Wayne Codling to talk about his offering of Zen Meditation at Queenswood in Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, in Canada. This 13 minute conversation reveals Wayne’s warm gentle energy, and the path that continually brings him to this present moment.

Zen meditation teaches a mindfulness that excludes neither ordinary nor extraordinary experiences and how to integrate the beneficial potential of each moment. Beginners are always welcome.

Wayne holds a BA in Buddhist Studies and is a lineage holder in the Soto Zen School as founded by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi. A Zen monk for … Read more »

Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 26, 2010

Norman Fischer on meditation

A video transcript.

KATE OLSON, correspondent: It’s early morning along the Pacific Coast. Norman Fischer, a Buddhist priest who’s been teaching meditation for over three decades, opens a day of silent meditation for practitioners of Zen Buddhism.

NORMAN FISCHER (speaking to group): Thank you all for coming, and I hope everybody has a good day, a peaceful day, a day in which whatever needs to arise in your heart will do so.

OLSON: Other days, Fischer is at Google in Silicon Valley offering the same meditation practice to employees participating in a class called “Search Inside Yourself.”

FISCHER (speaking to class): Lengthen the spine, open the chest, and let your … Read more »

Wildmind Meditation News

May 13, 2010

Monk’s enlightenment begins with a marathon walk

Anyone who has run a marathon knows that feats of endurance require mental discipline — a way to fuse mind, body and spirit. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, a monk at a Zen Buddhist temple in Japan has walked a great distance — roughly the equivalent of the Earth’s circumference — as a form of physical and spiritual exercise.

On the side of Mount Hiei, overlooking the ancient capital of Kyoto, the wind whistles around a part of the Enryaku-ji temple complex. Inside, a small congregation of Buddhists recites sutras.

Leading the service is 34-year-old Zen monk Endo Mitsunaga, who manages one of the temples in the complex. His hands flow … Read more »

Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 19, 2010

Zen priest couple share love and much more

“She’s very easy to love,” Greg Fain, 53, says from the couch at the San Francisco Zen Center, where he lives, works and shares his life with Linda Galijan, 51. Both are priests here at the mother ship of American Zen practice; they teach meditation and hold various service positions in this large spiritual community.

“Greg cannot hold a grudge,” Linda replies. “He’s just not able to.”

Often during the telling of their story, these two circle back to their genuine appreciation for each other, and for the path they share. “Our practice comes first,” Greg says, “and from that our relationship is naturally supported.”

Their is “practice,” both explain, … Read more »