Wildmind Meditation News
Dec 08, 2010
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 they were doing and what they were thinking. The team …
Kim Bülow Bonfils
Nov 01, 2010
Zen 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 …
Wildmind Meditation News
Oct 14, 2010
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 with regards to Rev. Teijo Munnich, who is said to have been …
Sep 07, 2010
Writer 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 on our exploration …
Aug 31, 2010
Lokabandhu, 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 …
Aug 07, 2010
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 enthusiasm might erode over
Sep 16, 2009
The siren song of the sea calls surfers away from school, jobs, family, and in Jaimal Yogis’s case, even a monastery. But for this surfer, bobbing on waves might be the best place to practice Zen.
If you’re wondering what in blue blazes has surfing got to do with Zen, don’t worry–Yogis clears it up in the book’s introduction. He cites a teaching in Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind as his “all-time favorite Zen-surfing quote:
…I like to think he [Suzuki] had surfers in mind when comparing thought waves to ocean waves. He said, ‘Even though waves arise, the essence of mind is pure… Waves are the practice of water. To speak of waves
Jun 08, 2009
Thich Nhat Hanh can be a brilliant communicator, finding fresh and direct ways of reaching the heart. Can be. Find out why Gloria Chadwick was less than thrilled by his latest book.
When Bodhipaksa asked me to review Thich Nhat Hanh’s new book, Answers from the Heart: Practical Responses to Life’s Burning Questions, I immediately said yes. I’ve read many of his books and found them to be loving and peaceful.
In the spirit of honesty, I must say that I was disappointed with this book. It seems vague; most of the responses to questions asked are answered with an all-encompassing response of basically to be mindful of the emotion …
Mar 12, 2009
Susan Blackmore’s Ten Zen Questions may at first glance seem silly or pointless — “Where is this?” for example — but when approached with a focused mind they can be used to push back our assumptions and let us have a glimpse at what’s really going on.
Susan Blackmore is justifiably something of a superstar in the small but important and expanding world that exists where science and Buddhism overlap.
She’s well-known on the TED circuit for her work on “memes” — ideas and cultural phenomena understood as viral-like entities that “infect” our minds and compete for dominance.
She is a psychologist by training, has 25 years of Zen practice under her belt, …
Feb 15, 2009
So far there’s only been one episode of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, so perhaps it’s a bit early to be talking about overarching themes, leitmotifs, or its deeper meaning, but this is a show I’ve been long anticipating and so my mind was primed right for the start to resonate with any thematic elements to do with identity and selfhood – for that (I confidently announce, based on one episode and a trailer) is what Dollhouse is about.
But first to step back a little. Joss Whedon, the show’s creator, is most famous as the creative force behind (in chronological order) the seven seasons of the hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the …