Why meditate?

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Eight Step Recovery

On the 17th of November I will be releasing the 21 Day Meditation Recovery to listen to or download free. It’s a short course in meditation to accompany our book, Eight Step Recovery: Using the Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction, which will be published in January in the UK and in March in North America.

For a free sample chapter of Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings To Overcome Addiction please email: eightstepsrecovery@gmail.com

Each meditation is about 15 minutes long. It’s a bite-sized length – perfect for people with busy lives who find it hard to make time or if some of you struggle with longer meditations. The meditations cover a range of topics including mindfulness, loving-kindness, ethics, wisdom and mantras. All the meditations have some background music which can help you to stay focused on the subject of the meditation.

These meditations are special because friends donated there time, creativity and expertise as a gift of generosity to make these recordings free. When you register you will learn who the people were who made these meditations possible.

I asked a few friends: ‘Why meditate?’

  • ‘First and foremost, I’m a simple recovery guy and it is the focus point of the 12-Steps. What ignites me each day to practice, is meditation encourages me to stay awake and be present for my life, which is enough, which is everything.’ Tom Catton, author of the Mindful Addict
  • ‘I meditate for many reasons but above all I meditate for insight, guidance and direction into the nature of mind; it’s a sort of spiritual SatNav pointing to the path away from suffering,’ Vince Cullen, Founder of Meditation for Abstinence and Recovery –Fifth Precept Sangha
  • ‘Some people meditate for a purpose—for stress reduction, anger management, physical and mental health, enhanced athletic or artistic performance, or whatever the reason might be. And that’s totally fine. Meditation can be very beneficial for all of those things. But what I would call true meditation is not a doing. It has no purpose, no goal, no use. It is simply being here now. Not being here now in order to achieve something or get somewhere or get rid of something or change something, but being here now with no agenda. Meditation is simply awareness. It allows everything to be just as it is, without chasing anything or pushing anything away. Meditation is a kind of open looking and listening rooted in a spirit of curiosity, interest and love. It can be done in an intentional way, which is how we usually think of meditation, as deliberately sitting down and meditating. In that case it is a kind of simplified space where we stop all the usual doing, the “sound and fury” of daily life—and we sit relatively still, without talking, turn off the TV and the stereo and the phone and all the various devices, put down the books and magazines, and simply BE, Here / Now, awake and present. We allow what we often overlook or avoid to come into the light of awareness. We see patterns of habitual, conditioned thought that we hadn’t seen before, and we discover the open, spacious aliveness of bare being. In simply being present with no goal or purpose, a space opens up where nothing is lacking. Stories that have seemed so real dissolve into silence and what remains is beyond words. ‘ Joan Tollifson an author of several books, who uses her personal experience to explore non duality and awareness
  • ‘I meditate because, while profound change can potentially happen anywhere and anytime, meditation offers the best set of conditions for that to happen. There are times when it seems I don’t want or need to meditate, but I simply have never found a better alternative.’ Satyadhana, a Sanskrit and Pali scholar
  • ‘Only the meditation pillow grows sweet calm and clear insight’ Bhikkhu Samahita – Theravadin Monk.
  • ‘I meditate to step into the vastness that is always there.’ Florence Caplow – Zen Priest and editor of Hidden Lamp:Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women
  • ‘I recognize meditation as one of the most direct methods for growth and working with tendencies. Right now my body feels charged with a happiness that makes me feel like laughing…. Ed Cooper, Going For Refuge Mitra in the Triratna Sangha
  • ‘I meditate because I love to be reminded that love and openness are always just there.’ Padmadharani – Meditation Teacher and Writer
  • I hope some of these quotes inspire you to take part in the 21 Day Meditation for Recovery – and Busy Lives. It has been said it takes 21 days to change a habit, so how about creating a new habit, 15 minutes of mediation daily. What was the Buddha doing when he became enlightened? Meditating. This answer says it all. Meditation is revolutionary and continues to revolutionize my life.
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