Also available online at http://www.wildmind.org/newsletter/200601.html

January 2006

Our Online Meditation Courses

A student writes...

"I've had wonderful results from the metta [lovingkindness] practice at the end of this week. Situations in which I would normally feel stressed or that I had to prove myself have been much different. When faced with people or a group, I send out metta and that seems to take away anxiety and change the dynamic."

Life member program

  "The Path of Mindfulness and Love" ($90)

  "Change Your Mind" ($90)

  "Awakening the Heart" ($90)

  "Entering the Path of Insight" ($90)

  Life Member Program ($175)

Course Schedules

Remember to plan ahead if you're interested in taking one of our courses. You can sign up for any course at any time.

Courses start on the following dates:

  Jan 2 to 27, 2006
  Feb 5 to Mar 3
  Mar 5 to 31
  Apr 3 to 28

Seven Great Reasons to take a meditation course online:

  1. Personal attention: In your online journal you’ll have an ongoing practice discussion with your teacher, who will give you encouragement and personal feedback based on many years’ experience of meditation.
  2. Depth: As you reflect in your journal, get feedback, and gain insights from learning new practices, you’ll take your meditation practice to a new level of effectiveness.
  3. Quality: Access to outstanding written and audiovisual materials online.
  4. Support: You’ll benefit from the discipline of a structured four-week course.
  5. Convenience: Log on when you want, fitting classes into your schedule when it’s convenient.
  6. Flexibility: Download audio files that will guide you through meditation at any time.
  7. Availability: There are many opportunities each year to take a course. See the dates above for details.

Dear Wildmind Subscriber,

Welcome to Wildmind's first newsletter of 2006. As usual, we bring you a round-up of the latest international news on meditation as well as news of Wildmind's meditation courses.

With the new year being a time of renewal and change, why not take the plunge and change your mind by joining one of our online meditation courses. Our courses give a thorough introduction to the art of stilling the mind and developing a more positive emotional outlook, and this month will be taught by a new member of the Wildmind team, Sunada. You can meet Sunada and read more about our courses below.


In this issue:

  • Wildmind's online courses
  • Welcome, Sunada!
  • Meditation in the news
  • Buddhism Behind Bars project
  • New material on Wildmind
  • Support our translation project
  • Quote of the month

Our next online meditation courses start next Monday, Jan 2.

Meditating has been shown in clinical studies to boost the cerebral cortex, to slow the brain's aging, to improve the body's ability to fight disease, and to promote feelings of wellbeing

If you've ever been curious to find out more about meditation's powerful potential for reducing stress, staying healthy, and for encouraging conscious relaxation, sign up for one of our convenient online meditation courses.

These four-week courses offer a content-rich experience and interactive experience, with online readings, guided meditations in MP3 and RealAudio format that you can download to your computer, a discussion forum, and personal attention in your online journal. And you have access to all these things 24/7.

Our courses are suitable for anyone from complete beginners to more experienced practitioners. You'll learn powerful techniques for reducing stress and developing patience, relaxation, and calmness in a friendly and supportive environment.

Our next online meditation courses -- from all levels from beginners onwards -- start Monday, January 2. Make sure you book your place now.

Welcome, Sunada!


Our December courses will be led by Sunada, an accomplished teacher who has just joined the Wildmind on a full time basis. Sunada has a background in hi tech and arts administration, and has been practicing meditation for over ten years.

Sunada leaves her position as administrator for the Boston Cecilia, a performing organization with an established reputation for its period-instrument performances of baroque music, especially the oratorios of Handel and works of Bach.

For many years Sunada taught meditation and Buddhism courses in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and she will be responsible for teaching our online courses and for expanding Wildmind's course offerings. You can look forward to hearing more news about that later in 2006.

We consider ourselves fortunate in having Sunada join us!

Meditation in the News

Once again we bring you a selection of significant news stories on the topic of meditation. Prominent this month are stories on how meditation can help with rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism, pain, and of course stress. Some sites may require registration.

Dec 28 'Art of Living' session for lock-up inmates (Daijiworld, India). Meditation course being held for inmates in Indian jail.

Dec 26 Incense for meditation (Llewellyn Journal, Minnesota). It’s a common practice to burn incense for ceremonies, rituals and meditation – but which ingredients are the best to use to promote this meditative state?

Dec 26 Indian guru brings message of joy through meditation (Asbury Park Press, New Jersey). For the past 25 years, Indian Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has helped millions of followers lead a more joyous and peaceful life through meditation.

Dec 25 Make peace with stress this season (Forbes). Tips on how to protect yourself by learning how to manage stress day by day.

Dec 24 Meditation good for gray matter, study finds (Post and Courier, South Carolina). Want to beat holiday stress? Get a thicker brain. How, you ask? Just say "om."

Dec 24 Meditation 'helps beat' alcohol cravings (ABC News, Australia). Professor says meditation can help people disengage from cravings and tolerate the discomfort associated with them.

Dec 23 Roman prison will begin offering meditation and yoga to inmates (Newstarget, Taiwan). In Rome, officials at the Velletri jail say they will soon admit Sahaja Yoga instructors into the prison to teach the prisoners, in hopes of providing inmates with greater mental and physical stability.

Dec 21 Think away the pain (Wired). A new technique helps patients significantly reduce pain simply by concentrating.

Dec 19 Writing from the quiet space within (Summit Daily News, Colorado). "I knew I had been avoiding my next level of writing as I walked into the funky mountain hideaway near Winter Park in September. And that's exactly why I went to the Rocky Mountain Contemplative Writing Retreat."

Dec 19 Unwrapping the present (Whittier Daily News, California) The good news is that even if you are a complete beginner, the benefits of meditation are available to anyone willing to give it a try.

Dec 16 Meditation Shown to Reduce Aging (Harvard Crimson, Massachusetts).
Study shows meditation to have long-term physical effects

Dec 15 Milleniary secrets of meditation (Granma, Cuba). Meditation improves health by exerting a positive influence on the immune system.

Dec 12 How to grow your brain (San Bernardino Sun, California). In several studies, researchers have presented evidence that regular meditation practice helps regulate both mental and physiological stress, improve health, increase lifespan, and cause measurable and fundamental changes in brain anatomy.

Dec 12 Be 'present' this holiday season (The Times, New Jersey). Instead of spending the next few weeks fretting about how you are going to eat just one cookie (or three cookies), consider taking up meditation.

Dec 12 Maryland study finds meditation helpful to rheumatoid arthritis patients (News Target). In recent studies, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found that meditation often benefits those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.

Dec 11 Meditation tips on how to overcome fear (Gulf Daily News, Bahrain). Fear is nothing more than a state of mind that can be changed with a positive outlook, says a meditation expert.

Dec 11 Even in the west, meditation may alter brain's physical structure (Austin American-Statesman, Texas). Rhythmic breathing and mind-clearing exercise not only calm and relax, but also appear to produce structural changes in the brain.

Dec 9 Meditation with meaning (tri-Town transcript, Massachusetts). Seven women sat in a circle last Monday morning, eyes closed, focusing on their breathing. The atmosphere was tranquil. Music played softly in the background...

Dec 9 trend of meditation remedies grows on campuses (Penn State Digital Collegian). A growing trend in the country that may reduce stress, create clearer thinking and help academic achievement is here. And it's not in pill form.

Dec 6 Quieting the discursive mind (St. Laurent News, Canada). Stephen Schettini's origins gave no hint of the life of contemplation and intense inwardness he eventually undertook for 30 years in the Buddhist monasteries of the Far East...

Dec 6 Meditation beats holiday stress (Florida Today). When life gets chaotic, meditation comes in handy

Dec 2 Graham: Why stress when you can meditate? (ASU Web Devil, Arizona). According to founder and executive director of the American Yoga Association, Alice Christensen, "Frequent meditation is key to beating burnout."

Dec 1 Talk shows ways to relieve stress (Daily eastern News, Illinois). Meditation and extra sleep are among the tips given to students at the "Stomping Out Stress" workshop Wednesday night.

Dec 1 Non-drug treatments may help adults stay focused (Lansing State Journal, Michigan). Yoga and meditation have been shown to be excellent adjunct therapies for ADD.

buddhism behind bars


Support the Buddhism Behind Bars project

Wildmind has been active since 2003 in the State Prison for Men in Concord, New Hampshire, working with inmates who have an interest in meditation or Buddhism.

Buddhism Behind Bars is a book that Wildmind plans to publish in late 2006 or early 2007. It will be a compilation of writings by inmates and prison volunteers from across the world. In it you'll read accounts of how meditation and Buddhist practice have transformed lives, bringing insight where there was delusion, kindness where there was violence, and peace where there was turmoil.

We're making contributing to Buddhism Behind Bars into an educational opportunity for inmates. Each writer is assigned a writing mentor who will help the prisoner to find his voice in order to tell his story effectively.

We will be making copies of Buddhism Behind Bars available free of charge to inmates. To help us reach as many inmates as possible, please consider making a donation to support our work.

New Material on Wildmind

We've posted a Russian translation of our guide to lovingkindness meditation at:

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our translation fund, helping us to continue this valuable work.

begging monk

Support our translation project

Our mission is to benefit the world by promoting awareness and compassion through the practice of meditation.

Join our list of benefactors! If you've benefited from our site and would like to give something back, then making a donation can help us enormously. You can give as little as a dollar, but of course feel free to give as much as you want!

All contributions (which are tax deductible) go to our translation fund, which aims to help us translate Wildmind into other languages in order to help people around the world develop mindfulness and compassion. We now have French and Spanish versions of the site online, and Chinese, Polish, and Russian versions are in preparation.

mahatma gandhi

Quote of the Month

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi

When we look at the world around us, with its many serious problems, including poverty, injustice, war, overpopulation, and environmental degradation, it's all too easy to become either angry and frustrated on the one hand or passive and despondent on the other. But not only are these responses ineffective at bringing about change, they are also part of the problem to begin with.

In order to bring about positive change in the world we need not only engagement with the outer world, but also engagement with our inner world. If we want to see greater awareness in the world, we have to cultivate awareness. If we want to see greater harmony and less strife we need to learn to become more adept at handling our emotions and learn to respond to frustrations with more patience and kindness than we do at present.

Meditation can of course help here -- a notion that Mahatma Gandhi would have agreed with. Meditation helps us to recognize unhelpful emotional patterns and to develop the mental freedom to choose more helpful responses. The cultivation of mindfulness helps especially with the former of these and the cultivation of lovingkindness helps us to find alternative and more compassionate responses.

It's not easy, but meditation helps us to be the change we wish to see in the world.





Copyright © 2005, Bodhipaksa.
Wildmind Meditation Services Inc., PO Box 212., Newmarket NH 03857, USA.

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