Also available online at http://www.wildmind.org/newsletter/200602.html

February 2006

Our Online Meditation Courses

A student writes...

"The readings were very thought provoking and gave me glimpses of insight and direction. But the most rewarding parts were your insights and encouragement. I feel renewed in my determination to continue down this path whole-heartedly. Thank you very much."

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

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

Upcoming course dates are:

  Feb 6 to Mar 3
  Mar 6 to 31
  Apr 3 to 29
  May 1 to 26

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

Dear Wildmind Subscriber,

In this month's issue, we bring you our usual monthly round-up of the latest international news on meditation -- including the Dalai Lama's involvement with neuroscience, continued research on meditation's health effects, and even how to meditate with your dog! We also feature news of Wildmind's meditation courses, as well as a review of a CD of guided meditations for children.


In this issue:

Our next online meditation courses start Monday, Feb 6.

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 February online courses will be led by Sunada, an experienced teacher who has been meditating for over ten years. Having established her own practice while working full-time in high tech and then in arts administration, she understands the challenges of balancing a meditation practice with a busy life.


Our next online meditation courses -- from all levels from beginners onwards -- start Monday, February 6. Make sure you book your place now.

Big Sky Mind Retreat, New Hampshire

Inside Aryaloka: The Meditation Hall

Enjoy the bright and spacious qualities of your mind on a week long meditation retreat! Join Bodhipaksa and Sunada from March 24-31 on an intensive silent retreat in New Hampshire's seacoast area.

This is an opportunity to experience letting go into the spacious, sky-like state of mindfulness. We'll explore the practice of dissolving the boundaries of the self, expanding it outwards until "self" and "other" have little or no meaning. We'll use a variety of forms of the mindfulness of breathing practice and walking meditation in order to stabilize the mind, and we'll use the six element practice in order to let go of our limited ways of seeing ourselves, and to enjoy seeing ourselves as part of an interconnected reality.

Aryaloka is one of New Hampshire's most unusual buildings: two wood-framed geodesic domes tucked away in the New England forest, but only an hour from Logan International Airport in Boston, and 45 minutes from Manchester (NH) Airport.

You can read further details, including how to book your place, on Aryaloka's web site.

Meditation in the News

Jan 27 Meditation, relaxation work equally well for anxiety disorders. (Health Behavior News Service). Meditation helps patients cope with anxiety disorders, but no more than other relaxation techniques, according to a new review of studies.

Jan 26 Meditation calms the mind and body (Lincoln Journal Star). If the origin of stress is in the mind, it only makes sense that relief from stress must come through the mind as well. One way to accomplish this is through meditation.

Jan 25 Buddha on the brain (Wired). The hot new frontier of neuroscience: meditation! (Just ask the Dalai Lama.)

Jan 24 Talking up Enlightenment (Free Tibet). Neuroscientists hear - and applaud - the Dalai Lama

Jan 22 Doggies beware: Book tells owners benefits of meditation (Mississippi Press). James Jacobson states that "Dogs are natural mediators, and this gift book introduces a non-dogmatic approach to meditation that gives people and their dogs a whole new leash on life."

Jan 20 Find inner peace with your pooch (The Columbian, Washington). Dog lovers ready to advance beyond "sit," "stay," "shake" and "heel" can add a new word to their pets' vocabulary. try "Ommmmmm."

Jan 20 Meditation goes to work (Minneapolis Star tribune). When conflict and stress hit you at work, try looking East to calm yourself and find better ways to cope.

Jan 19 Serenity finds a home (News Journal, Delaware). Sacred space can inhabit a quiet, uncluttered corner or a specially designed room.

Jan 16 The art of peaceful thinking (INQ7, Philippines). “So many of us who were marching against war were such angry people. We were so aggressive. We were campaigning for peace but we were such peace-less people. And what I realized was that we’d never make a peaceful world with that sort of attitude.”

Jan 15 Winter can be perfect time for meditation (Journal Star, Nebraska). The quiet of winter is perfect for meditation. But if weather-imposed rest makes you restless and introspection leads to self judgment and despair and like the dreaming bears you crave Twinkies and chips, try to take it easy on yourself.

Jan 14 Reviews of recent books on faith and values (Wichita Eagle, Kansas). "How to Meditate With Your Dog" by James Jacobson.

Jan 13 More good news about meditation (Consumer Affairs). Study finds TM can reduce cholesterol buildup

Jan 11 More Americans turn to Buddhism (VOA). In recent decades, there has been a growing interest in the spiritual traditions of Asia, especially Buddhism.

Jan 12 Stevens: Meditation: an oasis from everyday stress (Danvers Journal, Mass.). It's the beginning of a new year, and among the many new year's resolutions, there is one that many of us should consider choosing ... reducing stress.

Jan 10 Union federation demands right to meditation at work (NIS News Bulletin, Netherlands). Union will demand the right to meditation and a silent space at work in future negotiations.

Jan 10 Meditation and the brain (Technology Review). New imaging technology makes it possible for scientists to document the brain activity of Buddhist monks.

Jan 7 Doll a tool in meditation (Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio). Spiritual exercises create well-being, inner peace during stressful times; chakra can be an aid

Jan 7 Finding meditation, losing stress (Newsday). Meditation "totally transformed my experience in the classroom, and it transformed my relationship with people."

Jan 5 Meditation associated with increased grey matter in the brain (Xagena, Italy). A new study by researchers from Yale, Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows meditation also is associated with increased cortical thickness.

Jan 2 Key to stress-free success (Gulf Daily News, Bahrain). People can achieve success in a competitive world without any stress through meditation, a visiting expert said yesterday.

Jan 1 Pursue peace through meditation (Roanoke Times, Virginia). Letter from a therapist, regarding meditation.

buddhism behind bars


Support the Buddhism Behind Bars project

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 about how meditation and Buddhist practice have transformed lives. We're making this project 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 also make 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.

begging monk

Support our translation project

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

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 are tax deductible and go to our translation fund, which aims to help us translate Wildmind into other languages. We now have French and Spanish versions of the site online, and Chinese, Polish, and Russian versions are in preparation.

Helen Keller

Quote of the Month

"A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships."
Helen Keller

It gives me pause to read these words from a woman who was profoundly deaf and blind from the age of two. If anyone could be said to have struggled with hardship, Helen Keller would be one of the tops. And yet, she was known for her unflagging optimism and tireless activism for racial and sexual equality at a time when such ideas were scorned and ridiculed. Where does such courage come from?

We all endure pain and hardship, some more than others. This is an unfortunate fact of life that nobody can change. What we CAN change, however, is the stories we tell ourselves. Too often, we prolong our pain by wishing for a future that cannot be, or by looking back nostalgically at a past we've lost. Or we get angry or depressed about a situation that's gone beyond our control. The alternative path is to take steps toward changing our lives by seeing clearly what is here and now.

Meditation is a powerful tool that enables us to see ourselves and our world as they truly are. When we let go of our self-defeating "stories" and see things in their naked truth, we begin to see possibilities for changing our lives and moving forward again. We then have a choice: to move forward toward greater happiness, or to stay where we are in our pain.

We can all take a lesson from Helen Keller's example. She faced seemingly insurmountable odds and yet continued to put one foot in front of the other, every day. And look where it took her. We, too, can change our lives for the better. Whether we take up that challenge is up to us.

- Sunada

Still Quiet Place CD

CD of the Month

Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Young Children
by Dr. Amy Saltzman ($14.95)

If you've ever wondered how you could introduce the life skill of meditation to your children, here's a delightful CD that will help you do just that. Still Quiet Place is a series of guided meditations for children (ages three or older) that gently leads them to find and appreciate the 'treasure' within themselves. With each track, Dr. Amy Saltzman helps children to explore a different aspect their inner world, including an awareness of their physical bodies and emotions, and begin to trust their own inner wisdom.

And it's not all about stillness and quiet. One track, called "wilds", begins with a driving drumbeat and asks, "Do you sometimes feel wild, or crazy, or silly? Like a volcano about to erupt or a hurricane twirling around?" Dr. Saltzman honors the whole child, including the giggly, high-energy side, and encourages young people to fully experience all of their emotions and inner world.

For older children, there are a couple longer tracks on simple yoga poses and a full body scan. And there's even something for parents, too. Dr. Saltzman says in her 'adult intro' that the greatest source of children's stress is not school, peer pressure or over-scheduling, but parental stress. So the last track is for you, the grown-ups -- a brief mindfulness meditation of about 13 minutes, to help you slow down and bring your awareness to the present moment.

Overall, this is a wonderful CD that can give your children a solid start toward becoming happier and healthier adults in the future.

Click to purchase Still Quiet Place through our online store.

Copyright © 2006, Bodhipaksa.
Wildmind Meditation Services Inc., PO Box 212., Newmarket NH 03857, USA.

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