awareness

Always craving chocolate? Meditation could help

wildmind meditation newsEmma Innes, MailOnline: Buddhist mediation could be the key to cutting chocolate cravings, new research has revealed. A study found that achieving ‘a sense of detachment’ through mindfulness mediation can reduce cravings. The Canadian researchers say identifying and distancing oneself from certain thoughts – without judging them – weakens chocolate cravings among people with a sweet tooth.

‘There is now good evidence that mindfulness strategies generally work at managing food cravings, but we don’t yet know what aspect of mindfulness and what mechanisms are responsible for these effects. This is what motivated this research,’ said lead study author Julien Lacaille, a psychologist at McGill University. …

Read the original article »

Read More

Athletes using meditation to improve performance

wildmind meditation newsIlene Raymond Rush, The Inquirer: For 15 minutes a day, Tim Frazier, Penn State’s senior point guard, finds a quiet place, switches on a podcast, and meditates. Along with his teammates, Frazier, the team’s all-time leader in assists, has found that practicing mindfulness meditation – focusing on the breath with his eyes closed and becoming aware of his thoughts without judging them – has amped up his performance on the court.

“The game moves so fast, it’s hard to focus on the here and now,” said Frazier, who is pretty fleet of foot himself. “Meditation slows me down [mentally], keeps me more relaxed and more …

Read the original article »

Read More

Key points of awareness, Part II

Concentration

  • Concentration has two central factors: applying attention to an object and sustaining it there, like an ice skater plants her foot (applying) and then glides along (sustaining).
  • When you practice formal concentration, keep returning attention to the object (e.g., breath, sensation, emotion, memory of your mother), fully aware of it, absorbed in it. If other thoughts, concerns, plans, etc. bubble up, let them arise but don’t follow them, and keep giving your full attention to the object.
  • When doing concentration, don’t be tense or hard on yourself, but serious and intent, like a cat watching at a mousehole. Set a bit of your attention to watching how well you are staying concentrated, like a guardian, and to alert you to bringing your attention back if it starts to wander.
  • Let each moment with the object be fresh. For example, notice the qualities of each breath.
  • To help yourself be concentrated, especially in the beginning of practicing, you can experiment with counting breaths (up or down from ten; if you forget where you are, just start over) or with a soft mental note naming the object (e.g., “rising” [belly with the breath], “sadness,” “planning”)
  • Useful objects of concentration: sensations of the breath around the nostrils or heart or belly; the feeling tone of positive/neutral/negative of each experience; good intentions, lovingkindness toward yourself or others (e.g., “May my body be at ease.” “May I feel safe.” “May I have happiness and the causes of happiness.” “May my father be at peace.” “May my daughter be healthy.”
  • When doing concentration meditations, you may experience feelings of bliss, happiness, and one-pointedness; without striving, you can invite these feelings to arise and see what happens.

Also see:

Mindfulness

  • Anchored by background attention to a benign object – often the breath – mindfulness is a spacious, inclusive awareness of whatever is arising. Since that keeps changing, the trick of mindfulness is to stay aware of each part of the passing parade without getting sucked in.
  • Experiment with dividing your awareness between the breath (or perhaps an image or a mantra) and the flow of experience.
  • You could explore the four classic objects of mindfulness: (A) the body in all its sensations (notably, the breath), (B) the feeling tone of experience, (C) all the other psychological phenomena of thoughts, feelings, desires, etc., and (D) consciousness itself (so that you are aware of awareness).
  • And you can explore mindfulness while sitting quietly, walking, talking, or doing other actions.

See the Nature of Experience

  • Focused awareness lets you see into the fundamental nature of all experiences: Constantly changing; the result of endless prior causes; cascading along without need for an “I,” a self; never affecting awareness itself — accepting these facts brings great wisdom and peace of mind.
  • Notice that when we resist our experience . . . or scold ourselves for having it . . . or cling to some part of it . . . or fill it with self . . . . or think it will last . . . —– then we feel bad and suffer.

Know Your Innate Goodness

  • See the facts of your good qualities, like any other objectively true thing.
  • Be aware of any resistance to th at knowing. Let it flow and go.
  • Reflect on your: Good intentions. Kindness toward others. Good character qualities.
  • Sense your own essential being: conscious, interested, benign: a peaceful happy abiding.
Read More

Key points of awareness, Part I

Keys to Awareness

  • Feel that your own well-being and functioning matters. Get on your own side; be for yourself. Question: How many people does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one. But the light bulb has to want to change.
  • Cultivate wanting to be in reality, to know the facts of the inner and outer worlds. Know and trust that your greatest safety and hope is in seeing what’s true, no matter what it is. Whenever you move into awareness/observation mode, you instantly distance yourself from things (inside or outside yourself) that are painful, and center yourself in a place that is inherently calmer and wiser than just reacting. And the only way you can intervene in your experience or your environment in order to make things better is by knowing what the facts are and what has caused them to be.
  • Bring compassion and kindness to yourself and to whatever your awareness finds. Hold your innermost feelings and longings with the sensitivity and concern you should have received as a child.

Also see:

“Bare Witnessing”

  • Be a neutral watcher of your experience and the outer world, an “observing ego.” “No praise, no blame.” “Just the facts, ma’am.” “Don’t know mind.”
  • Your observing awareness is separate from experience and world. You have thoughts, etc., but you are not the thoughts, etc., themselves. Know your experience without identifying with it. You are being with your experience, but not caught or hijacked by feelings, wants, etc. Watch the movie without jumping into the screen.
  • We all repeatedly get sucked into our experience and lose the peaceful detachment of observing it. Don’t worry, don’t scold yourself, just return to an awareness of whatever’s arising.

Awareness Is Never Tainted or Harmed

  • Awareness is like a screen on which experience and the outer world register, “like a pond on which shadows are cast by geese flying overhead,” but it is never sullied or changed by the passing show. No experience can hurt consciousness itself, the essence of who you are.
  • Allow whatever is there in awareness to be present, without resistance. Sincerely and resolutely push through any reluctance to seeing the truth, both good news about yourself (often the hardest to let in!) and the world, and painful or dark things. Accept the way it is. Receive it, don’t fight it.

Active Inquiry

  • Actively peer into yourself, like a scientist. Inquire, turn over stones, look ever more deeply. The textures of experience and the landscapes of personality are endlessly interesting.
  • Track both the breadth and depth of your experience. “Breadth” means the full spectrum of: thoughts, feelings, sensations, wants, images, memories. “Depth” means looking down into the layered mosaic of the self, which includes (A) structure (e.g., traits, sub-personalities, fundamental values), (B) softer, more vulnerable material beneath rigid positions and anger, and (C) material from childhood beneath here-and-now adult reactions.
  • Look for recurring patterns, “psychodynamics,” what leads to what.
  • Develop a model of yourself, a growing picture. Be guided by knowing “the usual suspects.”

Awareness and Attention

  • Awareness is about attention: a spotlight illuminating objects.
  • Attention is knowing: “Breathing in, know that you are breathing in.”
  • Concentration is a tight “beam” of attention on something, like the breath or a specific emotion. Mindfulness is a more diffuse, free-floating attentiveness to the whole of your experience. Getting better at both through informal and formal practice is the foundation of skillful awareness.

Stay tuned for Part II of this post offering additional key points to awareness such as concentration, mindfulness, seeing the nature of experience and knowing your innate goodness.

Read More

Feel the support

We’re all carrying a load, including tasks, challenges, worries, inner criticism, mistreatment from others, physical and emotional pain, loss and illness now or later, and everyday stresses and frustrations.

Take a moment to get a sense of your own load. It’s very real, isn’t it? Recognizing it is just honesty and self-compassion, not exaggeration or self-pity.

There’s a fundamental model in the health sciences that how you feel and function is based on just three factors: your load, the personal vulnerabilities it wears upon – such as health problems, a sensitive temperament, or a history of trauma – and the resources you have. As a law of nature, if your load or vulnerabilities increase – over a day, a year, or a lifetime – so must your resources. Otherwise, inevitably, you will get strained, depleted, and ground down. I’ve had times like this myself, and I’ve seen it in loved ones.

Outer resources are things like friends, health insurance, and a well-stocked refrigerator; inner resources include fortitude, positive emotions, and a kind heart. Do what you can to increase your outer resources, though many people have sadly few options there, such as the million or so children in America who are homeless every year. Meanwhile, you can grow your inner resources by taking in the good to build up inner strengths – including the felt sense of support.

The more you feel supported by the people that care about you, by the natural world, and by your own capabilities, the better you’ll feel. Plus your load won’t seem so heavy, and you’ll be more able to carry it. There’s also the matter of justice: if the support is real and is there for you, it is only fair for you to feel it. And the more supported you feel, the more supportive you’ll be toward others.

How?

In the practices that follow just below, you are not overlooking the ways that you are not actually supported. You are just focusing on that part of the whole truth that is the support that truly does exist for you. In particular, you are trying to help this recognition become an experience, a feeling of being supported, which might be subtle, but could still have a sense of ease, relief, calming, or happiness in it.

Try to make feeling supported a regular part of your day. For example, yesterday I went out for a walk and took a few seconds here and there to feel supported by my legs, the air I was breathing, the rock and roll mix in my earbuds, the technology that brought me this music, and the chance to watch some baseball with our son when I got back home.

Start with something that is literally solid and concrete. Sitting, standing, or walking, become aware of how your bones are holding you up. Shift your posture until there is a clear sense of being firmly supported. There could also be a sense of uprightness, dignity, or strength. Really register this whole experience of very physical support.

Also be aware of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling. Pick a sense and notice how it keeps working for you, probably without any effort on your part.

Know what it is like to support someone in your life: things don’t have to be perfect between you, but you still wish this person well and are basically on his or her side. Then bring to mind someone who you know cares about you. Also touch on others who wish you well, like you, or are rooting for you in some way. Soften and open to get a sense of this support; just like it would be OK for another person to feel your support, it is alright for you to feel the support of others.

Problem-solving or worrying – like thinking about how to pay the bills or nudge a relationship back to a better place – is necessary for coping, but it puts a natural focus on what’s not supportive. So stop problem-solving for at least a while every day. Even consider a whole day of rest! If your mind goes back to chewing on the worry bone, that’s natural. Just notice it and then guide your mind to where you do feel supported, even in the simple pleasure of a glass of water or a cookie.

When you are doing problem-solving or worrying, try to be aware of what is supportive, such as your own capabilities or the caring of others. For example, if you are grappling with a health problem, you could keep bringing to mind the sense of vitality in other parts of your body, or your determination to do whatever you can to deal with this issue, or the concern and kindness from your friends and family.

Try to feel the support that is coming to you . . . from yourself. You can know deep down that you are on your own side, that your benevolence and advocacy extend to yourself as well as to other beings.

Explore other sources of support, such as the sense of being nourished by the natural world, held by the earth, at peace in awareness itself, and if it’s meaningful to you, cradled in something spiritual.

This practice is down-to-earth and always available to you in one way or another.

And it can become something quite profound. Imagine going through much of your day with an ongoing feeling of being supported. Whew. What a relief!

Read More

The trance of fear

True Refuge, published Jan 2013. Available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

All of us live with fear. Whenever fear takes over, we’re caught in what I call the trance of fear. As we tense in anticipation of what may go wrong, our heart and mind contract. We forget that there are people who care about us, and about our own ability to feel spacious and openhearted. Trapped in the trance, we can experience life through the filter of fear, and when we do, the emotion becomes the core of our identity, constricting our capacity to live fully.

This trance usually begins in childhood, when we experience fear in relating to our significant others. Perhaps as an infant our crying late at night may have frustrated our exhausted mother. When we saw her frowning face and heard her shrill tone, suddenly we felt unsafe with the person we most counted on for safety. Our arms and fists tightened, our throat contracted, our heartbeat raced.

This physical reaction of fear in response to disapproval may have happened repeatedly through our early years. We might have tried out something new—putting on our clothes all by ourselves and gotten them backwards. We might have poured a cup of grape juice—but spilled it on the living room carpet. Each time our mother’s disapproving look and tone of frustration were directed at us, we felt the same chain reaction of fear in our body.

While the bodies of young children are usually relaxed and flexible, if experiences of fear are continuous over the years, chronic tightening happens. Our shoulders may become permanently knotted and raised, our head thrust forward, our back hunched, our chest sunken.

Rather than a temporary reaction to danger, we develop a permanent suit of armor. We become, as Chogyam Trungpa puts it, “a bundle of tense muscles defending our existence.” We often don’t even recognize this armor because it feels like such a familiar part of who we are. But we can see it in others. And when we are meditating, we can feel it in ourselves—the tightness, the areas where we feel nothing.

This trance of fear not only creates habitual contraction in our body. Our mind too becomes trapped in rigid patterns. The one-pointedness that served us in responding to real threats becomes obsession. Our mind, making associations with past experiences, produces endless stories reminding us of what bad things might happen and strategizing how to avoid them.

Through I-ing and My-ing, the self takes center stage in these stories: Something terrible is about to happen to me; I am powerless; I am alone; I need to do something to save myself. Our mind urgently seeks to control the situation by finding the cause of the problem, and we either point the finger at others or at ourselves.

Feelings and stories of unworthiness and shame are perhaps the most binding element in the trance of fear. When we believe something is wrong with us, we’re convinced that we’re somehow in danger. Our shame fuels ongoing fear, and our fear fuels more shame. The very fact that we feel fear seems to prove that we are broken or incapable. When we’re trapped in trance, being fearful and bad seem to define who we are. The anxiety in our body, the stories, the ways we make excuses, withdraw or lash out—these become to us the self that is most real.

Whenever we’re in this trance, the rest of the world fades into the background. Like the lens on a camera, our attention narrows to focus exclusively on the foreground of our fearful stories and our efforts to feel more secure.

The key to transforming this trance is by becoming aware of it—mindful of all our strategies, stories, physical reactions and bodily sensations—and allowing ourselves to be present to all of it without added constriction and judgment. If we can stay honestly and courageously awake to our fear, it can enable us to recognize and fully experience whatever is arising in the present moment, and keep us from falling into the trance.

Especially with intense or traumatic fear, a full mindful presence is often not advised or even possible as a first step. Rather, we need to take some time to cultivate inner resources of safety, strength and loving connection. In time, these inner strengths will allow us to stay present when fear arises, and meet the experience with interest and care.

For all of us, whether traumatized or not, there is deep conditioning to reflexively pull away from contacting the rawness of fear. Yet this avoidance is exactly what solidifies trance. As we cultivate our willingness, mindfulness and compassion, we can learn to face and transform our fear. We discover that we can awaken from the trance of fear even in the midst of the most challenging circumstances.

Whenever we can relate to fear rather than from fear, our sense of who we are begins to shift and enlarge. Instead of constructing a tense and embattled self, we can reconnect with our naturally spacious awareness. Instead of being trapped in and defined by our experiences, we can recognize them as a changing stream of thoughts and feelings. In these moments we have awakened from trance. We are inhabiting a wholeness of being that is peaceful and free.

Adapted from Radical Acceptance (2003)

Read More

Taking refuge in the Buddha

As a teacher I’m often asked: What does it mean in Buddhist practice when you agree to “take refuge” in the Buddha? Does this mean I need to worship the Buddha? Or pray to the Buddha? Isn’t this setting up the Buddha as “other” or some kind of god?

Traditionally, there are three fundamental refuges are where we can find genuine safety and peace, a sanctuary for our awakening heart and mind, a place to rest our human vulnerability. In their shelter, we can face and awaken from the trance of fear.

The first of these is the Buddha, or our own awakened nature. The second is the dharma (the path or the way), and the third is the sangha (the community of aspirants).

In the formal practice of Taking Refuge, we recite three times: “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the dharma, I take refuge in the sangha.” Yet, even though there is a formula, this is not an empty or mechanical ritual, but a practice meant to expand our understanding and intention.

With each repetition, we allow ourselves to open ever more deeply to the living experience behind the words. As we do, the practice leads to a profound deepening of our faith: The more fully we open to and inhabit each refuge, the more we trust our own heart and awareness. By taking refuge we learn to trust the unfolding of our lives.

The first step in this practice, taking refuge in the Buddha, may be approached on various levels, and we can choose the way most meaningful to our particular temperament. We might for instance take refuge in the historical Buddha, the human being who attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree 2500 years ago.

This doesn’t mean that we are worshipping the man who became enlightened, or setting him up as “other” or as “higher” than ourselves, but bowing and honoring the Buddha nature that already exists within us. For instance when the Buddha encountered Mara, he felt fear—the same painfully constricted throat, chest and belly, the same racing heart that we each experience when fear strikes our heart.

By willingly meeting fear with his full attention, the Buddha discovered fearlessness — the open, clear awareness that recognizes the arising and passing of fear without contracting nor identifying with it. Taking refuge in the truth of his awakening can inspire us on our own path toward fearlessness.

At the same time, those who are devotional by nature might seek safety and refuge in the living spirit of the Buddha’s awakened heart and mind. Much like praying to Christ or the Divine Mother, we can take refuge in a Being or presence that cares about our suffering.

In taking this first refuge, I sometimes say, “I take refuge in the Beloved” and surrender into what I experience as the boundlessness of compassion. When I am feeling fear, I surrender it to the Beloved. By this, I am not trying to get rid of fear, but rather letting go into a refuge that is vast enough to hold my fear with love.

In the most fundamental way, taking refuge in the Buddha means taking refuge in our own potential for liberation. In order to embark on a spiritual path we need faith that our own heart and mind have the potential to awaken. The true power of Buddha’s story, the power that has kept it alive for all these centuries, rests in the fact that it demonstrates what is possible for each of us.

We so easily believe limiting stories about ourselves and forget that our very nature—our Buddha nature—is aware and loving. When we take refuge in the Buddha, we are taking refuge in the same capacity of awareness that awakened Siddhartha under the Bodhi Tree. We too can realize the blessing of freedom. We too can become fearless.

After taking refuge in the Beloved, I turn my attention inward, saying “I take refuge in this awakening heart mind.” Letting go of any notion that Buddha nature is something beyond or outside my awareness, I look towards the innate wakefulness of my being, the tender openness of my heart.

Minutes earlier, I might have been taking myself to be the rush of emotions and thoughts moving through my mind. But by intentionally taking refuge in awareness, that small identity dissolves, and with it, the trance of fear.

By directing our attention towards our deepest nature, by honoring the essence of our being, our own Buddha nature becomes to us more of a living reality. We are taking refuge in the truth of who we are.

Read More

Happiness, Kant, and Buddhism

Justin Whitaker, Patheos Press: One conception was common to all the philosophical schools: people are unhappy because they are the slave of their passions. In other words, they are unhappy because they desire things they may not be able to obtain, since they are exterior, alien, and superfluous to them. It follows that happiness consists in independence, freedom, and autonomy. In other words, happiness is the return to the essential: that which is truly “ourselves,” and which depends on us.
– Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, p.102, writing about ancient Western schools, emphasis added.

It has been a running theme of this blog…

Read the original article »

Read More

Happy for no reason

tara-brachFor years I’d heard that qigong was an ideal meditation for physical healing, and when I first experimented with it, I did find that the practice helped me feel more embodied and energetically attuned. Qigong is based on a Chinese system of still and moving meditation. At its heart is the understanding that this world is made of chi, an invisible field of energy, the dynamic expression of pure awareness.

When my health hit a new low in the summer of 2009, I decided to explore the practice more deeply by attending a ten-day qigong healing retreat.

During the third day, I remember sitting at the retreat while our teacher was guiding us: “Send chi to the places that are in pain,” he was saying. “Imagine what these parts of you would be like if they were totally vital and strong, energetically flowing with the rest of your body.”

As I sat visualizing flowing streams of light bathing my hurting knees, I found myself becoming doubtful, judging some of the instructions as distinctly “un-Buddhist!” Here I was trying to manipulate my experience and create a happy, healthy body. Whatever happened to letting go of control and accepting life as it is? Wouldn’t all this directing of energy and visualization just make me more attached to being healthy? Given the realities of my illness, this seemed like a losing proposition.

Still, I’d paid my tuition and I kept on following the teachers’ instructions. The next morning I got up before dawn and did the practice on my own—connecting to the ocean of chi, bringing attention and energy to various parts of my body. After about half an hour, I went outside and started walking along a winding path through the Northern California countryside. Each step hurt. My knees ached, and there was stabbing in one of my hips.

“Now what?” I muttered grimly. “Am I supposed to send more chi to my body?”

Then I paused—the resentment toward my body caught my attention. As I looked more closely, the resentment quickly gave way to a familiar grief. Why couldn’t I just walk on this earth without feeling pain? Tears started to flow as I contacted the enormity of my frustration and longing. “I want to feel alive. I want to feel alive. Please. Please. May I feel fully alive.” Naming it opened me to what was behind the longing: I love life. Embedded in the grief, as always, was love. A voice inside me was repeating the words over and over, as a delicate, tingling warmth filled my heart.

I’d been holding back this love, holding back from fully engaging with life. It was a reaction to feeling betrayed by my body, a defense against more loss. But in my fear of being attached to health, I’d not allowed myself to feel the truth—I love life. Qigong wasn’t about fueling attachment, it was about fully embracing aliveness. At that moment I decided to stop holding back my love.

As I allowed the “I love life” feeling to be as full as it wanted, the “I” fell away. Even the notion of life fell away. What was left was an open radiant heart—as wide as the world.

This tender presence was loving everything: the soft streaks of pinks and grays in the sky, the smell of eucalyptus, the soaring vultures, the songbirds. It was loving the woman who was standing silently about two hundred feet away, also gazing at the colors of dawn. It was loving the changing painful and pleasurable sensations in this body. Now, sending chi to my knees made intuitive sense. It was awareness’s natural and caring response to its creation. “I” wasn’t loving life—awareness was loving life.

This experience led me to see and release a limiting and unconscious belief that I’d held for some time—a belief that the realm of formless awareness was more spiritual and valuable than the living forms of this world. This bias against the living world can be seen in many religious traditions. It emerges in some interpretations of the Buddha’s teachings as an insistence on guarding ourselves against the pleasures of the senses—beauty, lovemaking, music, play. It emerges in the superior status of monks over nuns, in valuing monastic life over family and lay life, and in the warnings against attachment in close personal relationships. I now believe this bias comes from fear and mistrust of life itself. For me, recognizing this in my own psyche was a gift.

We do not need to transcend the real world to realize our true nature and to live in freedom. In fact, we can’t. We are aliveness and we are the formless presence that is its source; we are embodied emptiness. The more we love the world of form, the more we discover an undivided presence, empty of any sense of self or other. And the more we realize the open, formless space of awareness, the more unconditionally we love the changing shapes of creation.

The Heart Sutra from the Buddhist Mahayana texts tells us: “Form is emptiness, emptiness is also form. Emptiness is not other than form, form is not other than emptiness.” We can’t separate the ocean from the waves. Our path is to realize the vast oceanness of our being, and to cherish the waves that appear on the surface.

True Refuge, published Jan 2013. Available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

True Refuge, published Jan 2013. Available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

During the final days of the retreat, my willingness to love life unfolded into a very deep, stable happiness. The happiness wasn’t reliant on things being a certain way—my moods and physical comfort went up and down. I was happy for no reason. This unconditioned happiness or well-being is a flavor of awakening. It arises when we trust our essence as awareness, and know that this entire living world is part of our heart. Being happy for no reason gave me a kind of confidence or faith that no matter what happened, everything would be fine.

I returned home and jumped into a delicious daily ritual of meditation and qigong. During those first weeks I’d go to the river and scramble down through rocks and bushes to a secluded beach. Nourished by the sounds of rushing water, the firm sand and early morning air, I practiced presence in movement and stillness. You can probably imagine what came next. After I hurt my knee on the small incline down to the beach, I moved my practice to our deck. Some of the arm movements strained my neck so I had to minimize them. Then standing up started to strain my legs, so I began to practice in a chair. Then it rained for a week straight.

And yet, it was all really okay. More than okay. One of those wet mornings as I was sitting, my mind became very quiet. My attention opened gently and fully to the changing flow of experience—aching, waves of tiredness, fleeting thoughts, sounds of rain. Continuing to pay attention, I felt the subtle sense of aliveness (chi energy) that pervades my whole body. This aliveness was not solid, it was spacious, a dance of light. The more I opened to this aliveness, the more I could sense an alert inner stillness, the background inner space of pure being. And the more I rested in that stillness, the more vividly alive the world became.

After about thirty minutes I opened my eyes and looked at the lush fern that hangs in our bedroom, at its delicacy and grace. I was in love with the fern, with the particularity of its form (how did this universe come up with ferns?), and with the vibrancy and light of its being. In that moment, the fern was as wondrous as any glorious scene by the river. I was awareness loving my creation. And I was happy for no reason. I didn’t need to have things go my way. I was grateful for the capacity to enjoy life, just as it is.

Read More

The imperative of meditation

Martin LeFevre, CostaRican Times: There are many different forms of meditation, and often people speak of running or doing other activities as a form of meditation for them. But initiating truly meditative states is a completely different animal, and has nothing to do with techniques, methods, traditions, or systems.

Can the art and centrality of meditation be conveyed, through writing or even in person? Is awakening meditative states something we have to discover completely for ourselves, as I did? If methodless meditation, by whatever name, is crucial to spiritual survival and growth, and each person is entirely on their own, what hope…

Read the original article »

 

Read More
Menu