Meet the New Year mindfully!

December 1, 2016

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2016 is coming to a close — thank goodness! It’s been a challenging year, with political upsets that the pundits hadn’t predicted — from Brexit to Donald Trump’s election as US president — leading to fears of rising nationalism and racism and deepening rancorous splits in our already polarized societies. And that’s not to mention the loss of beloved celebrities such as David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee, Florence Henderson, and Leonard Cohen, to name but a few.

I don’t know what 2017 will be like, but I think we should prepare for further potentially traumatizing events.

A major tool for keeping your head when all around are losing theirs is meditation. My own … Read more »

Steve Jobs on death

October 5, 2011

I’m sad that Steve Jobs has died. No one has had as much effect on the computer industry as he has. His company, Apple, has transformed the way we relate to computers.

I only recently learned that Jobs was a Buddhist. According to his Wikipedia biography, he went to India in the 1970s and came back a Buddhist. In 1991 his wedding ceremony was performed by a Zen priest. He was a very private man, and I don’t think he talked much about his religion.

I thought a fitting tribute would be Jobs own words, from his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, in which he eloquently discusses how an awareness of death and impermanence … Read more »

Review of “Super Rich,” a self-help book by hip-hop promoter Russell Simmons

January 23, 2011

Russell Simmons Super RichThe transformation of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons from the recreational drug-using, model-chasing manager of seminal 1980s rap artists Run-DMC, LL Cool J and Will Smith into a serene 21st-century prophet of veganism and meditation may be surreal, but it’s also quite real.

Even in his dark days of excess, Simmons had a lot of light around him. As 1990s entrepreneurs like Suge Knight made the rap business virtually synonymous with invective and violence, Simmons stood above them as a relative paragon of virtue, achieving unmatched success with humor and hustle rather than brutality. As he matured and embraced his holistic lifestyle, Simmons became “Uncle Rush,” purveyor of hip-hop brands but also philanthropist and father-figure.

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Los Angeles, beware: Russell Brand meditates while driving

December 16, 2010

Usually we post news stories without comment, but this one I can’t let pass.

Russell Brand (an English comedian and actor — I had to look him up) said “I’m using meditation to make me a better driver.” Cue the “warning” (Los Angeles, Beware: Russell Brand Meditates While Driving) from People magazine that Brand meditates while driving.

I guess if you think about meditation as something you do with your eyes closed then the idea of meditating while driving sounds pretty scary. But if you can do walking meditation (and yes, that’s done with the eyes open) then you can also do driving meditation. In fact, I do it all the time. Somehow, … Read more »

Russell Simmons: Green juice and twitter prayer

Russell Simmons, 52, hip-hop pioneer and founder of Rush Communications, helped bring the rhymes of Public Enemy, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys to the masses as a partner in Def Jam Recordings. He injected his hip-hop sensibility into clothing with Phat Fashions and moved into television with “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam.” Mr. Simmons recently created GlobalGrind.com, a Web site for the hip-hop community. A native of Queens, he has since migrated to a penthouse in Lower Manhattan.

MORNING MEDITATION I usually wake up about 7 on Sunday. I take a steam and a shower and I meditate. Some mornings at 8, the monk comes by. I call him the monk. He’s a … Read more »

Ten most popular posts on Wildmind this year

April 30, 2009

Top TenJust to help you keep track of what’s hot on Wildmind at the moment, we’ve put together this list of the ten blog posts that have received the most visitors this year. Enjoy!

10. Naming negative emotions makes them weaker Wired Magazine reports on research that’s of relevance to meditators — especially those that use the vipassana technique of “noting,” where we name the most prominent aspect of our experience, saying inwardly, for example, “anger, anger” when we recognize that that emotion is present.

9. Top 10 Myths About Meditation Bodhipaksa debunks the ten most common meditation myths.

8. The Buddha as Warrior It might seem strange to think of the Buddha as a “warrior” … Read more »

Top 10 Buddhist teachers living in America

December 9, 2008

Coffee-stain ensoWaylon Lewis at the Huffington Post has compiled a list of what he considers to the the top ten teachers “you can study with,” excluding “charlatans,” “promising youngsters,” “those who you can’t really study with because they’re too famous,” or “in private meditation retreat all the time.”

1. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche ~ he’s young but not too young, experienced, thoroughly Westernized (though exotically Tibetan, heritage-wise), a great teacher and frequently accessible at programs around the US, Europe, Canada, even South America. But because he’s a rising star, you’ve got to make an effort if you want personal training.

2. Pema Chodron ~ though Pema is a best selling, accessible, wise, safe teacher, and Oprah

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Bid for freedom

November 24, 2008

Andrew BlackIs it possible to combine spiritual practice with professional poker, to remain detached and equanimous in the midst of a game full of bluffing, where the aim is to take away other people’s money? In 2005 Vishvapani talked this over with Andrew Black, one of the world’s finest poker players — and a devout Buddhist.

The World Series of Poker at Binions Casino in Las Vegas is down to its last five players. After eleven days at the table, little sleep, and ferocious competition, they are the last survivors of the five thousand people who each paid $10,000 to enter this no-limit hold ’em tournament. The winner will walk away with $7.5 million.

Behind designer … Read more »

Top 10 celebrity Buddhists

June 5, 2007

When we started putting this list together it seemed like it was going to be nothing more than a shallow, trivial — although perhaps welcome — distraction from all the news about disastrous wars and sordid political scandals, but as we dug deeper into the web we found that we felt at times inspired by reading about the practice of famous Buddhists, some of whom have had their trials. We hope that you too will be inspired — and entertained — by Wildmind’s Top Ten List of Celebrity Buddhists.

Our criteria were simple. To be a celebrity Buddhist a nominee had to be alive, a celebrity, and — wait for it — a Buddhist (more … Read more »