crowdfunding

Approaching half way!

Our Indiegogo campaign, to fund our forthcoming meditation app, is approaching the 50% mark! Since the campaign is a month long and we’re just over a week in, this is fantastic news.

Already almost $4,000 has been contributed by 55 backers.

Our app will offer access to a huge, and ever-expanding, library of guided meditations, led by Bodhipaksa. The app itself will be free, although a subscription will be required to unlock all of the guided meditations.

This is our adaptation to the age of the app. We used to support our activities by publishing CDs, but of course that’s been in decline for a long time. Even MP3 are now losing popularity, as various streaming services continue to grow. (Did you know that last year, people bought more recordings on vinyl than in MP3 format?)

So our vision is that our app is destined to become our publishing platform — the ideal way for you to have access to an ever-growing selection of guided meditations.

We’re of course offering a variety of perks to our supporters, so why not check out our Indiegogo campaign and consider becoming a backer!

One of our perks offers you lifetime access to the app!

Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can still be a part of this. We have perks for people who don’t use iPhones — and our long-term plan is to develop an Android version of the app, so supporting this version will benefit you in the long run.

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Meditation app update

At the precise moment of writing this post, our meditation app campaign stands at one 35% funded.

This is fantastic, just a few days into our month-long campaign.

What this app will be offering is access to a large, and ever-expanding, library of my guided meditations, along with recordings of talks and workshops.

The app will have at least 80 guided meditations when it goes live (expected date, July of this year) and I’ll be adding to it anything else I record.

We’re offering great perks to supporters. Even if you’re an Android user, it’s worth supporting this campaign. We have several perks that don’t depend on access to the app, and also supporting the development of this app makes it easier for us to roll out the Android version.

Do check out the campaign page on Indiegogo.

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A heads-up about an exciting new project

This is an exciting time for us at Wildmind. We’re about to start developing our own app, which will feature an ever-expanding library of my guided meditations.

The app itself will be free, although to unlock all of the meditations will require a subscription of $3.99 a month. We’re hoping that this app will bring us the financial security that’s been so elusive over the last few years, freeing us up from financial worries so that we can focus more on helping people.

As with past projects, we’re using Indiegogo to crowdfund the development costs, and we’d love if you would support us.

The crowdfunding campaign doesn’t go live until Monday, but in order to start with a bang we’d really appreciate if you’d make a contribution before then. We of course are offering perks to all of our donors. Please check them out at this special campaign preview!

I can’t tell you how much we’d appreciate your support!

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Getting close!

If you’d like early access to Bodhipaksa’s latest guided meditations for developing inner peace, please check out our Indiegogo campaign. If you’re not familiar with Indiegogo, it’s a crowdfunding platform that allows people to support projects in return for “perks.”

At the time of writing we’re 98 percent funded, and just need a little push to take us all the way. Your support would be much appreciated.

create inner peaceWe’re giving the opportunity for you to be the first to get our next CD, “Guided Meditations for Inner Peace,” or to download the MP3s. Your support will help us to cover the upfront costs of this project, and to be more financially secure as we go into 2017.

We offer other perks as well. For example, for a donation of $150, we’ll give 25 copies of our CD to a local project that helps teens from low income families prepare for college. These young people face extraordinary stresses in their lives, often living in unstable homes, attending under-resourced schools, and often having to work long hours to help support their families. I taught meditation to students on this project for 11 years, and know how much they benefit from it. So this is one way you can help support what we’re doing and also help out a lot of other people!

Thanks for supporting us!

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Relearning the art of stillness

still lake scene

Our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is doing well. At the time of writing, with 23 days left to go we’re already 51% funded. The graphic below will give you a live update.

What’s it about? Glad you asked! To keep things simple, I’ve included below some information we sent out to our 17,652 subscribers in a special newsletter today. Please do read this important message!

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Last week we launched a crowdfunding effort to help us bring you four highly effective meditations Bodhipaksa has developed over the years. What we’re suggesting is essentially that you buy our forthcoming CD (or the MP3 version of it), in advance, to help us cover the production costs. (Although there are other donation options as well.)

In Case You’re Not Sure, This Is What We Do

We do a lot. More than 1.5 million people visit our site each year. Our most popular web page (not counting the home page) has been read more than half a million times. Our most popular blog post has been read by more than three hundred thousand people. Hundreds of thousands of people have learned to meditate with us — for free. We also publish guided meditation CDs, which help fund our activities, and those have also reached hundreds of thousands of people.

And here’s how your support helps. The more CDs we publish, the more financially stable we are, the less time we have to spend worrying about money, and the more we’re able to provide resources to help you become happier in your life!

About the Meditations On This Album

These meditations have been road-tested with many, many people, who have found them to be powerfully transformative. Both those who have used them for their first ever meditation and those who have been meditating for years have expressed surprise and gratitude. Here are some comments we’ve received.

Kate, in Maine
That was astonishing. As a high-anxiety person, I stumbled on this while seeking help in focusing on tasks. Wow. I feel so peaceful and yet ready to tackle the tasks awaiting my attention. Thank you!

jennifer, coloradoJennifer, Colorado
This is a favorite. Bodhipaksa’s voice is very calming. I can definitely feel a positive difference in my body when I open up my awareness as suggested in this meditation.

care, seattleCare, Seattle
Wow. This way of becoming present was new to me. It helped lift the weight from my heart. Thanks!

ryan, floridaRyan, Florida
Excellent. I’ve had trouble calming my thoughts while attempting meditation. When it was mentioned during this session I was surprised that my mind was already calm.

gina, floridaGina, Florida
Very calming and effective in such a short amount of time.                     
        

Over his decades of teaching, Bodhipaksa has developed many different techniques that very rapidly and easily calm the mind, reducing the amount of intrusive thinking and creating a sense of peace and spaciousness. When we started to list all of these methods, we found there were almost 20! So we’re actually going to be bringing out a series of CDs (and MP3s, of course). Our next album, Guided Meditations for Inner Peace, is just the first. That’s what we’re raising funds for.

About Our Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding helps dreams become real. It helps creators share their vision with the public, who in turn can offer support, usually receiving “perks” in return. In our case the perks we offer include early access to these guided meditations (and optionally to alternate versions of them). Whatever level of contribution you choose, and whichever perk you select, if any, you’ll experience the good karma and warm glow that comes from supporting an organization that does a lot of good in the world.

We do hope you’ll support us, both by becoming a donor and by sharing our project with your friends and social media contacts. You can check out and support the Creating Inner Peace project at our Indiegogo page.

Thank you!
Mark, Mary, and Bodhipaksa at Wildmind

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Create inner peace!

“Just as the ocean may be turbulent above, but is always still in its depths, so beneath the surface noise of our thoughts there is always available a deep reserve of calm and tranquillity.” Bodhipaksa

Over my years of teaching and almost 35 years of practice, I’ve evolved a number of very effective meditation techniques for calming the mind. This album of four guided meditations (in CD and MP3 formats) contains the best tools I know of for creating inner peace.

To help us bring these teachings to the world, we’re asking that you help sponsor their production by purchasing the CD (or MP3s) in advance. Or you can simply make a donation. Head over to our Indiegogo page to support this effort!

These four meditations, born from over 30 years of practice and exploration, offer highly effective techniques for slowing down the mind, creating calmness, and bringing into being a more authentic, calm, and positive approach to living. We plan to publish them as “Guided Meditations for Inner Peace.”

Research shows that on average we’re caught up in distracted thinking 48 percent of the time, and often much more than that. Research also shows that our distracted thinking causes unhappiness. These distractions are often driven by anxiety, irritability, and self-doubt, which undermine our well-being and lead to stress and depression.

Mindful attention, on the other hand, brings freedom from the tyranny of compulsive thinking and allows us to have a deeper, richer, and more joyful experience of life.

You can purchase the album (plus or minus some enhancements!) in advance, or make a donation, if you wish. Plus we have some other great perks! Click here to check our our Indiegogo crowdfunding page!

Also do watch our video, “Create Inner Peace.”

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Bringing more kindness to the world

metta-sutta-nolinkWe could all do with being kinder to ourselves, and with being more patient and forgiving with others in our lives.

My forthcoming album of guided lovingkindness meditations, “Harnessing the Power of Kindness,” includes my latest teachings on how to become kinder. It’s the result of over 30 years of practice and of having taught lovingkindness meditation to many thousands of people. I’m perfectly happy to say that I think it’s very effective!

Wildmind is run on a shoestring (all of our courses are offered by donation) and the moment we’re fundraising to cover the production costs of this album, which will be available in CD and MP3 formats. Those costs include the recording and audio editing expenses, plus the design and (in the case of the CD) manufacturing costs. We use a local recording studio, a designer who lives just around the corner, and a US-based CD duplicator, since we’re keen to keep money in the local economy and keep Americans employed.

The total costs are around $2,500, and that’s what we’re aiming to raise. At the time of writing we’re 90% of the way to meeting that target, with five days left to go! (The inset image to the right will give you the up-to-date figures).

We’re not asking for something for nothing! We offer perks to each of our donors.

  • Our most popular perk is for a $25 donation: We’ll mail you a copy of the CD, anywhere in the world. (The CD will be mailed out in August.) We’ll also provide you with a link to download the tracks as high-quality MP3 files. Each file will be in a standard, abridged, and extended version, so that you have three lengths to choose from. That way you can choose which meditation fits the time you have available. You’ll receive the download links as soon as our fundraiser is completed.
  • For a $10 donation you have the choice of either getting the CD or getting a download of the album.
  • For $15 you get both the CD and the MP3 version of the album. I know, you can rip the CD yourself, but this way you get the CDs as soon as our campaign is over, and then you’ll have the CD as a backup.
  • Lastly, for a $250 donation we’ll give 50 copies of our CD to an educational project helping teens from low-income families to prepare for college. One of the challenges these young people face is developing emotional coping strategies to help them deal with challenging circumstances at home as well as in the educational system. Self-compassion and self-kindness in particular are valuable skills in this regard. Your donation can be anonymous, or we can give them in your name. So far two people have generously donated $250!

So, feel free to head over to our Indiegogo campaign page and choose your perk!

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“Lovingkindness” is simply “kindness”

woman holding butterfly

Our Indiegogo crowdfunding project—aimed at helping us to cover the production costs of our forthcoming album of lovingkindness meditations—is getting close to being 100% funded! Please do visit our campaign page to check out the great perks we offer to donors.

Although the Pali word “metta” is most often translated as lovingkindness, I think that the simple term “kindness” works much better.

“Kindness” is a more natural part part of our vocabulary than lovingkindness. We use it all the time in ordinary conversation, while we only use “lovingkindness” when we’re talking about metta. This has the effect of making metta look as if it’s something removed from our everyday experience. (It doesn’t help that, historically, the term “loving-kindness”—sometimes hyphenated, sometimes as two separate words—was used only to describe God’s love for humanity.)

The word kindness is experiential. We all know what it’s like to be kind, or to be on the receiving end of someone’s kindness. These are common experiences. On the other hand, the term lovingkindness seems more remote, as if it’s reserved for some special kind of experience that we have to strive to bring into being.

Also, the word kindness accurately reflects what metta is. What is kindness? It’s a recognition that we are all feeling beings. We all feel, and we all prefer feelings of happiness, security, well-being, etc. to their opposites. It’s an empathetic recognition that we all feel happiness and sorrow, and prefer the former to the latter.

Others’ feelings are as real to them as ours are to us. Their happiness is as important to them as ours is to us. Their pain is as real and as unpleasant to them as our own is to us. When we recognize this, we want to support their desire to be happy and to avoid suffering. We therefore think kindly, speak kindly, and act kindly.

And this empathetic attitude I’ve described—this kindness—is metta. Metta and kindness are the same.

Metta is kindness. There’s really no significant difference that I can see between the two terms.

And we all embody kindness. We may often act unkindly—as if the feelings and wellbeing of others doesn’t matter—but at least some of the time we’re kind. This manifests in a hundred small ways that we don’t even think about. We do things like hold open a door for the person behind us, we nod and smile when people are talking to us in order to reassure them, and we say “thank you” to acknowledge a favor that’s been done for us. These are all very ordinary everyday acts. In a way they’re nothing special, but in another way they’re very special indeed because they make social interaction bearable. They show us that we matter to each other.

Of course we often forget to be kind. We get so wrapped up in our own inner dramas that we forget that others are feeling beings, and act in ways that cause them suffering.

The task of lovingkindness meditation—or simply kindness meditation—is to strengthen our recollection of beings’ feeling nature. This generally starts with ourselves. If we don’t first remember that we want happiness and don’t want to suffer, then we’ll fail to recognize that others are the same as us in sharing those desires. And so, in developing kindness through meditation, we remind ourselves of our deep-rooted desire for well-being, peace, and joy. We remind ourselves also that it’s not easy to be happy; one thing that causes us a great deal of suffering is thinking that happiness is an easy thing to attain. We’re not failing when we suffer; we’re simply showing that we’re human.

Having recognized that we’re doing a difficult thing in being human, we then naturally feel the desire to give ourselves support and encouragement as we go through life. In other words, we relate to ourselves with kindness.

And when we call others to mind in our practice, we remind ourselves that they are just like us: they want to be happy; they find happiness elusive; they too are doing this difficult thing of being human; they too need support and encouragement. And so we relate to them with kindness too.

This is how we develop kindness. This is how we cultivate metta: by connecting with our own nature as feeling beings, and by empathetically recognizing that others share our deepest wishes from happiness and share our existential situation as being for whom happiness is elusive, and suffering all too common.

Our Indiegogo crowdfunding project—aimed at helping us to cover the production costs of our forthcoming album of lovingkindness meditations—is getting close to being 100% funded! Please do visit our campaign page to check out the great perks we offer to donors.

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Mindful eating with the “Sati Tala” — so sane it seems crazy

sati tala

The other day I got an email from a couple in Israel who are launching a new mindfulness product. It’s one of those things that is possibly just crazy enough (or sane enough — I can’t tell) to really take off.

Basically, it’s a tool for mindful eating. What’s the tool? Well, you are, along with one other person, the Sati Tala eating surface, and two simple seats. What this means is that you and your eating partner become part of the table as you sit on the seats and rest the surface of the Sati Tala on the laps. (Sati Tala is Pali for “mindfulness surface.”)

What this means is that you’re physically connected as you eat, which seems rather lovely and even romantic. It’s also more difficult to jump up and start doing something else, since doing so requires the cooperation of both people. And so you’re more likely to stay put and just focus on your meal.

On the other hand, if you do have to get up (to answer the door or a call of nature) dinner’s pretty much over until you return, and I can imagine that if you have a fidgety partner things could get ugly.

Still, this is the kind of thing I can imagine becoming a crazy amongst Hollywood celebrities!

Tany and Sagie, who came up with the idea, are launching a Kickstarter fundraiser, which you can read about on their website.

There’s also a video where you can see the Sati Tala in action:

P.S. I haven’t tried this product, have no connection with the company, and don’t benefit in any way by bringing it to your attention!

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“Harnessing the Power of Kindness”

Over the past three years I’ve been teaching lovingkindness meditation a lot. I ran a course in 2014 and again in 2015 called “100 Days of Lovingkindness,” and earlier this year I split that into four courses that were each 28 days long.

Focusing on lovingkindness practice in this way revealed a lot to me, even though this is a form of meditation I’ve been doing regularly for over 30 years.

For one thing it became clear to me that lovingkindness isn’t the best translation of “metta” and that “kindness” is a better term because it’s more experiential. (We can easily remember what it’s like to feel kind or to be on the receiving end of kindness and can recognize that it’s a common experience in our lives, while “lovingkindness” seems more abstract and something we need to strive to attain.)

Another thing I realized is that it’s important to begin cultivating kindness by first developing empathy. In becoming kinder to ourselves, we can recollect that we want to be happy and that it’s not that easy to actually experience happiness. In other words we’re doing a difficult thing in being human. Our kindness toward ourself comes from recognizing this, and therefore offering ourselves support and encouragement as we go through life’s difficulties. And we can then extend these same reflections to others, seeing that we’re all fundamentally the same. As a Scottish author said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

These, and other lessons I’ve learned, are things I’d like to bring to a wider audience, and so Wildmind, this year and next, is publishing four guided meditation CDs on the practice of kindness, compassion, and appreciation. The first of these will be released in August, and is called “Harnessing the Power of Kindness.”

To fund the publication of this CD, we’ve set up an Indiegogo crowdfunding project. For the smallest level of donation, we’ll send you a copy of the CD. So basically you’re just buying a copy in advance, and thus helping us with the publication costs. Higher levels of donation get you access to abridged and extended versions of the meditations in MP3 format. We also have a top-level donation which will allow us to give copies of this CD to a project that provides educational support for teens from low-income families.

At the moment of writing we’re four days into our 30-day fundraising project, and just a few dollars short of being 50% funded. This is fantastic! I’d invite you to pitch in, and also to bring our campaign to the attention of your friends on social media. It would be a BIG help, and much appreciated.

You can click here to visit our Indiegogo page and offer your support!

Thank you!
Bodhipaksa

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