Silent nigt

I love guided meditations. Whether in person with a teacher or with an audio recording, I find the sound of verbal instructions can make it much easier to meditate. Good instructions do more than remind me to be present when my awareness drifts. They also help bring a different perspective to my experience while in…

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Dive in California

In a TV commercial a mom is sitting alone in a room, meditating, and children noises from nearby are getting louder and louder. Suddenly she screams, “Shut up! I’m trying to meditate!” It’s a common misconception that you need a quiet place without distraction to meditate, or that distraction is something we are never supposed…

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I think every contemplative technique I’m aware of involves at least some degree of relaxation. The practices I was taught in MBSR all begin with bringing awareness to areas of tightness and holding in the body and inviting them to relax; the Body Scan, which is the first technique one learns in MBSR, consists of…

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We hear lots of different things called “meditative” in daily life. But are they really meditation in the Buddhist sense of the term? We will look at several of these and see how they stack up, and then turn to a passage from the early texts that may help illuminate the problem. This will be…

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What should you do if you’re having trouble finding a local meditation group? It’s one of my most asked questions. I have six different things you might consider doing. Suttas mentioned: The Rhinoceros Half the Spiritual Life

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I have tended to give concentration practice short shrift. To me, devotion to intense concentration – jhana practice, long sesshins, and the like – seemed like spiritual calisthenics, meditation for its own sake, another skill to attach the ego to. Coming out of the vipassana-influenced MBSR tradition, I thought the tangible benefits of exploring the…

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I’m eager to share some of the many very useful practices I learned while being trained in the basics of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) by its originators, Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, at a recent two-day workshop. This Sunday, June 24, at 6 pm Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, Practice Circle will explore…

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When Practice Circle meets again this Sunday, May 27th, at 6 p.m. Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, we’ll explore the Five Hindrances in meditation practice. Click here to join our free video conference group Sunday night! We all experience obstacles or difficulties in meditation, which can lead to discouragement or a belief…

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I’ve been reading Beth Ann Mulligan’s The Dharma of Modern Mindfulness, which is impressive for the way she uses anecdotes from her secular MBSR course to illustrate basic Buddhist principles. In that spirit, when Practice Circle meets again this Sunday, March 25, at 6 p.m. Pacific, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, we’ll continue our four-part…

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This is to be done by one skilled in aims Who wants to break through To the state of peace: . . . As a mother would risk her life To protect her child, her only child, Even so should one cultivate a limitless heart With regard to all beings. Khuddakapatha 9, trns Thanissaro Bhikkhu…

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