When you practice, should you sit on a cushion? In a chair? What are the various ways a person could sit to avoid pain? These photos could be helpful in figuring it all out.
knees and pelvis create a supportive triangle: if you can sit in this way, it is ideal. for some, though, it is too stressful on the hips and groin. in the side view. notice the straight line of her neck and relaxed palms. Continue
Eventually, almost all meditators run into the same problem: boredom. Boredom usually arises in one of two ways—as a constant sense of sleepiness or as a kind of free floating anxiety and agitation.
Yes, agitation. I would like to tell you right now that you do not have ADD. If I had a dollar for everyone who said to me that they had ADD, I would be a rich woman indeed. I’m not trying to dis anyone who has actually been diagnosed and is benefitting from medication. More power to you for defining and treating the problem. But most people who have self-diagnosed as ADD sufferers are actually suffering from something far more insidious: boredom masquerading as anxiety. Continue
When we’re inspired to begin a meditation practice, it is usually for excellent reasons. We want to feel less stressed. Perhaps the doctor suggested it as a way to lower blood pressure or work with pain. These are all great reasons. However, we are also doing something beyond all of this. We are cultivating an awakened mind. Continue
When it comes to meditation practice, there are a lot of obstacles one might encounter. We’re too busy. We don’t think it’s really “working.” Or we’re just completely tired and the idea of fitting one more “to-do” on the overwhelming to-do list is just too much.
All of these obstacles are actually called by the same name in Buddhist thought. There is really only one major obstacle…
The first video tells you what it is and the second one is today’s 10-minute practice. Please practice!
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Whether you’ve practiced meditation countless times or this is your very first time, it cannot hurt to review some of the biggest meditation misconceptions:
1. To meditate, you have to stop thinking.
This is the big one. Somehow, people have the idea that to meditate, you must “clear the mind of thought.” What does that even mean? Please think about that, ironic as that request might be. Who would you be without any thoughts whatsoever? Some might say you’d be an idiot. Some might say you’d be Buddha. Personally, I have no idea.
In all cases, attempting the mysterious “clearing the mind of thought” through an act of will is contraindicated. So if you think meditation means not thinking, stop thinking that. Continue
All my life, I have struggled with depression. (Maybe you think that Buddhists aren’t supposed to get depressed, but oh well.) Ever since I was a child, I’ve had to meet and figure out how to work with the heaviness and darkness of depression. Perhaps you can relate. Continue
When you begin a meditation practice, should you expect to feel calm all the time–or at least calmer? Well, sure. But life doesn’t always present us with calming situations. In the video above I tell a story about an upsetting experience and what I learned about how meditation can really help.
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I’m sure you know, either from experience or research, that meditation practice is very, very good for you. It helps maintain physical health. It creates stability in your mind. It opens your heart. It’s actually kind of amazing. Nonetheless, most of us (myself included) struggle with maintaining the discipline of a regular practice.
Whether you’ve been practicing for one year or one day, these suggestions can help you plant your practice: Continue
Vacations and meditation retreats are a time to relax, remember who we are, open our minds, and soften our edges. When they come to close, we say “oh well, back to the real world.” But which one is the “real” world–the one where we are kind and relaxed or the one that we assume is dog eat dog and uncaring. I definitely vote for the former. This video explains why.
Meditation practice helps us remain open and tender, and thus always have at least one foot in the real world–
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