Vipassana (mindfulness) meditation

The below is a simple introduction to vipassana meditation. This is the formal meditation I’ve practiced mostly for many years. Now my life is a meditation, too. Given a retreat has been imposed upon me with this illness I’ve learned that every moment can be a meditation. Still it’s a good idea to do some […]

The trouble with mindfulness

‘Spiritual’ people often think that negative states of mind are a problem, that hate must be turned into love, frustration into joy. This is valiant but misguided. Are you searching for tranquility, or for a tranquillizer? Sharp, effective mindfulness begins with acceptance of your emotions, not judgement of them. Only then is change possible.

Reality is sometimes so simple that we just miss it. Anger, frustration and regret are appropriate responses to many situations. Indulging in them doesn’t help, but taking a step back and seeing them in context does. Resist the urge to escape and you see what you’re really dealing with.

Those who want to feel good now miss this subtle difference. Their desire to change their feelings is the same old urge to flee, just another subconscious craving for things to be other than they are. Actually, it’s worse: believing they’re on a special path to freedom, they’re even more blinkered than the rest of us.

Mindfulness is Not a Cure, It’s Better

Mindfulness meditation, the act of intentionally paying attention to the present moment while putting aside our snap judgments has been shown to alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and open us up to wonders, happy moments, and a sense of grace in life. But make no mistake, the longest of practitioners will tell you that they still experience the downturns, getting hooked by the inevitable frustrations of life, and anticipatory anxiety. So it’s not a cure, but it gives us something that a cure can’t….

Mindfulness is a love affair…

Ultimately, I see mindfulness as a love affair–with life, with reality and imagination, with the beauty of your own being, with your heart and body and mind, and with the world. — Jon Kabat-Zinn from Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment–and Your Life Click here for a list of posts featuring Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work […]

Relax – (mindfulness, just one minute at a time)

Rick Hanson, whose work really delights me, now has a youtube channel with Just One Minute practices. They are simple and straight forward tips, making mindfulness practice a part of every minute of our lives. That is how it’s supposed to be, but it’s so often taught in ways that make people think it’s not […]

How should you start if you want to try mindfulness meditation?

Any way you feel like beginning it is good. The important thing to understand is that it’s not about a particular method or technique.

The real way to start is to be open to experimenting or playing with the possibility of noticing what you’re experiencing in this moment and not to try to feel differently. Most people think that to meditate, I should feel a particular special something, and if I don’t, then I must be doing something wrong.

That is a common but incorrect view of meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is being rediscovered as a very modern path to personal nirvana.

“The key shift is in turning toward pain, when all your life you’ve turned away from it. You give it your full attention—you yield to it—and, paradoxically, its hold on you diminishes. (The majority of chronic-pain patients in an eight-week meditation course are able to reduce their medications and become more active.) You open to emotional pain as well. As you meditate, the grip of your history loosens and you get a little saner, lighter, less entangled.”

Vipassana (Mindfulness) Meditation

The below is a simple introduction to vipassana meditation. This is the formal meditation I’ve practiced mostly for many years. Now my life is a meditation, too. Given a retreat has been imposed upon me with this illness I’ve learned that every moment can be a meditation. Still it’s a good idea to do some formal meditation and this is a wonderful introduction. It can also serve as a nice little break for any long time meditator. Being reminded of these simple practices I find is almost always helpful.