The meditation cushion is not a magic wand that solves all problems. Each situation needs to be addressed with Openness, Clarity and Sensitivity – sometimes face to face in the situation we find ourselves in – and sometimes face to face with ourselves in meditation. Continue reading “The meditation cushion is not a magic wand” – Lama Shenpen on balancing acting in the world & meditating
I think this question relates to reflection – when and how do we engage in reflection? Often it is when we are sitting quietly on our meditation cushion and thoughts and feelings are coming up, we recognise patterns and insights pop out sometimes as if from nowhere. Sometimes we worry that we are going to forget them and are tempted to quickly note them down. To do that would be useful from the reflection point of view but not what we should be doing when we are first developing some kind of Shamata. Continue reading Should we label all thoughts as ‘thinking’ in meditation?
I think sometimes people associate trying to meditate with constant failure. All these feelings are mandala guardians * trying to keep you out of your meditation mandala by throwing up a smoke screen of excuses. Continue reading What can we do when we feel we can’t meditate?
We express our presence through our body, actions, movements and speech. We express it in our bearing, our posture and the way we do things. Our presence expresses itself in the way we take our place in the world, the way we take our seat. Continue reading The gift of being ‘fully present’
The Vipashyana aspect of the Formless Meditation practice comes in as we begin to wonder what our experience actually is in itself. We do this by wondering what is the mind, what is a thought or a feeling, what is a sensation, what is the space of awareness in which all this happens. Continue reading What is Vipashyana Meditation?
As long as we are noticing we are practising. Don’t then think ‘I’m a bad person’ – to notice is a positive thing – commit to just notice without doing something. We don’t have to change then and there. Continue reading Why Noticing is Enough
There are three stages to all Buddhist practice called listening, reflecting and meditating. In fact these three stages are integral to any effective learning or process of discovery, even if usually we do no more than touch on each stage. The art is to give sufficient attention to each stage…For Buddhists, meditation is attentive viewing that opens into a process beyond the conceptual, thinking mind. Continue reading Listening, Reflecting & Meditating – Meditation as Integration and Attentive Viewing
When we talk about meditation in terms of letting go of thoughts, it can seem as if it is a matter of setting oneself up as an observer of one’s mind and to root out thinking. This is a misunderstanding of the whole process. Setting up a watcher in this way perpetuates our false sense of what we are and what our experience is. The observer might well be well intentioned, but the problem is that it is heavy-handed and believes too much in itself. Continue reading Meditation: Recognising ‘the watcher’ as thinking too
When we allow sensations in the body to just be there and are aware of them we are actually not getting involved with them, but of course we could let them be a major distraction. Continue reading Working with body sensations in meditation – can pain be bliss? Is turning towards sensations always helpful?
Formless meditation takes time to learn, Often people get discouraged along the way and think that they would rather have something more definite to do. Formless meditation produces shamatha but in a way that opens itself up to vipashyana (insight). It is the insight that brings about liberation at a very deep and complete level. Continue reading Why Formless Meditation can be difficult to relate to at first and why we should keep going