How does imagination fit into the process of reflection and meditation?

When we try in an ego-centric way – or manipulate our experience to be what we think it should be – then it’s kind of aggressive, ambitious and pushy. But when we are simply playing in the openness of awareness – trying things out in a relaxed and gentle way that feels really alive and kind of beautiful… Continue reading How does imagination fit into the process of reflection and meditation?

Noticing ways we delude ourselves: noticing Avidya and Mara

This is Mara at work – it is almost a gut reaction.  Something in us is so deeply entrenched we don’t want to disturb it – or rather it doesn’t want to be disturbed. This can often account for why sometimes we find ourselves drifting off instead of really focusing in an awake and alive way when we are meditating.  We really have to look closely to see what that is all about. Continue reading Noticing ways we delude ourselves: noticing Avidya and Mara

Meditation: Recognising ‘the watcher’ as thinking too

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

Why Formless Meditation can be difficult to relate to at first and why we should keep going

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

welcoming thoughts in meditation

Getting the right touch with meditation: welcoming thoughts as guests

“If you try too hard to let go of thinking, the mind speeds up and more thoughts than ever seem to come up. If you don’t try hard enough it’s business as usual. Nothing changes and you discover nothing of interest. So it’s a matter of getting the right touch. One way of doing this is to adopt toward thoughts an attitude you would have … Continue reading Getting the right touch with meditation: welcoming thoughts as guests

Meditating with physical pain – how can we make pain our practice?

If you can relate to your present suffering with some kind of sense of it being your path, then the suffering itself becomes your practice. Just being able to let go of negative thinking and struggling with the pain and being more simple about it, that already means you are making the suffering into the path. Continue reading Meditating with physical pain – how can we make pain our practice?