Daily Life Practice

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Fault Finding Tendencies

Do you have a tendency to find fault with yourself, others, or the situations that occur around you? In The Art of Disappearing by Ajahn Brahm, page 91-95 we find a important practical suggestion: to investigate the fault-finding mind. Notice if and when your attention slides into negativity, criticism, and blame. Investigate that experience: how [...]

Pleasure and the Happiness of Release

The Buddha taught that happiness comes not through gaining or possessing things, but through release. You might inquire into your own experience to see if this is true. When you desire some pleasurable experience or object, notice the experience that surrounds that desire: What do you need to go through to get it? What does [...]

Conveying the past into the present

This post is an "at home practice" for our Walking the Path course participants, June-July section. Investigate and reflect on to the process of conveying the past into the present. In what ways do you find that you might be "conveying the past into the present"? Consider your work life, social life, meditation practice, self [...]

Intention and the Power of Thought

Intention is a powerful form of thought. Intention is the key to the ethical, moral, or kammic (karmic) dimension of experience. Observing our intentions we see how a thought leads into an action. We do not live with a single intention that determines all our actions. Instead, intentions arise moment by moment and flavor the [...]

Those first precious moments of a meditation session

This is the 'at home' practice assignment for the Walking the Path course. How do you settle yourself to begin your meditation practice? How do you establish mindful attention at the beginning of your daily meditation session? Some people dive in upon their meditation object (such as the breath) so quickly and forcefully that they [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 May 13th, 2013|Daily Life Practice, Meditation, Mindfulness Practice|

Want to be where you are

Do you want to be where you are right now? If the answer is no, you’ll be suffering. If the answer is such an enthusiastic yes, that you are planning how to keep or repeat the experience, you’ll also be suffering. If there is a tendency to seek comfort, security, pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment in [...]

2013-04-20T14:03:09+00:00 April 20th, 2013|Daily Life Practice, Mindfulness Practice|

Mindful Listening

We concluded our Mindful Speech series with a discussion of Mindful Listening.  Reflective suggestions for this week included: 1. During conversations this week, notice if you tend to listen or speak more? When you are listening, are you fully present? Notice if you are planning your response, interrupting, or searching for the next opportunity to speak? [...]

2012-12-15T20:25:30+00:00 December 15th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Sangha Practice|

Criticism and Boasting

In this week’s exploration of mindful speech at the Tuesday night meditation group, we read the description of a “superior person” (Anguttara Nikaya IV:73). The superior person had four attributes regarding speech. A Superior Person…. 1. does not reveal the faults of others. But if pressed to answer, he criticizes others hesitantly, incompletely, and with omissions. [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 December 6th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Sangha Practice|

Recognizing what we want when we speak

We continued to explore mindful speech this week. Last night’s dhamma talk focused on the development of empathy, and an investigation of the extent to which self-interest affects our communications. I appreciate a discourse in the Samyutta Nikaya (S. 55:7) that describes the Buddhist equivalent of the Golden Rule — do unto others as you [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 November 28th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Mindfulness Practice|

What thoughts sustain your habits or addictions?

Most of us have some habits or tendencies that we would like to let go of, yet an inner craving or subtle feeling of need fuels the habits causing them to repeat until they appear entrenched in our lives. The habits may be related to eating, smoking, relationships, speech styles, sarcastic humor, entertainments, newspaper reading, [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 October 13th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Emotions, Working with suffering|

Has Mara visited you today?

There is a mythical figure in the Buddhist teachings named Mara. He arrives on the scene in many disguises and disrupts a meditator’s concentration, interferes with the clarity of insight, or tries to seduce the practitioner into wrongful acts. We might see Mara as the personification of hindrances, unskillful impulses, self-doubt, self-destructive habits, and any [...]

Local paper writes article about our meditation group: Reflections on speech

A local newspaper, The Mountain View Voice, wrote an article about my work and Insight Meditation South Bay. Check it out at: http://www.mv-voice.com/story.php?story_id=8067 I don’t have much experience being interviewed (this may be the first time that I have been interviewed for a newspaper such as this), so the process has been an opportunity for [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 September 8th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Sangha Practice|

Equally balanced in meditation and shopping

Saturday we focused on cultivating a joyful and balanced mind—finding equanimity in the midst of our lives, coming back to balance whenever we 'lose it', cultivating balanced effort in the meditation, discovering the support of a dynamically balanced posture, and developing depth in the meditation by balancing our faculties (faith and wisdom, energy and concentration, [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 August 20th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Investigating body and mind, Meditation|