Mindfulness Practice

/Mindfulness Practice

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 [...]

A thought is a thought

At our weekly meditation group we are continuing the exploration of self-construction. In the discussion yesterday, one member described how she witnessed her mind constructing a notion of self through believing a series of thoughts and speculations. Another member equated the sense of self with a discernible feeling of stuck-ness. Indeed, we create the “self [...]

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 [...]

Five aspects of obstacles to understand

Here is the list of five ways of overcoming obstacles to meditation discussed at last Saturday's day long. It is from the Satipatthana Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta number 10, paragraph 36): In regards to each hindrance the meditator: 1. Understands when the hindrance is present in me. 2. Understands when the hindrance is absent in [...]

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|

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|

Discouragement and development

At some point in the development of the practice, everyone feels discouraged. For some people disappointment is an occasional hindrance; for other meditators discouragement is a chronic obstacle. There is a story in the Pali Canon of a young monk named Venerable Sona. He practiced walking meditation so diligently that the soles of his feet [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 November 10th, 2012|Emotions, Meditation, Mindfulness Practice, 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 [...]

A Simple Practice of Clinging or Not Clinging

I’ve been enjoying a simple practice recently—observing the occurrence or absence of clinging. How do you recognize when the mind is relating to experience through grasping? What are the signs or indications? Clinging to experiences of mind and body is such a habitual way of engaging with sensory contacts that attachment may go unnoticed until [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51+00:00 July 23rd, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Emotions, Mindfulness Practice|