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  1. 4 points
    I'm going to quote my favorite Sufi poet Rumi: "What you are seeking, is seeking you." "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." I believe the key to mindfulness is being gentle with yourself and not having expectations. Allowing whatever happens to happen. Continuing to come back to your breath, believing that breath is all-sustaining, and understanding the miracle of breath- that we breathe without effort, that the universe wants us to live even if we don't want to. The evidence is simple- try to hold your breath. You simply can't, your body breathes for you. The easiest way for me to meditate or calm myself is counting my breath. I inhale to a count of 4 or 6, breathing down into my belly, and exhale slowly to a count of 8 or 12.
  2. 3 points
    As I've been watching the news and scrolling through social media over the past couple of months, I've noticed certain divides expanding: the divide between the right and the left, between lockdown advocates and lockdown protesters, between those that follow mainstream news and those that follow alternative news sources. So I am wondering if we can discuss how mindfulness might help us to soften these perceived gaps. While yes, it is apparent there is a gap between certain viewpoints, can we focus on what actually unites us? I know there is also a growing sense of community and support in many places as well - so the story is not only about division. And yet, I think there is something worth looking at here: How can we take our personal mindfulness practice, understandings, and insights and use that to unite and ground the collective?
  3. 3 points
    Lovely lyrics Gene. I think that's a wonderful way to think about music. I wonder if you can still give yourself that message, to be kind to yourself?
  4. 3 points
    I’m David, now living in Utah. I was an attorney in public service, sometimes supporting the activities of government agencies and sometimes serving as a prosecutor. I would not say that I found my work unsatisfying, but I would say I never felt like it was totally aligned with my deepest values. My introduction to the teachings attributed to the Buddha about 14 years ago really struck a chord in me and I have been pursuing my interest in them and formal meditation practice vigorously ever since. I have organized a small meditation group through a local community center and participate in several others. Hello and best wishes to all of you.
  5. 3 points
    That must have been quite tough @Gene Williams. That would of course shift and influence your journey related to expressing yourself. My environment was always very physically safe growing up but spiritually and emotionally it was constricting. As I moved through my teenage years and into adult life, I still held on to a lot of the 'good girl' conditioning that made me feel 'wrong' or 'bad' for expressing my feelings and needs (and to some degree, still do). So for me, learning to speak up in my teenage and early adulthood years was never in opposition with my physical wellbeing - a situation I'm very blessed to have experienced.
  6. 3 points
    Hello, I am very familiar and trained in EMDR, which treats trauma by gradually leading the client through distressing memories while utilizing bilateral stimulation to help the brain resolve the trauma by neutralizing the memories, desensitizing them, and moving them from the amygdala to the hippocampus so the memories are less likely to be associated with sensations and be triggered, and more consolidated with other memories.
  7. 3 points
    Hello everyone I'm Ekerette I don't know if anyone here knows what it feels like to have been habitually not mindful? That's who I was. I'm hoping that by meeting, learning and sharing here I'll accelerate my development and contribute to others around. Kind regards.
  8. 3 points
    Hi I'm Abby, based in London UK. I've been meditating for the last 3 years but changes in my life now mean that I want to be more consistent in my practice so have signed up for the 100 day challenge. Look forward to being part of the community.
  9. 3 points
    I have no expertise in these areas. But, in my experience people pursuing effective communication often confuse it with effective emotional regulation. (Perhaps this is an unfair projection of distrust or some other bias on my part.) In order to achieve both, they often seem to skip over important steps in acknowledging difficult emotions and what those emotions are trying to tell us, something that always should be honored. Essentially they end up repressing the emotions, even after acknowledging them. LOL, but their features and posture often communicate those emotions anyway. Judging difficult emotions, like anger, or labeling them as being "negative" or "bad" encourages this result. Repressing emotions has been shown to be unhealthy and often counterproductive for effective communication. Moreover, being judgmental and repressive toward expressions of difficult emotions in others can be hurtful and harmful to those others. I think this sort of activity has a way of desensitizing us to actual people in the flesh, of inhibiting emotional intelligence, and causing us to align with groups, causes, or leaders that we find alluring but often display significant amounts of rigidity and intolerance. In my mind, this tendency is similar to the "awestruck effect." https://ideas.ted.com/the-dark-side-of-charisma/ It helps to remember that even inspirational figures like Gandhi and Mandela had their dark sides, particularly Gandhi. It is reported that both displayed insensitivity to their families. This is not to negate anything Gillian and Gene have said. My hope is to place what was said in a fuller perspective about how we move beyond anger. I think Buddhism is often misunderstood, in my view, to encourage the repression of certain "negative" or "bad" emotions. I do not recall the precise quotation, but the Buddha denied teaching that one should pursue any practice always; what he taught was pursuing whatever practice leads to wholesome, skillful, or beautiful results. For beginners at meditation, this might mean trying to subdue difficult emotions temporarily in order to gain greater stability and spaciousness of mind, but later it might mean sensing into those very same emotions and exploring them as naturally occurring phenomena to learn their conditions and effects more fully. I don't say this to invoke the Buddha as an authority but to attribute and repeat what I think is very sound advice. A natural consequence of following this advice might be greater care and compassion for self and others and a lessening of any tendency to feel hostility or irritation. LOL, I'm still working on that, but these things happen gradually over time, not in some incredible epiphany.
  10. 3 points
    Hello @Gillian Sanger, @David Weiskopfand @Jo L, This is a complicated question without an easy answer. I can't add anything substantial to what has already been said. Yes, we do have to understand other perspectives and be able to hold competing perspectives, without judgement. Being mindful of our needs and the needs of others is a pathway to finding common ground. I am a little familiar with Dr. Marshall Rosenberg's work and believe that we all have basic needs and much conflict is caused because competing individual’s and groups have different methods and approaches to meet those needs. Unfortunately, the approaches to meeting those needs are often carried out in negative and self-defeating ways that causes harm to the self and others. I, like David, find it challenging to simply accept other people or groups who are causing harm. There is a time and place when the appropriate response is to exercise "fierce compassion" and say "no" to actions that cause harm and lead to injustice. One thing I am working on within our current political divide is to work on understanding mindfully why I react the way I react to the strong opinions of others when I sense injustice. If I am not caught up in my own strong feelings and emotions, I can feel them, know that are present and understand my reactions when I feel my needs are being challenged. If I can process this mindfully, then I can respond with equanimity. This allows me to move beyond anger and self-righteous indignation. Within that space, I can stop feeling angry and see the human being or group who are trying to meet their own basic needs. I may not feel comfortable with how they are trying to meet those needs but I can still recognize their humanity. They also want to be happy, healthy, safe and secure. This allows space to exercise "fierce compassion" and say "no" to injustice without anger or aversion. Then I am in a position to respond from a state of equanimity. I can challenge social injustice and still recognize and acknowledge the human being who may be suffering and attempting to free themselves from suffering. At the very least, if anger and indignation is not present, people and groups with different options can talk with each other instead of at each other. This is all well and good in theory but difficult to practice in the real world. But as I write this, I plan to make this my aspiration and part of my mindfulness practice. Regards, Gene
  11. 3 points
    Hi, Gene. Living in Ogden, UT, I also lack a community to connect with. I am lucky that my wife shares an interest in Buddhism and formal practice. I've followed a few teachers and have gone to retreats with them. I learned a lot, but did not find what I was looking for, even allowing for the possibility the problem was me. I have pretty much landed with Gil Fronsdal and the Insight Meditation Center he co-founded. (The "pretty much" reflects no reservations about Gil, but more my distrust of the mentality of groups of any kind.) Especially now with the pandemic, they have a lot of online offerings, even for retreats from home. I'm not trying to promote them, simply advising of their availability if you are not already familiar with them. From the perspective of secular Buddhism and the science of mind, I recently became very impressed with Dan Siegel from reading his book Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence. Have you read that one too? I have a very few Buddhist books that I read over and over again, but I hesitate to recommend them because so many of us have different doorways to the practice. It's funny, thinking of Jo's recommendations, neither of her recommended teachers are included in my list, but their teachings have had a very great impact on me. I am glad she volunteered her favorites because I always am curious about who people believe had the greatest impact on them. Best regards.
  12. 3 points
    Thank you, Gillian and Jo, for your thoughtful contributions. I really appreciate Gillian having asked the question. It seems like an extremely important issue for these times.
  13. 3 points
    Nice to meet you too, Mel. I also teach yoga, Vinyasa, Hatha, and what I call "free-form" since I taught individually to my psychology clients. I also love yoga nidra. Currently I am in a course called Path to Freedom which is about teaching mindfulness to prisoners. It's fascinating. Love it! Thanks, you too!
  14. 3 points
    I would like to offer that in Zen we like to say there is no good zen or bad zen only zen. This is the same with much in life. There really is not good or bad there just is. So just be. Experience what is being, experience the reality that it is and that is all. Let all you experience be seen, felt and pass by. It is then awesome to be able to process in a better frame of mind. Blessings. Paige
  15. 3 points
    I love this one:
  16. 3 points
    This is a question I contemplate a lot. My present thoughts are that the wish to bridge these divides is beneficial to the extent it helps us tune in to how we might be too righteously grasping our own views and it motivates us to resolve not to make things worse through unkind speech and actions. It can inspire us to soften and kindly listen whenever civil discourse is available and to find and express common ground. At the same time, I believe the wish to bridge these gaps can be overly idealistic and reflect some wishful thinking rooted in denial and conflict avoidance. We are social animals and want to belong to our community and see it function harmoniously. When it does not, we feel a most uncomfortable dissonance between our compassion for suffering and our allegiance to the community, our craving to belong and get along. To resolve the discomfort it becomes easy to rationalize not taking appropriate actions but to maintain a semblance of harmony and/or loyalty. Through mindfulness we might sense into these tensions, emotions, and attitudes and see how they shape our intentions. We must adhere to our truths, for example that non-harming and promoting the wellbeing of all beings to the greatest practical extent is Important for moving toward a harmonious and thriving community. Through our practice we intend to do so from a place of kindness and warmth as opposed to hostility and aversion. But, often in this milieu our compassion must be fierce. Fierceness might be just simply and gently saying, “no,” asking for the information on which another bases his or her opinion, or looking for opportunities to introduce discreetly pertinent information whenever it will be tolerated. Where we are unsure, we could offer, “I’m not sure, but I have [whatever concern],” or something similar. Often we will be uncertain how to act or respond. I nevertheless think we should not shrink from being perceived as consistent advocates of views that might be unpopular with others. It then is not necessary nor even advisable to always speak up. I wish I really were skillful at any of this and am eager to learn what others contribute.
  17. 3 points
    Hello everyone! I’ve been lurking in the shadows receiving and ‘filing’ Sean’s emails for the 100 Day Meditation practice. I am a Social Worker working in the Child Protection space so find my work challenging and busy resulting in a very busy mind. I have 3 children, 2 with special needs, so have been trying to embrace Mindfulness and Meditation for as long as I can remember and never seem to find the time. I hoping by committing to a community I will dedicate more time to mindfulness. I certainly see the benefits when I take the time to do it. I would like to eventually study mindfulness with a view to teaching it to parents and children as my long-term goal is to work as a therapist/coach to assist families to be strong family units providing safety and security for themselves and their children. As a SN parent there was never much support/help for my husband and I (and our daughter) but lots for our SN children. I would like my impact in the this world to be a shining light (lighthouse) for the whole family and help them through difficult times. I’m looking forwarding to learning from you all, developing new experiences and a sense of calm Cheers Keera
  18. 3 points
    Hi Gillian, Thank you for your very helpful advice. Yes the 14-day-course is by Jeremy Lipkowitz; I like the format and how it is presented. I just have to follow the process and do the worksheets. The overlap of worksheets between the two programs added to my confusion/frustration. Regarding what brought me to mindfulness: on a lighter note, I am still looking for the proverbial "silver bullet" My wife and I have always been interested in growing spiritually and emotionally as human beings. We've read lots of books, gone to lots of workshops. Each of us resonated with different materials/modalities. I have been practicing EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for several years to help with stress, anxiety, and physical pain. I find that it helps, especially during this COVID-19 era. A few years ago I came across Jon Kabat Zinn's mindfulness material, go into it a bit, and found it 'too clinical' for me. I've been looking for simpler meditations of 5-20 minutes and came across this website, I recognize that one of my challenges is that I have high expectations of outcomes and if I don't see/feel results in a few days I'll start looking for something else. The fact that there are tens of thousands of types of meditations and exercises makes it even harder. BUT, going through the last 12 days of the two mindfulness exercises the thought that kept coming up was "listen and watch the videos, the PICK A FEW and do the work!". So I will spend this month re-reading Sean's "Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners" eBook, completing the "Mindful Life Design" questionnaire and getting into the 14 Day program again in more depth. Expectations? "Go with the flow"
  19. 3 points
    Good morning, everyone. I have been using "Future Self" journaling prompts for over 100 days (thanks to a wonderful teacher named Dr. Nicole LePera- the Holistic Psychologist) and I find that this type of inquiry allows space for learning many interesting things about myself. So for today...my future self will (hopefully) thank me for pausing before responding in the hectic day of working full time and home schooling two kids on my own. I am working to cultivate more pause when I feel tension or stress rising in my body from the inevitable challenges that are present in our current circumstance. Alongside this, I hope to be forgiving of myself when the pause doesn't go exactly as planned...knowing I will have endless moments to try again. Wishing you all a day infused with light and ease. Rachel
  20. 2 points
    I like to make gratitude lists in my journal, particularly when I'm feeling down. I've found it's nearly impossible to be in a bad mood and be grateful at the same time. For some reason, every morning when I take a shower, which is sometimes a chore because I like to take my time reading, writing, drinking coffee and lounging around in the morning, I focus on being grateful for having hot, running water. Such a simple thing that we take for granted, yet something that many, many people do not have. It helps me start the day in a positive and thankful mood. I also focus on all of the wonderful people in my life who love and support me. I am also grateful for all of you and this community
  21. 2 points
    That sounds like a noble and admirable mission Gene. Good luck to you!
  22. 2 points
    Nice to meet you @Ali Zien, I also really enjoyed reading The Power of Now. We also have Sociology in common. My Degree major was in Sociology. I look forward to following your posts. Regards, Gene
  23. 2 points
    I love this mantra. I have an 8 hour version of it which I listen to every night to sleep to. My chosen music to listen to through the day is also Deva and Miten. Their voices soothe my soul and warms my heart This is the first time I have used this community so I hope I am ok responding here.
  24. 2 points
    When I think of this question this morning, a favourite old song comes to mind by the Little River Band. These are the lyrics that I am hearing: Take it easy on me. It should be easy to see. I'm getting lost in a crowd. Hear me crying out loud. I often felt lost in the world and needed to feel and experience this message. I did not realize it at the time, but growing up, I often experienced music as a way of practicing loving kindness. I would tell my older self to be kind to himself.
  25. 2 points
    I love your message @Paige PIlege, .... recognizing and acknowledging the fear and being kind to yourself. This is moving beyond a fear based existance and embracing your personal power. Nice!
  26. 2 points
    Great picture Gene! And I love what you say, Gillian, about understanding life's flow when you're in nature. Walking in nature is important has always been soothing for me. I was terrified before I got married, as transitions are not my cup of tea, and many times I would walk a certain path in a nearby park and on an inhale I repeated to myself "love,"picturing warm light entering my heart, and on an exhale I repeated to myself "fear," imagining letting go of all the fear that was churning inside me. Another time, I was doing a mindful meditative walk and I actually saw a vision of my maternal grandmother, who I never met because she died before I was born. I had tears in my eyes, feeling her looking down at me with love; I felt cherished and protected. My dear grandmother, a woman I'd always regretted not meeting, became my guardian angel. Poetry is my emotional outlet. Sometimes I dissociate, and the only thing that brings me 'back' is writing poetry. I feel blessed because poems come to me fully formed, and when they do come to me, I typically feel compelled to record them immediately. For example, I've woken up in the middle of the night with a poem in my head, and even though I'm half-sleeping, I get up to write down the poem. I've noticed that poems I've written in the past, when I was a teenager all the way until fairly recently, tend to be very dark. Lately, as I've gotten more immersed in mindfulness, I've written some lighter poems. It feels like a good transition, although there is something powerful about brooding poetry. Below are a couple of my poems. anorexia if i should fall into your seductive arms again and stop eating start the path toward righteousness that ridiculous lie you had me believing the punishment i inflicted on my flesh on my soul if i fall again will you take me fast can it be over quick so i don’t have to watch them stare at my bony arms and legs so i don’t have to lie a thousand times a day so the sun doesn’t hurt my heart and love peal my skin away greetings when i say hello to a stranger passing by a homeless person on the street a cashier ringing my groceries it is not a passing fancy or thoughtless action, a duty to perform i am communicating my genuine interest and care for their humanity hello i say and i mean are you all right are you being fed and does someone love you properly are you hugged at least five times a day do you have enough friends to confide in and are you able to play regularly do you find yourself still enchanted when the birds sing and children laugh are your dreams still alive hello won’t you tell me that you are a contented soul
  27. 2 points
    I am enjoying this challenge, and I find it helpful in developing a daily mindfulness practice. Today was day 8, and we practiced Focused Awareness, grounded in the breath. The reflection question struck me because I am a psychologist, and I spend a great deal of time listening to my patients. There are times when my attentiveness wains, and I get distracted. I try not to do this, but I am only human--well, part human and part monkey. I find that when I set a mindful intention to focus, I am better able to focus. I also am finding that the more focused I am, themore I enjoy the session; my patients also appear more engaged and productive in response to my attentiveness. Thank you for this practice, Joseph
  28. 2 points
    Hello @Joseph, Welcome to this site. I really identify with what you are saying here. I have worked in the health and social services sector for over 30 years: often in roles where I was a helper. I found that bringing mindfulness to attending skills allows me to be more attentive and skillful while attending to the needs of others. I look forward to following your posts. Kind Regards, Gene
  29. 2 points
    @Gene Williams @DaliaThis is the most difficult thing for me because I went so many years thinking I HAD to take care of things. With a missing husband and not being aware that he was hiding from me and his two sons for years. I felt my responsibility as being my love equal to caring for them and then the overage go to him. Today I think of myself first, but I seem to still think of others first. From the moment I wake up. I take the shortest hours of the day. I am realizing that I have to work on MY time. Hmmmm. Thank you for both your insight and helping me stop and think about this. A continuous work in progress. Not just meditation a few slots of the day but at all times as well the under consciousness. Again thank you.
  30. 2 points
  31. 2 points
    Thanks @Gillian Sanger! Trying to move past that and my shyness, and doing more helps to do that I'd love to hear more about that @Paige PIlege
  32. 2 points
    Hello everyone, I thought I'd start a new thread here for us to share music that helps us to reconnect with the essence of our being - or to the energies of presence, compassion, peace, love, and kindness. This has come up for me today after a stumbled upon a video I fell in love with last summer. The music is absolutely beautiful and really invites us deeper into unity. Let me know if you listen to this or if you have something else you'd like to share!
  33. 2 points
    Good morning, Gene. Yes, the "Just Like Me" practice can help build empathy and compassion and thereby help bridge gaps that exist because people hold conflicting views. Thanks for bringing that into the conversation. When I was trying to understand the lay of the land in Buddhist ideology, I recognized an emphasis on loving kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy that I certainly did not feel in the ways the writers related. So, I tried reading Sharon Salzberg's book Lovingkindness. Although I rationally understood what she was saying, I did not relate well to it. I think I was too self-absorbed. So, I picked up a copy of Jeffrey Hopkins' A Truthful Heart. As I recall, there were a lot of "Just Like Me" practices. Whatever the number or style of presentation, they made a huge impression on me and ever since I have repeated that reflection on a very frequent basis, at least daily. As I read your post, I was both nodding in agreement and at the same time thinking, "No, there is the aspect of harming that sometimes cannot be bridged!" Then I read the interview with Mark Coleman you cited and I was so gratified to see that I did not have to say a word. Mark spoke well to the dilemma often posed by wanting to bridge gaps when people are wedded to actions and views that contribute to great harm. Thanks for the article. I bookmarked it. Thinking we all were getting close to leaving this topic for awhile, I looked back and had one reflection. Implicit in Gillian's question and so many of the responses was something so important--the intention to bridge the gap, to not cause enmity, harm, and separation through bitterness and stubbornness. This sort of aspiration, intention, and resolve is so important. When we become self-absorbed it is usual to lose sight of those good intentions or to distort them into rationalizations for our self-righteousness. It was just like me to respond by casting light on the usual impediments to carrying through on our best and noble intentions. I have a tendency to skip over our best qualities and to point out people's hypocrisy. You know what they say about "good intentions?" "The road to hell is paved" with them. But, those good intentions are extremely important. Oftentimes, they simply are not sufficient. Moreover, there is a need for equanimity and keeping balance when the gaps cannot be bridged by even the most skillful efforts on our parts. When intentions are held and conveyed from a place of sincere concern and balance, they have at the very least subtle effects on others. They certainly are beneficial to the holder. So, I thank all who in some way, expressed such good intentions.
  34. 2 points
    I would tell myself that the present moment is all that I have, and to let go of the past, and stop projecting into the future. I would remind myself that I am more than my body size, that, in fact, perseverating about my weight and calories was a colossal waste of precious time. I would tell myself that regular meditating would do me a world of good. When I obsessed about my body and criticized myself I would suggest that I gently come back to my breath and remember what was really important- loving myself and others, living in the moment, acting according to my values, and living with integrity. I would tell myself that I am not defined by my anorexia, I would survive the pain, people love me, and I'm stronger than I think.
  35. 2 points
    Thank you @Gene WilliamsAs I did this scan it was crazy how the pain or sensation that I was focusing on went away. I will always use this . I like using it mostly at night. In the past years I have come to pay attentions so much more to my body. It is a nice feeling to connect to the self in body form and understand what it does and now it functions. This suit of flesh we wear.
  36. 2 points
    I would have to say I came to mindfulness accidentally and indirectly. Ever since I was small, I felt connected to the natural world and disconnected from people. The way they tried to push their expectations and demands on me while showing no interest in what I wanted (or might need, for those who like that perspective) hurt, but I was helpless to do anything about it except try to avoid them--an impossible strategy. I winced at their judgments of me, be they good or bad, because they always meant meeting their expectations as a condition of any attention or approval. I became hostile, angry, and defiant. Some of those characteristics actually could be channelled usefully into lawyering. I simply got to the point several years ago where I realized however much I could justify my alienation, I was off on a tangent...I was really missing something. I read Marc Ian Barasch's book Field Notes on the Compassionate Life that started an interest in Buddhism. I was seeking a sense of wholeness, interconnectedness, and meaning at a level below posturing and positions, which by no means are confined to the legal arena. Through Barasch's book I realized wholeness and connection were possible and I started exploring Buddhism. No real interest in mindfulness developed in me for several years after that. Trying to familiarize myself with Buddhist worldview and various Buddhist traditions' differing worldviews came first. The whole idea that peace, caring, and serenity were possible seemed real and accessible! I studied and meditated. It was only after I was able to achieve levels of peace and serenity that I came to understand that mindfulness or presence was necessary to see and be with things as they are (not as they truly are because we have no way of knowing), unshackled by craving and delusion, which in turn could lead to greater peace. So, I became an accidental devotee of mindfulness. It all reminds me of a Greatful Dead lyric, "What a long strange trip it's been."
  37. 2 points
    Day 15: Sensory Awareness Integrated Practice: Practice open awareness today by allowing yourself to notice details around you that you may not normally pay attention to (e.g. the color of other cars on the road, smells in the air, sounds in your office, other people’s body language, etc.). If it helps to pick a specific time to do this, try something like when walking from your vehicle to your office or home, or perhaps while running an errand today. Reflection Question: I had more moments of being aware of being aware. When I was walking, I felt very present and at one point experienced a strong sense that I did not know who I was…the feeling was that I felt disconnected from a self.
  38. 2 points
    Thanks Gene! It's nice to hear that you also grew up Catholic- it's a unique background so I appreciate that you 'get' me. Also appreciate that you have immersed yourself in such good literature and information about Buddhism. There is always more to learn, and I like when people are passionate about such an amazing and life-changing topic. Have a wonderful day- and we'll talk further! Jo
  39. 2 points
    @Rachel, Thank you for this. This is a simple message and yet very profound. This reminds me about some wisdom a former boss shared with me years ago: If something won't be a "crisis" in a year from now, it is not likely a crisis!! This is what I would share with my younger self, my older self and my current self!! Kind Regards, Gene
  40. 2 points
    Excuse me if I am becoming burdensome, but I really felt invigorated and inspired by this conversation, particularly Gillian's positive attitude, but also all the nuances the other contributors offered. It actually helped me feel freer for a time. I was so inspired I went searching on the internet for an article from a teacher or counselor that expressed what I was trying to say better than I could. This was the second article that popped up and it was near perfect. https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/article/freeing-the-mind/ May we all live with ease.
  41. 2 points
    Indeed difficult to practice! However, I think it's also great to acknowledge that there can be an in-between way of being, or a transitional one. For instance, compared to how I was before, I am MUCH quicker at acknowledging where I've used an angry or condescending tone with my partner for instance, and I would say I am pretty swift now (though not perfect) at apologizing for it and then shifting to a state of open, curious listening. I think it's worth noting where we ourselves and others make baby steps in the more compassionate, conscious direction.
  42. 2 points
    Hi Ekerette, Welcome! I certainly know what it's like to be not mindful- in fact that's how I spent most of my life- numb and distracted. Yoga and meditation have been lifesavers, as has Buddhism. So glad you joined! Jo
  43. 2 points
    Hello @David Weiskopfand @Jo L, I have also been on a path of exploring Buddhism. I do not identify with any lineage or school but like what secular Buddhism has to offer. In some sense, the idea that Buddhism is a science of the mind really resonates with me. Happy to hear that both of you are finding some equanimity in your life. Regards, Gene
  44. 2 points
    Hello @Ekerette, Welcome to the club. Yes, I know eactly what it feels like to be habitually not mindful. I still experience that state. In fact, when I become hyper busy in life, I seem to turn off from being mindful and then re-enter that state when the busy time ends. I am looking forward to following your posts. Kind Regards, Gene
  45. 2 points
    Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection David! It's an interesting point you make about being overly idealistic. It's not something I've thought about too much when I've explored this subject (in my own mind, through readings and teachings, etc), but I can absolutely see what you are saying. I think this also comes down to perhaps a misperception along the lines of, "Surely there has to be a peaceful, pain-free resolution to this." Perhaps that's not a conscious thought, but I think we sometimes expect common ground to be peaceful - or maybe we just hope for it to be. But as you said, sometimes our compassion is fierce - and sometimes it's not comfortable. I think this is all a part of the human experience. Have you heard of the work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg? His work on Non-Violent Communication is really inspiring. I often refer to his work to better understand what's going on in the world. For example, one of his main points is that beneath whatever our 'position' is, there are certain needs wanting to be addressed. When we are actually able to identify the needs on either side of an argument, it's easier to find a resolution. Here's a link to his 'Needs Inventory' if you're interested in reading more: https://www.cnvc.org/training/resource/needs-inventory
  46. 2 points
    I'm Vladimir and I'm pleased to be here among all of you. I've been a university instructor for quite some time, which has served its purpose, but since I've been practicing mindfulness and meditation for a few years now have felt a different calling. My background revolved around serving in the Marine Corps Reserves while attending university for geology. Both of these fields involve a very different mindset and a lot of it involved ego, at least for me. It wasnt until a few years ago that I decided I was looking for more when mindfulness (and yoga) were suggested to me. Being the 'practical' scientist I am, I gave it it's fair try and after a few months I noticed, as well as others, such a positive change. I've joined this group with the hopes of sharing my experiences as well as to help me improve upon myself so that I can help improve the lives of others. Wishing you all peace and joy, Vladimir
  47. 2 points
    Hello, I just joined, I hope to find a kind and thoughtful community to help me with my journey.
  48. 2 points
    Hi Gillian, I teach earth science, so from the very begining I've always had a respect and appreciation for our world and universe. But it seemed like an 'outsiders' view. Now I can honestly say I do feel more connectedness. As for incorporating mindfulness into my teachings? Funny you should ask Not only to my students but also during our faculty meetings as well. It's been received well to say the least. I've got a few years left at the university until I move on to a different educational path. Wishing you a peaceful day.
  49. 2 points
    I love that idea Gillian! I rarely dance but always feel so good when I do. Great advice Gene- I'll take that is as well. For me, I'm going to do yoga this morning and allow myself to read for hours today without feeling like I need to be doing something "productive" like cleaning.
  50. 2 points
    I admire you Gene (and anyone else) for doing the 100 day challenge. I'll be so curious to hear how you feel after the 100 days and any shifts that you notice. I also struggle sometimes with meditation in terms of having monkey mind. I practice acceptance and remind myself that the mind's task is to think so it's perfectly normal. What gets my mind to shut off is counting my inhales and exhales. I count my inhale to 4 or 6, then exhale to a count of 8 or 12, which naturally brings down my heart rate and kicks in the sympathetic nervous system. That's important because if I'm tying to meditate and can't stop negative thoughts, I get very anxious and my heart rate goes up. The breath counting always works for me. You can do it progressively too- start by breathing evenly to a count of 4/4 then build to 6/6, then go to 4/8 or 6/12 (or 4/6 or 6/8- whatever works for you.) It's hard to have monkey mind when you're counting your breaths and imagining the air traveling from your nostrils, through your throat, past your heart center, all the way to your belly, and reverse. Namaste!

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