All posts filed under: Mind-Body

Compassionate Acceptance as a Path of Healing

By Thomas Roberts // How often do we embark on our spiritual growth journeys with the well-meaning intention of improving, changing, quieting, calming, or otherwise modifying ourselves? Thinking that if we just get it right, then our demons will finally leave us alone! I know I did. With that approach, the harder we work at it, the more conflicted, frustrated, anxious, self-berating, and distant it seems we become from that goal we so want to achieve. A long time ago, I was talking with a fellow journeyer about this whole conundrum. She said: “You know it’s kind of like training a dog by locking it in the basement and hoping it will eventually become a nice dog. Hmmm… In truth, we simply cannot silence—or otherwise lock away—those parts of ourselves that are wounded, messy, difficult and scary. They need to be recognized, accepted, and held with great love and compassion. And this brings us to the notion of compassionate acceptance. After all, the guts of our spiritual/healing journey is not about silencing, changing, or becoming …

The Search for Comfort Zones

By Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche With every blink of the eye, with every breath, we are trying to find comfort—some kind of relief from the underlying agitation and unsettledness of our ordinary mind. We look to family or friends, to some source of stimulation, or to an infinite number of other external conditions that we hope will help us. When we listen to music, watch movies, or engage in any other form of entertainment, in one way we are enjoying it, but in another way it is also an example of using our ordinary mind to find comfort. Our search for this comfort arises from the primordial fear within our ordinary mind. We are all trying to find a comfort zone, and when our circumstances inevitably change and we are no longer in a comfort zone, our secure and hopeful world is gone. Even when we are getting what we want, we worry that we may lose our comfort zones. We worry about losing our job, our family, our relationship, our health, and anything else that …

Culadasa

Culadasa: Disentangle From Your Thoughts and Emotions

By Culadasa One thing that all successful meditation practices have in common, whether it’s acknowledged or not, is stable attention and mindfulness. You could even say these are the two functional objectives of the meditation process. And although you may have never noticed before, conscious experience takes two distinct forms: attention and peripheral awareness. Attention and peripheral awareness are associated with different brain networks that process information in fundamentally different ways. They are two quite different ways of “knowing” the world. Paying attention involves a bilateral dorsal network of structures that selectively engages specific objects, is top-down, voluntary and intentional, focal, highly verbal, abstract, mostly conceptual, and evaluative. Peripheral awareness involves a right-lateralized ventral network that provides an open awareness that automatically orients to new stimuli, can disengage and redirect attention, is bottom-up, stimulus-driven, panoramic, minimally verbal, concrete, mainly sensory, and non-judgmental. The main thing these two systems have in common is that both contribute to conscious experience. To be successful in your practice, you must work with both attention and peripheral awareness to stabilize …

Culadasa

Culadasa: What to Do When Your Mind Wanders During Meditation

In this video, Culadasa (John Yates, PhD.) offers profound and practical advice for what to do when your mind wanders during meditation.  In July, he’ll be leading the Science of Meditation retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts The Science of Meditation: Buddhist Wisdom Meets Modern Brain Science with Culadasa, July 5–9, 2017 — click here to learn more About the Author Culadasa (John Yates, Ph.D.) is the director of Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona and author of The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Using Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science. A meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions, Culadasa also taught physiology and neuroscience for many years. He combines the original teachings of the Buddha with an emerging, scientific understanding of the mind to give students a rich and rare opportunity for rapid progress and profound insight.

The Benefits of Meditation for Runners

By Michael Sandrock Learning to respond rather than react is a valuable skill for athletes and people in general.  Below, we look at three stories from competitive runners that illustrate the importance of this skill, which can be cultivated through meditation. Clare Gallagher was a top prep runner at Cherry Creek High School near Denver, but her collegiate career did not go as well. In her junior year of college, she joined the Princeton Student Buddhist Club because, she says, she “was curious about meditation and had all but stopped all Catholic traditions and prayers that I grew up with. I felt a spiritual void and Buddhism called out to me.” Weekends without a track or cross country meet, she would go on silent meditation retreats, and that practice changed her life. What did Gallagher learn? That “reacting to situations is usually a waste of time and energy. In turn, responding to situations is usually productive, as it requires introspection and thought. I am a reactionary person by nature, but meditation has taught me to chill …

Lila Yoga

Lila Yoga’s 3 Steps to Awakening to the Larger Rhythms of Life

By Erica Kaufman Let’s take a brief look into the science of yoga and what it offers. Yoga is the science & art of living in harmony. Yoga considers the mind to be a huge influential factor in the human experience and thus worthy of understanding. There are many aspects of the mind, including what I will call the small mind—the part of us that is saturated by the immediacy of our considerations and experiences. It is the way we function when the world seems to shrink down to conform inside perceived boundaries of a frame and we lose the larger perspective/context or rhythm/energy of life. But unity/yoga has no borders—and when we function inside the limitations of a framed awareness, we may not be sensitive to the larger rhythms of consideration. So how do we broaden our awareness? Let’s consider 2 Sanskrit words: Lila = cosmic play within life; the larger rhythm of life Yoga = Unity/Harmony Lila Yoga (Unity within Life) is a unique and powerful offering in the field of yoga. It’s …

Culadasa

The Science of Meditation | Attention and Peripheral Awareness

In this video, Culadasa (John Yates, PhD.) describes the important distinction between attention and awareness.  In July, he’ll be leading the Science of Meditation retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts The Science of Meditation: Buddhist Wisdom Meets Modern Brain Science with Culadasa, July 5–9, 2017 — click here to learn more About the Author Culadasa (John Yates, Ph.D.) is the director of Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona and author of The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Using Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science. A meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions, Culadasa also taught physiology and neuroscience for many years. He combines the original teachings of the Buddha with an emerging, scientific understanding of the mind to give students a rich and rare opportunity for rapid progress and profound insight.

Hope Martin and David Rome Explain Embodied Listening

For the past fifteen years, Hope Martin and David Rome have been bringing together eastern and western mind–body practices in a program they call Embodied Listening. In this recent interview with Shambhala Mountain Center, these two teachers explain how the Alexander Technique and Mindful Focusing can help people discover a greater sense of ease and naturalness in their lives, and how these practices are especially potent when engaged alongside traditional mindfulness–awareness meditation. Enjoy the full video interview below, or scroll down to stream or download the audio. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Embodied Listening: Uncovering Our Bodies’ Natural Wisdom with David Rome and Hope Martin, May 26–29, 2017 — click here to learn more Stream audio below.  To download, click here. About the Authors Hope Martin has taught the Alexander Technique for 30 years, trains Alexander teachers at the American Center for the Alexander Technique and operates Hope Martin Studio in New York City.  She is a meditation instructor and a Focusing trainer. Her particular passion is in helping her students discover how easeful, upright posture …