What meditation can be like (Eat, Pray, Love) alvin June 19, 2017 - 5:17pm

In “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert describes what meditation can be like. :)

Mindfulness meditation reduced chaotic activity in the brain and the heart alvin June 18, 2017 - 11:45am

“Researchers report that mindfulness meditation reduced chaotic activity in the brain and the heart ... ‘Activities of the brain and heart became more coordinated during MBSR training,’ reported the authors. ‘Mindfulness training may increase the entrainment between mind and body.’”

Riding the wave of a natural, meditative state alvin June 17, 2017 - 10:12am

Had one of those mornings where you want to wake up at a certain time so you can get some things done, but you wake up a minute before the alarm is going to go off and you’re already in a deep, meditative state, so you turn off the alarm and ride the wave for a few hours. Ahh ...

Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” alvin June 14, 2017 - 5:27pm

Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?”

He replied, “Nothing!” Then he continued, “However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, and fear of old age an death.”

There are planes where beings exist other than the physical ~ Ram Dass

“One way to handle extraordinary experiences is to be neither horrified not intrigued by them. In the course of meditation you may meet them all: powers, beauty, deaths, angels, demons, all of it. These are just forms, the stuff of the universe. You confront them on the path just as you meet all manner of people when walking on a busy street.

There are planes where beings exist other than the physical. If in meditation you enter other states of consciousness, you may meet such beings who seemingly come to instruct or guide you. Because of the uniqueness of these beings you might put more value on their teachings than is merited. Beings on other planes are not necessarily wiser than those on this plane. They may be well-meaning, but they may not know any more than you. All they may have to teach you is their existence itself, which shows you the relative nature of reality.

Just as with teachers on the physical plane, be open. Experience each being you meet and sense in your heart – do we have work to do together, or not? If that teacher feels relevant to your journey, work with him or her until you have fully grasped the teaching. Then thank the teacher and proceed.”

~ Ram Dass, Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook

Meditation is to bring the complex consciousness to simplicity and innocence alvin June 8, 2017 - 8:30pm

“Meditation is to bring the complex consciousness to simplicity and innocence without pride and arrogance.”

B.K.S. Itengar, The Tree of Yoga

Practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga to calm the mind

When I meet people who seem stressed out (stress/anxiety/worrying), I try to encourage them to practice mindfulness meditation or yoga. I find both of those practices to be a wonderful way to quiet the thoughts in the mind. (It may help to know that the basic practices are 100% non-religious.)

Personally, I enjoy living in the present moment, without thoughts about the past or future. I used to be an angry young man, and using these practices to calm my mind has made my life happier and more productive. A couple of times a year I still lose it, but these practices always help to re-quiet my mind.

(I think the image shown was created by Gemma Correll.)

The judging mind is optional; it can be understood and released alvin June 3, 2017 - 10:24am

To me, a lot of Buddhist teachings are based on logic. Today I particularly like this quote from this article titled, Silencing the Inner Critic: “The judging mind is optional; it can be understood and released.”

Mindfulness meditation: Be like a cat purring

If you’re interested in a simple introduction to mindfulness meditation, search the Internet for a free, 25-page PDF booklet named, “Buddha in Blue Jeans,” by Tai Sheridan. Despite that name, the booklet has good, non-denominational tips about meditating and mindfulness (and only mentions the name “Buddha” twice in the main text).

Here’s a favorite quote: “Be like a cat purring. Follow your breath like ocean waves coming in and out.”

Mindfulness lesson: Keep practicing, even when you don’t want to

Today’s mindfulness “lesson of the day” (mostly for myself) is a reminder to keep practicing, even when you don’t feel like it. You don’t get to choose when moments of enlightenment happen, so the best thing you can do is keep practicing so those moments will be possible when the right circumstances (karma?) come into alignment.

What happens is that over time, both the mindfulness and the enlightenment bits change the wrinkles in your brain, change your perspective and attitude, and cleanse the environmental conditioning of whatever happened to get you to this point. With continued practice you evolve (think “metamorphosis”) into a new person over time — this time a person of your own choosing, rather than a person conditioned by where and when you were born and lived.

(And who knows, maybe one day you’ll break free from the endless cycle of karmic existence, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

Namaste. ;)