A third quality of mind-awareness is empty: void, unpopulated, thus unaffected and smooth. This quality is just as natural as is the exacting or expanding qualities. The smooth continuous nature of awareness is present and can be experienced as one learns to leave awareness un-interrupted, unpopulated. It’s not easy to speak or write of such … More 9c. Empty
Hum in the mantra OM Mani Padme Hum has layers of meaning just as the other words do. Yet, essentially the word has to do with emphasis and a definite statement about reality. Hum = It is so. What is so? The meaning of the rest of the mantra. OM: Each person is a creator … More Inter: Hum – It is so.
Creative thinking, contemplation, appreciation, and inspiration are by-products of the expansive or open quality of mind. This is the second quality that we are engaging this week with Step 9 of the Entry practice. We recall that the human mind includes all thinking, emoting, sensing and sensation. In general, these are related to the exacting … More 9b. Openness
There’s remedies for the ails of one’s body, antidotes for troublesome emotions, and ways to diffuse negative thoughts. Doubts can be addressed, anxiety retrained, and pride dissolved. Medicine Buddha represents each level of dealing with “problems” and also symbolizes that there are “cures” for all forms of disharmony. In one sense, however, alignment is one … More Generative: Remedy (Medicine Buddha)
Exploration is a direct experience of something or somewhere. To explore Venice, one goes to Venice. To explore different spices, one uses them in cooking. To explore meditation, one experiments with meditation. In this sitting, we explore the qualities of poise that are experienced in our emotions, mind, and body during the sitting. Experiencing them … More 8b: Poise on and off the cushion
Padme means lotus, but it’s not that simple. The seed that eventually manifests as a blossoming lotus first produces roots, then a stem, then leaves, a bud, then blossom, pistils, stamen, and then seed again. All these manifestations are within the seed of lotus just as the diverse expressions of compassion and wisdom are within … More Inter: Padme – the seed and all its manifestations
As mentioned before, mantra is about “protecting the mind.” Man comes from the manas = mind (as in sentient-intelligent nature), and tra = to protect. Manas and tra are Sanskrit words. The type of protection is not so much an armament or form of armor but is instead a cultivated habit of positivity and reality. … More Intermediate: Padme – unfolding being
Human beings are a complex, a collection of energies. We have a physical dimensionality, a robust emotion-mind set of factors, as well as an essence or spiritual, higher nature. Meditation is interested in the integration of these parts along with yoga, tai chi, chi gong, aikido, and other practices that seek to unite our components. … More 8a. the Body-Mind-Spirit
This image is from Greenland. As beautiful as these ice jewels are, they are reporting changes due to global climate change. Like a person who loses his or her hair due to chemotheraphy but looks beautiful in his or her baldness, these ice formations also are a sign of the sickness of Earth yet they … More World Service: Jewel-like
The energy of a person sends out rays, lines of connective radiance. The connection is multi-fold as well as internal and external. The points of connectivity and lines of energy create a matrix, a design that is one’s life. The energy of compassion impels beings to goodness, harmony, and trust. As we live these, we … More Generative: Bliss and Emptiness
The importance of shamatha cannot be understated in regards to one’s meditation practice or one’s life. On the cushion or off, shamatha is the capacity of a human being to abide in a state of calm, serenity, or composure, tranquility, equipoise, or steadfastness such that distractions are non-effective to pull one away from stability and … More 7c. Shamatha: Inner peace and harmony
There’s a scene in The Last Samaurai where the Tom Cruise character is learning martial arts and getting pummeled. A young man says to him, “too many mind.” He gets it, calms his many emotions and thoughts, projections and expectations, and discovers a zone of equipoise from which he can enter the art of the … More Inter: the Jewel of Pure Being (mantra 2)
Tranquility. People and animals love it. Tranquility expresses in many ways, in a variety of forms: serenity, peace, ease, composure, patience, flow, and tranquility itself. Within tranquility is the feeling of integral and integrity. When we are with another person sharing harmony, ease, peace, and serenity, there is a feeling that each person is integral … More 7b. Serenity
Mantra used in spiritual practice has many layers of meaning, significance, and purpose. This is quite effective, in that each person will be met with the amount of meaning, purpose, and understanding that he or she can use, make sense of, and integrate into his or her life. That will, in time, flawlessly open up … More Intermediate: Creator-Creation: OM
We are experimenting with webcasts/videos that play on all devices rather than podcasts. Please let me know your preference or need. A few people have. Thank you.
Sudan is poised to create a genocide. Refugees from several wars or famines of the world have nowhere to go but can’t stay where they are. The US has elected a wild-card for its president and the Brits have chosen to exit the EU. Wisdom asks “does self-serving ever really serve one’s self?” Aren’t we … More Service: Unity – One world, one shared life
A rally for peace took place in Boston yesterday, covered only by the local news. As a result, only the violent or anti demonstrations are being seen on the national news. Yet, the potential for goodness and respect in all people is equal. Likewise, on the BBC news yesterday, a report explained how the Sudan … More Generative: Vast potential
Meditation directs one to integrity, to the authenticity of who and what one is, and that -deep inside- is a being of heart-mind. Protests have been happening in several US cities by people who are fearful about the policies that the president-elect might institute as well as what he might tear down. By the same … More 6c: Authenticity in times of change
We complete this cycle of meditations holding the president-elect in the light of wisdom and compassion, while holding those who are in fear (due to promised policies he made on the campaign trail) in compassion and understanding. We also hold the world in the unknowns and newness of this new chapter for the US and … More Final meditation supporting a lighted going-forward for the USA
The term mantra translates as “to protect the mind”. Interestingly, it does not mean a set of words and how to repeat them. The idea behind the translation is that of valuing and protecting the precious quality of one’s consciousness. One would use phrases or affirmations that remind one of the truths of being and … More Mantra: the practice of protecting the mind
Imagine every being on Earth connected as one heart. This meditation brought tears to some in the retreat group in Milwaukee. May it touch you deeply too.
It is estimated that one quarter of US citizens who will vote in this election have already done so. Early voting and absentee ballots are well underway. Several states have referendums on the ballot, the majority of which are progressive in nature. The citizenry is moving agendas forward on their own. Go vote on Tuesday … More The night before the US election: a meditation for the highest light
This was a powerful meditation, and it was done with the Milwaukee meditation retreat group. please let me know if you prefer a webcast or a podcast for meditation?
In most indigenous cultures around the world, the heart and mind have been known as one. The teachings have never emphasized the head over the heart but, instead, as the Tao te Ching states, without the heart the head is of little use. Step 6 of The Practice of Living Awareness invites the practitioner to … More Vibrant Aliveness
We will continue to meditate daily for a lighted election process and outcome through Thursday, Nov. 10. Please add your light! If you want to join live at 8 pm ET, please register here.
This meditation focuses on Goodwill and the Will to Good. Thank you for meditating for the US and the world.
Elevation (not the great U2 song!) is vital for detachment and perspective, for optimism, buoyancy through life’s vicissitudes, and for a general lightness of being. We help ourselves and help others whenever we interact with life with a sense of altitude. We complete this two week’s focus on elevation and a powerful breathing technique that … More Intermediate: How powerful
One aspect of Step 5, Release, is the attempt to be here now, to really be present. Sounds simple enough, right? Yet, when one sits to meditate, or is doing a task, or being with someone is one truly present? Does the mind wander, do one’s thoughts jump ahead (in rebuttal, or defense, or correction)? … More 5c: Release, let go. Be the now.
Can we make a difference for truth and compassion to manifest in our world? The answer is, yes. Meditation moves us toward right thought, non-aggressive action, and the elimination of antagonisms of every kind. This is true for our inner-being and it’s reflection in the world. Together, we make a difference. Join us on November … More Meditate for a lighted election!
In order to receive, there has to be room. So, in order for good things to flow in, one has to release so that space is available for the new or beneficial. Releasing and receiving are are pair; they are inseparable. Only living from one actually negates the other. In meditation, attention on the release … More 5a. Making room for tranqulity
Plants turn toward the sun and prepare for a winter’s sleep as the seasons change. Animals navigate by the magnetic lines of Earth, some by the sky as seen from the ground, and some by moonlight. These forms of sensitivity are shared by many creatures on Earth, and human beings add their own forms of … More World Service: Sensitive Heart
It seems to me that the buddha-being Avolokiteshvara has a particular relation to Earth. Of all the buddhas, Avolokiteshvara has the most forms, and they are revered in a number of countries. Avolokiteshvara can be male or female or androgynous. The same being can manifest as peaceful, wrathful, passionate, or in any number of expressions … More Generative: The Heart and Avolokiteshvara
Did you know that your breath is filled with blessings? And, did you know that conscious breathing will bring not only more blessings each day but will also establish you in meditation? Step 4, Soften and Open, invites one to the only moment that matters: this one. It encourages presence right now. If that now … More 4c: Receive goodness and grace
If shamatha is the foundation for all levels of meditation, then what is the foundation of shamatha? The great sage Patanjali states that it is “to still the patterning of the consciousness.” (Sutra 1 of Book I) He furthermore states: “Then, pure awareness can abide in its very nature. Otherwise, awareness takes itself to be … More Intermediate: Liberation from the ego
We are alive because we breathe. Our whole existence is because lungs breathe in and lungs breathe out. Family, friends, the particular quality of being that you are is here only because we breathe. Without breath, there is no heart beat, no brain functioning, no you, no me. But we do breathe, we are alive. … More 4b. The experience of tranquility is soft and open.
This Intermediate meditation focuses on a breathing technique (pranayama) that is very simple. That does not mean that it is easy to do! Breath underlies all meditation practices. Breath also leads to shamatha, or peaceful abiding. This state of ease in concentration, of stability of meditative equipoise and altitude is part of the full body, … More A pranayama that produces shamatha
Shamatha is the meditative result of one-pointedness, openness, stability with both of these, plus the discovery of innate tranquility. Shamatha is a Sanskrit word that translates to peaceful or tranquil abiding; and it is the foundation of meditation. Together with the previous steps of The Practice, Step 4, Soften, Open, and Receive is designed to … More 4a. Open
Downloadable: Service: Sensitive