The Dalai Lama (Gyatso, Tenzin), the world leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and Paul Ekman, the world famous Psychologist of human emotions, have teamed up to discuss how to use mindful emotional awareness skills to become more emotionally balanced and compassionate.
1) Attention and concentration mind training expand the gap in time and space between stimulus and impulsive emotional reactions, thus improving emotional and behavioral balance in responses to stressors. 2) Meditative focus on breath awareness helps to calm both the body and the mind, and become an alternative focus of attention when stressed. 3) The time pause that comes from meditation practice helps you to develop more adaptive responses to emotional triggers.
4) It is suggested that you maintain a mindfulness journal about regrettable  emotional reactions in your life, as well as your improvement in emotional balance. 5) Using vipassana awareness of the arising of phenomena, work at catching the earliest possible arising of unhelpful emotional reactions. 6) Regular meditation practice improves your ability to perceive and respond to the emotional reactions of others, thus improving interpersonal interactions. 7) Mindfulness-based awareness helps you to use your facial emotions to improve emotional issues both intrapsychically and interpersonally. 8) Regular meditation practice, especially vipassana, will improve your ability to feel emotional sensations in your body (interoception), thus giving you a small window of time to use executive functions to improve your responses. 9) Regular meditation practice enhances executive functioning and weakens limbic emotional reactivity, thus enabling you to shorten time periods of negative reactivity and shift back to your emotional baseline more quickly.
10) Meditation practice helps you to discover the behavioral implications of emotional and behavioral reactivity; you begin to understand how a stimulus situation leads to impulsive emotional reactions. 11) Improved mindful awareness of increasing mind-body reactivity helps you to separate from it more quickly, and activate a more adaptive response.
13) Learning meditative breathing techniques helps you to use breath as a diversion of attention away from reactive stimuli and triggers. 14) Meditation practice, especially vipassana, helps you to become more aware of how to attain freedom from emotional suffering. 15) Improved awareness in the present moment helps you to better avoid and respond better to emotional situations that may trigger unhelpful emotional reactions. 16) If you experience strong afflictive emotions (unhelpful, unwholesome), do your best to shift responses into the opposite directions.
17) Use present moment mindfulness skills to increase the neuronal power of happy, good, and wholesome experiences and memories in life.
18) Practice letting go of your self-cherishing, and do more to help others improve their emotional experiences in life.
19) As within The Four Noble Truths, recognize that suffering is normal, and that meditation practice is one way to reduce personal suffering. 21) Remember that your thoughts, words and deed become how you impact your own emotions and the emotions of others in the world. The Meaning of the Present Moment in Mindfulness & Meditation Many mindfulness and meditation experts have commented on the meaning of the present moment.
What is Mindfulness  – The Nature of Mindfulness This is an expanded second post on the nature of mindfulness.
Expanded Information about Your Compassion Practices and Benefits Compassion Practice Tips and Exercises The Buddha noted that one should not dwell on the past, become too attached to future outcomes, but instead concentrate our mind only on the present moment of our experiences.
Making Boundless Space for Your Emotional Dragons In the past I have offered posts about radical acceptance and ways of dealing with your personal dragons or demons.
Human Needs and Spiritual Experience and the Need for Supportive Rituals From the Eleanor R. Mindful Leadership Skills: How to Lead in Wise Mind Ways Researchers dealing with leadership skills have noted several acquired characteristics of effective leaders. Many Benefits of Mindfulness and Vipassana Meditation The Dalai Lama (Gyatso, Tenzin), the world leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and Paul Ekman, the world famous Psychologist of human emotions, have teamed up to discuss how to use mindful emotional awareness skills to become more emotionally balanced and compassionate.
A Dark Night with Saint John of the Cross The writings of Saint John of the Cross offer a special viewpoint about the suffering of souls, suffering souls on their way to unity with the divine.

Meditation Process in Chan Buddhism Chan Master Changlu’s The Deportmant for Sitting Meditation  (12th century China) is a clear and helpful set of instruction.
Mindfulness, Movement, and Meditation Practices Meditation Master Thich Nhat Hanh offers some of the most helpful mindfulness, movement, and meditation instructions available today. When a mantra is repeated mentally it’s called japa, which translates from the Sanskrit as “muttering.” Practicing mantra meditation can awaken within you a deeper spiritual awareness and allow you to make that awareness a part of your daily life. There are many types of meditation and within each type there are individual interpretations. As you begin exploring the practice of mantra meditation you may, at first, find it to be a bit mechanical or repetitious, but as your practice evolves you will discover your meditations to be anything but boring or tedious. When you reach this effortless repetition, you have reached a level known to the adept yogis as ajapa japa. To reach this state requires practice and arises only after some considerable experience with a mantra. As you develop a regular mantra meditation practice you will begin to develop a deeper understanding of self, you will begin to peel back the layers of your mind as awareness of your desires, fears, hopes, aspirations; all of your submerged thoughts float to the surface.
The mantra provides the mind with ‘something to do’ and keeps it from becoming distracted; it acts as a centering device creating a space for the everyday mind to rest in.
There are meditative practices, such as Primordial Sound Meditation and Transcendental Meditation, where a teacher will give you a personal mantra.
There are usually three phases that you can progress through when developing a mantra practice.
In the second phase your begin to let go of the attachment to the breath and begin to concentrate on the sound alone. In the final stage, as the mantra becomes a part of you, it will begin to naturally flow faster and the articulation of the syllables may become distorted and unrecognizable, yet, you remain fully aware and present to it.
As with all form of meditation, there will be ‘puppy training’ phase where you will need to continually keep returning to the mantra as the ‘puppy’ mind wanders off. The good news is that with regular practice the pace of the mantra will increase and you will notice a deepening of your concentration and best of all the process will be effortless. Meditation calms the mind and helps you tap into a state of awareness that brings you inner peace. Initially, you may prefer to find a quiet space to sit or lie down for about twenty to thirty minutes. It is common for your deepest worries to appear; allow them in and observe them, without making any judgment and you will notice that they will float away naturally. Often more thoughts appear than normal in the early stages of practicing meditation – observe them and try to let them go. When going about your day, start to listen more to the silence and stillness beneath the sounds and the space between words; music is created by the space between the notes not the notes themselves. Develop your senses when you are with nature and observe nature in silence, becoming aware of the stillness in trees, plants and flowers. These two highly skilled practitioners have listed 21 potential benefits of regular meditation practice.
Be aware and happy with what you do have right now – all those things you may take for granted that are actually quite special.
Mamgain’s ideas about neoclassical economics of happiness help provide a means to deconstruct improved learning in higher education and also personal happiness in the process.
For some, it’s following the breath and for others it’s quiet reflection or self-awareness.
You will begin to notice it changes as you practice, it may grow louder or softer, faster or slower, the rhythm may change and follow the breath or instead it may follow a pattern of its own.
Reaching this stage of effortless effort, your practice becomes filled with true joy and you begin to experience the field of quiet expanded awareness. And with each meditation you witness your life as it unfolds and as it does a deeper spiritual awareness grows.

For example, from the Buddhist tradition, Om mani padme hum (“May the blessed union of practice and wisdom awaken”) or from the Christian tradition, Kyrie eleison (“Lord have mercy”).
The first is linking the sound to the breath (which is one of the reasons I like the so hum mantra, because it’s very natural to repeat ‘so’ on the in breath and ‘hum’ on the out breath). Once this begins to happen you will notice that the rhythm of the mantra will flow at its own pace. Eventually it will be as if you are listening to it, not mentally repeating and it will fade into silence, the only thing left is you as pure awareness.
This would be extremely tiresome if it wasn’t for the fact, that even in the earliest stages of the practice, the results are genuine feelings of peace.
Later, as you become more accustomed to meditation, you will be able to meditate whenever and wherever you wish, even next to road-works without worrying! You can if you wish, place each thumb on the first two fingers of each hand and relax your arms either by your sides or on your stomach (this is not essential, yet it may help you focus without trying too hard).
That takes a bit of practice so be patient and don’t be surprised if you do nod off at first! If you feel your mind wanders or thoughts come in, you could try imagining a white or black wall and just be patient as you wait for your thoughts to subside.
Soon you will start to experience the present moment with greater appreciation and attention, clarity and alertness. A mantra, which is the repetition of a sound or prayer, is a primary part of the meditative tradition of yoga. The pronunciation may become unclear and it can even begin to sound as if you are hearing it instead of repeating it. In the same way that a beautiful piece of music can so engage the mind that you become part of the music, the mantra can so engage your mind that you slip in to pure awareness.
One of the most popular mantras from the Vedic tradition is the Gayatri mantra (“May my mind be guided by divine light”). The connection of the breath and the mantra deepens your concentration which helps keep the mind from wandering. One is to use a mala, a string of a 108 beads used to count repetitions of your mantra (see video below). By this time your mantra will be an old friend, someone you will feel at peace with when they are around. In the end, your mantra will become more than a practice, it will awaken you to your true nature, the real you, which is whole, loving, peaceful, creative and filled with joy and purpose. There are many health benefits associated with meditation, including lower blood pressure, less stress and improved breathing and circulation. The mantra works as an ‘instrument’ of the mind, focusing it, creating in it a space or stillness, which becomes the source of well-being, peace and unconditioned joy.
One of my personal favorites is the very simple so hum mantra; a mantra that has no meaning attached to it. This is a more subtle form of the mantra process, you have let go of the support of the breath and begin to rest wholly within yourself. Another way to deepen your concentration is to connect the sound of one mantra to the next, eliminating the gaps between the sounds. Let go of all your problems, any planning, future appointments, future concerns, past concerns, fantasies, whatever might be occupying your mind – just let go. One of the advantages of using a mantra that has no meaning is there is less likely hood of the mind getting distracted and keep our attention at the level of the mind.

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