Some might say that the whole concept of mindfulness has become a watered-down, New Age leisure activity for suburbanites, yuppies and human resources workers who need to figure out how to stop employees from quitting after the boss’ tempter tantrums. Tummo (or “tumo”) is the practice of regulating one’s body temperature through breathing techniques and mental visualization. It seems like the stuff of legend, but the abilities of these Tibetan human torches have been confirmed by researchers at Harvard University and the University of Singapore. Because of the advanced training required to master the technique, it’s probably best to not try it alone. Later Das goes on to remind his readers of the Buddha’s belief that death is an excellent guru.  Meditations in charnel grounds and graveyards feature prominently in both Buddhist and Sufi literature. In many countries it’s illegal to go night-crawling in cemeteries, but that shouldn’t prevent you from visiting them during the day. Anybody who’s ever stood on the observatory deck of the Statue of Liberty or ridden to the top of the London Eye knows what it’s like to watch what’s happening below. Ultraculture has an entire article devoted to the concept of lucid dreaming (and also an entire class). It may seem unusual to meditate at McDonald’s amidst exchanges of “How may I help you sir?” and “Can I get uh—a Big Mac?” Before you accuse me of writing this while hungry (I am), consider this: throughout the day, fast food restaurants are full of different kinds of people. They’re simple questions, but the more questions a meditator asks, the more he or she begins to break down the arrangement of impressions, the gut feelings that make one believe things without examination. Each question serves to disentangle an assumption about the pleasantness of the reality that being presented.
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This may be the case in some circumstances, but it’s also true that mindfulness meditation can be empowering and mind-expanding if it’s practiced in an unconventional setting. One of the first recorded westerners to cultivate tummo was Alexandra David-Neel, who wrote about her experiences in her book Magic and Mystery in Tibet. The rationale behind this is simple: if one can contemplate the macabre, one can better understand the circle of life and disregard the tendency to get overly attached to the superficial beauty of the physical body. At that height, one can see everything there is to see: tiny people walking through different streets, cars going through and stopping at lights, boats coursing through the river.
The main Buddhist principle behind the use of lucid dreaming for spiritual practice is the belief in the similarity between sleeping and the stages of death. Subliminal suggestions for deep relaxation and positive change will be received by your subconscious, increasing your level of energy, helping you stay dedicated to working out, and improving your self-confidence.
Lifestyle magazines tote it as a way to cope with stress and urge their readers to go on expensive retreats in upstate New York.
That’s why I’ve compiled a non-sugarcoated list of five of the most unusual places to meditate. It’s a sensation of being “on top of the world.” The Buddha often used this experience to illustrate how an enlightened being thinks. Like sleeping, dying is a retreat into unknowingness and an entrance into a world of illusion.
Any person can step through the door and purchase a meal as long as they’ve got the cash. What about if I couldn’t taste it, or hear the chicken sizzling on the skillet, or smell the french fries roasting under the heat lights?


YMCAs all over the US place it alongside their yoga and pilates courses, right after the jazz dance slot.
Instead of observing things from a skewed perspective, the arhat is able to discern the complexities and entanglements of people’s lives and understand that everyone follows different paths. Unlike most people (who often don’t realize that they’re even dreaming), seasoned practitioners of dream yoga are able to attain complete awareness at will.
Both Buddhist and Stoics would agree that places like McDonald’s are useful observation zones. And what if all the walls were painted neon green, and what if there was sewage on the floor?
Climbing to a high place and looking down is one of the best ways to picture this microcosm of interlinking causes and effects. This mastery over their thoughts gives them the upper hand at the moment of death, which occurs in a succession of dream-like phases.
The discursive meditator can start from the appearances of things and work his way to the baseline.



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