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Some less experienced meditators complain about how easily the mind’s wandering thoughts distract them from paying attention and deepening concentration. These words would clarify what best meets what your needs are, and what you think other people may need.
3) To enhance practice effects, as you say the words feel the associated emotions in your body.
4) When you move to another person, as you say the words do your best to project outwardly the associated emotions of the words.
In the Satipatthana Sutra the Buddha noted that meditation practice was necessary for success on the path to liberation and enlightenment. Here we sill review certain practices that use the breath as the focus of meditation attention. 1) You may practice one-pointed attention to the flow of your breath in and out just as it is. 2) You may continue to breathe freely, but now bring full attention to the flow of breath at the nostrils. 6) You may pay attention to the feeling of the breath as it passes into and out of the chest area. 8) You may also practice sensing the sensation of the body filling on the in-breath and emptying on the out-breath. 10) Lastly, you may practice remaining in the present moment of the breath as you breathe in and out.
Specific characteristics: Green color, YAM sound (say at least three times with a soft A), sense of touch, located in center of chest (cardiac plexus and thyme area), and malachite or emerald stone.
Emotional characteristics: openness, unconditional love, duty, devotion, peace, harmony, awakened compassion, and emotional consciousness. Simply click the link below to download the PDF Worksheet;   answer each question according to your personal opinions. 4) On a scale from 0 to 10, rate how lonely or uncomfortable you feel when you are without your hand-held device. 5) If you answered “yes” to any of these three questions, what insights do you have about your addiction to your hand-held devices?
7) Do you think you are using your hand-held device for connectivity with others as self-medication against your unpleasant feelings? 9) How do you feel now that you may know the extent of your addiction to your hand-held device?
As the Sutra story goes, the Buddha instructed Ananda to visit the ailing venerable Girimananda, who was very, very ill. The Ten Meditations on Perception deal with the five aggregates of attachment, desire and, clinging. 2) Now meditate on the realization of no-self (no authentically real ego, I, Me, Mine in the realities of atomic time and space). 5) Meditate on abandoning all thoughts and perceptions of you harming others – both things and sentient beings. 6) Meditate on dispassion – that is the energy placed in attachment, desire, and clinging.
8) Do your best to meditate on letting go of your personal delight in being in experiences you find pleasurable.
Hopefully you will have the self-discipline and motivation to practice these perception meditations. A major part of suffering comes with the inability to shift unhelpful, negative focus on troubling thoughts and feelings. Today’s Troubled World Needs More Self Compassion and Compassion This is an interactive activity on contemplation between your executive brain, your conscious mind, and your emotional brain areas. Our Brains React to Worry According to research by The American Psychological Association in 2015, some of the core sources of severe stress reaction for Americans are: financial problems, job-related problems, family problems, and health problems. So Many Ways to Self-Medicate –  It Just Brings More Suffering Very often poor child-parent (child-caretaker) object relations, attachment with care takers, and attunement by care takers negatively impact young children early in their lives. Practice Approaches to for Mindful and  Enhanced Emotion Regulation Brought to us by way of  The Eleanor R. Mindful Happiness – Brain on Meditation Reports from various MRI and self-report measure studies support the proposition that your brain changes (neuronal plasticity) when you practice meditation on a regular (daily) basis.
The Holy Year of Mercy Like the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, Pope Francis in The Church of Rome, is sharing his opinion on compassion and mercy in life. Mindfulness and Concentration –  Experience Differences In this post I will explain some basic differences between mindfulness and concentration, both of which are required for effective meditation practice. Risks and Solutions for Compassion Fatigue Perhaps nothing more than compassion fatigue causes more helpers to prematurely exit their fields. How We Make Habits – An Understanding Twenty-five hundred years ago the Buddha reportedly taught how humans make habits. Contentment implies you will NOT live a life of greed and passionate materialism; instead, you will be satisfied by meeting the basic requirements for living a reasonable life.
In a sitting or lying down position take a few calm, deep, slow breaths with intention to relax your body and mind. 3) Sit with the proposition that personal contentment is simply being satisfied with whatever the present moments brings to you – even in this meditation. Another way to meditate beyond mindfulness is to concentrate deeply on your spiritual attributes and loving kindness. 7) Lastly, we will end our meditation with loving kindness – this time just for yourself.
The most common themes is – may I be safe, healthy, free from suffering, happy and live with ease. Or you could say – may I be free from fear, doubt, anger, resentment, restlessness, boredom and other afflictions. Or you could say –  may I be at peace, with compassion, feeling secure, with understanding, and determined.
Human Needs and Spiritual Experience and the Need for Supportive Rituals From the Eleanor R. 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.
Tonglen Meditation or Giving and Taking I have added various posts about many compassion practice. Growth of Mindfulness Practice in Organizational and School Systems in the US The implementation of mindfulness practices and skills is fast becoming a BIG deal in organizations and schools across the country.
Pursuit of Happiness – Mindful Happiness Gilbert, a professor of Psychology at Harvard University and the author of Stumbling on Happiness, implies that we make mind-errors in our search for happiness. Anahata – Heart Chakra Meditation Practice Rumi noted that to reach the sky we must use our hearts. Looking at Early Judeo-Chrsitian Meditation Practice An early description of enlightened liberation in Buddhist meditation practice reads like this: Birth is destroyed, the spiritual life has been lived, what had to be done has been done. Mindfulness-Based Emotion Regulation The following emotional regulation practices (also called emotional balance skills) have been supported by over 2500 years of mindfulness training and current psychological research on human emotions. Overcoming the Hindrances of Ill-Will and Aversion Although regular daily practice and sincerely following of The Eight-Fold Path in one’s life may be the best ways to overcome various hindrances, there may be some additional practical suggestions to consider on the path. Mindful Happiness Explores – The Miracle of Mirror Neurons Between 1996 and 2000 researchers (Gallese and Rizzolatti) at the University of Parme in Italy discovered what are now called mirror neurons. The instructions below are intended for your own use, with a child’s body scan available separately below.

When doing this meditation, remember that, as always, there’s no need to strive to make anything happen. Expect your mind to wander, and when it does, return your attention to your feet without judging yourself or giving yourself a hard time.
Continue turning attention to the rest of your body in the some way, spending several minutes each on your bock, then your hands, then your arms. Finally, bring attention to your face and head, noticing expressions and reflections of emotions that occur around your mouth and eyes in particular. So often, we lose track of the fact that we would give someone else the benefit of the doubt in a particular situation but not ourselves. You love your child, but sometimes it may seem like he chooses to be a pain—resisting bedtime, forgetting his backpack, or whatever else gets under your skin. You may wonder how you can make strong decisions, protect yourself, and still acknowledge others’ perspectives in this way. Find a comfortable, stable position, either seated or lying down, and observe several breaths.
After several minutes, imagine a close friend or someone unconditionally supportive, a person for whom you have almost entirely positive feelings. After a few minutes have passed, move on to a neutral person, a stranger, someone you see around but don’t really know—maybe someone at a local store or gas station, or who works nearby. Now think of a difficult person—not the most difficult, but someone you’ve disagreed with in a smaller way. This practice will help you guide your attention more often to what’s going on in the present, rather than being caught up elsewhere in your mind.
Sit comfortably, finding a stable position you can maintain for a while, either on the floor or in a chair.
Draw attention to the physical sensation of breathing, perhaps noticing the always-present rising and falling of your abdomen or chest, or perhaps the air moving in and out through your nose or mouth. Practice pausing before making any physical adjustments, such as moving your body or scratching an itch.
Breathing in and breathing out, return your attention to the breath each time it wanders elsewhere. Please leave your comments below and let me know what you thought of this 10 minute meditation.
This is a post by Vishvapani, a mindfulness trainer and senior member of my Buddhist order.
We’re in the middle of the Mindfulness Boom as Buddhist-derived meditation practices enter the cultural mainstream.
For a visual cue, imagine your body as like a bunch of children’s wooden blocks, stacked one on top of another. Doing this in effect also creates an upward flow of energy that allows you to stack the blocks up high – certainly higher than if you piled them crooked.
People often come to my meditation courses because they want to learn how to slow down their crazy busy lives.
This past spring, I attended professional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) — a program started by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the UMass Medical Center.
In the metta bhavana meditation practice, we imagine that we’re connected to all humanity and all life – and send our lovingkindness out to them. One of my clients — I’ll call him Mark — took up meditation to help with his lifelong anxiety. We’ve all been told since childhood that if we want something to happen, we have to MAKE it happen.
After tossing and turning through some sleepless nights, I discovered a few things about the discomfort at the root of my insomnia.
Abandoning harmful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors will lead to more compassion, caring, and kindness.
Just simple mindful awareness of your breath, in and out, short and long, shallow and deep, into and out of the body, the arising and falling away of the breath experience – as simply impermanent.
Looking at the world today any aware person must admit the human race is in serious trouble.
Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont Mindful Approaches for Enhanced Emotion Regulation; here are some approaches to practice. Author Anthony Quintiliani, a licensed psychologist with more than 35 years professional clinical experience, casts a wide net into the personal, clinical, and societal causes of prolonged human suffering and unhappiness in his book Mindful Happiness. These boundless or infinite space meditations, working with deep absorption and projecting kindness outwardly, may lead to positive changes.
Many people new to meditation often confuse the differences between mindfulness or accepted bare attention to whatever arises in the moment and concentration or strong penetrating awareness on one thing without distraction. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation We humans have a unique way of perceiving and processing emotional experiences. One key reason for this expanded interest is the impact of mindfulness on organizational and school climate. Neuroscientists speculate that mirror neurons (reportedly in the Broca’s area of the prefrontal cortex) activate perceptual responses for internal motor-emotional responses.
If lying down, let your arms and legs relax and fall to the sides; if seated, find a balanced and stable position. Notice the pressure of your feet against the floor or bed, the temperature, comfort or discomfort, itches, or anything else. Notice physical sensations, such as breathing, internal feelings like hunger or fullness, and the resonance of any emotions—physical manifestations of happiness, sadness, tension, anger, feeling open or closed, and so on. Then bring attention to your neck and shoulders, releasing tension when you’re able without fighting what remains.
Take a moment of stillness, and then, with intention, choose when to move on with your day. Whether we’re on autopilot or even when giving a situation our full attention, we can make mistakes. When you’re caught up in the struggle of trying to keep him on track, frustration may sometimes mask your larger wish for his well-being. You may feel vulnerable when extending compassion to both yourself and others, as if you are in some way condoning their perhaps inappropriate actions. You can take care of yourself, or take firm action to protect yourself from someone, and yet still maintain this larger perspective.
This person also desires happiness, whether going through a stretch of relative ease or more acutely in need of your emotional support. Extend the some wishes to this neutral person without judging whatever you actually feel or aiming to push yourself. Your perspectives differ and you must firmly take care of yourself, yet this difficult person’s actions are also driven by a wish for happiness. In an unforced way, send this compassionate wish for well-being to anyone you imagine, anywhere. If you feel unmoored, lost, or pulled in different directions, take a moment to wish yourself peace, just as you’d comfort a friend. The sensation of breathing is often used only because you­­­r breath is with you all the time. With intention, shift at a moment you choose, allowing space between what you experience and what you choose to do. For these few minutes, create an opportunity to not plan or fix or whatever else is your habit.

Maybe notice if you can find a moment of stillness inside you, like the pause at the end of each breath.
When examining experienced meditators, neuroscientists are finding high levels of gamma brainwave activity, which is associated with intelligence, self-control, compassion, memory, and sustained happiness.There is also an amplification or increase in the immune system, physical strength, creativity, intuition, and maturation. I have found this meditation effective in keeping your attention in the present moment thereby letting go of anxiety and fear. But is this the Dharma touching and transforming western society, or is Buddhism being turned into a self-help technique and a consumer product? So even though we think of gravity as a force that pulls downward, when it’s used well you can think of it as creating a natural upward lift as well.
But after some weeks of this, you still feel like things are crazy busy and all over the place. I often sat there wondering what the heck metta was supposed to feel like, because I just didn’t get it. Basically, MBSR is a way of presenting meditation in a secular context — for health, wellness, and self-awareness. He told me that every sit still featured that same old frenzied monkey mind swinging from tree to tree. Realizing that it’s always there on some level, it’s given me something real to work with, day and night.
This skill may be helpful once you are well-practiced; interoception allows you to become aware of sometimes subtle sensations in the body that may signal the coming of something dissatisfying in the very near future. Work on meditating on all sensory inputs and experiences as simply happening but without self-attachment to the experiences.
When something uncomfortable grabs your attention, like pain or an itch, observe it first and see if it changes.
Yet our desire is for happiness, and we’re trying to find our way there—we don’t intentionally make a misstep. With effort and repetition, it’s possible to hardwire new neural pathways that reinforce compassion in interactions with yourself, your child, and the world.
Rather, the practice is simply to remind yourself that you deserve happiness and ease—no more and no less than anyone else—and that the same goes for your child, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and everyone else in the world. If this person found relief from his own suffering, it’s likely that his behavior would change. If your child frustrates you and you lose your temper, briefly practice this meditation for his sake and your own. Some days meditation allows you a few moments of peace; other days your mind will remain busy.
No one can pay attention all the time. Just keep returning to noticing your body whenever you find yourself thinking of something else. If it’s time for sleep, let that happen, remaining still and continuing to pay attention to your breath or feelings in your body. Things happened that were so overpowering that all my usual routines went out the window just so I could get through each day. Its time for Buddhists to start reflecting seriously on the mindfulness movement and to learn its lessons.
How was I supposed to feel warmth and affection for somebody I admitted not getting along with? He’d been meditating on and off for two years, gone on retreats, read tons of dharma books, done everything he could think of. But if you fall back on these kinds of reactions repeatedly, it may affect both you and those around you. Remind yourself of your child’s desire for happiness and your own wishes for the same, whatever he may have done. Seek balance in this way; if you find yourself mostly daydreaming and off in fantasy, devote a little extra effort to maintaining your focus.
You might feel a blanket or socks on your feet, or you might feel them pressing against the bed or the floor. Relax them if you can, and if not, simply paying attention to your hands for another moment.
When your mind gets busy or angry or scared, you can always come back to how your body feels in this way for a moment. And if it’s time to wake up, open your eyes and sit for a few moments before deciding when to move again. It’s a way to balance your natural ability to relax with the forces of gravity to find a well-aligned posture that’s effortless and free. I am now moving toward offering MBSR classes of my own in the Boston area, starting this fall.
Without controlling the breath, bring your full attention to it as you breathe in and out; notice the breath as it passes at the nostrils, the chest, and in the belly. You cannot hold on to pleasant life experiences – just be with them fully when they occur. One way to concentrate is to contemplate in a single-pointed manner and go deeper and deeper in concentration as time moves on. Even when we completely disagree with others or how they’re acting, their intent is still happiness. And if you practice, you’ll find yourself focusing more often on life with less effort. Without giving yourself a hard time or expecting anything different, when you discover that your attention has wandered, notice whatever has distracted you and then come back to the breath. William Tiller, a former Stanford professor and published researcher, postulates that these energies hold a link between our physical body and individual health.Specific channels (meridians) transport this energy to create a balanced flow of self-healing properties. But looking at it from a common sense perspective, is it reasonable to expect a 30 minute sit to cancel out the effect of 15 hours of frenetic activity?
When blockages disrupt these channels, the event can serve as a catalyst for lingering illness and toxins to flood the immune system. Part of his teaching included core information about suffering, suffering as the main unsatisfactory aspect of living. The regulation of this natural energy through the use of acupuncture points and conscious intention allows for the maintenance of positive flow, and functions as natural medicine in preventing sickness and healing the body.The human body contains numerous canals that serve as channels for subtle energies to flow freely.
This is the activated energetic framework in which the aura meditation does its thing.Tiller references acupuncture and another method, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), as modalities to bio-regulate energy flow and free up blocked energy pathways. An acupuncturist, for example, inserts needles into specific points along the meridian lines to treat imbalance and restore the flow of chi.EFT, however, utilizes acupuncture points in a different way. Tiller believes that conscious intention creates its own energy field capable of communicating with the universe.
Positive intention and focused consciousness will also free up meridian blockages, and allow for the free flowing of chi throughout the body.Dr. The human body is a complex system that sends waves of energy to the seven major chakras via meridian channels.
Practices such as acupuncture, the emotional freedom technique, and cultivated conscious intention work to balance the flow of energy in the body and free up blockages.Lack of pre-emptive attention to energy flow can lead to disruptions between the meridians and chakras, which can send the body into disarray and illness. For modern medicine to advance, a paradigm shift from the rigid view of Western medicine will need to recognize the value in bioenergy regulation and its quantifiable effects on human health.

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