Weekly drop-in meditation classes offer the chance to learn how to make our mind calm and peaceful.
Meditation offers an opportunity to change the way we react to people and difficult situations in our life. In these classes, we learn meditations to unwind and relax, develop stronger concentration and to settle our busy minds. Research on the Politics of Meditation Points to Deeper Truths by Richard Schiffman a€” YES! Psychologists recently conducted a study that found that meditation may make you more liberal, at least in the short-term. But until now scientists have not explored the impact of meditation on that most un-meditative of all disciplinesa€”politics.
That changed with the release by the University of Toronto earlier this week of a report published in the latest issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, which makes two claims. However, what is truly new is the studya€™s other findinga€”that meditation makes you more liberal, at least in the short term. We suspect that meditation lowers the rigid boundaries between self and other that people normally experience in their lives, promoting a more egalitarian mindset (it's hard to maintain a competitive frame with another person when you don't believe that you are separate from one another!). In the name of full disclosure, I should mention that I am both a long-time meditator and spiritual author, and also a self-described liberal on most issues (although I prefer the term "progressive.") As you might expect, my first reaction to the Toronto study was delight.
Moreover, upon closer inspection there are some problems with the Toronto research that make it less than fully convincinga€”to me, at least.
I also frankly feel uncomfortable about a line of research that a bit too neatly confirms my own personal biases.
Even if one believes that right-wing viewsa€”especially of the Tea Party varietya€”are often fear-based and illusory, we still need to concede that a measure of fear and caution are not always inappropriate responses to the very real dangers that exist in the world.
Meditation and spiritual practice undoubtedly help to calm our anxieties, and create more positive and trusting attitudes. I value the idealism and optimism about human nature that liberalisma€”at its besta€”embodies. The conservative part of religious belief has played an important role in holding cultures together and establishing common rules. Speakers at an Idle No More event in Seattle drew comparisons between spiritual and political struggles, making the movement seem closer to Civil Rights than Occupy.
A new study offers the strongest evidence to date that meditation can change the structure of your brain. Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard on how can train our minds in habits of well-being. Richard Schiffman is the author of two books and a former journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, among other outlets, and on a variety of National Public Radio shows including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Participating in a silent meditation retreat is the surest way to learn mindfulness meditation, to deepen your meditation practice, and to integrate the Buddha’s teachings fully into your life.
At the peak of his career, former CEO and Editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine, Phillip Moffitt, traded in his worldly aspirations to explore the inner life.
How to Live More Skillfully, Make Better Decisions, and Find Purpose in LifeEmotional Chaos to Clarity can be purchased in bookstores and on the Internet. Please consider making a donation to Dharma Wisdom to assist us in carrying out our mission of helping individuals live a values-based spiritual life in alignment with Buddhist principles. Other than the Pali canon, talks and readings will largely be inspired by my understanding of lecture material from the Barre Centera€™s a€?Entering the Patha€? program, which features eminent teachers such as Bhikkhu Analayo, Jospeh Goldstein, and John Peacock.


As we enter the depths of winter we will use the opportunity of this end of year retreat to do two things: We will simply enjoy days of shared stillness, deep silence and meditation, and we will quietly reap the benefits this will inevitably bring. For those who want to, we will also engage in the practice of some structured reflections that are pertinent to the year’s end.
Most of all this retreat will offer the time and space to simply and quietly be with ourselves in the delightful presence of others and in the beautiful tranquility of Aryaloka. Sign up for our Mailing List!SUBSCRIBE HERE to receive updates on retreats, classes and special events at Aryaloka Buddhist Center! Subscribe to our RSS FEED to receive the latest news from Aryaloka, share this site with your friends, or follow us on your favorite social networking sites by clicking the buttons below.
By training in meditation we will learn to develop inner peace, giving us the ability to stay happy and positive all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances. Richard Schiffman argues that the politics of true spirituality are more about balance than support for any one side. Buddhist monks and Trappist friars have been hooked up to EEG machines to record subtle changes in their brainwaves during their spiritual practices. And truth is not the exclusive possession of any particular group or political ideology. The first, that people who call themselves "spiritual" tend to hold more liberal views than those who define themselves as "religious," is hardly surprising. The researchers arrived at this conclusion by comparing the political views of people who had just participated in a guided meditation with those in a control group. Preferences for egalitarianism, in turn, are one of the key motivational factors underlying support for liberal political attitudes. I have long suspected that liberal viewsa€”which I associate with open-heartedness, caring for others, and a nonviolent approach to conflict resolutiona€”have a strong, if frequently unacknowledged, spiritual component.
As a journalist, I am well aware that you can find a study to "prove" virtually any point of view that you are seeking evidence for. For one thing, the political views of the meditators were compared to those of a control group.
One could use these findings to arguea€”as the religious right obnoxiously doesa€”that God and the angels are on our side. But politics is always a question of striking the right balance; between trust and caution, between idealism and realism, between preserving what is good in society and transforming what is not.
The spiritual part, on the other hand, helps cultures renew themselves by adapting to changing circumstances. Here are upcoming silent retreats that Phillip Moffitt will be teaching at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and other spiritual centers around the U.S. He subsequently founded the Life Balance Institute and now teaches vipassana meditation with an emphasis on living the dharma in daily life. There will be hot and cold drinking water, mats, and cushions provided but welcome to bring your own. We may, for example, get in touch with what has positively motivated and inspired us over the year, and how to strengthen those in the coming year.
Using simple yet profound techniques, discover how to feel happy and have a positive outlook by gaining more control of your mind through meditation. Scores of clinical trials have also been conducted to assess the impact of meditation and prayer on physiological processes ranging from blood pressure and immune system response to recovery rates from surgery.
One would expect that individuals who practice yoga and favor vegetarian diets and natural lifestyles would tend to be on the left side of the political spectrum.


The meditators expressed more liberal viewsa€”including a reduced support for "tough on crime" policies, and a preference for liberal political candidatesa€” than the non-meditators. It would have been more persuasive if the researchers had managed to demonstrate that the views of the same individuals had shifted from those that they had previously held.
Moreover, a basic tenet of our American democracy is that that no individual or point of view has all of the answers. Both right and left are necessary; it's not that either is correct, it's that the dialogue between them produces the best chance we have at getting the balance right. We exist to support you in maintaining your practice, whether you are just starting out or have been on a dozen retreats. We may remind ourselves what our most heartfelt aspirations are and reconnect with them in ways that are helpful and non-judgmental.
The Sustaining price is for people comfortably paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford the occasional meal out and movie. And anyone who has followed the decades-long rise (and more recent decline) of the religious right won't be surprised to learn that religious believers are more conservative as a group than their secular counterpartsa€”although there are clearly lots of exceptions to this rule.
Another weakness is that the study showsa€”at besta€”only the transient effect of a single meditation session. If people could understand that both sides have an important role to play in society, some of the unnecessary tension might be eliminated. We practice Buddhist insight meditation, also known as vipassana, or more popularly known as mindfulness - though mindfulness alone is not enough! The practice of meditation will help us develop both the concentration and positivity that will allow meaningful and realistic ‘resolutions’ to emerge. The Sustaining price level also helps Aryaloka offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend. What would be really interesting to know is how a long-term meditation practice impacts one's views over time. But they may not always be the best guide to how we should act in the rough and tumble of the world, where all is not necessarily love and light. Other than mindfulness, we also ask meditators to apply Right Attitude (click here for a bullet point intro to Right Attitude) no matter your meditation method. As difficult as it is to admit it, there may actually be times when conservatives have got a better handle on things than I do.
Mid-Level prices are for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. We are a group practice and sit together, self-guided, in silence for 35-45 minutes and offer Buddhist teachings. The Base-Level price is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge. Those whose circumstances are not included above can call the office to arrange alternate pricing.* Retreat participants are asked to work together to prepare and clean up after meals and to help with general cleanup at the end of the retreat.



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  1. 25.08.2013 at 12:11:48
    Romantik_Essek writes:
    Take my each day bus ride seems, practising mindfulness.
  2. 25.08.2013 at 17:35:16
    Polat_Alemdar writes:
    Require that you just isolate you deserve the all 'round good factor. Not.
  3. 25.08.2013 at 21:41:36
    8899 writes:
    Channel at He's working on a religious they develop up, it's only a approach to depress their.