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Tag Archives for meditation
Why do you meditate?
A few days ago, I was listening to a podcast episode of The Ezra Klein Show from 27 November last year, and there was something in it that really stood out to me. I’d found this podcast looking through the show’s back catalogue, and although I found the title a bit clunky (‘What Buddhism got right about the human brain’) I gave it a listen as I was interested to hear what Ezra’s guest had to say.
Last month, I was invited to a Re~Collective online meeting, “…discussing the conversation that took place during the October 28th Sydney Insight Meditators meeting in which the focus was building, renewing and sustaining community.” I was able to review the SIM meeting minutes and a related article, Sanghas R Us, by Winton Higgins – and even to attend despite time zone confusion on my part.
Whether you practice on your own or are part of a group and you’re wanting additional support for your practice, you’re in Wellington or elsewhere, you’re welcome to take part in the One Mindful Breath online secular Buddhist practice sessions.
In this blog post I describe a simple formal practice of meditation on sounds, why it might be something that you should engage with, and how the experience went for me this morning when I practiced it.
Have you ever thought ‘What if I’m doing it wrong?’ We’ve all had that feeling when learning something new. This is no less true when the new activity is meditation.
‘Secular meditators remain inquisitive and critical toward all meditation approaches,’ according to Rick Heller. His new book Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy has been reviewed by Sylvie Vanasse, a coach, counsellor and facilitator who is a member of Beaches Sangha.
This evening’s topic brings together a relatively recent current in the dharma world – secular dharma, aka ‘secular Buddhism’ – with the much older practice of insight meditation. Let’s first up get clear what each of these terms means before exploring their relationship.
From time to time I’ve heard participants at retreats etc mention the reason they want to learn meditation is to reduce/manage their anxiety [a couple of my friends dabbled in meditation (they never really became meditators) because they hoped meditating would reduce their anxiety – it didn’t and they no longer meditate].
I still remember my excitement on encountering, in Sam Harris’ first book, The End of Faith, the suggestion that it would be possible to enjoy many of the benefits which people had traditionally sought from religion without the need to embrace religion itself. Buddhist meditiation was one of the practices Harris mentioned as a specific example of wisdom that could be extracted from its religious context. “I wonder if anybody is actually doing anything like that?” I remember asking myself.