The Radical Inquiry of Buddhist Mindfulness

One of the most prolific and brilliant Buddhist scholars of our generation is the German Theravāda monastic, Ven. Anālayo. His vast research on the texts and doctrines of Early Buddhism has transformed both the academic study of Early Buddhism and the practice of meditation and mindfulness in lineages connected to it, especially Insight Meditation. His dissertation on Satipaṭṭhāna is the …

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4 Modes of Attention

One way to think about mindfulness and effort in meditation practice is to imagine a graph where the X axis is volition (doing things on purpose), and the Y axis is consciousness, or being aware of what’s happening. Here’s a talk on this model, some pictures, and a handout to put on the fridge. Meditation: stillness of body, stillness of …

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Mindfulness and its Discontents

A series of talks on “Mindfulness,” the great universal self-improvement practice. Ok, not quite. But mindfulness is awesome. Just not in the way the magazines want you to think. We’ll start with the basics of Buddhist Mindfulness. What it is and may not be, how we can discern its presence or absence as an embodied state, why it’s so important, why …

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Three talks on the first of the 3 Characteristics, or Marks (tilakkhaṇa): Impermanence (anicca). As is our practice often lately, the meditations include the Refuge and Precepts pūja. A talk on the quality and practice of refuge, and how we both need a refuge from impermanence, and we take refuge in impermanence. Meditation: mindfulness of change A talk on mindfulness as memory …

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Intervention vs Observation in Mindfulness Meditation

A short talk and discussion given at Spirit Rock during a Thursday morning yoga and meditation class. I talked about the difference between Bare Awareness styles of instruction and Cultivating Wholesome States styles, and how they relate to each other. Talked a bit about how understanding them as different ways of engaging in practice shines a light on some of …

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The practice of meditation

A series of talks looking at the practice of meditation in detail. We discuss different types of instructions, what’s happening in the nervous system, how to work with emotion, thought, and sensation, how the practice develops, and more. Part 1: Two broad styles of meditation instruction that differ in how we use our attention, and have different results. And an …

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Five Hindrances to Deepening in Practice

A talk on the 5 great demons the Buddha described that haunt meditators and anyone who wants to do inner work (or maybe good work of any kind): Sense Desires, Hatred, Sloth & Torpor, Restlessness & Worry, and everyone’s [least] favorite: Doubt. They’re painful, but Mindfulness of them is central to the path. When you name Rumplestiltskin, his power over …

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The Nervous System in Meditation & Yoga

Four weeks of investigation of the relationship of the trauma physiology and resilience teachings of Organic Intelligence to the practices of meditation and yoga.1. Meditation: Orientation, Body Posture, Pleasure (6.6.17) Trauma Basics: Fight, Flight, Freeze (6.6.17) 2. Meditation: Mettā (Loving Kindness) for a Benefactor, with the breath (6.13.17) Trauma Basics: Activation-Deactivation (6.13.17) 3. Meditation: 3 Important Spectra/Qualities to Track (6.20.17) Trauma …

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