Category: Beginner Meditation

The Practice of Tonglen: Sending & Receiving with the Breath {Lojong Teaching}

  By Daniel Scharpenburg The first time I heard about tonglen practice I thought it sounded really weird. I don’t connect with visualization type practices very well a lot of the time, so when I read that this was (sort of) a visualization practice I assumed it wouldn’t mean much to me. I was wrong. Tonglen is called the practice of sending and taking. It’s a sitting meditation practice. You sit and visualize inhaling the suffering as a black smoke and exhaling a clear blue light. We are imagining that we are taking suffering into ourselves and transforming it...

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Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris & Jeff Warren with Caryle Adler {Book Review}

  By Brent R. Oliver Dan Harris vaulted into my coveted esteem in 2014 with his first book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works—A True Story. Despite its painfully cumbersome subtitle, 10% Happier was a groundbreaking book, not only for me, but for the entire world of modern mindfulness. Harris is a news correspondent for ABC, appearing on many of their most well-known shows, including a gig co-anchoring the weekend edition of the ever-popular Good Morning America. In 2004, he entirely lost his...

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The Basics of Mindfulness & Meditation

  By Robin Langston-Saylor I’m no expert on mindfulness or meditation, so I won’t claim to have all the answers. Nor will I regurgitate what books and practitioners have taught me over the years. I won’t try to teach you how to become more mindful or how to meditate. What I will do is try to explain how it benefits me in terms that I feel anyone can understand. Then, if you feel it is something from which you could benefit, you can research and find what works best for you. First, I want to be clear on a...

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Meditation Isn’t Working for Me

  By J.G. Lewis Meditation, the art or the practice, is simply not working for me. I have tried; damn I’ve tried, but as I sit, as I try to silence the mind and find this eternally elusive stillness, I often end up thinking my time spent meditating is unproductive if not counterproductive. I try. I turn on the salt lamp, light a candle (sometimes), burn incense (more than a lot) turn off the music or the radio, and try to tune out all that surrounds me. Sometimes on the floor, other times in a chair or bench, I...

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Why Can’t I Meditate?

  By John Pendall Meditation is a safe space to get all the crazy out in the open. A lot of people are surprised by how un-meditative meditation can be. We’re used to seeing all these images of smiling Buddhas and tranquil Yogis; it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to criticize ourselves and, in some cases, wind up more unstable and unhappy than we were before. All these images of peaceful meditators only show a tiny moment of that person’s practice. They don’t show all the screw ups, setbacks and sidetracks; they don’t reveal all the struggles had...

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