Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight2 The heart that gives gathers …….Marianne Moore Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. - Leo Tolstoy The best sermons are lived not preached. Change your thoughts and you change the world….. Norman Vincent Peale
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight3 Homework Everyday life Did events reinforce your understanding? Were you able to apply the philosophy? Did the meditations help? How? Questions or comments?
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight4 Worrying and Planning There is a difference between worrying and planning! Evaluate your own thought patterns Are the constructive or destructive? Last weeks comment – “I was bad”. Is this an inspiration to do better? Is this constructive helpful criticism? Is this condemnation and neurotic suffering? Consciousness – the ability to question our own thoughts Make consciousness a habit The philosophy is obvious, living it is the challenge
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight6 Compassion from a meditative perspective Compassion inspires you to do things for others that you wouldn’t do for yourself. The person being compassionate receives tremendous benefit. It is an experience You feel it in your heart It can be triggered by Holding a new born child Experiencing first love. Can become an instinctive response to others Others can sense your compassion through your body posture, smiles and “vibes”
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight7 Practical Compassion Communication Paying attention and really listening is a way to honor others. Be sensitive to others “real” agenda. Are they asking for: Advice or sympathy? Even well intentioned advice can be taken for condemnation Be aware!!! – Beware - Are your responses? Helpful Honest and truthful For the right reason With the proper tone at the right time Showing interest in them or changing the spotlight to yourself?
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight8 Not a door mat!! Now when we talk about how we should develop tolerance towards those who harm us, we should not misunderstand this to mean that we should just meekly accept whatever is done against us. [Laughs] Rather, if necessary, the best, the wisest course, might be to simply run away--run miles away! --from "The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight9 Meditation -- Doing it right “ If your energy is continually going into Patient self observation From moment to moment, Whether your attention is on the breathing or on other objects, and You are bringing your attention back each time it wanders Without giving yourself a hard time Then you are doing it right”.. Jon Kabat-Zinn
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight10 Guidelines for meditation Make it a habit At least once a day even for one or two minutes Find a balance between – Trying too hard and laziness Non judgmentally - Eliminate unnecessary drama Be kind to yourself! There are times when you need to grieve and to be angry, don’t judge / condemn yourself for being human! Don’t make meditation one more thing that makes you feel bad about yourself! You are your own authority - Go at your own pace Fill your mind in the first stage of meditation Every meditation is a good meditation Beginners mind Be patient
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight11 Important!!! Meditation an opportunity to practice letting go Meditation produces minor annoyances Boredom, Itchy nose, wandering minds Annoyances become a chance for you to find equanimity in spite of these circumstances You don’t want these negative things But you can be calm, focused and relaxed in spite of them See if you can create an internal or external smile anyway Every time you get upset think: “Wow, what a great opportunity to practice letting go!!” Meditation provides the opportunity to practice your ability alter the state of your mind.
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight12 Sitting Meditation Similar to body scan awareness Breath Body Additional areas of focus Sounds Thoughts Broader area of focus – everything at once. Changing the point of focus and scope. Mindfulness requires the same skills. The discipline to stay focused The intentionality to pick the point / points of focus. Ability to broaden and narrow the area of focus. If you are agitated, do whatever meditation is easier as a warm up to this.
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight13 Guided sitting meditation Close your eyes Bell - May all beings… - Erect and dignified posture, … Tense then Relax.., You are in a safe and secure environment, Choose whatever meditation diaphragmatic breathing, mantras, that relaxes you the most. Some days may be different. Time for you to nurture yourself - Secure relaxed environment choose a point of focus, nose, belly - Breathe naturally, If your mind wanders gently escort it back to your breath Change the focus of your attention to head, shoulders, etc… Change focus to the body as a whole. Any part of your body. See if you can be sensitive to your whole body at the same time Nothing to do, nothing to become just relax into the awareness of this moment. Quality of awareness open and non judging
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight14 Guided sitting meditation continued Change focus attention to hearing, Do not judge the sounds Now change the focus of your attention to thoughts Notice whatever thoughts arise. They are just thoughts. Observe the ebb and flow of thoughts without being carried away by them. Now broaden the focus of your attention to the body, the sounds and the thoughts and the breath. All of them at once. Notice whatever arises. You might hear a sound. You might notice a thought, you might feel a sensation in your leg. Relax into whatever arises in this moment Keep your eyes closed move your toes, etc. - Bell
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight15 Homework You choose Type of Meditation Something that you like that takes concentration – reading, music, eating, washing dishes etc. Diaphragmatic breathing, Compassion, Body Scan, Sitting Meditation Length of meditation - Time of day of meditation Guided or Unguided Observe How quickly do you get bored What takes your mind away BUT Try to meet your commitment Be kind to yourself if you don’t meet them
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight16 Challenge Once during the week Cycle through Mantras / Watching Breath for 40 minutes Do mantra at any pace until you feel bored or tense then Focus on your breath until you need a change and then back to the mantra 5 minutes is a good goal for each Repeat this cycle for 40 minutes Report back – your observations This alternation between mantras and non conceptual meditation is a fundamental characteristic of Tibetan Buddhist practices (Sadhannas). Tension and Relaxation
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight17 Comment on the following: What is your idea about what enlightenment means? What would life be like if you were enlightened? Any negative connotations to enlightenment?
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight18 The milk has spilled and you accept it with equanimity and deal with it constructively. The milk has spilled and you are sad Either way the milk has spilled …. Taken from a book by Cheri Huber The milk has spilled
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight19 Student’s comments I could not have been able to live my life without being able to accept my disease. I was absolutely miserable until I accepted my situation and could move on with my life. However, I had to go through grieving and anger first. It took time. Once I accepted my situation I also was able to face it more squarely and push the boundaries: I tried doing things like playing tennis and the piano and was able to enjoy them because I accepted the limitations and didn’t expect those experiences to be the same as before I had Parkinson’s.
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight20 Aspirations / Acceptance Aspirations are supportive We need goals and direction We need to strive Maintain equanimity on every step on the journey. Unrealistic expectations can be counter productive Leads to worry and sense of failure “I’ll be happy when…” Find the balance between aspiring for improvement and acceptance. At each point in your journey find equanimity
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight21 Insightful Acceptance Non Judgmental Horrible IdealWhere we are.Where we want to be. X X Healthy Successful Wealthy Wise Youthful Insightful Acceptance – Accepting what is real in this moment yet still able to do the things that are supportive of the direction we want to go without expectations of where we “should be” at this moment of the journey. Attractive Leader Admired Loved and Loving Generous Spiritual
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight22 Insightful Acceptance Letting Go / Coming to terms What it is Letting go of things that can’t be changed in this moment Equanimity An experience of having peace with the situation. Letting go of destructive reactions out of anger, hatred and jealousy Not letting the situation trigger self-defeating behavior Honoring the fact that it takes time to heal It is not Denying ones need to grieve Suppressing either anger or guilt Giving up on improvement. Failing to react in emergencies. Saying things are OK while you are emotionally charged. Becoming the door mat of the world. In spite of negative circumstances keeping a balance and calm but not diminishing the gravity of the situation
Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight23 Comment on the following: Quote If you want to be content, BE CONTENT If you want to be happy, BE HAPPY Questions Is it true? If not, why isn’t this true?