Search Results for 'meditation'

The Community Meditation Center

Located on Manhattan's upper west side, and with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, the CMC offers classes, Insight Meditation (Vipassana) instruction and practice, daylong retreats, workshops, and social events.

Link: The Community Meditation Center

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: Buddhism

· insight · meditation · vipassana · retreats · Buddhist

Loving kindness meditation

Many Buddhist traditions practice Metta Bhavana, or loving kindness meditation. (Metta means loving-kindness.) The meditation is in several stages (the classic version has five). At each stage, silently recite a mantra, linked to the breath. The first line is said on the inbreath, the second on the outbreath, and so on.

Link: Read more about Loving Kindness Meditation

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Buddhism

· Metta Bhavana · meditation · mindfulness · loving kindness · relaxation

What is flapping?

Four monks were meditating in a monastery. All of a sudden the prayer flag on the roof started flapping.

The younger monk came out of his meditation and said: "Flag is flapping."

A more experienced monk said: "Wind is flapping."

A third monk who had been there for more than 20 years said: "Mind is flapping."

The fourth monk, who was the eldest, said: "Mouths are flapping!"  

Link: FreeSangha Buddhist Forum

Category: Spirituality humour

Tradition: Buddhism

· humour · spirituality · Buddhism · meditation · Zen

Silence

Two monks were sitting in a cave. One was silent. The other one said, ‘I could have done that’.

Link: Sujato's blog

Category: Spirituality humour

Tradition: Buddhism

· humour · spirituality · Buddhism · silence · meditation

Slow

The day after completing a 9 day Vipassana retreat, Dave turns up for work at Taronga Zoo. Seeing how chilled out Dave is, the head keeper puts him in charge of the tortoise enclosure. Dave slow walks over to the cages. At lunch time, the head keeper checks on Dave only to see the cage door wide open and all the tortoises gone! “What happened?”
“Well”, said Dave very slowly, “I opened the tortoise cage door and it was, like, Whoosh!” 

Link: Sujato's blog

Category: Spirituality humour

Tradition: Buddhism

· humour · spirituality · Buddhism · meditation · vipassana

The Prophet

by Kahlil Gibran

Category: Recommended books

Tradition: Christianity

· poem · poetry · Kahlil Gibran · meditations · reflections · philosophy

Centring prayer

Many people do not believe in a personal God or in miraculous interventions, so we find it difficult to pray. But prayer is not just about asking for things. It can be contemplative. It can be about communing silently with the universe, or self-examination, or holding loved ones in your thoughts, or increasing mindfulness. Centring prayer is a spiritual practice that was developed by Christians in response to interfaith dialogue with Buddhists.

Link: Read more about Centring Prayer

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Christianity

· centring · centering · Christian · Buddhist · contemplation · meditation · interfaith

Lectio Divina

Lectio divina has four steps: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation. The reading stage involves critical engagement with the text, analysing its meanings and metaphors. The meditation stage involves dwelling on the images that particularly resonate with you. This could be developed into a visualisation or journey into the scene described.

Link: Read more about Lectio Divina

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Christianity

· Christian · contemplation · meditation · reading · lectio divina

Grounding and centring

Many rituals begin with this simple practice, especially Pagan circles. It comes from the Taoist tradition originally, I think. There are several different versions of it.

Its purpose is to allow you to feel connected to the Earth (grounded), not floating away into fantasy-world, not obsessing about the past or the future, but being present in the now. The centring part of the practice allows you to feel connected to the cosmos and the four sacred directions, which are associated with the elements.

Begin by focusing on your breathing. Don't breathe in any special way, just notice how your breath comes in and out of your nostrils, and how your belly rises and falls.

As you breathe in and out, feel your feet planted firmly on the ground. Relax your hips and your knees and imagine a thread extending from the top of your head to the centre of the sky (this helps to align your spine with the axis of the Earth).

Imagine that your feet are tree roots, and extend your roots deep into the earth. Your roots push down into the earth, through the rich soil, finding their way among rocks, and down deep into the molten core of the Earth. As you breathe out, extend your roots; as you breathe in, draw up energy from deep within the Earth.

As the energy makes its way into your body, draw it up through your legs and feel it gathering and pooling in your solar plexus. Note the colour of the energy.

Now extend a tendril of energy up your spine. Imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree, and extend your aura at the top of your head, growing branches. Extend your branches up into the sky, beyond the atmosphere, and reach for the energy of the starlight. As you breathe out, extend your branches; as you breathe in, draw the energy down from above. Feel it gathering and pooling in your solar plexus, mingling with the energy from below.

Now draw energy from both above and below at the same time, and let the energies mingle in your solar plexus. As you breathe in, draw in the energy from above and below; as you breathe out, feel it spiralling and swirling.

Now allow the energy to fill your whole body, extending out to your feet, your fingertips, the top of your head. Feel how you are aligned with the cosmic axis.

Now acknowledge the four directions: North for Earth, representing the body, sensation, physicality, and structure; East for Air, representing intellect, thought, inspiration and breath; South for Fire, representing passion, intuition, and spirit; and West for Water, representing emotion, the Moon, dreams, and the blood that flows in your veins.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Eclectic Pagan

· Wicca · Pagan · meditation · Taoist · grounding · centring · centering

The Association of Spiritual Retreats

The global resource for some of the best holistic treatments worldwide

Link: The Association of Spiritual Retreats

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: Eclectic spirituality

· retreat · meditation · spirituality · holistic

Making a mandala

The idea of the mandala comes from Hindu and Buddhist tradition. In its most developed form, the mandala is a diagram of the inner world. Tibetan Buddhist sand mandalas depict temples and palaces where particular Buddhas dwell, and pathways between them. A sand mandala is carefully and painstakingly constructed by pouring sand through special pointy tubes onto a surface, and after a certain amount of time, the sand is swept up and poured out as a blessing into a river, or given away to pilgrims.

Mandalas can also be drawn or painted. Carl Gustav Jung (the psychoanalyst) drew mandalas representing his inner states, and encouraged his clients to do the same. Other Jungians also did this. Drawing a mandala can be a very satisfying experience  it doesnt have to be great art; its the process of creating a picture of your inner world that is important. You can also make mandalas from seeds, pebbles or shells.

Once you have created your mandala, you can use it as a focus for meditation, following the patterns you have created, or meditating on the meaning of the symbols within the mandala.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Buddhist · everyday spirituality · Hindu · mandalas · meditation · spiritual practices ·

Making an altar

An altar is a focus for devotion, prayer or meditation. It can be simple or complex, small or large. It can have no images, a single image, or multiple images. It can be themed around a particular idea, deity, holy person or festival. You can have more than one altar or shrine around your home.

If your altar is for meditation or prayer, choose a spot in your home that is quiet and peaceful. Consider how you will use your altar. If you are going to place flowers on it, or use it in ritual, make sure there is space for everything you need, and that the altar is easy to keep clean. Some people like to light a candle or ring a bell before they start their ritual, meditation or prayer.

The typical altar might have a bell or singing bowl, some holy pictures or statues, some natural objects such as pebbles, shells, feathers or wood to make a connection with Nature, a candle, prayer beads, and perhaps a holy book. It may be a shrine to a particular deity, saint, Buddha or bodhisattva, or to multiple sacred foci.

In Orthodox Christianity, the shrine at which the family prays is known as the Beautiful Corner, and is decorated with icons of favourite saints. Icons are seen as windows into Heaven, and depict the transfigured face of the saint. Before praying, people will light a candle and cross themselves.

In some traditions, people build altars or shrines at particular times of year. In Mexico, people build shrines for El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) to commemorate their loved ones who have died. There might be photos of the loved one, together with their favourite foods, and flowers. Many Pagans around the world have borrowed this idea. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her classic book Women who run with the wolves, describes how women built altars to commemorate losses in their lives, and how this helped them to grieve properly and to recover from the trauma. You could also build altars for particular rites of passage, such as the transition from childhood to adulthood, or for marriage or divorce. The altar might include symbols of the phase that is coming to an end, and symbols of the new phase to be embarked on. You could even build one altar for each phase, and then have a ritual progression from one phase to the next.

Another way of making an altar is to find a special tree or rock, and decorate around it with found (but biodegradable) objects arranged in a pattern, such as twigs, leaves, berries and feathers.

There is no right or wrong way to make an altar. Each altar is personal and special. If you are following a particular spiritual tradition, it may have particular ways of making altars, but even within that, there is plenty of scope for creativity.

 

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· altars · Clarissa Pinkola Estes · everyday spirituality · icons · meditation · prayer · spiritual practices

Building a meditation hut

The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids suggest building a meditation hut. The actual process of building the hut could be a mindful and meditative process, using recycled and sustainable materials. The Order’s founder, Ross Nichols, got the idea of his hut from the poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Yeats was inspired to write the poem by Henry David Thoreau’s account of how he retired to a hut beside Walden Pond, there to contemplate the wilderness, be self-sufficient and find himself.

Ross Nichols suggests that one of the benefits of living in a hut is that there are fewer distractions there; no electricity, no running water, only yourself and the wilderness (or your garden) for company. It was important to Nichols that the hut should be a semi-permanent structure, so it felt safe and secluded.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Druidry · Henry David Thoreau · hut · meditation · Ross Nichols · spiritual practices · William Butler Yeats

Meditative walking

There are several different types of meditative walking, from various different spiritual traditions.

The theologian St Augustine famously wrote “Solvitur ambulando” (It is solved by walking), by which he presumably meant that as you walk, the problems that were at the forefront of your mind are put on the back burner and there solved. I have experienced this process myself.

Walking is also more environmentally friendly than other means of locomotion.

Eastern Orthodox Christians practice the prayer walk, which is a form of processional walking, with stops for prayers at various intervals.

The practice of walking labyrinths is a very ancient practice dating from pre-Christian times, but also used by Christians in labyrinths such as the famous one at Chartres. In a Chartres-style labyrinth, you never know quite how near or far you are from the centre, so as you twist and turn through the labyrinth, walking slowly and meditatively, you are reminded of the twists and turns of life, and sometimes solutions to problems come to mind as you walk.

Buddhists practice the walking meditation, which is where you walk slowly and mindfully, place one foot in front of the other in a slow and deliberate way, silently reciting a mantra as you walk.

Another way of walking mindfully is to walk in a garden, and walk towards the first thing – perhaps a plant, perhaps a stone, or a leaf on the ground – that attracts your attention, and then really look at it. What colour is it? What is its texture? How is it structured? Is it growing or decaying? Smell it, touch it. Does it make a sound? Follow the patterns on its surface. When you have really observed it with all of your senses, thank it and move on to the next thing that attracts your attention. At the end of your walk, you might like to draw what you have seen, or write a poem (perhaps haiku) about the experience.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· everyday spirituality · meditation · spiritual practices · walking · ancient paganism · Christian · Buddhist · mindfulness

Monthly spiritual practice newsletter

A free, monthly email newsletter, with spiritual practice examples and suggestions, and news updates from ahamsa: being peace, serving beauty. Sign up and get ahamsa's Pocket Guide to Silent Meditation absolutely free. 

The sign up form is on the right hand side of the website. You can also find reflections on spiritual practice in the blog on the same website, including a weekly 'Spiritual Lessons from Science Fiction' series.

 

by Elinor Prdota

Link: ahamsa: being peace, serving beauty

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· spiritual practice · spiritual lessons · newsletter · meditation · science fiction

STOP: A Short Mindfulness Practice

by Elisha Goldstein

Link: YouTube

Category: Videos

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· mindfulness · meditation · daily · spiritual practice · Elisha Goldstein

Mindfulness throughout the day

by Elisha Goldstein

Link: YouTube

Category: Videos

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· mindfulness · meditation · daily · spiritual practice

Independent Meditation Centre Guide

Are you considering a retreat at a meditation centre? Wouldn't it be helpful to read what others have experienced? That's what this site is all about: sharing our experiences.

Link: Independent Meditation Centre Guide

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: None

· retreat · meditation · spirituality

Geek meditation

IN YOUR MIND'S BROWSER, CLEAR YOUR CACHE... NOW DELETE YOUR HISTORY...  NOW NAVIGATE TO A BLANK WEB PAGE...  Geek meditation session IN YOUR MIND'S BROWSER, CLEAR YOUR CACHE... NOW DELETE YOUR HISTORY... NOW NAVIGATE TO A BLANK WEB PAGE... Geek meditation session

Link: Memerial.net

Category: Spirituality humour

Tradition: None

· humour · spirituality · meditation · geek