Many Flavors

If you want to meditate, I think it’s important to carefully examine what you’re being taught. Interestingly, the Headspace page indicates how many types of meditation there are out there (this is only a sampling!

https://www.headspace.com/meditation/techniques

Another good explanation of how mindfulness came from certain Buddhist techniques and blossomed into many, many therapies:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/what-does-mindfulness-meditation-do-to-your-brain/

A good example of the controversial and contradictory translations of the early Buddhist texts. It’s seems contradictory to me; Analayo spends much of the text explaining how the Buddha stresses memory and recollection and then threw all his proofs out in his conclusion! Still, a useful read:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-017-0870-3

 

 

“Regulating” Emotions

Here are some questions we might contemplate: what exactly is an emotion and how do we recognize emotions via our thoughts? When does an emotion become a mood, a thought, a body pain? When does thinking trigger an emotion and vice versa? You can explore this in your sitting.

This is a good overview and discussion of how we can learn to work with our emotions:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-cultures/202012/why-you-have-more-control-over-your-emotions-you-think

 

Playing and Meditating

We talked about playfulness today: what can we do with our meditation experience that might make it fun or interesting or even playful?

I also pointed out some interesting studies and thought about how play is really part of our basic nature. We also were entertained by Kevin’s dog and cat basically acting out the art of playfulness for us!

“This is what evolution tells us—that there shouldn’t be a chasm between us and the rest of the animals,” concluded Mason.

https://gizmodo.com/scientists-taught-rats-to-play-hide-and-seek-and-theyr-1838069088

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/play-may-be-a-deeper-part-of-human-nature-than-we-thought/

Two Goals of Meditation

This is a lovely article from Stephen Batchelor on the benefits of meditation:

“We start to meditate because of individual circumstances and choices. However soon we find that two kinds of goals and aspirations inspire us to persevere on the meditative path. ”

From Stephen Batchelor

https://www.stephenbatchelor.org/index.php/en/benefits-of-meditation

I found out that the quote about the burning coal is not what the Buddha said, but instead is from the early 5th century AD sage  Venerable Buddhaghosa, who described anger this way:

“By doing this (giving in to anger) you are like a man who wants to hit another and picks up a burning ember or excrement in his hand and so first burns himself or makes himself stink.”