A Survey on Mindfulness Coaching

With the ever-increasing awareness of mindfulness as a worthwhile practice and skill for everyone, new avenues are being sought to teach and guide new participants. For the last year, I have been teaching small groups the basics of mindfulness using mindfulness of breathing, walking meditations, and loving-kindness, along with other practices. I have also stressed the importance of community, ethics, and philosophy (understanding the nature of oneself and the world) in these classes while doing … [Read more...]

Spiritual Life takes Courage, and part of that is asking for help

My blogging life has been a bit quiet of late. This is despite the fact that I have some developing ambitions to write more and curate more wonderful writing from friends and strangers around the topics of Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness. More on that in a moment.If you missed it, my neighbor here in the Patheos Buddhist world and long-time facebook friend - I'm still hoping to get him up to Montana for a sermon at our local Unitarian Universalist fellowship - James Ford recently … [Read more...]

The Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness: 8 Helpful Tips

A guest post from Janet MillerYou don’t have to be a Buddhist (or a hippy) to practice mindfulness, and you don’t have to spend hours sitting on the floor in meditation. Practicing mindfulness is simply bringing awareness to yourself and your existence. By practicing mindfulness in your life, you can feel more focused, less stressed, and more happy. Here are eight ways to introduce mindfulness into your life.1. Mindful BreathingThe breath is a common object of meditation, and … [Read more...]

4 Myths about Meditation

As mindfulness continues its spread across the Western world, along with it has come a myriad of myths and misunderstandings.Here are some of the most common myths, dispelled, for those interested in mindfulness practice.Meditation is about clearing the mind of thoughts. This is probably the widest and most pernicious myth around meditation. After a very long time meditating, it might be possible that some period of time, maybe just a few seconds, is free of thoughts. For days, we … [Read more...]

What is Attention? Can Mindfulness Help? See “The Science of Meditation” Summit

I am fortunate enough to have a tiny bit of spare time now to tune in to Shambhala Mountain's wonderful summit on "The Science of Meditation" with presenters ranging from the wonderful Susan Piver to Patheos contributor Rick Hansen and a list of the who's who of meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhism research and practice. If I understand correctly, the videos from every day will be up and available to the public for two full days, so the one below, for instance, will still be available until … [Read more...]

From US Marine to Zen Monk (Video)

A commonplace in the discussion of Buddhism as it is taken up by Americans and other Westerners is the flattening out and commodification of the practices. And indeed this is happening and will continue to happen. Zen and mindfulness have become buzzwords that are used to sell soft drinks, potato chips, jewelry, and stationary, among other things. And don't get me started on tantra. Words like 'Theravada' and 'vipassana' are just a bit too difficult on the American tongue to find their way onto … [Read more...]

A Tibetan Buddhist Nun teaches JOY instead of Willpower, Ego, and Guilt

Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche is one of the few female Tibetan lamas (teachers) in the world today and a recognized reincarnation (tulku) of a past great female teacher. She has taught Buddhism across Europe, the US, and Asia. She will be conducting a long Vajrayana retreat in Virginia starting later this week and you can find her Mahamudra/Dzogchen teachings on DVD, and - better for beginners! - her complete guide to the Tibetan path to awakening in book form.Below she talks about Western … [Read more...]

Mindfulness – not just a technique!

A guest post by Ravi Pradhan In the West, mindfulness is often presented as just a technique, and widely claimed to be secularized by Western experts.Where and how did such a perspective emerge? How is this different from the claims in the Eastern Wisdom traditions which have a long proven track record in mindfulness meditation – beyond just being a technique?You have to go back to 16-17 century Europe where Copernicus and Galileo were up against the all-powerful and all-knowing C … [Read more...]