The World Has Changed

There's a weird feeling I get these days because meditation and mindfulness are so popular. It's odd living in a world where people are likely to know some form of meditation or yoga or Eastern philosophy.When I was growing up meditation was just something that movies made fun of with dramatic leg poses and exaggerated Oms. I felt a defensive pride that I knew what meditation really was. It was something that me and my family did. It was something special to just a few people.It's … [Read more...]


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Viscerally Peaceful

Despite being a white American Hindu, I am not as touchy-feely or "new agey" as people usually expect me to be. I know that other people with similar interests and life experiences to me experience feeling flows of energy or auras or vibes and I have no experience of those things. I'm kind of sad that I'm missing out when my husband and my cousin start talking about reiki and feeling the energy. They both feel it and I do not.My husband can feel the flow of chi in his body from practicing … [Read more...]


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Standing Still in the Midst of Action

Anyone will tell you that the modern world moves very fast. There is a frantic pace of life where no matter how much you do it is never enough.This isn't as new as we tend to think. I suspect it's been this way at least since the Industrial Revolution. We actually have more chance to relax now than we did then since now we have the concept of a weekend, we have days off.The bedrock of American culture has always been industry, hard work, pioneering, creating from nothing, pulling … [Read more...]


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The Wrong Mantra

I've spoken before about how challenging meditation has been for me. Part of me wants to still my mind but the mind hates that! What a lot of meditation resources leave out is the fact that it is really hard work. Stilling the mind, ceasing thoughts for even a single moment, is enormously challenging.If you're trying meditation you should know that it isn't easy. But you should also know that there are things that could make it a little easier. Such as practicing a style of meditation that … [Read more...]


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Can Westerners Gain Enlightenment?

I know I'm always saying that in any given country or population, probably 95% of people aren't going to be strongly spiritual. I'm guessing at that number, but it seems that in the Kali Yuga very few feel the pull to chase down the mystery of what life means.So that means that in every religion and non-religion (in other words, atheists included) there are some who ask themselves the big questions about what our lives mean and others who aren't bothered by those questions. I don't think … [Read more...]


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Meditating at the Ramakrishna Math in Chennai

This gorgeous building is right in the middle of the city in Chennai. It's an oasis in the midst of a bustling city life. While we stayed in Chennai we came here to meditate in the evenings and it was so perfect. Made us all wish we had buildings like this in our cities! I could imagine living close enough to walk over every night for the peaceful atmosphere.Meditating here I had the rare but delightful experience of hearing my mantra as though it were being chanted out loud by someone … [Read more...]


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Does Meditating Help…Other People?

A story I used to hear about meditation when I was little was that meditation was the reason the cold war never turned into a hot one. It was rumored that the Maharishi bringing meditation to the west allowed enough people to be sending peaceful vibes into the world that the war dissolved before it came to blows.I began thinking about this assertions again when I received an invitation from a fellow SES child to join a Facebook event meditating for peace in Israel and Palestine.Of … [Read more...]


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Should Children Meditate?

There's an image that's been going around Facebook and Pinterest claiming to be a quote from the Dalai Lama:"If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation." At first glance, this seems such a good sentiment that everyone could give a thumb's up to, but it makes me wonder. I wasn't 8 when I was taught meditation, I was 13. Where I come from, you go though classes and preparation to make sure you are ready for the … [Read more...]


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Meditation Debate: Quiet or Not?

Generally, when meditating, one seeks out a peaceful and quiet environment to do it in. Makes sense. Meditation requires focus and concentration.Complete silence, though, is never really possible in this world. Even if you go out into nature and sit beneath a tree, you'll still hear birds chirping and leaves brushing one another.When doing a meditation in which the goal is to focus inwardly and to keep one's attention on a mantra without thinking, do we need as much silence as … [Read more...]


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