Eightfold Path: Right Mindfulness

In the practice of meditation, we learn to continually bring our thoughts back to the present moment whenever we find them wandering. We learn to use our many senses to engage our minds in the moment. We tell ourselves, ‘Be Here Now.’ It is challenging to go against life-long habits of the mind where the […]

What is Mindfulness?

Through the regular practice of meditation — insight, vipassana or mindfulness — we cultivate the ability to stay present with whatever is going on in our experience. It is not an escape from the difficulties of daily life. It is practice in skillfully relating to whatever arises in our experience with more compassion, spaciousness, awareness and kindness. […]

Wise Mindfulness, the Gift of Meditation

When I really began to have a regular practice of meditation, I noticed a shift in my awareness as I started to sense more deeply my surroundings and perceive the nature of my thoughts and emotions. While driving, I saw how I would get frustrated by the lack of manners or even common sense of […]

Conclusion of formal Four Foundations of Mindfulness Teaching and the continuation of the dharma

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the Satipatthana, is called the direct path to realization. Over the past sixteen months we have thoroughly explored these teachings and done the traditional practices to make them real in our own experience. We have come now not only to the end of the Eightfold Path, but to the end […]

Wise Effort – Finding the right balance

While meditating before giving my dharma talk I noticed that when I over-effort — striving and straining, trying to get something right — the ‘cure’ is to apply my intention to be kind. Loving-kindness, releases the tight knots of unskillful exertion. I feel released into a quality of supported ease, where I am not alone, […]

Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness – The Five Hindrances

If you have been practicing the first three Foundations — being mindful of physical sensation and our relationship to the body; noting feeling tones of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral; and noting mental phenomena (thoughts and emotions) as they arise and fall away — then you are ready to incorporate the Fourth Foundation, the dhammas, into […]

Third Foundation of Mindfulness – Awareness of Mental Phenomena

Last week we discussed the Second Foundation of Mindfulness and in class we practiced noting whether a current experience was ‘pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.’ The homework was to continue noting throughout the week, in meditation and in life. This noting is in addition to anchoring awareness in physical sensation. That is our foremost practice. All […]

Second Look at the Second Foundation of Mindfulness

Before the holidays, when our minds were distracted with so much else, we began to explore of the Second Foundation of Mindfulness. Now with fresh minds and a New Year we begin again.To review, the Second Foundation of Mindfulness is noting whether something in our present experience is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. This kind of […]

The Second Foundation of Mindfulness — Feeling Tones

To most of us the word  ‘feelings’ is pretty much interchangeable with the word ‘emotions.’ But the Buddha grouped emotions with other mental phenomena like thoughts. We will explore the sense of this grouping when we study the Third Foundation of Mindfulness.The best way I can think of to show the difference between feelings and […]

First Foundation of Mindfulness – Review & a Few More Thoughts

We have completed our exploration of the Buddha’s First Foundation of Mindfulness, focusing in turn on the breath, postures, contemplation on the body, elements and death.When you pour a concrete foundation, you want it to cure before you start adding more layers. Just so, I want to take the time to review and discuss the […]