Thursday, April 10, 2014

The White Tara - Tantric Meditation

I decided to give tantric meditation a serious try after having tasted bits and pieces of Vajrayana Buddhism through the years. Vajrayana is often referred to as Tibetan Buddhism, although it originated from India and has since also been practiced in Bhutan, Nepal, parts of China and Japan. 

As per my teacher Lama Sangye's suggestion, I began with the White Tara. So far, it has been quite effective! There is lots of synergy with the classic Buddhist sutra teachings on impermanence, non-self and interbeing that I've focused on to date. But tantra comes at them from a very different angle. 

Below I describe my understanding and practice so far. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Give Up All Views To Awaken!

I have come up against walls that I helped build. Walls that I thought would lead to complete awakening, but now turn out concepts that impede me. I must give up all views in order to discover the deeper truth of mind. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

7 Ways to Travel Enlightened

I wanted to write a post about the art of traveling. Perhaps this is a nexus point between my volunteer/travel blog and this meditation blog, but I've had a growing number of insights through my journeys that I wanted to share. 

 As you may know, I have been a student of wisdom and meditation for some time now; so I enjoy asking the deeper questions in life. I traveled outside the US to more than eight different countries. Some sightseeing at first but, for the last few years, mainly volunteering - both voluntourism as well as secular mission trips. 

As I went from country to country, culture to culture, I couldn't help by wonder what is the point of all this, why travel, what do people really get out of it? 

Is our time abroad spent just tasting new foods, taking pictures and chasing experiences, or is there some deeper meaning behind all this that we can touch? Are we truly present and aware on the go, or do we lose ourselves in a fantasy world, hoping to make up for something we run away from back home?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Building Awareness Through Open, Not Expected Mindfulness

"Let's say awareness is like light, and the voltage is low, It lights only this much area... You crank up the voltage, suddenly it lights the whole hall. ... The whole hall comes into your experience"

- Sadhguru

Friday, December 27, 2013

We Are All Looking For a Community; Happy Holidays Everyone!

"Humans are social creatures and we did not evolve isolated. We need a community of support back home to help us venture out into the world."

First off all, happy holidays everyone! I wish you all a very joyous time this season abound with love and harmony.

I've been thinking a lot about having a "community" in our lives that we can feel a part of. I am finding that when this is present and properly cultivated, life becomes easier to embrace with confidence, security, joy and wonder. No matter your spiritual and psychology journey.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Teachings on Emptiness Melt the Line Between You and I

"I used to think people like pristine nature because it stills their mind, now I know it is because they appreciate its beauty."

I like to explore and play around with the Mahayana Buddhist teachings on Interbeing and Emptiness. The insights they provide allow me to more easily surrender to life and experience wholehearted joy. Further, I find that they feed back into the foundational practices of insight meditation (vipassana) in Theravada Buddhism, bringing refreshed energy to it and deeper insights. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Distinguish Old Emotional Patterns from Your Own Identity

"If you can, just for a second, not identify with the arising emotion it will dwindle and lose it's power over you, so no mental construct is born."

Monday, November 11, 2013

My 10 Day Goenka Vipasanna Retreat Experience

"Awareness and Equanimity are the essence of Vipassana" - S.N. Goenka

I just returned from a 10 day Vipasanna meditation retreat in Shelburne Falls, MA. It was not what I expected at all - no deep bliss, no military style discipline, no earth shattering epiphanies. But rather a methodical way of purifying the mind as taught in classical Buddhism. The retreat took my wisdom practice to a whole other level. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Embarking on 10 Day Goenka Vipassana Retreat

A year in the works, I'm finally embarking on a 10 day silent meditation retreat in Shelburne, Massachusetts - Goenka Vipassana. I have feared this moment gravely, but now I am kind of curious to see how it will go.

I attempted two silent retreats in the past but have only lasted 3-4 days each. So this will be a first of its kind for me and I'm set to go through the whole thing no matter how difficult it will get.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Exploring a Calm Mind: Concentration and Insight Meditations

Picture source:
Last week I wrote about the importance of meditation for anyone who is on the path of wisdom, faith or happiness in life. I described two foundational practices of calm-abiding and compassion meditation. Here I will turn attention to concentration and insight - the true fruit we are after.