For a few moments just feel the body’s warmth and strength, its ability to hold itself upright. The vitality and aliveness that you experience in your body require various chemical and mineral substances, a continuous supply of oxygen, the energy of the sun, and the cohesion and conductivity of water. The Buddha instructs us to reflect on the body as composed of the elements of earth, air, fire, and water, so that we will see how this life is interwoven with universal processes.
In addition to Bhante Henepola Gunaratana‘s excellent meditation manual Mindfulness in Plain English, which is available in print from Wisdom Publications or as a PDF file online (http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html), Thanissaro Bhikkhu has a very thorough book available free of charge on the Metta Forest Monastery website in either PDF, epub, or mobi file.
With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation. (e-books revised Oct. 19, 2013) A new breath meditation manual by Thanissaro Bhikkhu drawing on two sources: the Buddha’s own set of instructions on how to use the breath in training the mind, and Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo’s method of breath meditation — which builds on the Buddha’s instructions, explaining in detail many of the points that the Buddha left in condensed form. A page has been added to this site with download links to all of the .mp3 dhammatalks referenced in this manual: With Each & Every Breath audio files.
The link to With Each and Every Breath is http://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html#eachandeverybreath
Experiences are preceded by mind, led by mind, and produced by mind. If one speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering follows even as the cart’s wheel follows the hoof of the ox.
Experiences are preceded by mind, led by mind, and produced by mind. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows like a shadow that never departs.
Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada
Rethinking Karma (Kamma) Tricycle Wisdom Collection. Read the entire article in the Wisdom Collection through November 12, 2013.
One specific method for practicing mindfulness of body sensations is to focus your attention on sounds. Sounds, like everything else, arise and pass away. Just by listening, you can experience the insight of impermanence, an understanding the Buddha taught as crucial for the development of wisdom.
– Sylvia Boorstein, “Sound Meditation”
Read the entire article in the Wisdom Collection of
Tricycle Daily Dharma October 28, 2013
…Mindfulness trains us to do everything we do with full awareness.
…Why is full awareness important? As anyone who tries mindfulness practice quickly discovers, the more aware we are of our actions and of the feelings, thoughts, and perceptions that give rise to them, the more insight we have into why we are doing what we are doing. Awareness allows us to see whether our actions spring from beneficial or harmful impulses. Beneficial motivations include generosity, friendliness, compassion, and wisdom; harmful actions are caused primarily by greed, hatred, and delusion. When we are mindful of the deep roots from which our thoughts, words, and deeds grow, we have the opportunity to cultivate those that are beneficial and weed out those that are harmful.
The Buddha is very clear that the primary aim of all his teachings is the “end of suffering”. Mindfulness helps us to recognize that beneficial actions bring peace of mind and happiness to our everyday lives. …
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana – The 4 Foundations of Mindfulness.
As meditators, we must all have a goal,for if we do not, and blindly follow somebody’s instructions on meditation, we will simply be groping in the dark.There must certainly be a goal for whatever we do consciously and willingly. It is not the vipassana meditator’s goal to become enlightened before other people or to have more power or make more profit than others. Meditators are not in competition with each other for mindfulness.
Our goal is to reach the perfection of all the noble and wholesome qualities latent in our subconscious mind.This goal has five elements to it : purification of mind, overcoming sorrow and lamentation, overcoming pain and grief, treading the right path leading to attainment of eternal peace, and attaining happiness by following that path. Keeping this fivefold goal in mind, we can advance with hope and confidence.”
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana- Mindfulness in Plain English
This is the most important meditation practice.
It is the classroom for living
a wise and kind life.
Sit anywhere and be quiet:
On a couch, a bed, a bench, inside, outside,
Leaning against a tree, by a lake, at the ocean,
In a garden, on an airplane, in your office chair,
on the floor, in your car.
Meditation cushions are okay too.
Sit at any time: morning, night,
One minute, three years.
Wear what you’ve got on.
Loosen your waist so that
Your belly can move with your breath.
Sit as relaxed as possible.
Relax your muscles
When starting and during sitting.
Sit with your back straight but not stiff.
Keep your head upright with your ears level.
Respect all medical conditions.
Only take a posture you can.
All postures are okay.
Do what you can do.
Keep your eyes slightly opened and out of focus.
Closing them will make you sleepy and sometimes
Opening them wide will keep you busy.
Breathe naturally through your nose.
Feel your breath.
Watch your breath.
Become your breath.
Be like a cat purring.
Follow your breath like ocean waves
coming in and out.
When you get distracted,
Come back to the simplest
And most basic experience of being alive,
You do not have to be a Buddhist.
You can be of any faith, religion,
race, nationality, gender,
relationship status, or capacity.
Just sit quietly,
connect with your breath,
and pay attention
to what happens.
You will learn things.
Do it when you want.
You decide how much is enough for you.
If you do it daily, it will get into your bones.
Please enjoy sitting quietly!
The only way to learn sitting quietly is to do it.
~ byTai Sheridan
by Tai Sheridan
If you’d like to study the original teachings of the Buddha, check out the Pali Canon Online website