All posts tagged: mindfulness

Meditate to Cultivate Healthy Habits of Mind

By: Dhi Good The meditation journey is all about getting to know one’s mind – learning how it works and observing the tendencies we have. Most people know and accept that we have behavioral habits, but fewer consider that we also have habits of mind that are worthy of our benevolent attention. More about benevolent attention in a bit, but first, habits. Habits are not necessarily bad. In many cases they serve us well. Thank goodness we don’t have to sort out how to ride a bike every time we jump on a 2-wheeler. We just get on and start pedaling. Adopting habits saves us time and the wear and tear of considering each and every decision about what we’re going to do next. It can be helpful to have a pattern so we don’t get stuck deciding what to do next. And when circumstances force us out of habitual patterns, we tend to get cranky if not outright upset. Similarly, we have certain go-to patterns of handling the ever-changing circumstances of life. They govern …

How to Meditate

by:  Loden Nyima, Resident Teacher at DMC Meditation is a process of trusting ourselves and coming home.  We often come to meditation for relief from stress, turmoil, or from inspiration for meaning and truth.  It’s that very part of ourselves seeking such things that already has them.  It’s like longing for like.  It’s our innate wisdom, compassion, and freedom shining through.  We’re learning to trust that intuitive part of ourselves, to come home, and let it expand.   Shamatha is a Sanskrit word that means “peaceful abiding”.  It describes an ancient form of mediation that pre-dates Buddhism by a long shot and has been practiced by people of all or no spiritual or religious tradition for thousands of years.  Many of the teachings we know today in the popular mindfulness movement were derived from these and related teachings, either in Buddhism, Yoga, or more.   Anyone can practice shamatha, we don’t need to have any interest in Buddhism or in any spiritual tradition..  And if we do have an interest in Buddhism, shamatha is quite foundational to …

Freedom from the Inner Netflix

by:  Loden Nyima, Resident Teacher at SMC First of all, I actually love Netlflix, so please don’t sue me or cancel my subscription if anyone from there reads this—my problem isn’t with you! What this article is about is what I call the “inner Netflix”—the repetitive stories, dramas, narratives, that play out in our minds over and over again. Do you know what I mean?  Like the situation in our lives we think about constantly, whether at the workplace, or in our relationships, or other situations. It’s the thing we keep mulling over… ”if only I would have, if only they would have, one day it will be this way, next time I see them I’ll say this” etc, etc.  Or, the list of things we have to do later, or the big regrets we have, or the endless self-criticism, or the various fantasies, or the hopes and fears or anxieties about the future. The list goes on and on. The inner Netflix has it all. We’ve got the drama, the workplace sitcom, the relationship …

Our Self-Healing, Self-Rejuvenating Mind

by:  Loden Nyima, Resident Teacher at DMC Many of us these days come to meditation or a spiritual path with a wish to heal. To heal from one or another form of suffering or turmoil that we’ve experienced, or from the pace, demands, and challenges of modern life.  We often come seeking relief, peace, stillness, rejuvenation, wellness, and even freedom from whatever limiting conditions we experience.    The good news is that those qualities are already present in us already and are the parts of us doing the seeking and the asking.  While we certainly don’t need to be a Buddhist or even interested in Buddhism to practice many forms of meditation (and I actually mean that!), one name for this part of ourselves is our Buddha nature.  It’s our innate wisdom, compassion, freedom, health, and strength.  The way it shines through in our lives can be by recognizing that we’re suffering and that we long to heal, to release, to be free.*  It’s like longing for like.  It’s the sun shining through the clouds, present …

Speaking of Silence

by:  Loden Nyima, Resident Teacher at DMC Healing in Space and Stillness When I lead silent meditation retreats, I often begin with a somewhat cynical joke.  I ask, “OK, let’s have a show of hands, how many people here feel like we can keep up with everything in our lives, process all the information we receive in a day completely, give as much time and care to all of our interactions and relationships as they need, thoughtfully attend to all of our work and tasks with no rush whatsoever, take as much time as we need for self-care and health, relax at the end of the day with not a care in our minds, sleep as much as we need, then wake up the next day refreshed and ready to go?”…at this point usually we’re all chuckling and shaking our heads in empathetic commiseration and the kind of relief that comes from being able to laugh in authentic connection with others. That said, it’s no joke.  From a meditative point of view, our spiritual energy …

How To Stop Your Marriage From Falling Apart

by  Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D. Four provocative truths every married couple needs to know Falling in love is amazing! The excitement of meeting someone new brings out the best in all of us; the journey ahead feels like an open road full of possibility … but, then something happens: Either the relationship starts to feel stale, or perhaps money issues, kids, or trying to figure out a comfortable work-life balance comes into play. Whatever the cause, the initial spark dims or goes out altogether, and the future of your relationship becomes a long and winding road, full of pit stops and flat tires. Well, don’t worry because this happens to everyone. All it means is that it’s time for a tune-up. You see, we spend a lot of time and energy finding our perfect mates. By the time we say “I do,” we assume (and fervently hope) that the work is over. The idea of having to spend time working on your marriage may seem strange or even depressing, but it’s …

Functional Sanity 

Excerpt from the international bestselling book, You Were Not Born To Suffer, by Blake D. Bauer. It’s helpful to know that we are all a bit crazy, in the sense that once we’re honest with ourselves we cannot deny the various voices in our head or the countless thoughts that circulate in our mind. I have come to perceive mental and emotional health in terms of practical functional sanity. In other words: can we take responsibility for our lives in a way that we do not harm ourselves, other people or the Earth while we do our best each day to be well, happy and kind?  In my experience, which I am sure is similar to your own, there is no such thing as ‘normal’. Although it is so common to think ‘he or she is normal but I am not’ or ‘their family is normal’ or ‘why can’t I just be normal?’ deep down we all know real life is stranger than fiction. Maybe the reason we can never get to ‘normal’ is because it …

canoe couple

Stay In The Canoe And Paddle

by Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D The question we are asked most often is: “what do you do if your partner doesn’t…..(do any imaginable thing!) or “what if you are married to someone who is…..(any imaginable bad trait or behavior).” In the past we have responded to these questions with answers addressed to the specifics. As we have listened to my answers, we found that whatever specifics we responded to, the pattern was always the same. The answer was “stay in the process.” So what is the process? It is IMAGO DIALOGUE. There are no enlightened answers to any question or clever solutions to any problem. Questions and problems are all functions of “process breakdown.” Partners stop listening and become defensive. Polarization occurs and the impasse is strengthened. The only way out of this quagmire is the Imago Dialogue process with its three parts: mirroring, validating and empathy. The process of Imago Dialogue is something like a canoe on a lake. Two people are paddling, one in the back and one in the front. …