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Stilling the mind a healthful practice

24/01/201106:38(Xem: 2669)
Stilling the mind a healthful practice

Hoa Sen Trang
Stilling the mind a healthful practice 

  Diane Evans
The Beacon Journal, Sep. 02, 2003 
 

 Brain scans show how meditation cuts stress

 
 Akron, Ohio (USA) -- Recently, in speaking before a luncheon audience, I mentioned that I try to meditate for about 10 minutes every morning and 10 minutes before bedtime.
 
 "How do you meditate?'' a woman asked.
 
 I felt so ill equipped to answer, because I'm new to it, too, as many Westerners are.
 
 Yet, you know meditation has penetrated our culture when Time magazine devotes a cover story to it, as happened recently.
 
 Time reported that 10 million American adults now say they meditate regularly in one way or another -- twice as many as 10 years ago.
 
 "It's becoming increasingly hard to avoid meditation,'' the article said. "It's offered in schools, hospitals, law firms, government buildings, corporate offices and prisons.''
 
 Further, new research using sophisticated imaging techniques suggests that meditation can alter brain activity in a way that reduces stress.
 
 It's as if science, once again, is validating an ancient practice. East and West find common ground.
 
 Buddhist concepts
 
 The late philosopher Karl Jaspers, in writing about Buddhist teachings, described a doctrine whereby truths are reinforced and established only by meditation. In Jaspers' words, this involves the carrying of ``light into the depth'' and the creation of an awareness that ``illumines the unconscious down to the last nook and cranny.''
 
 Buddhism teaches that meditation is a cultivation of concentration, and a state of wakefulness. In the book Destructive Emotions, thought-free wakefulness is described as the mind being ``open, vast and aware, with no intentional mental activity. This mind is not focused on anything, yet totally present -- not in a focused way, just very open and undistracted.''
 
 Thus, the big challenge: How to still our thoughts, quit the mental conversations we have with ourselves, and just hush up.
 
 There are so many techniques and forms of meditation. Centering prayer, for example, is a common Christian form. It often involves repeating a mantra -- a single word or phrase over and over -- while pushing all other thoughts aside. (To be sure, the repeating of a mantra is common in other forms of meditation as well.)
 
 I first tried centering prayer nearly two years ago, after hearing about it in a scripture study class at my church. For nearly a year, I had almost no success; thoughts kept coming into my mind, and it was difficult to set them aside for more than a minute or two.
 
 Meditative process
 
 It wasn't until I read Wayne Dyer's book, There's A Spiritual Solution To Every Problem, that I started to make progress. It's not a how-to book on meditation -- but meditation is explained throughout in various passages. Dyer helped me understand that at least in part, meditation is a process of moving into the gap between your own thoughts.
 
 "When we empty our mind of our ego-driven thoughts we invite forgiveness into our hearts,'' he wrote. ``And by letting go of the lower energies of hatred, shame and revenge, we create a mind-set of problem resolution.''
 
 But, oh, it's not easy.
 

 In his book Contemplative Prayer, the late Trappist monk Thomas Merton got down to the practical difficulty of meditation.
 
 "One cannot begin to face the real difficulties of the life of prayer and meditation unless one is first perfectly content to be a beginner and really experience himself as one who knows little or nothing, and has a desperate need to learn the bare rudiments,'' Merton said. ``We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life!''
 
 How to meditate?
 Practice, practice.


 
Source: http://www.buddhistnews.tv

 

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27/12/2010(Xem: 3008)
The mental exercise known as meditation is found in all religious systems. Prayer is a form of discursive meditation, and in Hinduism the reciting of slokas and mantras is employed to tranquilize the mind to a state of receptivity. In most of these systems the goal is identified with the particular psychic results that ensue, sometimes very quickly; and the visions that come in the semi-trance state, or the sounds that are heard, are considered to be the end-result of the exercise. This is not the case in the forms of meditation practiced in Buddhism.
26/12/2010(Xem: 2959)
To study the effect of Vipassana on the work environment, we interviewed people who had attended a ten-day Vipassana course. A questionnaire was given to them. Their colleagues were also interviewed to find out their views about the results of Vipassana
25/12/2010(Xem: 2558)
With the growing complexities of business especially industrial business-the use of meditation techniques has become popular during the last few years. However, they have been used mainly as stress relieving techniques for executives subjected to the tensions of achieving targets.
25/12/2010(Xem: 2321)
The opening Passage from the Mahaasatipa.t.thaana Sutta: "This is the only way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for reaching the Noble Path, for the realization of Nibbaana, namely, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
23/12/2010(Xem: 2280)
In the world today, there is much confusion, ignorance and controversy about psychiatry, meditation and the relationship between the two. Health professionals and mental health professionals are not even clear about the scope of their own field of expertise. Neither do they have a clear understanding of exactly what meditation is. It is little wonder, then, that the common man is puzzled.
11/12/2010(Xem: 2190)
My dear friends, suppose someone is holding a pebble and throws it in the air and the pebble begins to fall down into a river. After the pebble touches the surface of the water, it allows itself to sink slowly into the river. It will reach the bed of the river without any effort. Once the pebble is at the bottom of the river, it continues to rest. It allows the water to pass by.
09/12/2010(Xem: 2701)
The first course of Vipassana conducted by Goenkaji in a prison was in I975 at the Central Jail Rajasthan. When I was the Home Secretary of that state, I had myself undertaken a Vipassanacourse, and experienced a profound change in myself.
06/12/2010(Xem: 2782)
With the growing complexities of business especially industrial business-the use of meditation techniques has become popular during the last few years. However, they have been used mainly as stress relieving techniques for executives subjected to the tensions of achieving targets.
05/12/2010(Xem: 2625)
Vipassana meditation is a scientific technique of self-exploration: a system of self-transformation by self-observation, a healing by observation of and participation in the universal laws of nature. Its theoretical basis, health potential and practical applications are discussed and reviewed in this paper.
02/12/2010(Xem: 2735)
The practice of mindfulness/ awareness meditation is common to all Buddhist traditions. Beyond that, it is common to, inherent in, all human beings.
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Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường,
nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.

May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland,
Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below,
may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma,
the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

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