Mindfulness of the Body As a True Refuge
January 7, 2016 MP3
The mindfulness tradition holds awareness of the body as a profound refuge for: bringing us into the present moment, working skillfully with difficult emotions, overcoming negative body images, turning aging into a spiritual ally, becoming more authentic and spontaneous, and gaining insight that deeply frees the spirit. The Buddha said that people “Awaken when mindfulness is constantly immersed in the body.” Ends with a guided meditation on being mindful of the body.
Making Peace with Pleasure and Pain in the Body
January 14, 2016 MP3
The chief difficulty of life is that we base our happiness on pleasant experiences even though unpleasant and neutral experiences frequently arise. This bias is an argument with reality and it is the source of the pervasive restlessness of the mind. Meditation shows us the radical possibility of being okay no matter what kind of experience we are having. It replaces reacting to feeling tone – the quality of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral – with being mindful of it. Mindfulness makes peace with pleasure and pain, which is the true meaning of spiritual freedom. Ends with a guided meditation on feeling tone in the body.
The Body as a Road Map for Awakening
January 21, 2016 MP3
Feeling tone in the body – sensations of pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral – is a guide for awakening: conducive states such as relaxation, generosity, and interest tend to be pleasant in the body, while states that obstruct awakening, such as greed or aversion, tend to be unpleasant. The road map emphasizes the experience of the body over that of the mind. For instance, while objects of desire are pleasant as thoughts, the state of desire is often tense and unpleasant in the body. Anger is similar – pleasant in the mind (righteous thoughts), but unpleasant in the body (e.g., tightness, elevated pulse).