Online Sangha

July 7, 2008

This morning I was delighted to learn (from a comment on a blog post) that our Breath in the Heart Meditation would be shared online as part of Plumline‘s Monday morning Sangha.  In fact, it is going on as I write.  

Although Buddhist studies have not been a part of my background, and I have had no training in mindfulness meditation, I am always struck by how much my meditations seem to resonate with those traditions.  As I’ve said before, the deepest truths can be arrived at and expressed through many different paths.  

I enjoyed visiting the Plumline website.  Plumline describes itself as “Building online Sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh”.  For those who don’t know, “Sangha”, roughly translated, means spiritual community.  A community of like-minded practitioners is felt to be essential to support on-going spiritual practice in Buddhism.    

Those interested in Buddhism may want to visit Plumline.  Thich Nhat Hanh, from whom they derive their inspiration, has written one of my all-time favorite poems – “Call Me by My True Names”.  (See Thich Nhat Hanh speaking on mindfulness on YouTube.)

I’ve come to feel our podcasts are like a giant group meditation.  We don’t see and meet each other for the most part, but we truly are meditating together — thousands of us.  I’ve hoped to provide some support for that experience in this blog and on our Meditation Oasis website. Perhaps there are yet other ways that we can create community for those who are interested. I’ve thought of different ways — an online course, a chat group, a conference call.  I’m not sure what will actually manifest, and would be interested in your ideas.

Flowing with Change Meditation

July 2, 2008

We’ve had several requests for a meditation having to do with coping with change, and here it is.  

Just looking at my own life over the past couple months reveals a staggering amount of change.  I’m sure any one of you could report the same. 

Change, of course, is in the nature of life.  It’s constant.  Life is movement.  Life is one thing morphing into another.  We don’t realize how many changes we are experiencing all the time. The weather changes, our moods change as our hormones fluctuate, relationships, technology and institutions are constantly changing — it’s endless. 

Change can be exciting, but it can also be challenging.   Whether it’s a major life change or a myriad of other smaller changes, change is constant and change takes time and energy.  What’s more is that it can be mentally and emotionally challenging.  We need to develop mental clarity, emotional stability and adaptable bodies to deal with all the change.

Meditation is one of the best ways to surf the waves of change.  The Flowing with Change Meditation can help with change in several ways.  First, it helps us relax into the reactions that we have to change so that we can be more clear mentally and have more emotional stability. The second is that the deep relaxation of meditation helps us recharge our batteries so that we have more energy for dealing with change.  And finally, the meditation helps us connect with that which doesn’t change — the unchanging nature of our own awareness which is present throughout all our experience.  That awareness is wakeful and intelligent.  It is unchanging and constant, and recognizing it helps us to feel anchored in the midst of change.

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