“Life is fulfilling when you are rooted in the essential Beingness of ‘I Am.’ . . . Then you bring that state of consciousness—that spacious state of consciousness—you bring that into your interactions with other people of great importance. It’s only then that you will stop treating other people as possible sources of fulfillment or as a threat.” —Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, on his June 26 live meditation broadcast.
Meditation, explained by Sam Harris. (slyt)
How to Meditate in the NYC Subway System: The Interdependence Project brings a combination of "meditation, performance art, and activism" to the tunnel between Times Square/42nd Street and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Last year's Sit Down, Rise Up event involved a 24 hour meditation marathon in display windows at 19th and Broadway. (via The Worst Horse)
West treats East. "To help traumatized Tibetan monks, doctors in Boston turn to cross-cultural medicine." [Via]
"Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation" (PDF). A recent article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences on the neuroscience of meditation, focusing on how meditation alters and sharpens the brain's attention systems. The research is being done at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior (previously), who have also recently published research on the "Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation" (PDF), which describes how meditation can cultivate compassion by physically affecting brain regions that play a role in empathy. They shared this research with the Dalai Lama at the recent Seeds of Compassion forum.
The Zen Mind - An Introduction. A Day in the Life of a Zen Monk. Zazen - A Guide to Sitting. Interview with a Zen Buddhist Priest (previously). [more inside]
Most of us are sadly aware of the protests over the last few months by Buddhist Burmese monks. (previously 1, 2). To sustain themselves in the face of likely attack these monks have been chanting the Metta Sutta, the Buddha's teachings on compassion and loving kindness. The Metta Sutta is here in translation, some expositions (dharma talks) on the same subject: One by Sharon Salzberg who has done much to popularize metta in the west in the last 20 years, and a whole bunch from Dharma Seed, which makes buddhist teachings available on the web. You want to get in on the action? In the US you can try the Insight Meditation Society, which is based in Barre, Mass., but has lots of local branches. [more inside]
Searching for God in the Brain. "Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith." [Via MindHacks, which points out a few niggling omissions in the article.]
Holy Madness! (Flash interface.) The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City has launched a website that allows you to pore over and compare Tibetan Buddhist artwork from their exhibits. Use the "Decode" feature to pick paintings apart and learn about their intricate components.
See also: their ambitious calendar of events.
See also: their ambitious calendar of events.
Meditation found to increase brain size (maybe) according to research led by Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar. Meanwhile, Atheist Manifesto author Sam Harris recently went on a meditation retreat and seemed to find it pleasant enough.
A meditating teenage boy in south-central Nepal First mentioned by the BBC at the beginning of December; Ram Bahadur Bamjan is drawing the attention of scientists after attracting huge crowds in the past eight months and earning himself the name Buddha-reincarnate. No food, no water just snakebite. Is this: - holy or hoax?
Two Sciences of Mind. A good article on the emerging dialogue between neuroscience and Buddhism (previously discussed here). Allan Wallace of the Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama's plan to speak at an upcoming neuroscience conference has led to controversy and petition wars.
Meditation and neuroplasticity. A new study (PDF) describes the changes in the brains of Buddhist monks, using fMRI to scan their brains while they practice compassion meditation. The project was a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin and the Shechen Monastery in Nepal.
Neuroscience and meditation. "Researchers are making the case that Eastern-style meditation is good not just for your emotional well-being but also for your physical state." This is a fascinating article (NYTM, reg. req.) on the convergence of Buddhist meditation and neuroscience (here's a previous post on the subject.) Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama is in Boston, presiding over a conference between biobehavioral scientists and Buddhists.
"Mindfulness In Plain English" is a meditation manual by Henepola Gunaratana which has been reprinted online. It's a great introduction and step-by-step guide to Vipassana ('insight') meditation, a technique practiced in Theravada Buddhism. There are several centers which teach classes and retreats in the U.S. and Europe. There's also a 90-day online course, but the next open course doesn't start until September.