Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Meditation: Calm Abiding & Insight

Why bother with mindfulness meditation? Because this is the "Authentic Presence" of Eastern wisdom, "Being" of Eckhart Tolle, "Conscious Contact" of the Twelve Step, "Force" of Star Wars, and communion with God of many religions. Here we rest in the infinite power, presence,wisdom,  and love of all creation, and as such a very worthy place to dwell. There are two main paths of meditation: calm abiding and insight.

With Calm Abiding Meditation we sit and let thoughts and feelings go by like boats on a river without trying to catch (or sink!) them. They may keep coming back, and particularly when we are beginning meditators, but there are proven methods such as focus on the breath and/or mantras to free us from the seemingly incessant chatter of our ("monkey") minds.

With Insight Meditation we acknowledge our beliefs, opinions, emotions, behaviors and so on to unravel the disturbing thoughts that  keep us bound and suffering. Here we may "just sit" with our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and issues as a observer to allow their power and drama to subside. We may also "sit" with burning questions as we wait for guidance and inspiration.

Meditation has been around for thousands of years but the method remains simple and direct.
Look here for posts specifically on Calm Abiding and Insight. Click Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for information by expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, for his one hour YouTube click here. Also check out his wonderful books The Full Catastrophe and Wherever You Go, There You Are. For my favorite teacher click Thich Nhat Hanh, his YouTube here, and his books here. For another favorite teacher Pema Chodron. For a Dalai Lama YouTube here. Also here are a couple nice music videos:  Breathing Life  Peace of Mind

No comments: