January 21 – Appreciative joy

Dear Friends, When the Buddha was giving instructions to his son, Rahula, one of the teachings was “Develop the meditation of appreciation. For when you are developing the meditation of appreciation, resentment will be abandoned.” This is the heart quality of muditā. In her book, Lovingkindness, Sharon Salzberg tells us that this practice of muditā is a way… Read More »

January 17 – Luminous is this mind

Dear Friends, We will spend the next few days looking at the third way of establishing mindfulness – mindfulness of mind. In Chapter 8 of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana first explores the nature of mind and consciousness. First a side-note: “mind” in this context is a translation of the Pali word citta, and it… Read More »

January 12 – Mindful eating

Dear Friends, We’ve spent 10 days looking at the first way of establishing mindfulness – mindfulness of the body – including mindfulness of breathing, body postures, actions of body, speech and mind, body parts, elemental qualities, and the changing, impermanent nature of our bodies. The second foundation of mindfulness is often called mindfulness of feelings. In English, the… Read More »

January 11 – Married to amazement

Dear Friends, I enjoy taking online classes related to mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhism. This fall, I took a course based on Guy Armstrong’s book Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators. In the book and course, Guy talks about his experience of observing autopsies, which he did while a monk in Thailand. After the autopsies were finished, he was waiting… Read More »

January 10 – Learn to live well

Dear Friends, As we pay attention to our breath, we can start to notice that each breath has a beginning, middle, and end. As we pay attention to sensations in the body, we can also notice how they too have a beginning, middle, and end. Thoughts, emotions, difficulties, pleasantness – have a beginning, middle, and end. Your favorite tea… Read More »

January 9 – Elements

Dear Friends, Another way to pay attention to the body is by its elements. Earth, water, fire, and air were the traditional elements. Of course, if you’ve studied any chemistry or physics, you might want to protest… there are all sorts of molecules, and those are made up of atoms, and those are made up of protons, neutrons,… Read More »