How to Use Body Meditation and Mindfulness of the Breath to Dissolve Fears

anda:

I always get a lot out of this person’s blog, Metta Refuge.

Originally posted on Metta Refuge:

Morning “Check In” — What is present and what is arising?

Steven Goodheart Essays Steven Goodheart Essays

When I awake in the morning, the first thing I do is “check in” to myself to see what’s going on. I consciously breathe in and out, center myself, and just listen and watch to see what arises. I try not to get snagged by anything, but just be open to the whole experience that I identify as “I” or “me.”

This morning what arose, as I got quiet enough to see, was an oppressive sense of fear and unease. Looking deeper, I saw that there were nameless fears about my body, fear about the struggles of friends and loved ones, and fear about the problems of the world.

Often, my response to such feelings is to begin metta—loving-kindness meditation—for myself, for the loved ones, and for the world. Love is a powerful antidote for…

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Enlightenment Does Not Mean Perfection…In the Usual Way

This is an excellent debunking of what an “enlightened being” looks like. We think they will look and act perfectly, but that is not the case.

 

The autobiographical part of the book Be Here Now was initially called His-Story. Each of us has his story. History. To see your life as His-Story or Her-Story is to break the attachment to the melodrama of your story line. But be careful. This doesn’t mean to push it away, to reject or deny it or consider it trivial. It merely means to surround the events of your life with quiet spacious awareness.

It is not that you erase all of your individuality, for even an enlightened being has a personality marked by all sorts of idiosyncrasies. An enlightened being doesn’t necessarily have beautiful hair, sparkling teeth, a young body, or a nice disposition. His or her body has its blemishes; it ages and dies. The difference is that such a being no longer identifies with that body and personality. ~~~Ram Dass

Rumi “I See Your Beauty…”

https://www.facebook.com/moyersandcompany/videos/vb.114528955231791/1008285742522770/?t

We See Through a Glass Darkly

Your ego is a set of thoughts that define your universe. It’s like a familiar room built of thoughts; you see the universe through its windows. You are secure in it, but to the extent that you are afraid to venture outside, it has become a prison. Your ego has you conned. You believe you need its specific thoughts to survive. The ego controls you through your fear of loss of identity. To give up these thoughts, it seems, would annihilate you, and so you cling to them.

…You are totally in the control of your senses and thoughts. The alarm sounds and captures your attention, draws your awareness to it. But “you” are not your ears hearing the clock. You are awareness attending to your ears hearing. It’s like when you’re reading something so absorbing that you fail to hear someone enter the room. The sound of their steps triggers the process of hearing, yet you do not “hear.” For you are busy reading and thinking. Just as you are not your ears hearing, you are not your other senses either. You are not the eyes seeing, nose smelling, tongue tasting, or skin feeling. Only your thoughts are left. Here is where most people cannot escape. For they identify totally with their thoughts. They are unable to separate pure awareness from the thoughts that are its objects. Meditation allows you to break this identification between awareness and the objects of awareness. Your awareness is different from both your thoughts and your senses. You can be free to put your awareness where you will, instead of it being grabbed, pushed, and pulled by each sense impression and thought. Meditation frees your awareness.

~~~Ram Dass

The Fruits of Mindfulness

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I saw this quote on Trycicle online today and what it describes is what I am experiencing now after practicing buddhism and mindfulness. The fruits of practice are real and attainable.

As your mindfulness develops, your resentment for the change, your dislike for the unpleasant experiences, your greed for the pleasant experiences, and the notion of selfhood will be replaced by the deeper awareness of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and selflessness. This knowledge of reality in your experience helps you to foster a more calm, peaceful, and mature attitude toward your life.

– Henepola Gunaratana, “Sitting Still”

The Power of Causes and Conditions

004Although causes and conditions form us, I have discovered that my Buddhist practice frees me from the causes and conditions that led to my initial suffering. The video is compelling in that it explains how important it is to first understand and acknowledge the causes and conditions of our lives, so that we can then create new responses instead of the old habitual responses we used as we adapted to an environment we happened to be born into.

 

this-video-dispels-every-nature-vs-nurture-myth-youve-ever-heard

“We are schooled away from life…” Mark Nepo

We are so unused to emotion

that we mistake any depth of feeling

for sadness, any sense of the unknown

for fear, and any sense of peace for boredom.

~~~Mark Nepo, The Book of AwakeningRed Rocks10313993_10201893887335784_4428185300913048652_n

Cloud less, Thought less

“Every day is a good day when thoughts do not remain.” Zen saying quoted at a dharma talk by Fred Eppsteiner, Florida Community of Mindfulness main teacher.

From here

on land

in our bodies

Looking up from

Inside of our story of what

The world is

Clouds appear solid

as facts

as thoughts

it seems yet

diaphanous, dispersing

both gather

for a moment

Then disappear, then

Reappear as thunderheads

Dramatic as ruminations

Building one upon the other

In our minds.

Never still

never the same

White, gray, black

Thin as a sliver

or thick as a mountain

Clouds

And thoughts

Tumble and

Chase each other

A cloud,

like a thought,

cannot be held in the hand

for it is

Weightless

as a memory

empty

as our selves

formless

as words

spoken into

the protecting, patient

empty

sky

of darhma.

From Tricycle Daily Dharma

One Thousand Buddhas | March 19, 2015

Where there are one thousand human beings, within one thousand ways of living, one thousand buddhas are revealed. Buddha is revealed through mountains, valleys, trees, and grasses, through a multitude of phenomena. The heart that can be revered in whatever form we see, in whatever direction we look, this is the true heart of Buddhism, this is Buddha life.

– Soko Morinaga Roshi, “One Chance, One Encounter”

Daily Dharma from Tricycle Magazine

Softening Judgment | March 18, 2015

Falling down is what we humans do. If we can acknowledge that fact, judgment softens and we allow the world to be as it is, forgiving ourselves and others for our humanity. The Buddha’s First Noble Truth—that suffering exists—is, in itself, a permission to be human and not demand more of ourselves than we’re capable of. Our compassion arises from our very fallibility, and love takes root in the soils of human error.

– Lin Jensen, “An Ear to the Ground”

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