sábado, 17 de junio de 2017

Explore Two Meditation Courses, In a Brand New Format!

While our earlier courses relied on a combination of readings and guided meditations, we're experimenting with a new, all-audio format, with the two courses below.

10-Day Introduction to Meditation (Jun 19–28)

Ten minutes a day is all it takes to begin transforming your life and create a sense of
 peace and calm.

Our Introduction to Meditation offers you access to a daily feed of 10-minute guided
 meditations, to help you develop a grounding in key skills of mindfulness, acceptance,
 and self-kindness.
Each day, you'll receive an email with links to the day's teaching, which will include a
 short talk of two to three minutes, followed by a guided meditation. The total length of
 each session is just ten minutes.

This is a completely new format of course for us, and we're very excited to test it out.
 In order that we can get feedback on this new course format more easily, and so we 
can answer any questions you might have as you learn to meditate, the daily emails
 will link to a private Facebook group, where the materials will be hosted and discussions
 can take place. Note that you'll need to have a Facebook account in order to participate
 in this event.
» Click here for more information (But hurry: this course starts on Monday!)

Living With Awareness (Jun 19–Jul 16)

Over the 28-days of this course, you'll take a deep dive into the practice of mindfulness,
 learning how to bring greater awareness into your daily activities.

You'll learn to be more focused and present, so that difficult situations in your daily life
 are less likely to create stress. By meditating daily, you'll learn how to experience:
  • A greater sense of presence and calmness
  • Reduced emotional reactivity
  • Improved emotional regulation
  • Better mental health
  • Improvements to your sense of well-being
  • Increased compassion and empathy
  • Improved relationships
This is a new format of course for us, with step-by-step guidance delivered to
 your inbox in audio format. Any reading materials are purely for 
extra support and for future reference, and
 aren't integral to the course. Instead, you'll receive a daily email with links
 to the day's teaching, which will include a short talk of two to three minutes,
 followed by a guided meditation. The meditations vary in length from three 
minutes (designed to be able to fit into even the busiest day!
) to 20 minutes, allowing you to go more deeply into a state of calmness and balance.
 All the materials will be kept on the Facebook group indefinitely, in case you

In order that we can get feedback on this new course format more easily, 
and so we can
 answer any questions you might have as you explore the practice of
 mindfulness, practice
 of mindfulness, the daily emails will link to a private Facebook group,
 where the materials
 will be hosted and discussions can take place. Please note that you'll need to have a Facebook account in order to participate in this course. 

This event is suitable for complete beginners as well as those who have an established
 meditation practice and who want to improve their mindfulness skills.
Newsletter Exclusive

This Difficult Thing of Being Human

When I’m teaching lovingkindness meditation, I often talk about our need to accept that this human life is difficult.

Because life isn't easy. I don't mean to say that life is hard in the sense of it always being painful. Clearly there are times when we're happy, when things are going well, when we feel that our life is headed in the right direction and are confident that even greater fulfillment is just ahead of us, and so on.

What I mean by saying that human life is difficult is, first, that challenging things keep happening to us—things like illness, financial instability, political angst, uncertainty about the economy, the pressure of getting places on time, loneliness, or conflicts with family and colleagues, and so on. And second, even when we have times in our life where things seem to be going well, it doesn't last. In fact, often the things we're so excited and happy about later turn out to be things that also cause us suffering.

For example, you start a brand new relationship and you're in love and it's exciting and fulfilling. And then you find yourself butting heads with your partner, and you hurt each others' feelings.

Or the new job that you're thrilled about turns out to contain stresses you hadn't imagined. Has that ever happened?

Or the house you're so pleased to have bought inevitably unexpectedly ends up requiring maintenance. Or perhaps the property’s value plummets. Or perhaps your circumstances change and you find it a struggle to meet the mortgage. Maybe you've been lucky, or maybe you've been there.

Happiness has a way of evaporating, just as we’re getting used to it. And just as we think that unhappiness has decided to leave us alone, it has a way of sneaking up on us and sucker-punching us in the gut.

On a deep level, none of really understand the causes of happiness and unhappiness. If we truly understood the dynamics of these things, we'd be happy all the time and would never be miserable. We'd be enlightened. But pre-enlightenment, we're all stumbling in the dark, and sometimes colliding painfully with life as we do so. We’re all fallible, all trying to do our best with the resources available to us, and often getting it wrong.

This being human is not easy. We're doing a difficult thing in living a human life.

It's good to accept all this, because life is so much harder when we think it should be easy. When we think life should be straightforward, and that we convince ourselves that we have it all sorted out, our unhappiness becomes a sign that we've "failed." And that makes being in pain even more painful.

But we haven't failed when we're unhappy; we're just being human. Suffering is an inevitable part of human existence. When we’re unhappy, we’re simply experiencing the tender truth of what it is to live a human life.

So when you're unhappy, don't beat yourself up about it. Don't fight it. Accept that this is how things are right now. Often when you do that, you'll very quickly—sometimes instantly—start to feel better. By accepting our suffering, we start to move through it.

And as you look around you, realize that everyone else is doing this difficult thing of being human too. They're all struggling. We're all struggling. We all want happiness and find happiness elusive. We all want to avoid suffering and yet keep stumbling into it, over and over.

Many of the things that bother you about other people are their attempts to deal with this difficult existential situation, in which we desire happiness, and don't experience as much of it as we want, and desire to be free from suffering, and yet keep becoming trapped in it. Their moods, their clinging, their anger—all of these are the results of human beings struggling to find happiness, and having trouble doing so.

If we can recognize that this human life is not easy—if we can empathize with that very basic existential fact and calmly accept our own vulnerability and fallibility—then perhaps we can be just a little kinder to ourselves and others. And that would help make this human life just a little easier to navigate.
With love,
New articles on our blog

The most important thing you need to know about life, according to Buddhism

by Bodhipaksa
Arguably the central teaching of Buddhism, without which the others make no sense, is that things change.
While “things change” may seem like a commonplace observation, made by dozens (at least) of philosophers and religious teachers over the last few millennia, the Buddha wasn’t content simply to pay lip-service to the concept of impermanence.

Meditation as a “positivity cascade”

by Bodhipaksa
It used to be that if you wanted to learn to meditate you had to take the risk of entering an exotic, incense-scented meditation center, wondering if you were stepping into the domain of some weird cult.
Yet although meditation is approaching mainstream acceptance, many people still have the image of meditation as something unusual, and perhaps even difficult. They expect something religious or mysterious.
This is just a small selection of the great articles we published on our blog over the past month.

Visit our website to see more.

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