Mike Slott argues in this article that traditional meditation retreats in insight and Zen centers are too individually-focused, that there needs to be more opportunities to develop a sense of community and comraderie among retreat participants. He offers “practical suggestions on how solidarity and support between retreatants, as well as a greater focus on our engagement in the world, can become part of meditation retreats.”
In the second of three talks at a day-long workshop in New Zealand in 2019 Winton Higgins discusses the old and new obstacles to developing our inner life through mindfulness meditation.
Something that goes by the name ‘mindfulness meditation’ is a hot commodity these days. You can find many models on the market, some are more or less expensive, and of varying quality (like cars and dishwashers). The brands that are on the market either claim claiming origins in the Buddhist tradition, which lends them the kudos and the aura of ancient wisdom, or studiously avoid doing so.
In this talk given in 2018 Winton Higgins compares the expectations of people living in the Buddha’s era (5th century BCE) about meditation practice, and to our own views about the goals of meditation.
Mike Slott argues that the goal of meditation is to become a more mindful and compassionate person, one who can contribute to creating a society in which all human beings can flourish.
Last month, I was invited to a Re~Collective online meeting, “…discussing the conversation that took place during the October 28th Sydney Insight Meditators meeting in which the focus was building, renewing and sustaining community.” I was able to review the SIM meeting minutes and a related article, Sanghas R Us, by Winton Higgins – and even to attend despite time zone confusion on my part.
Jim Champion discusses the common view of meditators that they are somehow doing “something wrong” and argues that “what I’ve found so far in my practice of meditation (which most commonly involves sitting quietly, with the intention to meditate, in the morning and the evening) is that however much I want do it right, in fact I can’t do it wrong.
In a talk given in New Zealand in October 2015 Winton Higgins explores the differences between a secular approach to meditation and insight meditation.
Mark Knickelbine reviews Sam Harris’ book, “Waking Up.” He has a positive view of the book, but believes that Harris has painted too limited a view of the kind of contemplative practice which can help us awaken in the modern world.
Sitting down to meditate and having a slew of thoughts rush into your head, and then doing nothing about it, when you know you can settle your mind a bit first, may seem crazy and unreasonable. What is the advantage of letting thoughts and emotions build and consume you at the beginning of a meditation sitting? Why not first calm your mind down with a practice of following the breath, using a mantra, reciting some phrases, or any means by which you can get settled?