Here’s a 10 min video that gives some nice data showing that what
we talked about on Monday is actually true (practicing generosity
feels good, and reinforces/teaches us to be more generous in the
future because feeling good is rewarding).
Dwight Hall, Halloween Night
Even ghouls and goblins could not stop a large group from coming to Dwight Hall on Halloween night for meditation and discussion led by Nikki Mirghafori, who just that day had ended an extended silent retreat at the IMS Forest Refuge.
Nikki’s guided meditation included the instruction to “treat your next breath as if it was your very first.” Rather than berating ourselves when our mind wanders, she encouraged us to just note the moment with self-compassion and gently guide the mind back, as if taking a small child by the hand.
Guest speaker Nikki Mirghafori
After meditation, Nikki spoke of her meditative path and answered questions. In 2003, she started to study Buddhist philosophy and practice (after two decades of experience with other practices), and in 2007, took a two-year contemplative leave-of-absence from high tech, and undertook first-person experiential study on the nature of mind through rigorous contemplative training (including a cumulative 11+ months of intensive silent meditation, partly with the renowned Burmese master Pa Auk Sayadaw).
On Monday evening guest teacher Winnie Nazarko lead about 35 people in meditation at Dwight Chapel. Ms. Nazarko then discussed the Right Intention of Renunciation as part of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path. More information on this particular Buddhist teaching can be found here.
Podcasts of Winnie Nazarko’s past teachings can be heard here.
Following a half hour of silent meditation, Jud Brewer and 30+ others discussed the two virtues of wisdom and compasssion. During the discussion Jud read from the 3rd stanza of T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding.”
Dr. Willoughby Britton led the group a in step-by-step meditation to cultivate compassion and forgiveness towards ourselves, something most people find near-impossible to do.
Dr. Willougby Britton (right) discusses generating compassion and forgiveness toward ourselves.
She discussed how unnecessary suffering comes from judging ourselves in many forms: comparing ourselves to others, not allowing ourselves to have certain emotions, holding ourselves to extremely high standards, and expecting perfection. These habits are so ingrained, we are stunned to discover how pervasive they are.
Dr. Willoughby suggested that as we go through our day, we can experiment with breath awareness together with the following phrases: Continue reading
Daniel Ingram leads group in meditative practice of "noting"
On Sunday evening, guest speaker Daniel Ingram, M.D., led 29 people in
meditation and discussion.
The evening began with the meditative technique of “noting,”
continuously and rapidly noting the stream of sense moments such as
the arising and falling breath, hearing, smelling, feeling. One of the
immediate benefits of this powerful but deceptively simple practice,
Dr. Ingram explained, was “it ties up the verbal discursive mind.” Continue reading