Get Very, Very Close

Sayadaw U Pandita’s instructions for satipatthana vipassana. Our meditative tradition was founded by the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw of Rangoon. According to his instructions, satipatthana vipassana, also known as insight meditation, is the primary teaching. Discourses on metta are also offered, though far less often. This is because insight wisdom has the capacity to [...]

I Vow Not to Burn Out

Mushim Ikeda says it's not enough to help others. You have to take care of yourself too. At the end of January, one of my close spiritual friends died. A queer Black man, a Sufi imam “scholartivist” (scholar–artist–activist) and professor of ministry students, Baba Ibrahim Farajajé died of a massive heart attack. He was sixty-three, and I’m guessing he had been carrying [...]

How to do Walking Meditation

Therevada Shambhala Sun Lion's Roar Walking Meditation Buddhism Arinna Wesiman Jean Smith

Arinna Weisman and Jean Smith, authors of The Beginner's Guide to Insight Meditation, shed light on a common yet often misunderstood meditative practice, via simple-to-follow instructions. Walking can be another wonderful opportunity to cultivate mindfulness. Movement can strengthen our awareness and sometimes is a more accessible object for meditation than the breath. [...]

Healing the Broken Body of Sangha

Quilt artwork.

Ruth King presents five ways we can address racial ignorance and division to help ourselves and our sanghas become whole.   As Buddhist and mindfulness practitioners, we have an opportunity to understand the dynamics of racial suffering and the flesh we put on its bones. Honoring our relatedness, our belonging, and our impact is a necessity for awakening in general [...]

How to Do Metta

Kuan Yin, Liza Matthews, Compassion, Metta, Jack Kornfield, Lion's Roar, Buddhism, Shambhala Sun

Kuan Yin, bodhisattva of compassion. Photo by Liza Matthews. Jack Kornfield on beginning this time-honored, heart-opening practice. In our culture, people find it difficult to direct loving-kindness to themselves. We may feel that we are unworthy, or that it’s egotistical, or that we shouldn’t be happy when other people are suffering. So rather than start loving-kindness [...]

The Practice of Recollection

Thai style Buddha statue.

The Buddha called recollection "the only way." Quite simply, recollection is remembering to establish the attention with full awareness on the present, on the here and now, so that you may reunite with reality and find your own true being. The best way to start is to see where one starts from. Let us take a look at the mind of an ordinary worldly person. What we find is a [...]

Letting Go of What It All Means

Josh Korda. Photo by Gianna Leo Falcon.

Searching for hidden messages and significance in life's encounters provides us with an illusion of control that we need to release if we want to fully feel our experiences. The mind has a tendency to search for a meaning, an underlying message, in every murky or complex experience. It can feel like we've only processed and come to closure with a traumatic experience when [...]

Cultivate Tranquility, Harvest Insight

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In America, Theravada Buddhist meditation is often flatly identified with the practice of vipassana, even to the extent that those who practice within this tradition speak of themselves as vipassana meditators. However, the Pali suttas, the ancient records of the Buddha’s discourses, do not treat vipassana as an autonomous system of meditation but as a member of two paired [...]

Boredom Is Fascinating!

Woman sitting surrounded by pictures.

When we’re bored, we’re uncomfortable with our basic state of being. That’s kind of scary, says Josh Korda, who dares us to look directly into our boredom. Photos by Adrien Leguay. Boredom is a familiar state of mind, but we’re very uncomfortable with it. We associate it with restlessness and emptiness. Culturally, boredom is shunned. It’s blamed for things like addiction [...]

“Meditation Malice”: on working with distractions and resentment

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Josh Korda on what his irritating meditation partner taught him about being with aversion and overcoming anger. A little over a decade ago I spent my first retreat with a wonderful British Theravada monk—Ajahn Sucitto—and found myself arriving to the meditation center with an aspiration that the time would provide relief from the frustration and distress I was experiencing [...]