Buddhism

Bodhgaya: The Highlight of My First Buddhist Pilgrimage

A photo I took while sitting under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya

A photo I took while sitting under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya


 
Imagine… You’re sitting next to the MahaBodhi Temple, only meters away from the very spot where the Buddha gained full enlightenment. You take in a few deep breaths and look up at the beautiful heart-shaped Bodhi tree leaves moving gently in the breeze above you. There is a feeling of wonder and excitement in the air, knowing that this was the place where the Buddha sat in meditation and achieved a great awakening 2,600 years ago.

You bring your body into a meditation posture and feel a rush of anticipation as you reflect on the promise of what your meditation may bring. Many wondrous things have happened in this special place. Who’s to say that something wonderful couldn’t happen to you as well?
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Setting Meditation Intentions for the New Year

Meditation 2015 new years resolution

 

What changes would you like to see in your meditation practice in the New Year (if any)? Perhaps you might want to make your practice more consistent, make your sessions longer (or even shorter and more concentrated). Maybe you simply need to start a daily/weekly practice?

You don’t need to be a yogi to reap the benefits of meditation. Just 10 – 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous impact on your inner health and wellbeing.
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My Journey Into Buddhism

 
My journey into Buddhism has been an unexpected and exciting one. If someone had told me when I was fourteen what I was going to do before my 30th birthday, I would have called them insane. But at the same time I would have sat in wonder at the adventures I was going to have and I would have been unimaginably excited about the years following my 27th birthday. In this brief video, which was originally created to promote my YouTube channel, I provide you with a snippet of my life and what led me into Buddhism.
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Easy Breathing Guided Meditation

 
In this video I will lead you through an easy fifteen-minute guided meditation on your breath. This meditation is ideal for beginners (and even experienced practitioners) who have trouble concentrating on their breath. When it comes to meditation, our biggest distraction is our thoughts. This breathing meditation, called Qualified Rounds of Breath, is designed to use our tendency of having thoughts to our advantage. Here, we concentrate on our breath but deliberately generate thoughts to aid our meditation. This meditation also helps us to breathe in something positive and breathe out something we really need to let go of.

This should not be seen as a replacement of the more traditional Theravada Buddhist meditation technique of simply concentrating on the breath, but merely as an alternative for when our minds are especially active or when we are in need of something a little more inspiring.

This meditation can also be used as an effective form of therapy for dealing with day-to-day problems. When something happens during our day which gives rise to feelings of anger, resentment, stress or worry, it can be difficult to put the brakes on these emotions and we can find ourselves overwhelmed and unable to enjoy the rest of the day. This practice gives us a mechanism to change our mental patterns and encourage wholesome thoughts and eliminate the emotions that are troubling us.
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Breathing Meditation for Beginners – A Great Meditation Technique

 
This is a great breathing meditation for beginners. Usually, meditating on the breath is not interesting enough to hold our attention, but this meditation makes it much easier. When we’re trying to establish one pointed concentration we need to have something to keep our busy – and often distracted – mind captivated. This calm abiding meditation technique, called Qualified Rounds of Breath, allows us a bit of creativity so we can make the breath more interesting.

When we meditate on our breath, our biggest obstacle is thinking about other thoughts. Since our thoughts are often so fascinating, especially compared to the plain and humble breath, thoughts always triumph in this battle for our attention. But this technique will help us to hold our attention on the breath much longer, as it uses our very tendency of having thoughts to its advantage. This is also an extremely therapeutic meditation technique as it allows us to breathe in something new and breathe out something we really need to let go of.
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