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Mon May 25, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Waking Up Now

by Ooooh

It is only human for us to think we will find happiness someplace “out there.” We think, “If I could just get the right job, then I could be happy,” or “If I just had someone to love me, then I could be happy,” the list goes on and on, and our thinking minds continue to lead us down the path of seeking outside ourselves for happiness.

The problem with this strategy is anything that arises from external circumstances is impermanent, it is bound to come and go, to arise and fall away, then what happens to the happiness that comes with it? That too is impermanent, it comes and goes, arises and falls away.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

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Mon May 18, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Opening To Uncertainty

by Ooooh

We humans seem to really crave certainty. We crave the feeling of solid ground under our feet, and we seem to think we can outwit our vulnerability with our own conviction that we are right about so much of what we see in life. We attempt to place things into easy categories, right and wrong, white and black, good and bad, and once we have our minds made up that we “know” about something, we stop looking for further information which might indicate we are wrong.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

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Mon May 11, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Finding Love

by Ooooh

Sometimes people become discouraged when they try meditation and see just how busy their minds are. They decide they are not able to meditate, and some of them even believe their intellect is so soaring and powerful, that they are just too intelligent to be able to sit in meditation. The truth of the matter is, there are many types of meditation, and if one technique doesn’t work there is surely another that will be more effective.

When I first began meditating I started with a somatic type of meditation that drew attention to the energy centers in the body. Since my mind was VERY busy, it was a good doorway into meditation, because the technique gave my busy mind something that occupied it, something which it enjoyed giving its attention.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

Continue Reading

Mon May 04, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Inspired Activism

by Ooooh

It is completely counter-intuitive to turn in to suffering. In fact, most people spend their entire lives trying to aim for pleasure and avoid suffering. The problem with that strategy is that suffering is a fact of life, we cannot avoid it. The best we can hope for is to learn to become free of our attachment to pleasure and our aversion to suffering. If that sounds like a hopeless premise, consider that once we learn to accept what is, we can simply relax in the moment with what ever is happening.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

Continue Reading

Sun May 03, 2015 at 12:33 PM PDT

Everywhere I Look-A Photodiary

by Ooooh

Over the Winter while I was confined indoors by the flu and then the weather I kept thinking of places I'd like to travel to in order to take pictures. I tired myself out thinking of all the travel and it also occurred to me that with my retirement income I needed to learn to see things to photograph closer to home, or I was always going to be a frustrated photographer. :-)

The first thing I did was to sign up for a Miksang Photography class, it is a form of contemplative photography. I'll describe that further in another diary, for now it is enough to know that I hoped the class would teach me to learn to see what I was missing which was right in front of me.

Dappled light

What I've learned is there is plenty to photograph close to home. Things don't need to be conventionally beautiful to be interesting, and to evoke memories or feelings. The last few days Spring finally arrived, so here is what I found worthy of capture recently. Some of the images come from my back yard, but everything is within 5 miles of home.

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Mon Apr 27, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Contrast And Polarization

by Ooooh

If we claim we value diversity, why do so many of us shut down when faced with ideas, opinions and beliefs that seem to be opposed to our own? Does our appreciation for diversity end at the color of our skin? Does it end with sexual preference, or cats vs. dogs? Seriously, if we claim to value diversity, we really need to learn to accept that other people will have ideas, opinions and beliefs which are opposed to ours, and we need to be able to tolerate them without shutting down. We don’t have to agree with ideas that oppose our own, but unless we learn to accept that other people’s experiences, capabilities, and sensory feedback lead them to conclusions that are different than ours, we are destined to suffer dearly.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

Continue Reading

Mon Apr 20, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Responding To The Invitation

by Ooooh

If we uncover that still silent presence when we are in meditation, we can also uncover it in our day to day lives. In fact it is always there, patiently waiting for us to notice it, to give it our attention and allow it to become more apparent in our moment to moment awareness. It actually issues invitations from time to time throughout every day, we only need to be attentive and open to the possibility. If we allow ourselves to accept these invitations it is a method of bringing natural meditation into our moment to moment awareness.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

Continue Reading

This week we are very happy to announce that we are expanding our sittings to 11 PM Eastern Time, and we offer a warm welcome to Thanatokephaloides who will be sitting in as Co-host from 9:30 to 11 PM. For some reason I am reminded of a sign I saw years ago in a local Salvation Army Store, “We Ain’t Movin’ We’re Just Improvin’. :-)

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

Continue Reading

Mon Apr 06, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Making Friends With Ourselves

by Ooooh

It is so seductive to look outside ourselves and see all the things we consider wrong, the things we don’t like, the things that just shouldn’t be. However, when we do this we make enemies out of life, the current moment, and even ourselves. It is, unfortunately, simply the way the human mind works, by making comparisons and judgments.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 10:00 PM EST. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

We have noticed that a number of people enter "the room" after 10:00 Eastern, so for those finding this diary after our scheduled time is over, do please sit for a while; chances are that there are still folks in the room to sit with.  And if you so wish, post a comment just to let others who come after you know that you're sitting, so they too will choose to sit with you for a while.

Poll

What would be your preference for the sitting period? Remember, it is not necessary to be available for the entire time when considering your preference.

21%3 votes
14%2 votes
14%2 votes
14%2 votes
0%0 votes
35%5 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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Perhaps the reason surrender is such an important part of the spiritual path is it gives us permission to be happy, or happier, even if things are not perfect. Surrender has the potential to help us stop thinking we need to fix life, and to understand that we really don’t have control over much anyway. And yet we resist. I suspect one of the reasons so many of us seem to have so much trouble with surrender is we are trying to work with too big a slice of the pie.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 10:00 PM EST. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Continue Reading

Mon Mar 23, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Sitting With Our Judgments

by Ooooh

Making comparisons and determining which is the better choice is just a part of life. It is something we do every day, all day long as we make our way in the world.  We get into trouble, however, when our minds become seduced by our successes at making good judgments in our personal lives, and that becomes translated into thinking we can make judgments about everything we see.

One problem with that is there is just so much we don’t know about just what factors brought a situation to its present state, what motivates other people, what other people’s life experiences are, and on and on. For example, I might think certain politicians are positively craven, but I can’t really prove that is a fact. There is just too much I don’t know about what they really think, what they believe deeply, what brought them to this place in their lives, what their fears are, and much more. If I am being honest with myself, there really is much more that I don’t know than I do know.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 10:00 PM EST. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Continue Reading

Mon Mar 16, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Meditation-Awakening From Thought

by Ooooh

We spend our lives lost in thought. Some of us, if we are lucky, encounter someone or something which helps us to stop identifying with our thoughts by teaching us that actually we are not our thoughts. But the most common human experience seems to be a state of being totally engaged with our constantly running train of thought.

Recently I encountered some concepts that tipped my world upside down. So before we get down to business, please let me apologize in advance in case I upset anyone's applecart. These ideas were challenging for me, especially since I had devoted a significant amount of time to certain spiritual practices; one of the characteristics of my spiritual path has been to have my feet kicked out from underneath me whenever I think I might know something. I’m not offering these concepts as absolute truth, but simply presenting them for your consideration.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 10:00 PM EST. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

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