Yes you can. Enlightenment would indeed be a strange thing if it could only be attained in a few postures! Chairs, benches, cushions, couches, and beds are fine support for meditation. How you sit is far less important than whether the posture supports mental alertness. Westerners tend to grow up sitting on chairs, not squatting [...]
Every teacher has his or her strengths and weaknesses. Some can help with meditation, some with learning dhamma and some with the practical application to everyday life experience. In all cases, comfort and trust are essential. And if you find a teacher trying to become your friend or something more intimate, telling you to do [...]
Skillful teachers will help in ways that are specific to your experience and need. Their example, their presence and their accessibility creates an experience that goes beyond information or interpretation of a text. Great care needs to be taken when selecting a teacher. There are various organizations that offer training and "certification" as mindfulness facilitators [...]
Some people find learning from a book a good point of departure. Others prefer podcasts, talks or videos available from teachers via the Internet. If you are in a location where there are no accessible experienced teachers, then these types of resources become invaluable assets. But virtual teachers can’t answer your questions, adjust your posture, confirm [...]
Meditating builds mental muscle. Some initially find it difficult and tiring. Then it flows and we see new strength. It’s like learning to dance: at first it is difficult and awkward, then stiff and by the numbers, then smooth and flowing. The Buddha says we practice ardently, clearly comprehending, and mindfully.
Results will vary based on many factors. Some people get results quickly, others slowly. Our courses allow enough time to help you get grounded and begin to practice regularly on your own. The initial results are usually hard won, but then things gradually change and become much easier.
We start from the very beginning with the nuts-and-bolts of posture and the clarification of myths, intentions and process. We start with meditation periods of 10 minutes and then process students’ experiences during the meditation.
There are several different intentions for chanting. Chanting was traditionally used to help memorize the teachings of the Buddha. Chanting is also used to increase concentration and absorption, often creating the conditions to experience the absence of self. At the Insight Center, chanting only happens on special occasions, such as on the Buddha’s Birthday (Wesok).
I teach meditation as a non-sectarian practice designed to assist the body-mind system to increase awareness and acceptance. It is not about adopting beliefs or magical rituals. A meditator can adhere to any set of religious beliefs and develop mindfulness. A colleague once said that prayer was her talking to God while her meditation was [...]
Hah. Empty your mind, grasshopper? It is the nature of the mind to think. The problem is that our minds have become too busy. Attempts to force the mind to be quiet go against the nature of our existence. The mind naturally quiets when it has stability, and stability of mind arises from focused attention. [...]