Boredom, booorrredom, a dry, soulless state of mind, that can feel like drudge to be in and as though it is taking us an age to get ourselves out of.
Boredom can be experienced in our meditation as well as our daily lives. Being able to work with boredom, to have it as an ally as opposed to an …
Episode 56 - Setting Boundaries
I think that for most people, when they think of meditation they visualize someone sitting quietly, maybe with their eyes closed, engaging in some sort inner process. Nothing external going on there.
However, our minds are not influenced solely by what happens while we are meditating. Silly and as …
Episode 55 - We all want happiness and don't want suffering
His Holiness the Dalai Lama frequently utters the phrase that all sentient beings wish to be happy and be free from suffering. His Holiness can offer deep philosophical lectures on the finer points of Buddhist philosophy, but will then distill his message into these few words.
I find that this …
Episode 54 - Resistance & Curiosity
Resistance can occur in our wish, our intention to meditate. Busyness occurs in our daily work - home or work - and thoughts flash through our mind trying to fix the problems. We feel pulled to be working on the problem and not to be on our cushion.
Curiosity about the nature of those thoughts, …
Episode 53 - Stilling a Tired Mind
This episode has taken a few weeks to make an appearance. The short version of “why” has been because my introverted and highly sensitive self has been managing a lot of noise in my life. The mind has felt tired, exhausted and at times it has been difficult just to jump into a new …
Episode 52 - Faith and Confidence
Meditation is easy, or easier to do when I am feeling confident and inspired. Inspired because of the results that I am experiencing in my practice, and so building confidence to carry on. Then there are times when my practice is more of a struggle. I perhaps hit an arid phase. I am just showing up, …
Episode 51 - It's a marathon, not a sprint...
…in fact, meditation is not even a race. It is a practice…of a lifetime.
I find in our world of instant results - on/off switches, email, phone calls, texts, etc, one can fall into the trap of expecting quick results from meditation. Or I can start comparing myself with others, even if …
Episode 50 - When life has other plans
A slight delay of a couple of days to get this podcast recorded brought some emotions up in me, and there is nothing like an emotional trigger to give me material for an episode.
Life can throw us a curve ball at any time. Sometimes I handle these situations well, other times not so well. If we …
Episode 49 - Widening our circle, taking tonglen further
Last week I introduced the practice of tonglen as a way for managing pain. As I mentioned at the time, this is just one application of tonglen.
In this episode I explore how tonglen can help us to build connection with others, and with that to increase our awareness of how we are not alone in the …
Episode 48 - Pain
This week’s episode comes out of my current experience. I am in physical pain due to muscular spasms in my lower back. I have sought some medical advice1, and I am getting better. However, I decided to record an episode looking at one way that meditation can help us when we are in pain or …
Episode 47 - Acceptance
In the meditation practice that I offer, I regularly give the instruction that if you are disturbed by noise, by stories, planning, thoughts in your head, to note the disturbance with “no judgement,” and return to the breath.
It is easy for me to judge myself. I put expectations on …
Episode 46 - Intention
It is very easy for meditation to become another thing that we are fitting into our daily, busy lives. We still engage in it sincerely with interest, and in time feel the benefits of our practice.
However, there is a simple action that I believe will help to take your experience of meditation that …
Episode 45 - Goal / No Goal
In this episode I speak about the benefit of having an overarching goal, a reason, an intention that brings you to your meditation cushion - Goal. At the same time I offer a word of caution of the expectations that we might bring to our individual meditation sessions - No Goal.
So there is a dance …
Episode 44 - Where and when?
When do we meditate? How long for and what time of the day? And how about where? Do we just sit wherever we find ourselves, or do we have a place put aside for our meditation practice?
In this episode, I explore these questions, offering some perspectives to help you find what works for you.
Episode 43 - What is meditation?
In a podcast on the subject of meditation, it feels prudent to ask the question, “What is meditation?” I have covered this in earlier episodes, but I believe that it is good to revisit these subjects to become familiar with them. And göm, the Tibetan word for meditation which means …
Episode 42 - Step by Step
Meditation is a step by step process, session by session, breath by breath. Meditation is about continuity, each session building on your previous work, even at times when it feels as though nothing much is happening!
In this episode I discuss this step by step path of meditation by using the …
Episode 41 - Relaunch
After just over three years, I am relaunching the Behind The Thoughts podcast. The last episode of podcast was published in September 2017…and then nothing, for no particular reason! 🤷🏼♂️
So today I am happy to be publishing Episode 41, with the current aim of posting an episode a week. …
Taking care of the foundations of our meditation helps to build a solid base for developing our practice. With reaching the 40th episode I review some of the ideas that I covered in the early episodes and that underpin our meditation practice.
Sitting with difficult emotions or pain from, for example, a headache can be challenge. However, it is a challenge that is eased by the motivation, the reason that you enter into the meditation.
After a break in the podcast which has seen me moving house, I return to a subject that I visit from time to time because I believe that it is important. It’s that of keeping the continuity of one’s practice going, regardless of what is happening in your life.
This episode revisits the subject of goals in our meditation, diving deeper into the subject. I discuss how goals can not only be helpful in giving us direction, but also a hindrance if we bring the wrong expectations with those goals.
Lying on a doctor’s examination table, waiting for what seemed like an age for the nurse practitioner, made me (eventually) catch my mind as it busied itself with the day ahead. Meditation helped to focus, quieten and touch into the nature of the mind beyond the chatter.
Adding another tool to our meditation belt, I introduce Analytical Meditation in this podcast. Paired with the focus that we are developing by watching the breath, it further helps us grow our mind.
In this episode we delve deeper into the practice of visualization, exploring how it is more than about “seeing.” The podcast also includes a guided visualization meditation.
The opposite of a sleepy mind that we discussed a couple of episodes back is an excited mind that just won’t settle down. This episode looks at ways to quieten and tame a busy, buzzy mind.