Getting Started with Insight Meditation
We can't think of a better way to learn this style of meditation than with this curriculum developed by the co-founders of the Insight Meditation Society. The audio course includes 24 CDs and a 88-page workbook with exercises, articles, and interviews. There's also a self-directed video course.
What Is the Point of Insight Meditation?
In the 1987 classic Seeking the Heart of Wisdom, Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein say it is "to establish a foundation of harmonious action, to collect and concentrate the mind and body, and to see the laws of life by our own true, careful, and direct observation." Read their take on gratitude.
Guided Meditations on Compassion
Compassion is one of the four Brahma-viharas, a mind state that creates an ideal quality of existence. Christina Feldman says it doesn't require grand or heroic gestures. Her book Compassion has two eloquent guided meditations on Compassion for Yourself and Compassion Without Boundaries.
Many Voices, Many Insights
Sharon Salzberg edited this superb collection of essays in which 17 teachers share their wisdom, stories, and experiences of Insight Meditation. It is a fine introduction to this path with fresh understandings of the spiritual journey, mindfulness, and loving-kindness.
Mindfulness on the Road
Bring a meditation teacher along for the ride the next time you have to drive somewhere. In the audio Road Sage, Sylvia Boorstein shares spiritual practices for kindness, gratitude, patience, and imagination that will brighten your day and bring you to mindful attention. You can hear a clip here.
Eating as a Spiritual Path
"Eating with awareness brings us into the moment, helps us understand what it means to be alive, and connects us to the mystery and the source of all living things," writes Donald Altman. In The Art of the Meal and Meal by Meal he shares many mindful eating practices, such as what to do with leftovers.
Meditation in Prisons
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana reveals the positive changes in prisoners in India after an 11-day meditation course. The documentary includes interviews with inmates, jail officials, the inspector general, and Buddhist teachers. The Dhamma Brothers proves the cathartic value of meditation for offenders in an Alabama prison.
Mindfulness, Here, There and Everywhere
Mindfulness is about paying attention and being truly present. Like soul, the term and the practice are everywhere these days. See Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindful Politics edited by Melvin McLeod, and Mindfulness in the Marketplace edited by Allan Hunt Badiner.
Spiritual Practice and Social Justice
Our times call for spiritual and social commitments, writes Donald Rothberg, an advocate for socially engaged Buddhism in the United States. In The Engaged Spiritual Life, he explains ten principles that connect inner and outer transformation.
Mindful Parents and Mindful Children
Some simple mindfulness practices can help children manage stress and be happier, kinder, and more compassionate. In The Mindful Child, Susan Kaiser Greenland explains how to teach children the new ABCs of Attention, Balance, and Compassion. Also recommended: Mindful Parent, Happy Child by Pilar Placone.
The Value of Intentions
"Authentic mindfulness takes into consideration the intentions behind our actions," writes Christopher Titmuss, an English meditation master. He offers a short exercise for making intentions before any kind of action. A key is to know in our hearts that our intentions are wholesome.
Glossary of Terms
It helps to know the meaning of terms (especially if they are in Sanskrit or Pali). This helpful glossary defines afflictive emotions, aversion, beginner's mind, Bodhicitta, dana, dukkha, merit, non-doing, sinking mind, and many more words used in this tradition.