The Quieted Mind: Everything Is Pretending To Be Born And Pretending To Die (Autumn 2022)

The change of seasons, for some of us, can bring to the surface any number of thoughts and emotions. Times like these are a perfect opportunity to stop and breathe, to unite our body and mind as we acknowledge that our true home is the here and now. In that lull between summer fun and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and even in the midst of these things, we can always return to our true home. This is the heart of our practice.

Referenced In This Episode:
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist
At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk’s Life by Thich Nhat Hanh

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The Quieted Mind: Metta (Lovingkindness) Meditation Practice

In this episode, we are introduced to the practice of Metta, or Lovingkindness meditation, and its origins in early Buddhist teaching. Metta meditation practice can be a useful technique in breaking down our notions and concepts of separateness and realizing the interconnectedness of all sentient beings.

Refereced in this Episode:
The Power of Metta: A Buddhist Story — from MountainHermitage.org

How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships by H.H. Dalai Lama

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I Am The Universe (Guided Meditation)

Picking up from his most recent dharma talk, James guides us through a meditation in which we practice identifying as the Universe.

Referenced in this episode:

Thich Nhat Hanh: No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Life Springs Up Again


In this edition of The Quieted Mind, James offers reflections on Spring as a marker and reminder of renewal and rebirth and leads a guided meditation.

 

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Return to the Breath

In our everyday lives, we spend so much of our waking hours running away from the present moment. We run around making ourselves busy, chasing whatever’s next. When we have a chance to stop this rushing and running, our thoughts are often consumed with fears about the future or regrets about the past.

The practice of conscious breathing is a way for us to stop running, quiet our minds for a moment, and fully inhabit the present moment with our body and mind. It can help bring us into a state of calm and ease, and leave us better equipped to face life’s circumstances as they arise rather than losing ourselves in constant worry about what *might* happen.

This brief meditation episode is highly influenced by Mindfulness of Breathing by Brother Phap Dung of Plum Village. Listen to meditations by Brother Phap Dung and others on the Plum Village Mobile App, available on iOS and Android.

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Music by ’86 Aerostar