Heart Study Group

Bhante Henepola GunaratanaWe’re keeping the name…Heart Study Group, but we’re starting a new book! March 7, now into our third year of mindfulness studies, reflection, and practice, we began Bhante Gunaratana’s Mindfulness in Plain English.

Mindfulness in Plain EnglishThe group meets every Tuesday 2pm – 4pm. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. Contact Nadine if you are interested in joining the group.


tnh-smiling heart-of-buddhas-teaching-coverThe Mindfulness Study Group in La Misión is now studying “The Heart of Buddha’s Teachings” by Thich Nhat Hanh after Mathieu Ricard’s “Happiness” and two sections of Aware Awake Alive by Elliott Dacher.

Study Group 2/Week 4

Some links to videos you might enjoy: INTENTION Elliott Dacher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w858jd3kpJE WHY MEDITATE Matthieu Ricard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRk6Yvb-Q28 THE ART OF MEDITATION Matthieu Ricard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZwnXj0Ck1k ON MATTHIEU RICARD Brian Johnson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmnZ-CBYQtk Scroll down for more links! (posted last session)   Jack Kerouac HOW TO MEDITATE — lights out — fall, hands a-clasped, into instantaneous ecstasy like a shot of heroin or morphine, the gland inside of my brain discharging the good glad fluid (Holy Fluid) as I hap-down and hold all my body parts down to a deadstop trance — Healing all my sicknesses — erasing all — not even the shred of a “I-hope-you” or a Loony Balloon left in it, but the mind blank, serene, thoughtless. When a thought comes a-springing from afar with its held- forth figure of image, you spoof it out, you spuff it out, you fake it, and it fades, and thought never comes — and with joy you realize for the first time “Thinking’s just like not thinking — So I don’t have to think any more” More on Jack Kerouac & Meditation

100 Benefits of Meditation

Physiological benefits: 1- It lowers oxygen consumption. 2- It decreases respiratory rate. 3- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate. 4- Increases exercise tolerance. 5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation. 6- Good for people with high blood pressure. 7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate. 8- Decreases muscle tension 9- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc. 10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms. 11- Helps in post-operative healing. 12- Enhances the immune system. 13- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress 14- Enhances energy, strength and vigour. 15- Helps with weight loss 16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage 17- Higher skin resistance 18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease. 19- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. 20- Decreases the aging process. 21- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone) 22- prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases 23- Makes you sweat less 24- Cure headaches & migraines 25- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning 26- Reduced Need for Medical Care 27- Less energy wasted 28- More inclined to sports, activities 29- Significant relief from asthma 30- improved performance in athletic events 31- Normalizes to your ideal weight 32- harmonizes our endocrine system 33- relaxes our nervous system 34- produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity 35- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation). Psychological benefits: 36- Builds self-confidence. 37- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour. 38- Resolve phobias & fears 39- Helps control own thoughts 40- Helps with focus & concentration 41- Increase creativity 42- Increased brain wave coherence. 43- Improved learning ability and memory. 44- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation. 45- Increased emotional stability. 46- improved relationships 47- Mind ages at slower rate 48- Easier to remove bad habits 49- Develops intuition 50- Increased Productivity 51- Improved relations at home & at work 52- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation 53- Helps ignore petty issues 54- Increased ability to solve complex problems 55- Purifies your character 56- Develop will power 57- greater communication between the two brain hemispheres 58- react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event. 59- increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance 60- higher intelligence growth rate 61- Increased job satisfaction 62- increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones 63- decrease in potential mental illness 64- Better, more sociable behaviour 65- Less aggressiveness 66- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction 67- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals 68- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation 69- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia 70- Increases sense of responsibility 71- Reduces road rage 72- Decrease in restless thinking 73- Decreased tendency to worry 74- Increases listening skills and empathy 75- Helps make more accurate judgements 76- Greater tolerance 77- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways 78- Grows a stable, more balanced personality 79- Develops emotional maturity Spiritual benefits: 80- Helps keep things in perspective 81- Provides peace of mind, happiness 82- Helps you discover your purpose 83- Increased self-actualization. 84- Increased compassion 85- Growing wisdom 86- Deeper understanding of yourself and others 87- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony 88- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation 89- Increased acceptance of oneself 90- helps learn forgiveness 91- Changes attitude toward life 92- Creates a deeper relationship with your God 93- Attain enlightenment 94- greater inner-directedness 95- Helps living in the present moment 96- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love 97- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego 98- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness” 99- Experience a sense of “Oneness” 100- Increases the synchronicity in your life

Meditation is also completely FREE. It requires no special equipment, and is not complicated to learn. It can be practiced anywhere, at any given moment, and it is not time consuming (15-20 min. per day is good). Meditation has NO negative side effects. There is nothing but positive to be gained from it! Aware, Awake, Alive - FacebookFebruary 24, 2015Week 3/Chapter 3:  Clearing the Mind With Chapter 3, we have embarked on “The Path,” at least in theory, with reflecting on “Clearing the Mind.”Here are Links to Elliott Dacher’s YouTube Videos: Human Flourishing with Elliott Dacher, MD Path to Human Flourishing Part 1 Path to Human Flourishing Part 2 Path to Human Flourishing Part 3 Elliott Dacher, MD: Intention Here are links to a couple of Jon Kabat Zinn’s videos on mindfulness.  They are long, but I find…excellent:Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn Some Reflections and Guidance on the Cultivation of Mindfulness Jon Kabat Zinn Below are the quotes we read on Mindfulness and Meditation: “I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” ― T.S. Eliot “I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes.It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say “this is good, this is bad,” you have already jumped onto the thought process.It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher.And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.” ― Osho “Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” ― Voltaire “An interval of meditation, serious and grateful, was the best corrective of everything dangerous.” ― Jane Austen, Persuasion Now I meditate twice a day for half an hour. In meditation, I can let go of everything. I’m not Hugh Jackman. I’m not a dad. I’m not a husband. I’m just dipping into that powerful source that creates everything. I take a little bath in it. ―Hugh Jackman You exist in time, but you belong to eternity- You are a penetration of eternity into the world of time-You are deathless, living in a body of death- Your consciousness knows no death, no birth- It is only your body that is born and dies-But you are not aware of your consciousness-You are not conscious of your consciousness-And that is the whole art of meditation;Becoming conscious of consciousness itself.” ― Osho “Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature.” ― Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying “ In meditation we discover our inherent restlessness. Sometimes we get up and leave. Sometimes we sit there but our bodies wiggle and squirm and our minds go far away. This can be so uncomfortable that we feel’s it’s impossible to stay. Yet this feeling can teach us not just about ourselves but what it is to be human…we really don’t want to stay with the nakedness of our present experience. It goes against the grain to stay present. These are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us the strength to settle down…so whenever we wander off, we gently encourage ourselves to “stay” and settle down. Are we experiencing restlessness? Stay! Are fear and loathing out of control? Stay! Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay! What’s for lunch? Stay! I can’t stand this another minute! Stay!”” ― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times “The closer you come to knowing that you alone create the world of your experience, the more vital it becomes for you to discover just who is doing the creating.” ― Eric Micha’el Leventhal “We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don´t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home.Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.” ― Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying “Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day” ― Deepak Chopra “Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.” ― Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation “Devote the mind to confusion and we know only too well, if we´re honest, that it will become a dark master of confusion, adept in its addictions, subtle and perversely supple in its slaveries. Devote it in meditation to the task of freeing itself from illusion, and we will find that, with time, patience, discipline, and the right training, our mind will begin to unknot itself and know its essential bliss and clarity.” ― Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying DEVELOPING THE MINDElliott Dacher - Developing the Mind

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