By now, the story is a well-recited one in Buddhist, meditation and mindfulness communities in the West. At a 1990 conference in Dharamsala, Sharon Salzberg, the initiator of the now famous interaction with the Dalai Lama, asked the question, ‘What do you think about self-hatred?’.
At its root, mindfulness or Sati, in the Pali (language of early Buddhism) definition, means ‘to remember’, ‘to recollect’. This definition is misleading if understood at face value, since memories are vulnerable to distortion, and this is recognized both within and without Buddhist context.
Progression in insight meditation, or Vipassana meditation, is a difficult thing to characterize in the context of your practice. When you exercise consistently, you begin to notice changes in your body and energy levels – loss of fat, increased muscle tone and mass, increased endurance; however, meditation progression is not linear – even with dedicated practice – and little or no evidence of progress can make the experience frustrating enough to quit.
Surfing with a Hawaiian champion tandem surfer for an instructor – and a big push – gave me the opportunity to get up on the board after only a few attempts. Not only did it make the experience more enjoyable, but bailing off the board into 25+ degree Celsius water […]