Awakening

You are the sky

you-are-the-sky

“You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.”

This is my favourite quote from Pema Chodron. No matter what I’m going through, remembering this simple truth can clear my mind and bring me back to my centre faster than almost anything else. Even during the worst storms, the sky is clear behind the clouds…

Buddhism

The Eightfold Path: Right Concentration

Right Concentration is the final practice of Mental Discipline on the Eightfold Path and is about disciplining the mind to see reality as it is. It’s also known as Right Meditation or Samadhi, and is the practice of focusing your mind on one thing until you’ve reached meditative absorption or jhana. Samadhi means concentration, and… Continue reading The Eightfold Path: Right Concentration

Buddhism

The Eightfold Path: Right Mindfulness

Right Mindfulness is the second practice in Mental Discipline on the Eightfold Path and involves being aware of the present moment with a clear focus. Right Mindfulness is the heart of Buddhist practice and applies across the whole Eightfold Path. When you’re mindful, your thinking is Right Thought, your speech is Right Speech, your actions… Continue reading The Eightfold Path: Right Mindfulness

Buddhism

The Eightfold Path: Right Effort

Right Effort is the first practice in Mental Discipline on the Eightfold Path and is also known as Right Diligence. This practice supports all the others because it gives you the energy to keep practising, even through difficulties. It involves cultivating a positive attitude and cheerful determination on your quest for freedom from suffering. Right… Continue reading The Eightfold Path: Right Effort

Buddhism

The Eightfold Path: Right Action

Right Action is the second Ethical Conduct practice on the Eightfold Path and is about acting appropriately in every situation. It builds on all the other practices and can only work if you’re mindful of your true intentions. If you watch your thoughts and develop the right understanding of yourself and reality, your actions shouldn’t… Continue reading The Eightfold Path: Right Action

Buddhism

The Eightfold Path: Right Thought

Right Thought is the second Wisdom practice of the Eightfold Path, and is also known as Right Intention. It follows directly from Right Understanding because your thoughts and intentions arise from your perception of reality. If you see reality as it is, you’ll have no problems. But if you see reality through a haze of… Continue reading The Eightfold Path: Right Thought

Buddhism

The foundational teachings of Buddhism and the Eightfold Path

If you want to understand the ideas that underpin any belief system, it’s best to start at the beginning. With Buddhism that means going back to the Four Noble Truths which was the Buddha’s very first teaching. The Four Noble Truths of the Middle Way include the teachings on the Eightfold Path, which is a… Continue reading The foundational teachings of Buddhism and the Eightfold Path

Dark Night of the Soul · Meditation

The Hidden Dangers of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is everywhere these days. With the number of books and apps and courses available you would think we had become a nation of bodhisattvas overnight. The positive effects of mindfulness are widely known and aggressively advertised, but the practice doesn’t work the same way for everyone, and it can actually make you feel worse.… Continue reading The Hidden Dangers of Mindfulness

Buddhism · Meditation

What is the real meaning of Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness of Breathing, monks, cultivated and regularly practiced, is of great fruit and great benefit. Mindfulness of Breathing, cultivated and regularly practiced, brings to Perfection the four Foundations of Mindfulness. The four Foundations of Mindfulness, cultivated and regularly practiced, bring the seven Factors of Enlightenment to perfection; the seven Factors of Enlightenment, cultivated and regularly… Continue reading What is the real meaning of Mindfulness?

Buddhism · Meditation

The Dark Face of the Mindfulness Craze

“Mindfulness is the skill of thinking you are doing something when you are doing nothing. One of the good things about mindfulness is that you get to do a lot of sitting down. Sitting down is good for the mind because so much positive energy is stored in the lap.” – The Ladybird Book of… Continue reading The Dark Face of the Mindfulness Craze