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Does your past exist the way you remember it?

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Michael Gregory, the mindfulness expert and ordained monk whose meditation group is in Sarasota, has given the subject some thought and here is his answer: “Your past is your memory of the past only, not exactly accurate, only a subjective version. Accept that you are not objectively right. The past is present moment historical revisionism, at best. Free yourself of the …

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Breathing as meditation

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“Last night I had quite the dream.  The thrust of the dream was that I was suffocating. I could feel the air shutting off. And, at the same time, I was aware I was breathing. I’d dived into some liminal space between sleep and waking, where the dream was driven by the reality of my pneumonia, but another part, a …

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Reaching the summit

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He was born the son of a poor farmer in Northern Thailand … he died 60 years later, his only possession the robe on his back. Even so, more than a million people came to his funeral, including the king and queen of Thailand. He changed the lives of tens of thousands, teaching them to conquer their fears, endure suffering …

The open heart knows only connection

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Ezra Bayda tells us in his book “Being Zen” the story of James, who was 76 years old when they met, dying from lung cancer and heart failure and confined mostly to lying in bed. Although he was very weak, he would always try to be friendly and pleasant. He would even force himself to stay awake so that he would not …

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When walking becomes a sacred act

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The practice of mindful walking, saysThich Nhat Hanh, is a profound and pleasurable way to deepen our connection with our body and the earth. We breathe, take a mindful step, and come back to our true home. Read on and learn how to. Many of us walk for the sole purpose of getting from one place to another. Now suppose …

Zen in everyday life

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Tu Huang tells us: I seem to keep a lot of things on my mind. Thinking about work and worrying about my job security, wondering about my relationship with family and friends, trying to figure out where to invest my money, having to buy a new set of tires for the car, engrossed in the war on terrorism, seeing that …

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Beyond meditation there’s zazen

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Is zazen simply one more form of meditation? Most people might conclude it is but some Zen masters disagree. They argue that zazen, done regularly, has powers beyond that of meditation. Zazen can (a) increase your powers of concentration, (b) provide a platform for experiencing satori (or profound truth) and (c) enable us to use these states in our daily …

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The Zen fisherman

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A monk spent years in a mountain monastery meditating. In the deep beauty and silence of nature he attained deep insight and peace. Then time came for him to leave the mountain and return to the marketplace. He soon found himself amid noise, distraction and squalor. He was jostled by a rude man in the street and anger flared up …

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The man who never turned back

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Gudo was the emperor’s teacher of his time. Nevertheless, he used to travel alone as a wandering mendicant. Once when he was on his way to Edo, the cultural and political center of the shogunate, he approached a little village named Takenaka. It was evening and a heavy rain was falling. Gudo was thoroughly wet. His straw sandals were in …

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Regular meditation has tremendous impact on health

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Somehow we all know that relaxation is good for us. Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published. What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as meditation, far more ”disease-fighting genes” were active, …