hello my friends! it’s time for the february edition of a buddhist carnival. once again, we have many good submissions, and i’ll post this edition in two parts.
because it’s friday – frozen peas friday – i’ll start with a blog entry by a buddhist writing about breast cancer. like susan reynolds, “whymommy” is another person receiving online support for her breast cancer. tracy talks about members of a buddhist temple chanting for health and adds, “try and make a little space in your hearts for these women.” thank you, tracy.
i am a rigorous skeptic. what brought me to meditation was having read a number of scientific papers published in leading psychology and medical journals on its scientifically demonstrated efficacy at promoting enhanced psychological well-being, focus, self-awareness, present-moment orientation, and as a means of treatment for depression and anxiety. i have personally experienced each of the just-mentioned benefits, in addition to insight—i’m not sure if insight has been scientifically demonstrated.
alvaro fernandez talks about mindfulness and meditation in schools:
schools have been turning to mindfulness for very practical reasons that don’t concern religion, and their efforts have been supported by a recent wave of scientific results.
steve reidman first introduced mindfulness practices to toluca lake about six years ago. reidman, a fourth grade teacher at the school, had been experiencing problems with classroom management—a first for him, after many years of teaching. conflicts on the playground were escalating and affecting his students’ ability to settle down and concentrate in class. when he confided his problems to kaiser, a personal friend, she offered to come to his class to teach mindfulness, a technique she’d taught to kids as a volunteer at a local boys and girls club.
“i noticed a difference right away,” says reidman. “there was less conflict on the playground, less test anxiety—just the way the kids walked into the classroom was different. our state test scores also went up that year, which i’d like to attribute to my teaching but i think had more to do with the breathing they did right before they took the test.”
also on mindfulness, we have dr. mike skinner with what is mindfulness meditation? and rose walbrugh asking is mindfulness meditation the key to applying the secret?
ken nubo presents lessons learned from the greatest samurai. miyamoto musashi, a samurai, used buddhism as a base line for his code of conduct. here are a few of his precepts
“accept everything just the way it is.”
“do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.”
“think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.”
“be detached from desire your whole life long.”
“do not regret what you have done.”
“never be jealous.”
“never let yourself be saddened by a separation.”
“resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself or others.”
“in all things have no preferences.”
“do no hold on to possessions you no longer need.”
“do not act following customary beliefs.”
“do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.”
the middle way
samuel discusses the middle way, balance and non-extremism, referring to research on alcohol consumption. i like how samuel takes us along in his exploration of buddhism. he doesn’t claim to be an expert, he just “talks out loud”. a true beginner’s mind?
angela presents turn on your lovelight (and leave it on). she comments, “i usually blog about buddhism in relationship to my every day life — and sometimes review buddhist literature. i’ve only recently begun to think about sharing my comments on religion with others.” this is a lovely post on the dedication of merit, or the vow of the bodhisattva. the vow is a tall order – how can we live with it? only by allowing contradiction …
finally for today, two posts that are not directly related to buddhism but you might find them interesting anyway: live your best life by serving others, and the power of rituals: how to build positive, energizing daily rituals
this concludes today’s post. you’ll have the second part of this month’s buddhist carnival tomorrow for breakfast. and if you’d like to submit your buddhist post for the next edition (on the ides of march, march 15), feel free and use this submission form.