Compassion Meditation Practice

Dr. Urszula Klich is a certified CBCT instructor through the Emory Tibet partnership.  CBCT is a program developed by Professor Lobsang Tenzin Negi.  For further information click here.

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Sharon Salzberg: On Bhavana

Dr Urszula Klich with Sharon Salzberg: 28 Day Meditation Challenge

I had attended Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg’s retreat before and looked forward to their outpouring of insight through storytelling, meditation, and chant. So, the anticipation of this experience brought back all sorts of warm memories of tranquility, insight, rest, and revelation. This time, over a hot cup of Chai tea, Sharon and I would chat for hours late into the night in the simple cottage. We reminisced and spoke about everything from life’s mundane, everyday, joys and hassles to coping with trauma. I was privileged to hear personal stories of some of her early experiences in India while discovering meditation. The practice of Loving- Kindness has been her life’s path.

Click to listen to Sharon Salzberg speak on Bhavana

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When You Are Hungry – Eat

Sharon Salzberg 28 day challenge Mindfulness based biofeedback
To meditate, or to do work, or to check the blog, or to be with the kids?  THAT is the question.  The possibilities floated by like fish gliding through the ocean and circling back around.  They weren’t intrusive thoughts.  On the contrary.  I barely paid any attention to them. That was it! I was not paying any mindful attention to what I was doing or my thoughts. Continue reading

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2015 Real Happiness 28 day Meditation Challenge- Day 1

Meditation challenge Sharon Salzberge Real Happiness challenge Commit to sit Mindful MeditationWhat is rain but the product of a collision between thousands of minuscule droplets of water. It is this collection of droplets that joins with particles in the air such as dust and other foreign bodies that form a cloud. Through this process of collision and joining, the mass eventually becomes heavy enough to cause what we see as rain- liquid drops of water falling from the sky.

Day 1 of Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness Challenge, and here it was evening already and I hadn’t formally meditated. No, I wasn’t avoiding it, at least not this time. No, I hadn’t forgotten. In fact, it was on my mind when I was awakened by an energetic superhero toddler. Continue reading

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Meditation- It’s Not Just for Hippies

CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW FOR ABC NEWS STORY

For the last 20 years, I have had the great joy of walking alongside of people beginning their journey toward greater relaxation, self-awareness, clarity, and overall peace and well-being. While each individual’s process was beautiful to witness, it was often not without some struggle. Sure, I’d find that individuals would melt into a blob of what seemed like tension-free bliss in my office recliner, reporting that their mind was free as a bird, or clear as the sky on a sunny day. However, upon return, it seemed this same sky turned stormy. Continue reading

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Wherever You Are, You Are Somewhere Else

I was floating in the pool when it happened. I took a breath. It’s not that I had stopped breathing, of course. Luckily for me, my body knew what to do and it was doing its job whether I was there or not. I wondered how many things like this I had missed. The faint smell of pool chemicals blended with the natural fragrance of the outdoors. The cool, though ever-so-gentle, breeze touched my skin and rustled through the palm trees. The water was warm at 90 degrees, yet my “being” intermittently felt its cool contrast to the hot sun. It was both a refreshing feeling and one that I welcomed, once I realized it was occurring. Yet where was I? I had been in the pool over 30 minutes and outside for at least an additional 30. Despite my time there, this was the first breath I felt, the one I first noticed, the first I truly experienced.

How much of our time do we spend thinking about other experiences, places, or people? How often do our minds travel to the future that we look forward to, fear, try to plan for or in some way wonder about. How often do we look behind us recalling things that have happened to us, whether long ago or simply hours before. Who has not had the experience of words someone spoke, or perhaps we wished we had said, lingering in our mind long after we would like them to stick so vividly. Alternately, when do we daydream about the way we wish our lives would be…if only this or that would occur? As a meditator I am well aware that these habits keep us from living fully present lives. As a human being, and one that can readily veer toward an analytical left brained world, I’ll admit that I still catch myself being somewhere else, occasionally. Ok, lots! During this particular moment, I am not even sure where I was, other than realizing that I was not fully there. Sure I was aware I was entering the pool and aware that I was floating in water, but my attention was somehow split. To make matters worse, my distraction must not have been too important for me not to even remember it. It was in that moment that I realized that it did not have to be this way. I could be fully present in all that is, in this moment, right now. In soaking up the experience around me, I could more fully enjoy it. I believe, that it is in these moments that the full repertoire of possibilities open up in our lives, revealing options for living with greater fullness, and with greater intent in our choices.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/byYUb0wyG_4″]

So now, as I sit outside writing this post, I glance up to see a couple ride by on their bicycles. I take an extra moment to observe their pink silhouettes peddling so gracefully that the image seems like a rhythmic symphony. It is then, as I retract my gaze back toward my pen and paper, that I catch the glimpse of a circular formation across the water. The ripple spreads until it disperses, followed by a cascade of other, small and large, overlapping raindrops and ripples. Each one was quickly followed by an ever-so changing symphony of droplets with variegated sounds dependent on the composition of the material they were bouncing off of.

I put my pen down and just watch and listen. After a while, I compromise my attention briefly to capture a small component of the experience on film. Knowing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts I quickly return to experiencing rather than creating. As I stay with the experience, I learn that the rain, sun, and wind ebb and flow in a pattern uniquely reserved for nature. The size and shape of the droplets vary, as do their resonant frequency. The sun comes and goes intermittently, whether the rain pounds or trickles. This Kaleidoscopic dance is like some unrehearsed, yet powerfully native tango innately choreographed and played out by the sky. Then, as I discover a smile develop over my entire being, I take a breath, fully experiencing being right there.

I challenge you to enjoy it, with curiosity, this the being where you are, wherever you go.

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Morning has Broken- Like the first Morning

 

Mindful meditation with sharon salzberg loving kindness birdsWaking this morning to the sound of birds, I had an immediate awareness that the last day of the 28- day meditation challenge had passed.  It’s not like the last few days have alluded my awareness.  On the contrary.   In fact, this week I have found myself quite conscious of the impending end of the commitment.  On one hand, this has prompted a greater appreciation for each day, each meditation, and each moment of mindfulness.  On the other hand, the ticking clock allowed my mind to wander to the future to what would be “the end.” Continue reading

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Meditation Challenge Day 1: The Journey

Mindful Snow MeditationThe Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

The first time you have to do anything, it is new to you. I find that it really doesn’t matter if you have done something like it, or spent time thinking about it. There is just a process you go through when something is new. Continue reading

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