Talking shop with Sebastian Pucelle, we roll up our sleeves and discuss potential interpretations of the Sanskrit word “nirodah” and what those interpretations mean for your practice.
Sebastian Pucelle describes meditation as a process of purifying the mind. Meditation isn’t so much about attaining anything in particular as much as it is a process of letting go of things that distort and disrupt one’s life.
Often in meditation, students can get frustrated by their mind’s difficulty in following the meditation instructions. Sebastian Pucelle, the wonderful French Yin Yoga teacher, suggests that the two most important aspects of a meditation practice are one’s intention and attitude, not the specific technique, per se.
This retreat inspired me to try a few hacks with regards to my relationship to technology – to make my phone less of the pocket-sized slot-machine that it’s become, I’ve tried to restructure the design of my phone as well as my timeframe around using it. And I invite you to join me on these digital hacks for better well-being.
In this final installment of my 3-part interview series, we explore tricky Buddhist concepts of anatta (non-self) and nirvana. And we consider that present moment awareness is not sufficient for the development of deeper wisdom and understanding in one’s life. For that, memory is required.
In many styles of meditation, if we hold too tightly to meditative instructions, we may unintentionally cut many things out of our meditation practice. In part two of my 3-part interview series, we explore letting more things “in” to your meditation, and not letting go too quickly.
In meditation, all too often, people struggle with their thinking, and feel badly that they can’t stop their “monkey mind” from thinking so much. Here’s a gentler, more compassionate approach to working with one’s mind in meditation.
When we look at different mental qualities, Yin qualities of mind tend to include traits like receptivity, allowance, yielding, tolerance, quiescence, reflection, passivity, or non-manipulation. Yang qualities of mind tend to involve traits like doing, manipulating, directing, improving, achieving, controlling, or becoming. From a Chinese perspective, both Yin and Yang qualities are essential. And the value in better understanding the relationship between Yin and Yang qualities is to promote balance and harmony between them.
Simply put, meditation is mental training, and a way to know yourself better. Meditation develops certain qualities of your mind. For thousands of years, this mental training was practiced within spiritual and religious communities, often requiring a fair amount of faith, belief, and superstition on behalf of the student. But now, there is a renaissance underway, ushering in new ways of practicing and thinking about meditation.