Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience.
It isn’t more complicated than that.
It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is,
without either clinging to it or rejecting it.
Insight Meditation, known in Asia as Vipassana, is one of the central teachings of the Buddha. At the heart of this 2500 year-old practice is mindfulness, the simple and systematic cultivation of the mind and heart. It is the moment-to-moment investigation of the body, feelings, and consciousness through calm and focused awareness. Through ongoing focused awareness, we become more open and receptive to all aspects of our lives, both the pleasant and unpleasant. Insight into who we are and the world in which we live allows us to relate to life with less fear and with growing wisdom and compassion.
A word about the practise of “dana”
Generosity brings happiness at every stage of its expression. We experience joy in forming the intention to be generous. We experience joy in the actual act of giving. We experience joy in remembering the fact of having given.
In this spiritual tradition, we practice dana, a Pali word meaning generosity or giving. We can experience the joy of generosity in any way that we give. Since the time of the Buddha the teachings have been given freely and, in turn, the community, with heartfelt appreciation for the teachings and spiritual practice, has provided for the monks, nuns, teachers, and monasteries.
Dana received in this community is a contribution to the cost of the meditation space and an opportunity to express gratitude for the teacher and teachings, to develop kindness and compassion, and to cultivate the joy of sharing. It is a real expression of the truth of interdependence.
28 Day Meditation Challenge
You can meditate in many ways, and making the intention to do it every day is more important then the length of time you do it – although of course 20 minutes, half an hour, or 45 minutes each day is wonderful! However, five minutes is a great support, also, as is stopping to take intentional breaths or mindful moments throughout the day, or bringing mindfulness into your everyday activities intentionally in your own way. There are two short guided meditations on Sharon’s website that can support you daily, as well. One is a sound meditation (2 mins), and the other, a touch point meditation (3 mins), which you can do at work, on the bus, at home, anywhere! You will find them on this page:
Follow along with the people blogging from our sangha!
With every good wish for our month together,
Jeanne and the Saskatoon Insight Meditation Community