Everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Exercise 15: Using mental imagery

Posted on Happy Minds!

From: Happiness - Matthieu Ricard

When a powerful feeling of desire, envy, pride, aggression,
or greed plagues your mind, try to imagine
situations that are sources of peace. Transport yourself
mentally to the shores of a placid lake or to a high
mountaintop overlooking a broad vista. Imagine
yourself sitting serenely, your mind as vast and clear
as a cloudless sky, as calm as a windless ocean.
Experience this calmness. Watch your inner tempests
subside and let this feeling of peace grow anew in
your mind.

Understand that even if your wounds
are deep, they do not touch the essential nature of
your mind, the fundamental luminosity of pure consciousness.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Exercise 14: How to begin to meditate

Posted on Happy Minds!

From: Happiness - Matthieu Ricard

No matter what your outer circumstances might be,
there is always, deep within you, a potential for flourishing.
This is a potential for loving-kindness, compassion,
and inner peace. Try to get in touch with and
experience this potential that is always present, like a
nugget of gold, in your heart and mind.
This potential needs to be developed and matured
in order to achieve a more stable sense of well-being.
However, this will not happen by itself. You need to
develop it as a skill. For that, begin by becoming more
familiar with your own mind. This is the beginning of
Sit quietly, in a comfortable but balanced posture.
Whether you sit cross-legged on a cushion or more
conventionally on a chair, try to keep your back
straight, yet without being tense. Rest your hands on
your knees or thighs or in your lap, keep your eyes
lightly gazing in the space in front of you, and breathe
naturally. Watch your mind, the coming and going of
thoughts. At first it might seem that instead of diminishing,
thoughts rush through your mind like a waterfall.
Just watch them arising and let them come and
go, without trying to stop them but without fueling
them either.
Take a moment at the end of the practice to savor
the warmth and joy that result from a calmer mind.

After a while your thoughts will become like a peaceful
river. If you practice regularly, eventually your
mind will easily become serene, like a calm ocean.
Whenever new thoughts arise, like waves raised by the
winds, do not be bothered by them. They will soon
dissolve back into the ocean.
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