Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Welcome to our meditation... Let us start with a deep breath. Stretch your arms. Stretch your legs. Roll your shoulders. Relax your body. Relax your mind. Let a focus for a moment on the term Samatha. Samatha is the Buddhist practice of calming the mind before meditation. There are many beautiful exercises that can help us to achieve this, here is but one. We can begin by turning off all the electricity in the room. Find a comfortable place on the floor where you can outstretch your arms. You want to feel space all around you. If there isn't a window for you to face, facing a blank wall without any electrical devices will work as well. Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. As you take in a deep breath, gather up all your thoughts. As you exhale release all the thoughts from inside of you. Continue this for as long as needed. With each breath your mind becomes more and more clear. As your thoughts depart, focus on the clean air and calmness entering into your mind. Like waves on the beach, washing up along the shore. Back and forth the cleansing waters rush in and then draw back. Cleansing and calming. When you feel relaxed and have reached a state of calm, you can then open up your mind to Vipassanā (insight). Vipassanā is to see things as they truly are. We can only see things in their true nature when they are not being affected by other thoughts and feelings. This is why our minds have become disrupted - too many thoughts, feelings and ideas meddling with one another. Upon achieving this insight, we then can move forward to achieve jñāna (wisdom). Though wisdom we heal. In healing our minds become shielded, preventing those thoughts from further disrupting us again. And now for our next eco-conscious idea in our meditation series on small changes that make all the difference: There are some great reusable products on the market today. Items such as reusable coffee filters can greatly reduce the use of paper in our kitchen and we will never run out of filters again. Another great waste reducer is to use a reusable bags. The larger grocery bags are not the only bags that are made for reuse at the grocery store. You can find a wide variety of sizes for use at There you can find various cloth, drawstring bags to transport bulk cereal, fruit, veggies, dried fruit, snacks, etc. No more over-sized cardboard and plastic packaging taking up our cabinet space - or spinning the wheel of countless plastic produce bags. We can also switch to using cloth napkins and rags instead of paper napkins and paper towels. Small changes such as these greatly make a difference, and save us quite a bit of cash by the end of the year.