Thursday, December 27, 2018

Mindful Happy New Year


I just returned from a ten day trek in Nepal with two friends from our Lion of Wisdom Center in Maryland.

I am reposting the text to the Buddhamas Carol for your New Years contemplation.

The Buddhamas Carol
The Ode to the Vipassana Yogi

Silent Night, Peaceful Night,
All is calm, Stars are bright,
Round the hall Yogis sitting still,
Keeping their backs straight, exerting will,
Enduring pain without any ill-will,
Pervading Metta all throughout space,
Wishing Good-will to the whole human race.
Silent Mind, Peaceful Mind,
thoughts are few, Pain is slight,
Focusing mind at the tip of the nose,
Knowing each breath as it comes and it goes,
Percieving the light that steadily glows,
Feeling the Rapture from head to the toes.
Silent Mind, Tranquil Mind,
 Thoughts are stilled, Body feels light,
All the Five Hinderances have died down,
he Ego no longer is spinning around,
Mind is one-pointed not moving a bit,
Enjoying at long last the Jhanic Bliss,
Sitting in Joyful Peace, Sitting in Blissful Peace.

 Silent Mind, focused Mind,
Awareness is strong, Mind is bright,
The Spiritual Faculties are prepared,
Vipassana-Insight has Mara scared,
Scanning the body from head to the toes,
Anicca, Anicca, each moment goes,
Anicca, Anicca, Impermanence flows,
 The Five Aggregates appear empty as foam,
The Truth of No-Self is easily shown,

Sitting in insightful Joy, Sitting in insightful Joy.

Silent Mind, equanimous Mind,
Awareness is clear, Wisdom shines,
The six sense-impingements arise and pass,
No desire, no clinging, no ego to grasp,
No holding to present, future or past,
Mara has vanished he took his last gasp,
This body-mind house is empty at last,
Sitting and walking the whole night through,
Greeting the dawn completely anew.
Silent Mind, Wisdom Mind,
Now is the time, Conditions are prime,
The Enlightenment Factors are developed well.
The Four Noble Truths become clear as a bell,
The Eye of Dhamma is opened wide,
The three lower fetters are broken in stride,
Tonight the Yogi enters the Stream,
Tomorrow Nibbana no longer a Dream .

(Composed by Yogavacara Rahula)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A New Yoga breathing video

Diagram of the lungs


Hi Friends,
Here is a link to a new (I made it nine years ago, but just posting it now) video explaining in the most detail the three part and rhythmic breathing that I encourage students to practice as a support for their body based  mindful meditation practice. The last thirty minutes includes the series of standing postures I include during my retreats followed by a relaxing laying awareness.

Sitting postures: good and not so good for maintaining alert awareness.

Both knees grounded to the floor with spine  straight maintaining natural inward curve of the lumbar vertebrae and chin level, parallel to the floor

Knees up in the air, back slouched, chin down

Have a calm and peaceful meditation/awareness

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Long overdue update

Uplifting photo: The peak of Mt. Hood from 20,00 

Hi Friends,
It has been a long time since the last posting of the Yoga videos.
Since the beginning of April I have residing at my new basecamp of the Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center (LOW) in Maryland. I have been conducting a Day of Mindfulness (DOM) once a month as well as an Afternoon Intensive (AI) each month. We have also been improving the facilities to have overnight weekend retreats starting in October. There is a growing need in this tri-region area of Washington DC, Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia for a meditation center like this, for short 'battery charge' retreats.
From June 28-30th the Sri Lankan community organized a Dhamma Youth camp held at LOW. 25 children aged 10-17 participated along with supervision of their parents. Most participants with parents slept in tents on our spacious grounds and had a big bonfire at night. I lead them in two short meditation sessions and gave two Dhamma talks orientated for youth. Everybody enjoyed it very much.

On July 15th we hosted Ven. Sukhacitto, an old friend bhikkhu from Germany who conducted a one day Dhamma Contemplation session. Please check the Lion of Wisdom Meditation center website for more details of upcoming programs and info.

Apart from the activities at LOW I had lead a ten day retreat from June 1st-10th for the Ottawa Buddhist Society held at the beautiful Gallillee Center in Arnprior Ontario,Canada.

From July 4th-8th I lead a four day camping retreat at the Atlan Forest Camp near White Salmon. We slept in tents and had a yurt for our meditation hall. Yoga was done outside on wooden raised decks under the tall Douglas fir trees. It was like a nature retreat.
I also spent a night with the bhikkhus at the Pacific Hermitage in White Salmon.

The photo at the top of this post was taken on the flight from Chicago to Portland, Oregon on my way for the retreat. The analogy is that during meditation we get a glimpse of the 'Peak of Awareness' that occasionally arises through the veil of the mind's hindrances.

And from July 25th-30th I will be in New York to conduct a weekend retreat at the Buddhist Insight's retreat house in Rockaway Beach. I am also scheduled to give a talk on meditation at Google Headquarters in NYC. 

Photos of the Atlan Forest retreat
Group in front of meditation yurt

 Walking meditation to the creek for nature awareness

Meal offering to the monks in the outdoor kitchen and dining area

 Afternoon yoga outside

Inside the Yurt and camping area

Monks at the Pacific Hermitage, White Salmon

Sunrise on Mt. Hood in Oregon

Mt. Adams in Washington 

The Lion of Wisdom Meditation House

With Ven. Sukhacitto at back entrance

Dhamma Contemplation group under the Bodhi Tree

Youth Dhamma Camp at LOW June28-30th 

Givings orientation for the camp

Evening Bonfire, marshmellow roast, and Dhamma skits

 Meditation on the Fire Element

Monday, March 5, 2018

New Yoga demonstration video

Hi Friends,
I just returned from Sri Lanka where I attended the 3 day Global Mindfulness Summit. During the conference part of my participation was narrating a 25 minute yoga demonstration. The exercises were performed by my friend/student Gitan Rajapakse. Here is a link on Youtube: Yoga for Meditators Demonstration

After the Summit Conference was over I lead a 3 day Mindfulness with Yoga retreat at the Kalagoda Vipassana Meditation Center.
I am now back in California visiting my mother.
I will return to the Lion of Wisdom Meditation in Maryland on March 28th.