Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

Humans of Healthcare: A Guided Workshop for Processing Trauma and Sharing Our Stories

With Reena Kotecha and Jonathan Fisher’s kind and clear guidance, you’ll move through this facilitated journaling and meditation workshop and gently dive deeper into your lived experience of having navigated the pandemic thus far as healthcare practitioners.

Watch the Video:

4 Questions for Reflection:

During the pandemic the three most valuable lessons I learned are…For me personally, as a healthcare professional, the three most challenging aspects of the pandemic experience are…The three personal strengths or resources that helped most me during the pandemic are…Following the pandemic experience I intend to make these three changes in my approach to life…

Guided Meditations

A collection of meditations from

Reena and Jonathantoground yourself and welcome a sense of ease.

A 4-Minute Meditation to Welcome Ease with Reena Kotecha

Please feel free to download this meditation.

A 6-Minute Meditation to Check In with Jonathan Fisher

Please feel free to download this meditation.

Connect

Click the links below to learn more about Reena and Jonathan.

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Lean Into Love with Frank Ostaseski

Stephanie Domet: Hello, and welcome to Real Mindful. This is where we speak mindfully about things that matter.

We’ll meet here twice a month to introduce you to some of the teachers, thinkers, writers, and researchers who are engaged in the mindfulness movement. You’ll hear all kinds of conversations here about the science of mindfulness, the practice of mindfulness—and the heart of it. 

I’m Stephanie Domet. I’m the managing editor at Mindful magazine and mindful.org. And this is Real Mindful.

On this edition of Real Mindful, a real treat for you. A few months back, our founding editor Barry Boyce had the opportunity to sit down with Frank Ostaseski. The two have long been friends and colleagues. Frank is a well-known and much-loved teacher of meditation, mindfulness, and compassionate service. The author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully, Ostaseski co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, and has helped more than a thousand people on their way to dying.

In July 2019, a serious stroke affected his brain’s capacity. In the ensuing two months he had four more strokes, and as many aspects of daily life became more difficult, Frank found strength and refuge in love, compassion, and curiosity. He also found his practice still very much alive through the whole experience—and his ability to communicate the nuance of what we discover when we welcome everything remains intact. In this remarkable conversation between old friends, Frank shares some of what he learned and leaned on with Barry. We’ll bring you this conversation in two parts over the next two episodes of Real Mindful. We start at the beginning, with Frank talking about the experience of his first stroke.

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(Originally posted by michaelbonanno)
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A 12-Minute Meditation to Arrive, Breathe, Connect

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When we’re under pressure, our ability to care and to lead can feel compromised. Mindfulness can provide a path to cultivate the focus and determination of grit and the care and calm of grace, to learn from growth and change. In this practice to arrive, breathe, and connect, Dr. Lili Powell, a professor at UVA Darden School of Business, offers space to fully arrive in the present moment and make a commitment to focusing on being right here, right now.

Get into what for you is an alert yet relaxed position. You may need to adjust your posture a bit to settle into your chair. Put your feet flat on the floor, put your bottom way back in the seat of your chair, and then sit up nice and tall. You can relax your hands, placing the palms down on top of your thighs. And then very slowly lower your gaze or, if you feel comfortable, close your eyes. Take a moment to fully arrive in the present moment. You may be at work or doing something else right now, so I invite you to take a moment to put that aside. Of course, if you’re driving, it might be nice to pull over for a little bit. In any case, just take this moment to fully arrive, giving yourself the gift of a moment of focus and clarity. Letting go of your to-do list. Letting go of whatever comes next. You’re making a clear-eyed commitment to be right here, right now. Scan through your own body, checking in and feeling the temperature, so to speak. And you may note whether you feel especially grounded right now, perhaps ungrounded or underground. You don’t have to change anything about that right now, just simply notice. Now shift your attention inward to your body breathing. Notice inhalations and exhalations wherever they feel most prominent to you. You may feel this most at the tip of your nostrils, where cool air enters the nose and warm breath leaves the mouth. Or you may feel a whole breath that travels from your nose to your throat, into your chest, and down into your belly. Connect to a few physical sensations. Notice the ones that we can associate with the kinds of energies that we want to work with when showing up with grit and grace. So with your mind’s eye, begin to trace your spine from the tailbone up through the lower back, upper back, back of the neck, and into the crown of the head. And with this, feel the length of your spine. You may even feel as though you’re growing slightly, offering a little more space between the vertebrae and the spine. Allow your head to sit in a balanced way atop of the spine. As you feel into the length of your spine, note the way that this feels like dignity; a grounded and balanced posture. And then bring your mind’s eye to your back and notice the width of your back. Notice the space from one shoulder to the other, from one underarm to the other. You may even breathe more deeply into the back of the rib cage to access this area. And with your width, feel into your strength. Associating this expanse of the body with strength and grit, focus, and determination. Now, shift your attention to the front of the chest, right at the breastbone. Your mind’s eye may at first see just a small spot. See if you can focus on the space around that spot; taking in the whole chest. Feel into your heart beating below the breastbone and feel into your warmth. Feel into the energy that is calm and caring and inviting. And, let’s call that your grace. Once again, notice the length of your spine and the feeling of dignity. Notice the breadth of your back, your strength, and your grit. Notice the warmth in the front of your chest, the heart, and your grace. And allow these three sensations to be in conversation with one another: Dignity, Grit, Grace. Take a few deep breaths. Bring a few small movements back to your fingers and toes. If your eyes have been closed, open them. If your eyes have been lowered, you may begin to raise your gaze.
(Originally posted by Lili Powell)
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Loving-Kindness Meditation with Sharon Salzberg

Loving-kindness is so much more than “just” a feel-good practice. It is the force that can connect, inspire, and motivate us to transform the world. Here world-renowned mindfulness teacher, Sharon Salzberg, one of the foremost teachers of loving-kindness, helps to pave the way.

Who is Sharon Salzberg?

Sharon Salzberg is a world-renowned meditation teacher and a New York Times best-selling author. As one of the foremost teachers of loving-kindness, she emphasizes the ability of loving-kindness to connect, inspire, and motivate people to transform the world. 

Sharon Salzberg first encountered meditation in 1969, in an Asian Philosophy course at the State University of New York, Buffalo. The course sparked an interest and motivated her to travel to India in 1970 with the simple intuition that the methods of meditation would bring some clarity and peace. It was in 1971, in Bodh Gaya, that she attended her first meditative course and spent the next few years engaged in intensive study with highly respected meditation teachers. Her intuition paid off when she returned to the US in 1974 and established the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield in Barre, Massachusetts which now ranks as one of the most prominent and active meditation centers in the Western world.

Today, she is the author of eleven books, including Real Happiness and Real Change. She is also the host of her own podcast, The Metta Hour, which features over 100+ interviews with some of the top leaders and voices in the meditation and mindfulness movement.

Sharon Salzberg on Why Loving-Kindness Takes Time

Sharon Salzberg reflects on the first time she tried loving-kindness meditation and the important lesson on patience she learned along the way. 

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