Meditation Practice

Diving Into Formal Meditation! (Guest Blogger Nicole Zimmerman - Series: On the IDP Experience)

(IDP will be featuring community members' and IDP participants' experiences and thoughts on IDP classes and retreats. This is the first entry in this new series which will feature a new writer approximately 2-3 times a month.)

by Nicole Zimmerman

So I was asked to write this blog about my experience with the past meditation retreat on “The Four Levels” of mindfulness which took place the weekend of September 23, 2010. I’ve been brooding and going over and over how I should write this, almost the same way I was feeling when I walked into the retreat, getting lost in thought and speculation as to what would be the best and most appropriate way to “do this”. You see, the meditation retreat was my first experience ever of “formal meditation”.

Daily Quote and Image: Borges and Faulkner on the Nature of Time and a Funny Meditation Image

We had such an amazing discussion in class this week about the nature of time. Is it really real and objectively measurable? Is it sort of real? Is it an illusion? Here are two quotes from two lions of literature, Jorge Luis Borges (via IDPer David Park) and William Faulkner regarding the nature of time . And check out the amazing meditation Picture of the Day below via IDPer Juan Carlos Castro.


"You're not Good Enough" Noticing the Difference between Moving Through Resistance and Intellectual Aggression


This is when I feel like I am out in space, with no safety points or guideposts to help me, but it is also the space where I am given the opportunity to really let go of my suffering and move more freely in the world.


There was an interview with Robert Spellman on Buddhist Geeks recently (BG #187, for those keeping score), and the inevitable subject of language arose, or rather, it arose inadvertently, as it often does in these matters. Like many of my fellow practitioners, I couple time on the cushion with books, dharma talks and classes, all of which seek to explain, in words, the art of attaining a somewhat wordless state. And it can often be that the words chosen to explain something either make sense of the confusing, or turn it all into porridge.


Podcast: Interview with Acharya Adam Lobel

IDP Outreach Director Lani Rowe, and IDP Board Member Ellen Scordado interview Kalapa Acharya Adam Lobel at the Shambhala Mountain Center during a week-long Sangha Retreat. Adam co-taught with Acharya Pema Chödrön and Acharya Gaylon Ferguson in late August 2010.

Buddah Fly

Please relax as I share a short tale with you.

It turns out, after a couple months of experimentation, that I like to do the followings in the order presented:

1)  Wake up earlier than necessary so that the following can happen.
2)  Run in a circle through Fort Tryon park, around the Cloisters, and back home again.

San Bruno fire, Lovingkindness, and Tonglen

Near the San Francisco airport, around 6 p.m. last night, in San Bruno, fire engulfed a neighborhood of homes. Apparently, a Pacific Gas and Electric line ruptured, shooting fireballs into the air, actually melting cars, destroying dozens of homes, and killing at least 6 people. This photo, and more, are on The Huffington Post.

Disasters always make the news. My first thought on seeing and hearing the news this morning was "Oh no, more bad news." And then, of course, "Those poor people!" had a vivid summary that pretty much told me what I wanted to know.

What's a person to do?

Lessons in Timber


Last week I took a short break to Maine, spending a few nights in a lovely house atop a shallow cove. Across the water there was a smattering of orange and red foliage, and it was explained that trees start to drop their leaves when the angle of the sun changes. To me, this demonstrated a remarkably acute sense of awareness and I, in turn, suddenly felt less enlightened than a sapling.

Thoughts on Thoughts

I have had some minor experiences during my recent months of daily meditation that have not been worth documenting.  This morning, however, I feel like I have something to share.  Don't expect anything amazing; I don't think meditation is--ironically--anything amazing.  However, for the first time, I had an experience that led to a quesiton that I do not have a (confident) answer to.

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