Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation Course

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24 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Mindlessness: The Default Setting
Do you control your mind, or does your mind control you? Investigate how the mind operates and the condition of mindlessness: the pervasive swirl of thoughts and judgments that separate…
Episode 2 Mindfulness: The Power of Awareness
Explore the notion of mindfulness: nonjudgmental attention to experience: as it occurs in everyday life and as a deliberate practice. Note the many benefits of mindfulness practice, from the freedom…
Episode 3 Expectations: Relinquishing Preconceptions
This episode introduces the practice of meditation as a tool for developing mindfulness. Here, distinguish the true nature of mindfulness meditation from common preconceptions about it, revealing its capacity to…
Episode 4 Preparation: Taking Moral Inventory
In approaching meditation, consider the interconnections of ethical behavior with the development of mindfulness and the shaping of personal character. Drawing from the Buddha's teachings, explore five precepts of behavior…
Episode 5 Position: Where to Be for Meditation
Now learn about the most beneficial physical conditions for your meditation. First, consider the time of day and the physical setting that will best serve your practice. Then, study the…
Episode 6 Breathing: Finding a Focus for Attention
Mindfulness meditation is based in the use of an anchor or focus of attention, allowing the mind to calm itself. Using your breathing as the focus, learn in detail about…
Episode 7 Problems: Stepping-Stones to Mindfulness
Here, explore difficulties often encountered in meditation and ways of working with them that are also useful in the larger context of living. Consider physical discomfort and the specific use…
Episode 8 Body: Attending to Our Physical Natures
Building on your work with mindfulness practice, learn another technique that augments and supports meditation. The body scan directs focused attention to different areas of the body, promoting deeper sensory…
Episode 9 Mind: Working with Thoughts
The mindfulness tradition has much to say on the nature of thoughts and their power to shape personality and character. Here, learn specific ways to identify detrimental thoughts and a…
Episode 10 Walking: Mindfulness While Moving
Walking meditation, another core element of the mindfulness tradition, allows you to practice mindfulness wherever and whenever you go. Learn walking meditation in detail, including beneficial conditions for practice, the…
Episode 11 Consuming: Watching What You Eat
When approached with mindfulness, eating offers heightened awareness and undiscovered depth of experience. This episode takes you on a rich exploration of mindful eating, beginning with an eating meditation, using…
Episode 12 Driving: Staying Awake at the Wheel
As a familiar and potentially hazardous activity, driving provides a perfect laboratory for practicing mindfulness. Assess your own approach to driving and bring the principles of meditation to bear on…
Episode 13 Insight: Clearing the Mind
Practicing mindfulness over time prepares the mind for insight, which in this tradition means seeing clearly into the fundamental nature of reality. Begin an inquiry into what Buddhism calls the…
Episode 14 Wisdom: Seeing the World as It Is
Now investigate dukkha, the insatiable quality of human experience: seen in our endless pursuit of the symbols of well-being and achievement and avoidance of unwanted experience. Finally, contemplate not-self: penetrating…
Episode 15 Compassion: Expressing Fundamental Kindness
With relation to mindfulness practice, explore compassion: the desire to alleviate suffering: as an essential component of our nature as human beings. See how compassion allows us to look at…
Episode 16 Imperfection: Embracing Our Flaws
Finding compassion for ourselves is greatly challenging for many of us. Consider the complex of beliefs, attitudes, and conditioning that underlie this; in particular, the thorny phenomenon of perfectionism. Learn…
Episode 17 Wishing: May All Beings Be Well and Happy
The mindfulness tradition offers an additional practice that is highly effective in revealing and cultivating compassion. With Professor Muesse's guidance, experience metta meditation, a focused contemplation wishing well-being and peace…
Episode 18 Generosity: The Joy of Giving
Here, study the mindfulness tradition's insights concerning attachment to things, our culture's dominant emphasis on possessions, and the psychological roots of greed. Learn about the Buddhist tradition of dana (sharing…
Episode 19 Speech: Training the Tongue
Mindfulness practice brings focus to the critical link between speech and behavior. Consider the ways in which both inner experience and outward action are influenced by our use of language.…
Episode 20 Anger: Cooling the Fires of Irritation
This episode discusses the challenges of dealing with anger and ways to disarm it using the skills you've studied. Reflect on our cultural predisposition to either suppress anger or to…
Episode 21 Pain: Embracing Physical Discomfort
The skills of mindfulness offer powerful means to work with physical discomfort of all kinds. Consider the crucial distinction between pain and suffering as it directly affects our perceptions. Then…
Episode 22 Grief: Learning to Accept Loss
In reflecting on the universality of loss, take a deeper look at the notion of impermanence and how refusal to embrace life's transience affects our experience of living. Learn how…
Episode 23 Finitude: Living in the Face of Death
The mindfulness tradition considers reflecting on death to be both liberating and essential to living a full and satisfying life. Contemplate the ways in which our culture conditions us to…
Episode 24 Life: Putting It All in Perspective
Finally, consider various possibilities for continuing your practice through the methods you've learned, further study, and retreats. Professor Muesse concludes with reflections on his own path and on the very…

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