Breathing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erin Bodeau   
The following is an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh's "Breathe! You are Alive- Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing."  The exercises are based on the exercises in the Anapanasati Sutta offered by the Buddha, and each can be practiced for as long as is needed for you to realize its meaning. You do not have to practice all exercises in one sitting. The words in parentheses are short reminders of the subject of the exercise. You know you are practicing correctly if the exercises are enjoyable and nourishing. 

1. "Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.  Breathing out, I know I am breathing out." (In, Out)

2. "Breathing in, my breath goes deep.  Breathing out, my breath goes slow." (Deep, Slow)

3. "Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body.  Breathing out, I calm my whole body."  (Aware of my body, Calming my body)

4. "Breathing in, I know I am alive.  Breathing out, I feel the joy of being alive." (Alive, Joy of being alive)

5. "Breathing in, I know I have the opportunity to meditate.  Breathing out, I feel hapy to have that opportunity." (Opportunity to meditate, Happy)

6. "Breathing in, I am embracing my unpleasant feeling.  Breathing out, I am calming my feeling."  (Embracing my feeling, Calming my feeling)

7. "Breathing in, I am aware of right mindfulness in me.  Breathing out, it makes me happy." (Wholesome mental formation, I am happy)

8. "Breathing in, I concentrate on a mental formation which is present.  Breathing out, I look deeply at that mental formation." (Concentrate on mental formation, Look deeply at it)

9. "Breathing in, I open up my mind to look deeply at my fear.  Breathing out, there is liberation from fear." (Opening up my mind, Liberation)

10."Breathing in, I observe a flower.  Breathing out, I contemplate the impermanence of the flower." (Observing a flower, contemplating its impermanence)

11."Breathing in, I look deeply at the object of my desire.  Breathing out, I see the disappearance of desire with regard to that object."  (Object of desire, Disappearance of desire)

12."Breathing in, I observe the coming and going of the wave.  Breathing out, I contemplate the no-coming, no-going of the water."  (coming and going of the wave, No-coming, no-going of the water)

13."Breathing in, I let go of the idea that this body is me.  Breathing out, I am not caught in this body."  (This body not me, I am not caught in this body)

14."Breathing in, I let go of the idea that I did not exist before I was born.  Breathing out, I let go of that idea that I will not exist after I die."  (I am not born, I do not die)
Openness to Whatever Arises PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cheri Maples   

After 25 years of police and criminal justice work, Cheri Maples co-founded the Center for Mindfulness & Justice to coordinate her work in criminal justice training, organizational consulting, and mindfulness workshops. Cheri has worked as a police officer and detective in Madison, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General, and head of Probation and Parole for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. In 2008, she was ordained a dharma teacher by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, her long-time spiritual teacher, prolific author, poet, and peace activist.

In the course of my chaotic journey to becoming a "mindful street cop," about which you can read elsewhere on this web site, I slowly learned several lessons that seem essential to truly mindful living. I think of them as the seven lessons from my own spiritual transformation. In this article, I discuss one of these lessons: develop a sense of openness to whatever arises.

Communitarianism PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ron Anderson   

Robert Putnam defined the social capital as the "collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other." In other words, social capital is the sum total of compassionate interrelations within a community or society. These africanvillagepainting_resizeinterrelationships have two components: the actual and the potential. Some of the compassionate interactions are ongoing and others are potential. Those that are potential will not be put into place unless a crisis arises or another need for help emerges.

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The ground-breaking Charter for Compassion celebrated its anniversary November 2010 with a 2-hour TED-prize presentation at the UN.
           Karen Armstrong, chief architect of the Charter for Compassion, on Sept. 11, 2010 posted a great article on Compassion and anti-Muslim sentiments on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
           Over 60,000 people, plus organizations around the world such as the Presbyterian Church, have endorsed the Charter for Compassion.