Our Good Friend and Protector, Mindfulness

Instead of turning the cultivation of mindfulness [sati] into a stressful and demanding chore, we see sati as a good friend to whom we return, with whom we like to spend as much of our time as possible. –– Bhikkhu Analayo, Satipatthana: A Practice Guide –– The wise mindfulness of which Analayo is speaking is,…
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Supermarket Metta

Rather than be discouraged by these moments of forgetfulness––the times of anger, fear,  despair, and reactivity––we come to recognize that this is the classroom in which the immeasurable capacities of our hearts are nurtured and cultivated.  –– Christina Feldman, Boundless Heart ––    I am one of those people whose impatience is easily triggered by slow and seemingly inconsiderate…
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Establishing the Habit of Kindness and Liberating the Heart from Hostility and Ill Will

The Buddhist word metta, often translated as “loving kindness,” refers to the benevolent openness that is sometimes naturally present in our hearts and minds. Formal metta meditation practice is designed to train the mind to recognize and to value this attitude, and to stabilize the familiar feelings so that unconditional friendliness and open-heartedness can become…
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Opening our Hearts with Loving-kindness

By Subha Srinivasan ~~~~ When I was first introduced to loving-kindness practice, also known as metta, I had been practicing mindfulness meditation for two or three years. My primary focus had been breath and body. I judged my practice primarily by how focused I could get. There was much striving present––there was a goal. The…
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Open Hearted, Clear Headed, Honest Resiliency: Our Practice

In going through Valley Insight‘s archived newsletter essays, I see with new eyes: very often my practice has been inspired by experiences in the natural world. The piece I selected for this month is from August 2014. It came right after the one we published in last month’s newsletter, the essay that wove itself around…
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Knowing How Beautiful This Is

I was listening to an interview with Buddhist teacher and environmental activist Joanna Macy recently, with an AirPod in one ear––while walking the Greenway in Lebanon. This trail is a lovely place––a woodsy path that follows the route of what once was a railroad, it traces the backyards and open fields of the city. It…
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