December-January Meditation News

Weekly silent meditation will continue on Tuesdays during December and January (with perhaps a small adjustment during Paideia week). Please consult the following list for locations (the chapel is being renovated this winter and will be off-limits for several weeks) and dates. The list will be revised as needed.

  • December – 2 (chapel), 12 & 19 (E419) (no meditation on Dec 26)
  • January9 & 16 (E419), 23 & 30 (chapel) (no meditation on Jan 2)

Sessions run from 12:10-12:40 pm and are open to all members of the Reed community and campus visitors. Drop-ins are welcome! Learn more at Our Schedule and Our Practice. (“Drop-in” means you can arrive and leave whenever it is convenient for you. Late arrivals and early departures are both fine. We do not call roll or take attendance.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off on December-January Meditation News

Mindful Walks for Immigrant Justice

Three Portland groups are sponsoring a regular public silent meditation walks at Portland’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in SW Portland. The sponsoring groups are Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, and Ziji Collective (see Facebook).

The walks are held on 2nd Thursdays from noon-1 pm at the Portland ICE offices, 4310 SW Macadam Ave (corner of SW Bancroft & Macadam). Upcoming dates: Dec 14, Feb 8, Mar 8, Apr 12, May 10, Jun 14.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Mindful Walks for Immigrant Justice

I Can’t Meditate, It Doesn’t Work for Me

“I can’t meditate, it doesn’t work for me,” is a phrase I’ve heard so many times in the past 10 years. Not wishing to be impolite, I don’t push back on this, but I do wonder, “What part of meditation is broken?”

One possibility is sitting still. That can be hard for some of us (me!) to accept, at least, at first. But there is an easy solution: notice when you get antsy and stop. Who said 90 seconds of meditation ‘doesn’t count’? (I don’t think we give prizes to the person who sits the longest.) Anyway, once you can sit quietly for 90 seconds without feeling that you’re being punished, add another 90. Sit for 3 minutes.

Then there’s the Mind Game.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on I Can’t Meditate, It Doesn’t Work for Me

Health-O-Ween Special Offer – Free Meditation INSTRUCTION

Hi folks,

Alan Shusterman (chemistry), here.

The Reed Wellness committee has designated October Health-O-Ween month and put together a list of wellness activities for you to try out. One of these is “Monster” Meditation, our weekly meditation sessions that we hold during the noon hour on Tuesdays in the Eliot chapel.

If you have some meditation experience and would like to try it out, just show up any time between 12 & 12:40. Need a little more info about what we do? Check out the Our Practice and Our Schedule pages..

Never meditated before? No problem. Send me an email during Health-O-Ween (alan@reed.edu) and I’ll set up a meeting for a free 15-minute lesson.

Or try it on your own. Here are self-starting options for the “jump right in” person and the cautious one who likes to “read the manual” first:

  • Jump right in? Select from the list of Resources or the options under Sit Now. 10 minutes of practice and you’ll be set.
  • Read the manual? Great. =) Check out Instructions (also in the word cloud at right) for a zillion essays on how to get started. Or, go directly to this 22 September 2015 post: Beginner’s Guide to Meditation.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Health-O-Ween Special Offer – Free Meditation INSTRUCTION

On this fractured morning: a call to connect

I don’t know how or when you started your day. Me? I did what I nearly always do: petted the cat, reached for the remote, and waited for the weather forecast. The horrible news from Las Vegas is what I got instead.

I guess I’m lucky … I don’t think I know anyone in Las Vegas. But we’ll see … I may know someone who knows someone.

One thing that meditation has taught me: we are all connected. I sometimes think the opposite. “I’m just sitting here with the circus of my thoughts. Me. An island.” But I also notice that in my thoughts are relationships: anything or anyone that I imagine pulling closer to, and anything or anyone that I imagine pushing away from, is something or someone I am connected to. What I am imagining is, in fact, connection, and that connection comes before my ability to imagine it.

We are already connected. What makes me strong is the unconscious knowledge, built into the cells of my body and the wiring of my heart, that I am always drawing on you, the big You, the entire universe of people, animals, plants, planet and sun, to hold me up and you will never let me down. What sometimes makes me weak is the nagging conscious fear that I can’t explain how all of this works and so I never know if my ass is completely covered.

Sitting with others … just sitting … silent … just acknowledging with each breath, and each heart beat, that there is an unconscious web, beyond my ability to fathom … keeping me alive … is enough.

If you have a little time, please join me in the chapel tomorrow for meditation. If you cannot, please know that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, no matter what you think about your life, you are appreciated. This network of connection that sustains us is “love” by any other name.

You are loved.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on On this fractured morning: a call to connect

Listening to Silence

Not all meditation practices are silent, but those that are might offer a special health benefit that is simply the silence itself.

Scientists and doctors have known for decades that loud noises are dangerous, and can cause hearing loss, both in the short- and long-term. But how about the everyday racket, the sounds of heating systems, car engines, hallway conversations, and YouTube songs; Does steady exposure to “noise” affect our health? Is there anything to be gained by lowering the volume, perhaps even spending part of the day in silence?

Here are some links to explore on this topic:

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Listening to Silence

Wasting Time?

“My meditation practice was a godsend to me because it allowed me to relax while not feeling like I was frittering away precious time” – Brad Warner, “How to Not Waste Time” (Tricycle, Summer 2012)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Wasting Time?

To Cultivate Love Look Deep

Conflicts between people are a natural part of life. We even fight with ourselves, criticizing our past actions and denying our ability to cope with the future. Meditation doesn’t seek to erase conflicts or turn meditators into placid doormats. Instead, it teaches a path in which life’s problems are approached with understanding, patience, and love.

Vietnamese Buddhist priest, teacher, and author, Thich Nhat Hanh, offers these instructions for performing metta (lovingkindness) meditation as a path to cultivating love for oneself and others (“Cultivating Compassion” Tricycle, Spring 2015):

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on To Cultivate Love Look Deep

Meditation Instruction on OPB

Oregon Public Broadcasting TV (OPB, Ch. 10) is broadcasting shows on meditation and mindfulness that might interest you.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Meditation Instruction on OPB

Reaching across the academic divide

44 years ago I enrolled in an Introduction to Philosophy class offered by my local community college. One essay I read asserted that my life was filled with choices and I would always have to choose. Even refusing to choose was itself a choice.

Today is Day 2 of the new school year and the Hum 110 conflicts of last year have already reasserted themselves. Because absolutely nothing in my academic training qualifies me to opine on the ideal Hum 110 curriculum it is tempting to turn my back on the dispute and gaze upon the sabbatical year stretching out before me.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Reaching across the academic divide