TMS Session #4

SESSION #4: Feb.4 — summary and links

  • Centering/anchoring: the body-breath meditation
  • I.R.L.: we discussed how to practice outside our weekly sessions. My advice: let it happen naturally. Try the guided meditation at least once a week, see how it feels to add one or more times. During our I.R.L.s, please feel free to ask and give feedback about this.
  • Metta (loving-kindness) meditation: we added the “neutral” person and the “difficult” person.
  • Here is the link to the video recording:


Guided meditation for the week:

Vidyamala Burch is the author of Meditation for Health and the main teacher at the webpage Breathworks, which always has great links and articles. This beautiful Compassionate Breath Meditation takes only 11 minutes.


Dharma talks: We spoke a bit in the session about the relationship of meditation to Buddhism. Many of the branches and flowers of modern, secular meditation come from Buddhist roots. I see Buddhism more as a “user’s manual for life” than a religion. We may talk about this later -- but for now, be assured that our meditation practice can be done independently of Buddhism or any other historical spiritual/religious tradition, and I am certainly not trying to “convert” anybody. I don’t call myself a “Buddhist”, and I’m sure the Buddha wouldn’t have called himself that, either!  The approach we are taking is easily compatible with many other religions and spiritual traditions, and with atheism and agnosticism. Since, however, many of the great modern Western meditation teachers do come from a Buddhist background, you may find some jargon in their talks: words in Pali (the language in which the first Buddhist scriptures were written) like dharma (which means “truth”, or “way things are”) and our own metta (loving-kindness).


One of my favorite modern teachers is Tara Brach. She has hundreds of talks and meditations available, on the site Dharmaseed and YouTube. I like them all; is one that is especially relevant for what we are doing now in our sessions. Some of the talks have a meditation at the beginning; this one does not. Dharma talks are usually from about forty minutes to an hour long,  and they do have beginnings and endings, but don’t feel you have to listen to the whole thing at once. Just see if it sits well with you — try listening just for a few minutes before bed or as a great alternative to clicking on politics, Facebook, or watching TV! If you like it, you’ll see that there’s much more where it came from . . .


Tara Brach: Awakening our Body’s  Awareness (52 min.)

© Anthony Ackerman 2013