Our annual all-teachings issue celebrates the qualities of awakened mind and the Buddhist meditations that cultivate them. It includes teachings and meditation exercises from seven teachers, beginning with James Ishmael Ford‘s “I Want to Be… Peaceful.”
A peaceful mind, says Ford, begins with three simple steps: sitting down, shutting up, and paying attention. Just doing that can make a big difference in our lives, he says.
“Whatever the reason we take up meditation, what I’ve found is that when we stop and look, step away from our assumptions just for a moment, and take up the spiritual discipline of practice, things do happen. It can be shocking to discover how much is in our hands. William James observed, “Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.” Synergies begin when we bring our attention to the ways of the world, and the ways of our hearts. We discover new territory and new possibility. An old and dear friend summarized this, observing how the cultivation of a “peaceful mind can blossom into a profound mind.”
The July magazine’s special section on Buddhist meditation and the qualities it fosters starts with this piece, followed by Sylvia Boorstein on how practice helps us develop insight, Thanissaro Bhikkhu on being friendlier and more loving, Thich Nhat Hanh on being grounded and connected to our world, Judy Lief on lojong teachings and skillfulness, Dzogchen Ponlop on the development of wisdom, and Carolyn Rose Gimian on making it all real. There’s also much more in the magazine; click here to sample it all online.