Categories
meditation

What was your first meditation experience like?

How did your first Meditation go?

I thought it would be interesting to know everyone’s first meditation experience, where did you find out about meditation? where did you first meditate? And what was it like?

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Personal Meditation Experience

My first personal experience with meditation took place at Thích Nhat Hanh’s Monastery called Plum Village in France. It was during a winter retreat where I would spend 3 months learning for the first time this ancient art form we call mindfulness.

How I found my way to spending 3 months with Thich Nhat Hanh was by pure chance. I had met very briefly while walking the Camino Do Santiago a guy who had told me of a special enlightened master living in France.

On returning from the Camino I began a little research and found Thay, as he’s affectionately known, to be inspirational and enlightening with everything he was saying, and relating so much to what I had just personally experienced while walking the Camino. I immediately booked a 3 month stay, having no real idea what to expect. Call it impulsive or a little hasty but sometimes that’s me, I leap before I look.

On arriving my first impressions were of amazement, a Zen Buddhist nun was waiting at the train station for me and a couple of others who had also come to stay, her presence and calmness were awe inspiring. The monastery was clean, calm and nature seemed to thrive everywhere, a few monks we in the gardens dressed in robes and everything seemed just so magical.

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After resting from the journey our first instructions began. Brother Pap gently explaining how we were to watch or follow our breathing, breathing in we are truly aware we are Breathing in. Breathing out we are truly present in breathing out. A small explanation on our posture of sitting crossed legged with a straight spine. It all seemed to sound easy enough. Questions and answers were followed, before the main bell sounded for Meditation in the big hall.

We all flowed into the main hall and started to take our cushions, Monks and Nuns had the first two or three rows with a few cushions set in front of them. We as lay meditators we allocated all the other cushions. I remember thinking, as I took my seat, there were a lot of places maybe 200-250. Slowly almost all the cushions filled up, there were so many monks and nuns it was so impressive, then Thich Nhat Hanh entered with a few attendant monks following. He gracefully entered as if floating or gliding across the floor, perfectly aware of each and ever moment, he paused and looked my direction, like a lions roar, gentle but with such power behind the words, he simple said “Smile” there were at least 20 people sitting around me that really believed he looked directly at them, a personal message from the great man himself. Myself included. It was amazing to feel, but more amazing that so many around me had that exact same experience.

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Everyone had now taken there cushions and were facing the same direction, so all you could look at was the back of someone’s head. A deep gong sounded and reverberated the most awesome sound throughout the meditation hall. Three times the gong sounded, initiating the start of meditation.

I slowly closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths, focusing on breathing in I counted one, that’s right isn’t it, I’m thinking, I’m following the instructions, wow this meditation lark is well easy, follow the breath breathing in, I’ve got it already! Oh Hang on a second…….

I open my eyes and glance at the clock, less than ten seconds had passed…ok, ok, calm now come on refocus.

I close my eyes and breathing in I count one, breathing out I loose my thoughts and start thinking of how many people are here, or some other nonsense. I suddenly realise I’ve lost concentration and open my eyes, not even a minute had gone by.

Ahhhhh I’ve got to do 30 minutes. Ok, ok, calm breathing in count one breathing out mind gone….

And this was the same for the next 30 minutes.

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This was my first first experience, and can still remember it vividly to this day. If it wasn’t for being sat with about 100 monks and nuns and a further 100 or so lay people like you and me. I would have given up before the first minute had passed.

I had just signed up for 3 months of this as well!

My meditation over those 3 months slowly got better and better, my mind of course would still wander, but the monks and nuns had explained I should always be kind with my inner dialogue and bring the attention back to breathing.

I was also introduced to walking meditation which seemed to suit me and I loved to wander the monastery grounds practicing just that. It was while doing exactly this, walking Meditation barefoot in the snow, that I quite literally bumped into Thich Nhat Hanh doing exactly the same thing, He motioned me to sit next to him on a log. I didn’t feel nervous or apprehensive in any way, it just felt like I was returning to my mothers arms, honestly it was just so comfortable and secure to be in his presence. He told me three things that day, that would ultimately changed my entire life, and led to my own ordination as a Buddhist monk. I shall tell you just one of those 3 things he said to me, and that was to “smile more” maybe, just maybe he really did pick me out of a crowd, on that very first day. But now that’s just my ego talking.

I really hope you feel compelled to tell me you first experience of meditation and how it went for you. It really can’t be as bad as mind, can it? Although I do think I was incredibly lucky to of spent so long in the company of one of life’s true enlightened masters, I know it’s the reason I strive so hard today. Because I know it’s possible.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa
Categories
quotes

Mindfulness Sayings

16 of the best Mindfulness Sayings

Our selection of quotes this week are all associated with Mindfulness sayings, or based around meditation in some way. Each quote has a Short except from a longer biography about the author of each quote. The larger biographical article can be found by following the links provided.

Included in our Mindfulness Sayings are inspirational quotes form Ajahn Brahm, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, The Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh, Abraham Lincoln and Deepak Chopra.

We hope you enjoy.

Ajahn Brahm 1951 – present 

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Ajahn Brahm Quotes

Ajahn Brahm Is a British born Australian Buddhist monk from the Thai forest tradition and tutored under the auspicious Ajahn Chah. Born Peter Betts in London, England to a working class family, he was to have a normal upbringing for the time but whilst at school he showed exceptional abilities and won a scholarship to Cambridge university to study theoretical physics. It was at Cambridge university that a love affaire with Buddhism, eastern mysticism…….

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Ajahn Brahm Buddhist Monk

Deepak Chopra 1946 – present 

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Deepak Chopra inspirational quotes

Deepak Chopra is an Indian born American spiritual author, public speaker and advocate of alternative medicine. A celebrated author in the self help category, Deepak studied medicine in India before moving to the United States in 1970. After completing further academic studies into internal medicine and endocrinology he became chief of staff at the New England memorial hospital…….

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Mindfulness sayings

Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948

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Mahatma Gandhi motivational quotes

Mahatma Gandhi was the Leader of the Indian independence movement against the British rule of the time. Most memorable for his non violence approach, leading his fellow countrymen on a 400km march to the salt pans of Dandi in protest of the British imposed salt tax. Living modestly Gandhi wore the traditional Indian dhoti which he hand spun on his charkha…….

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Mindfulness sayings

Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

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Nelson Mandela quotes

Nelson Mandela was born into the Thembu royal family in the British ruled South Africa. He was able to study law at two universities before he started work as a lawyer in Johannesburg. During his time working as a lawyer Mandela slowly became interested in politics and joined the African National Congress party (ANC party) in 1943, after the government in charge established apartheid, a system of racial segregation of blacks and coloured in favour or whites…….

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Mindfulness sayings

Dalai Lama 1935 – present

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Dalai Lama Daily Quotes

The 14th Dalai Lama, born as Tenzin Gyatso is the current spiritual leader of Tibet. Tenzin was born in the small village of Taktser in Tibet, selected from a young age as being the possible reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. After careful selection and some remarkable coincidences or fate, Tenzin was chosen as the reincarnation at the age of five. He was 15 years old when he partly took over the political duties of Tibet. During the 1950’s China progressively and violently claimed Tibet as…….

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Dalai Lama Meditation Quotes

Abraham Lincoln 1809 – 1865

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Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Abraham Lincoln was an American lawyer and politician serving as the 16th president of the United States of America. A remarkable man who led his country through civil war described as the bloodiest war America has ever known, he abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government and considered by many to be the forefather of the modern economy with methods first introduced during his presidency………

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Mindfulness sayings

Thich Nhat Hanh 1926-present

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Thích Nhat Hanh Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th and 21st century’s, he is a prolific author of over 100 books on mindfulness and meditation, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and is an advocate of non violence in every aspect of life. He is also Zen Buddhist Monk, inspirational speaker and teacher, he has spent almost his entire life dedicated to helping others always with compassionate and kindness…….

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Mindfulness sayings

Buddha 563 – 483BC

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The Buddha’s Quotes

Gautama Buddha lived over 2562 years ago as a monk and teacher on which Buddhism has been founded. Born a prince of the Shakya clan in modern day northern India, now Nepal. He became dissatisfied with his life and that of the human condition he left the royal palace in search of truth. After many years practicing with the Meditation masters of the time, learning yoga and other breathing techniques, he still had not discovered the truth he was seeking, leaving these old masters behind he went in search of……..

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Mindfulness sayings

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Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
quotes

Spiritual Monk Quotes

5 inspirational Spiritual Monks

Today we would like to present you you our Spiritual Monk Quotes, you will find words of enlightenment and mindfulness sayings from five of the most famous spiritual Monks of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Presented as an Image Quote each spiritual Monk has their own small biography and more information can be found out about each by clicking their individual links. The five spiritual monks and Quotes include the Dalai Lama Quotes, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Chah Words Of enlightenment and Mahatma Gandhi mindfulness sayings.

Ajahn Brahm

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, words of enlightenment, mindfulness sayings, quotations image, Buddhist monk sayings, Ajahn Chah, Dalai Lama Quote images, Ajahn Brahm Quotes, motivational quotes Mahatma Gandhi, meditation masters, spiritual awakening, inner contentment through meditation,
Ajahn Brahm Quotes

Ajahn Brahm 1951 – present

Is a British born Australian Buddhist monk from the Thai forest tradition and tutored under the auspicious Ajahn Chah. Born Peter Betts in London, England to a working class family, he was to have a normal upbringing for the time but whilst at school he showed exceptional abilities and won a scholarship to Cambridge university to study theoretical physics.

For more Information Click Hear

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, words of enlightenment, mindfulness sayings, quotations image, Buddhist monk sayings, Ajahn Chah, Dalai Lama Quote images, Ajahn Brahm Quotes, motivational quotes Mahatma Gandhi, meditation masters, spiritual awakening, inner contentment through meditation,
Ajahn Brahm Buddhist Monk

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, words of enlightenment, mindfulness sayings, quotations image, Buddhist monk sayings, Ajahn Chah, Dalai Lama Quote images, Ajahn Brahm Quotes, motivational quotes Mahatma Gandhi, meditation masters, spiritual awakening, inner contentment through meditation,
Spiritual Monk Quotes
Thich Nhat Hanh 1926-present

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th and 21st century’s, he is a prolific author of over 100 books on mindfulness and meditation, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and is an advocate of non violence in every aspect of life. He is also Zen Buddhist Monk, inspirational speaker and teacher, he has spent almost his entire life dedicated to helping others always with compassionate and kindness.

For more information Click Hear

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Awakening enlightenment

Ajahn Chah

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Ajahn Chah Quotes

Ajahn Chah 1918-1992

Ajahn Chah become one of the most celebrated Buddhist monks and meditation master of our time. A fully enlightened master who shared his wisdom with the west. Reading his biography you will get a feel for who this master was and what this great man achieved. If you keep reading the short stories gathered together from other monks who personally trained and knew the great man, then I think you will get a better understanding as to how supremely wise this minimally educated rice farmers son and Buddhist monk truly became

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Mindfulness sayings

Dalai Lama

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, words of enlightenment, mindfulness sayings, quotations image, Buddhist monk sayings, Ajahn Chah, Dalai Lama Quote images, Ajahn Brahm Quotes, motivational quotes Mahatma Gandhi, meditation masters, spiritual awakening, inner contentment through meditation,
Dalai Lama Quotes images

Dalai Lama 1935 – present

The 14th Dalai Lama, born as Tenzin Gyatso is the current spiritual leader of Tibet. Tenzin was born in the small village of Taktser in Tibet, selected from a young age as being the possible reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. After careful selection and some remarkable coincidences or fate, Tenzin was chosen as the reincarnation at the age of five. He was 15 years old when he partly took over the political duties of Tibet. During the 1950’s China progressively and violently claimed Tibet as a state of the Chinese and denounced the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader and all who followed him.

For more Information Click Hear

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Dalai Lama Quotes images

Mahatma Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi Quotes

Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948

Leader of the Indian independence movement against the British rule of the time. Most memorable for his non violence approach, leading his fellow countrymen on a 400km march to the salt pans of Dandi in protest of the British imposed salt tax. Living modestly Gandhi wore the traditional Indian dhoti which he hand spun on his charkha

For more Information Click Hear

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, words of enlightenment, mindfulness sayings, quotations image, Buddhist monk sayings, Ajahn Chah, Dalai Lama Quote images, Ajahn Brahm Quotes, motivational quotes Mahatma Gandhi, meditation masters, spiritual awakening, inner contentment through meditation,
Words of enlightenment quote
Categories
quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh 1926-present

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th and 21st century’s, he is a prolific author of over 100 books on mindfulness and meditation, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and is an advocate of non violence in every aspect of life. He is also Zen Buddhist Monk, inspirational speaker and teacher, he has spent almost his entire life dedicated to helping others always with compassionate and kindness.

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Thich Nhat Hanh or Thay as he affectionately known was born in 1926 in the city of Hue in Central Vietnam. He entered the Buddhist monastic life at the age of 16 and received full ordination in 1951. In the few years they followed Thay started the school of Youth Social Service (SYSS) a Buddhist peace workers group, who would go into rural areas of Vietnam with the aim of establishing schools, healthcare clinics and rebuilding infrastructure.

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By 1961 Thay has been invited to teach comparative religion at Princeton University which subsequently turned into lecturer of Buddhist philosophy at Colombia university in New York. After a few years Thay returned to Vietnam to help with the peace work undertaken by the SYSS, unfortunately during the decade between 65-75 the SYSS suffered heavy blows, Sister Chân Không, co-founder and Buddhist Nun was accused of being a communist, support dwindled until attacks on its members became frequent. Thay and sister Chân Không continued spreading non violence and non discrimination throughout these hard times, until 1975 when Thích Nhat Hanh was refused entry into Vietnam being accused by the North as helping and aiding the South and South Vietnam accusing him of helping the North.

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It was in this year 1975 Thay sought solace as a political refugee in France. Gradually over time he would set up the community of Interbeing and the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region of France, now home to over 150 monks and nuns. His monastery was open to monks, nuns and lay people alike, and he could be found simple tending his garden or giving lectures to hundreds of visitors. His numerous literary works include ‘peace in every step’ ‘the miracle of mindfulness’ and ‘old path white clouds’ to name just a few.

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It wasn’t until 2005, and after lengthy negotiations with the Vietnamese Government, that Thich Nhat Hanh was finally allowed to revisit is homeland, and then again in 2007. After suffering a brain hemorage and undergoing extensive treatment Thay has been allowed to return to his original Monastery in Central Vietnam. He is now 93 years old and has spent his entire life selflessly helping others with kindness and compassion.

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A truly extraordinary man who I have personally had the privilege to meet at his Plum Village Monastery, to sit in his presents was so calming, you didn’t feel anxious or nervous but simple and unconditionally loved. He glowed with a beautiful white light, just like the religious pictures of old. I met Thay while doing bare foot walking meditation in the snow, silently and gently I was walking around the perimeter of the monastery and around the corner came Thich Nhat Hanh doing exactly the same, a beaming smile on his face as he saw me. He motioned for me to sit next to him where he told me three things that changed my life forever. It sent me on a journey across continents in search of the truth, finally leading to my own ordination as Buddhist Monk and given the spiritual name of Dhamma Tapasa. I have visited Thay on two other occasions and each time I am blessed and humbled by this true meditation master.

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For more information on Thich Nhat Hanh, his mindfulness techniques, or plum village his monastery in France then CLICK HEAR for further details