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Beginning with Mindfulness

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In this Meditation Month 2019 series, leading mindfulness instructor Martine Batchelor takes a look at the nuts and bolts of meditation to help you develop a firm foundation that you can return to for the rest of your life. Each video builds on the previous one and introduces new meditation techniques so that you can feel confident and comfortable in your practice and figure out what works best for you. Martine will also offer exercises for bringing the mindfulness cultivated on the cushion into the rest of your life.

In the first video, Martine explains how concentration and inquiry constitute the basis of meditation. Using a mindfulness of the breath and body practice, she demonstrates how approaching our practice with care and friendliness allows us to look more deeply into our experience. In week two, she demonstrates how to practice a listening meditation, in which we anchor our meditation in the sounds around us. Listening meditation, she says, develops our capacity for receptivity as we pay attention to the “music of life” without trying to analyze or control it. In the third week Martine continues her exploration of mindfulness by asking us to turn our awareness toward the tonality of our experiences. Feeling tones refer to the basic pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral quality of a sensed experience and are distinct from feelings such as anger, happiness, joy, sadness, or fear. In the final talk, Martine leads a guided meditation in altruistic joy, which the Buddha developed as an antidote to envy.

Martine Batchelor is a leading mindfulness instructor who has been teaching Vipassana and Zen retreats all over the world for the last 30 years. She is also an author, a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council, and a former nun who studied in the Korean Zen tradition of Master Kusan for ten years.