TTC Video - Mark W Muesse - Practicing Mindfulness An Introduction to Meditation m4v guide [course 1933] L24
Posted on 2011-12-14. By anonymous.
TTCVideo - Mark W Muesse - Practicing Mindfulness An Introduction to Meditation m4v guide [course 1933] L24
M4V | H264 1499kbps | 640 x 480 29.97fps | AAC 125kbps | 8.55 GB
Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation
Taught By Professor Mark W. Muesse, Ph.D., Harvard University,
30 minutes / lecture
Mindlessness?The Default Setting
Mindfulness?The Power of Awareness
Preparation?Taking Moral Inventory
Position?Where to Be for Meditation
Breathing?Finding a Focus for Attention
Problems?Stepping-Stones to Mindfulness
Body?Attending to Our Physical Natures
Mind?Working with Thoughts
Walking?Mindfulness While Moving
Consuming?Watching What You Eat
Driving?Staying Awake at the Wheel
Insight?Clearing the Mind
Wisdom?Seeing the World as It Is
Compassion?Expressing Fundamental Kindness
Imperfection?Embracing Our Flaws
Wishing?May All Beings Be Well and Happy
Generosity?The Joy of Giving
Speech?Training the Tongue
Anger?Cooling the Fires of Irritation
Pain?Embracing Physical Discomfort
Grief?Learning to Accept Loss
Finitude?Living in the Face of Death
Life?Putting It All in Perspective
What is meditation? For thousands of years, human beings have practiced refined techniques of mental focusing, designed to change the habitual conditioning of the mind. Central to many spiritual and philosophical traditions and known in English as "meditation," these practices are considered a major means for enhanced awareness and self-mastery.
In recent decades, modern science has dramatically confirmed what advanced meditators have long claimed?that meditation, correctly practiced, offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being.
The many practical benefits of meditation include
marked and lasting reduction of stress;
increased ability to focus and concentrate, as well as clarity of thinking;
freedom from detrimental patterns of thought and emotion;
increased learning capacity and memory; and
greatly enhanced well-being and peacefulness.
If practiced consistently, the results are real and very far-reaching. In the largest sense, meditation allows you to live in harmony with the realities of the world?to embrace life's ever-changing impermanence, to live in equanimity with the inevitable ups and downs of being human, and to feel deeply connected to the whole of life.
Now, in Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation, award-winning Professor Mark W. Muesse of Rhodes College takes you on a dynamic exploration of your own mind, giving you a clear and useable understanding of the essence of meditation and how to practice it.
In 24 detailed lectures, using numerous guided exercises, Professor Muesse teaches you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. As a major strength of the course, you learn in depth how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states, in deepening sensory awareness of the body, and in becoming deeply attentive to the operation of your mind. Emphasizing clarity and practical understanding, this course will leave you with a solid basis for your own meditation practice and for bringing meditation's remarkable and empowering benefits to every area of your life.
"Mindfulness"?The Eye of the Witness
Meditation, as you learn it here, is closely related to the notion of "mindfulness." In Professor Muesse's words, "Mindfulness is a deliberate way of paying attention to what is occurring within oneself as it is happening. It is the process of attentively observing your experience as it unfolds, without judgment or evaluation."
"Meditation," he adds, "refers to certain exercises that can be used to enlarge and refine mindfulness." Meditation cultivates mindfulness by training you to develop deep attention to the present moment, allowing the mind to become settled and centered.
With the ongoing practice of meditation, you gain the ability to bring the liberating effects of mindful awareness to moment-to-moment living. Ultimately, this means developing a mind of openness and flexibility, profound physical calmness, and a deepening freedom to choose how you respond to life.
Throughout the lectures of this course, you practice the principles of mindfulness through focused meditations and guided exercises, including these:
Sitting meditation: The core practice of the mindfulness tradition. You learn the specific methods of meditation with mindful awareness.
Body scan meditation: A second fundamental practice, bringing deep focus to the body and bodily sensations, promoting both concentration and physical relaxation.
Mindful engagement with thoughts: You learn four specific practices for releasing detrimental patterns of thought.
Metta meditation: Central to the mindfulness tradition, you learn this form of directed contemplation, focusing on the well-being of others and powerfully effective for cultivating compassion.
Meditations for physical pain: You practice two forms of meditation for alleviating pain and physical discomfort of all kinds.
The Insights of Meditation in Action
Building on your practice-based understanding, Professor Muesse takes the exploration into many different areas of life, showing you in depth how meditation and mindfulness apply to daily living.
Early in the course, you practice meditative awareness in the act of eating, in an exercise vividly highlighting all five senses. This exercise uncovers a richness of experience that usually goes unexplored and illustrates one of meditation's significant benefits?being deeply present in the moments of your own life.
You study the mindfulness tradition's approach to difficult emotions, using the example of anger. Here you find a way of disarming anger that builds on meditation, based in nonjudgmental attention, conscious acceptance, and the mental spaciousness to choose your response.
In the course's second half, you explore how mindfulness is used both in building qualities of personal character and in facing life's most challenging experiences. In individual lectures, you learn specific practices for cultivating generosity, empathy, and the beneficial use of speech, and for dealing with the inevitability of loss and grief.
Clarity on the Nature of Reality
As a core theme of this course, you delve into one of the most revealing and practical benefits of mindfulness?the freedom that comes with rigorous clarity about the nature of reality. Drawing on what Buddhism calls the "three marks of existence,"
you see how our conditioned resistance to the transience and passing away of all things causes suffering, and how mindfulness practice allows you to freely and joyfully embrace life's impermanence;
you explore the ways in which mindful awareness gives you freedom from the "insatiable" quality of human experience?the tendency to endlessly pursue the outward symbols of happiness and achievement;
you look at the factors that determine the sense of separateness that burdens many people, and how mindfulness practice leads to a fundamental experience of connectedness to the whole.
The Power of Living Mindfully
An expert in Eastern philosophies, Professor Muesse is the rare teacher with both extensive academic credentials and decades of experience as a meditator, having studied and practiced with meditation masters in Thailand, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. He enriches your experience with compelling reflections on his own journey with mindfulness practice, filmed demonstrations of key techniques, and enthralling stories and perspectives from the great spirits of history.
You hear the Buddha's penetrating counsel to a woman in the throes of grief, and Rilke's passionate words on the necessity of giving joyful consent to all of life. You hear about Professor Muesse's own transformative experience with the practice of generosity, and you contemplate the Zen parable of a man caught between two hungry tigers, highlighting the existential choices we all face in living rich and satisfying lives and in savoring life to the full.
In Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation, Professor Muesse offers you a rare and extraordinary opportunity. By grasping the essential nature of meditation and mindful awareness within the setting of specific, grounded practice, you deepen the power to shape your own mind and experience, to know a well-being that is not ruled by circumstances, and to find yourself truly and lastingly at home in the world.
Join Professor Muesse in this empowering journey of the spirit?the art of living at its most fulfilling, expansive, and meaningful.
About Your Professor
Dr. Mark W. Muesse is the W.J. Millard Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Asian Studies Program at Rhodes College. He teaches courses in world religion and philosophy, modern theology, and spirituality.
Professor Muesse earned his bachelor of arts degree summa cum laude in English from Baylor University and a master of theological studies, a master of arts, and a doctorate in the study of religion from Harvard University. In 2007, he received Fortress Press's Undergraduate Teaching Award at the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting. In 2008, he received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching, Rhodes College's highest honor for a member of its faculty.
Professor Muesse has taught at Harvard College, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Southern Maine. He has also been Visiting Professor of Theology at the Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in Madurai, India. He has traveled extensively throughout Asia and has studied at the International Buddhist Meditation Centre in Wat Mahadhat, Bangkok, Thailand; the Himalayan Yogic Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal; the Subodhi Institute in Piliyandala, Sri Lanka; and the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.
Professor Muesse is the author of many articles and reviews on comparative religion and theology. His most recent book is The Hindu Traditions: A Concise Introduction.
Should I Buy Audio or Video?
While this course works well in all formats, the video versions feature a wealth of visual elements designed to help you engage more deeply with the art and craft of mindfulness. These elements include filmed demonstrations of key meditation techniques, informative graphics and illustrations, and more.
Mark W. Muesse
Ph.D., Harvard University
Dr. Mark W. Muesse is W. J. Millard Professor of Religious Studies, Director of the Asian Studies Program, and Director of the Life: Then and Now Program at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in English Literature from Baylor University and a Master of Theological Studies, a Master of Arts, and a Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University.
Before taking his position at Rhodes, Professor Muesse held positions at Harvard College, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Southern Maine, where he served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
He is a recipient of the 2008 Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching, Rhodes College's highest faculty honor. Known for his experiential teaching style, Professor Muesse was honored for his "effective use of imaginative and creative pedagogy" as well as his ability to motivate his students toward lifelong study.
Professor Muesse has written many articles, papers, and reviews in world religions, spirituality, theology, and gender studies and has coedited a collection of essays titled Redeeming Men: Religion and Masculinities. He is currently compiling an anthology of prayers from around the world.
Professor Muesse is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion and has been Visiting Professor at the Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in Madurai, India. He has traveled extensively throughout Asia and has studied at Wat Mahadhatu, Bangkok, Thailand; the Himalayan Yogic Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal; the Subodhi Institute of Integral Education, Sri Lanka; and Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.
Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation
by Mark W. Muesse (Biography)
The following materials are provided to enhance your learning experience. Click the links below for free information including a professor-authored course summary, recommended web links, and a condensed bibliography.
Course Summary - Professor's written description of the course.
Professor Recommended Links
Condensed Bibliography - Prepared by the professor for this course.
Mindfulness is the skill of being deliberately attentive to one's experience as it unfolds?without the superimposition of our usual commentary and conceptualizing. The capacity to be mindful provides a wholesome way to attend to our experiences and helps us overcome the unskillful habits of mind that cause us to suffer needlessly. This course is a practical guide to developing the skill of mindfulness and applying it to every aspect of daily life.
The foundational technique for cultivating mindfulness is the practice of meditation. Meditation is a form of physical and mental exercise that serves to strengthen the natural ability to bring moment-by-moment awareness to our lives. Since mindfulness is the skill of opening ourselves to reality without judgment, it is important that we approach the practice of meditation in this spirit, relinquishing preconceptions and expectations about the discipline. It is also essential to provide a spiritual and physical context conducive to meditation. Using the Five Precepts of Buddhism, we will consider the interconnections of ethical behavior with the development of mindfulness and the shaping of personal character. Then, we'll study the most effective postures for sitting meditation. Beginning the actual practice of meditation starts with focusing attention on the breath and observing when the mind strays. By noticing when attention has wandered away from its focal point and then gently returning it to the breath, we gradually strengthen our capacities for concentration and awareness.
Practicing mindfulness over time reveals and develops the qualities of wisdom and compassion, the twin virtues of the discipline. Wisdom means seeing clearly into the fundamental nature of reality. Through meditative practice, we can deeply recognize the eternal arising and passing away of all phenomena and see the unsatisfactory quality of ordinary human experience that derives from the illusion of the self as an entity separate from the rest of reality.
Practice is the key to mindfulness. Mindfulness techniques are skills that anyone can develop and apply to the simplest aspects of living: breathing, sensing, feeling, eating, walking, speaking, and even driving. When we've covered the fundamental aspects of mindfulness practice, we'll work on more challenging things: cultivating compassion for ourselves and others; developing a life of generosity; accepting our mortality; and coping with physical pain, grief, and anger. We'll explore difficulties often encountered in meditation and ways of working with these impediments to strengthen concentration and to counter frustration and discouragement.
Compassion?the desire to alleviate suffering?is an essential component of our nature as human beings. Mindfulness practices such as metta meditation allow us to cultivate compassion and develop empathy for others, deeply recognizing their inner experience. Dana (sharing with others) reveals the life-giving effects of generosity on both the giver and the receiver and helps us understand our attachment to "things." We'll also consider the ways in which both inner experience and outward action are influenced by our use of language, reflecting on four Buddhist principles of skillful communication.
Finding compassion for ourselves is more challenging for many of us, particularly the perfectionists among us; mindfulness techniques can help us embrace and accept both imperfection and perfectionism as an opening to freedom and deeper humanity. The skills of mindfulness also offer powerful means to work with physical discomfort?through understanding the crucial distinction between pain and suffering?as it directly affects our perceptions.
Reflecting on the universality of loss, we'll take a deeper look at the notion of impermanence. By learning to embrace life's transience and to center our focus in the present moment, we are able to experience loss and even grief without fear or aversion. In the mindfulness tradition, the practice of reflecting on death is considered to be both liberating and essential to living a full and satisfying life. We'll examine the ways in which our culture conditions us to avoid and deny death, and we'll learn meditations that deepen both the awareness of life's transience and our ability to live freely.
Finally, we'll reflect on the capacity of mindfulness practice to profoundly alter our perceptions of ourselves, the world, and our place in it.
Professor Recommended Links
These selected titles from the reading list are now available on Amazon.com. Click on a title for more information and/or to order the title.
A Path with Heart: A Guide through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life. Kornfield, J
Mindfulness in Plain English. Gunaratana, H
The Mind and the Way: Buddhist Reflections on Life. Sumedho, A
What the Buddha Taught. Walpola, R
Zen Mind, Beginner?s Mind. Suzuki, S
In some cases the only available book from Amazon is a newer edition than the one used by the professor. The edition used by the professor may be available on the used market.
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