With the semester coming to an end all I can think about it working over the summer so I can afford to study abroad in Ireland for a couple of weeks. I really want to travel the world and meet new people and have new experiences. Even though I am quite shy and introverted, it excites me to see how other lives can be so much different from my own in so many different areas.

Hopefully while I am in Ireland I can find a place to really sit down and meditate. When I do travel the world one day I want to meditate each place that I visit and just try to connect with the people who live there. This feeling I have to be with others is what drives me to study nursing and travel the world and get to know people. It just boggles my mind that I have this flip side to me that is completely content with staying inside under the covers and hiding. Through meditation I hope that soon I will be able to accept change easier so that when I am in a new country I am not upset with anxiety because the land is unfamiliar and the place I call home is hundreds of miles away.

I also wonder if this need to be with others is coming from my need to show compassion to others. If it is, I’m going to follow through with it because that’s what I truly think I am supposed to do with my life right now. Just experience everything I can and talk to all different types of people and hear their stories and what they have learned in their life. It almost makes me think of the teachings by Hume and his whole ideology of fellow-feeling and how we are all interconnected. Just like it is preached in Buddhism that we are all connected and have the same feelings, Hume is almost saying this same thing.


Relaxation Day

I decided yesterday to take a day to myself from everything. With finals coming up it has been extremely hard to find time to even catch my breath for a second, let alone try to meditate for at least 10 minutes. I spent the day with my boyfriend and put my phone and laptop away so there was no interference.

After a day of relaxing, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle this last week of school before finals start this Friday. Tonight I will try to meditate and focus on simple mindful breathing to just really relax my body and mind in preparation for this week to come. Please remember to be kind to yourself and do what you need to in order to take care of your mental and physical health.

Take Back The Night

Unfortunately I was unable to try and be kind to that individual since they decided not to come on the trip. I was happy yet sad since I genuinely wanted to try to show some sort of loving and kindness towards them, but I decided to try again next time I see them in class.

Take Back The Night was such an amazing experience and I urge everyone to attend an event. It raises awareness about sexual assault and allows survivors and victims to speak their story. While people got on stage one by one and spoke out about what their perpetrators did, I couldn’t help but feel the love and compassion in the air. As each brave person stepped up on stage I focused on sending them compassion and strength through tonglen. It takes a lot to stand in front of everyone and retell what happened to you. As a group, we were there to support them, believe them, and help them in any way that we could.

Before the speak out section of the event, we went on a march with signs and chanted different sayings. We were all told to grab a sign even if it didn’t pertain to you and repeat after the leaders. At first I thought it was strange since I had never been a part of something of this nature, let alone hold a sign that had nothing to do with me, but as we paraded through the city of Scranton I could feel our strength in numbers overwhelm those who were giving us looks or making rude gestures. It was truly an experience and I hope that one day you can attend one and feel the compassion such as I did that night.

I don’t want readers to think that this was a male-shaming event. There were multiple victims that spoke before us that were males. As a group we support all victims and survivors not matter their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or economic background.

More Benefits: Even Science Shows Meditation Can Change the Brain

Participants in the study spent close to a half-hour every day meditating or practicing some other mindfulness exercise (notable because most people associate meditation with sitting and thinking quietly, and that’s not the only type of exercise done in the study) for about eight weeks. They got MRIs of their brains before and after the […]

via Meditation for as short as 8 weeks can change your brain — CreativeTherapyTools


Accepting Others For Who They Are

Later tonight I have the privilege to attend Take Back The Night at Scranton University. This event is it help raise awareness about sexual assault and violence as well as other areas of dating violence. This is something that is very important to me for personal reasons and I was extremely excited to go until I was informed that a certain individual would also be attending.

You know those people in your life that just rub you the the wrong way and you don’t know why? Well this individual for me is the epitome of those people. I have pondered many times as to why this individual causes such turmoil inside me and I just haven’t found the answer yet. I have even meditated on it and still nothing.

As I was complaining to my boyfriend about this whole experience of having to sit on a bus with this individual for an hour there and an hour back, he stopped me mid sentence and said, “Aren’t you supposed to accept other for who they are since you are a Buddhist?”. This was almost a slap in the face since I’m always advising him to be kind to others for who they are. My immediate reaction was to feel extremely guilty and then outraged at myself. After saying goodnight and hanging up with my boyfriend, I really sat down and thought about what he had said. I’m suppose to show compassion to all beings, but why couldn’t I do this for this one individual? Was this person the idea of all things that I had stood against? I decided to practice tonglen and see if that would help me be more compassionate towards this person when I saw them in class the next morning.

Well that class just ended and I left feeling even more furious and guilty than the previous night. I have yet to discover what exactly it is that is causing such tension, but tonight I’ve decided to try again and be more compassionate than I was before. If I start to get angry with that person while they are talking and start thinking rude thoughts, I’m simply going to label my thoughts as “thinking” and instead practice tonglen and send this person compassion. I’m well aware that this will not change overnight, but we all have to start in some way. I know that I have not mastered sending compassion towards myself yet, but I feel like this situation needs immediate attention. As I am sending this person compassion and if I start to feel some sort of anger towards myself for not getting it right, I am simply going to refer back to anapanasati and start again, but with even more gentleness than before. Hopefully I will be able to find some sort of peace and self growth.

Here Are Some of the Main Reasons That I Practice

​What is meditation? Meditation is relaxation. It is not about concentration, it’s actually about de-concentration. It’s not about focussing one’s thoughts on one thing, but instead on becoming thoughtless. What are the benefits of meditation? 1. A calm mind 2. Good concentration 3. Better Clarity 4. Improved communication 5. Relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind […]

via Benefits of Meditation  — Health and Hale