Thursday, 17 February 2011

Guided Heart Forgiveness And Compassion meditation by Tara Brach

This guided meditation by Tara Brach was used at our Autumn meditation retreat.


Your Best Brain by Rick Hanson

Rick Hansona is a neuropsychologist and has written and taught about the essential inner skills of personal well-being, psychological growth, and contemplative practice – as well as about relationships, family life, and raising children.

An authority on self-directed neuroplasticity, Dr. Hanson’s work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, CBC, FoxBusiness, Consumer Reports Health, U.S. News and World Report, and O Magazine, and his articles have appeared in Tricycle Magazine, Insight Journal, and Inquiring Mind. He has several audio programs with Sounds True, he edits the Wise Brain Bulletin, and his weekly e-newsletter – Just One Thing – has over 75,000 subscribers, and also appears on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites.



Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Daoism. An ancient Chinese tradition of philosophy and religious belief,
Daoism first appeared more than two thousand years ago. For centuries it was the most popular religion in China; in the West its religious aspects are not as well known as its practices, which include meditation and Feng Shui, and for its most celebrated text, the Daodejing.

The central aim in Daoism is to follow the 'Dao', a word which roughly translates as 'The Way'. Daoists believe in following life in its natural flow, what they refer to as an 'effortless action'. This transcendence can be linked to Buddhism, the Indian religion that came to China in the 2nd century BC and influenced Daoism - an exchange which went both ways. Daoism is closely related to, but has also at times conflicted with, the religion of the Chinese Imperial court, Confucianism.

The spirit world is of great significance in Daoism, and its hierarchy and power often take precedence over events and people in real life. But how did this ancient and complex religion come to be so influential?


The Nuns of Drapchi Prison

This item was originally posted on Monday, 24 March 2008. I have recently been able to add an embedded audio player and so am repeating the post here.

While I was driving back from Newport the other day, Saturday, I turned on the car radio and found myself in the middle of the Women's Hour weekend omnibus edition, not something I normally listen to. Before I could change channels or switch off, the program started its next item "Tibetan Unrest and the Drapchi Nuns"....... the story of how, in 1993, a group of Tibetan nuns, in the notorious Drapchi prison in Lhasa, secretly recorded songs of freedom. Against all odds, the recordings were smuggled out of prison and the songs were heard by the outside world. The Drapchi 14, as they became known, were beaten for their actions and their sentences extended - by between five and nine years each.

This program is not easy listening but I urge you to hear it out, it is saddening but also hugely inspiring..........


Oh, by the way, the petition now stands at 1,690,484 signatures.

The Relationship Between Religion and Depression

The BBC Radio 4 program, Beyond Belief debates exploring the place of religion and faith in today's complex world.

In this episode Ernie Rea explores the relationship between religion and depression with expert guests: Sabnum Dharamsi, a Muslim; Dr John Swinton, a Christian; and Ed Halliwell, a Buddhist who is a writer and mindfulness teacher, based in Sussex. He is co-author of the Mindful Manifesto.


Buddha should be in the boardroom

Clare Melford, CEO, International Business Leaders Forum, argues that Buddha should be in the boardroom. She explains what CEOs need to learn about the tenets of Buddhism to make their businesses thrive while being sustainable.


Shintoism and Buddhism

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Japanese belief system Shinto.

A religion without gods, scriptures or a founder, Shinto is perhaps better described as a system of belief. Central to it is the idea of kami, spirits or deities associated with places, people and things. Shinto shrines are some of the most prominent features of the landscape in Japan, where over 100 million people - most of the population - count themselves as adherents.

Since its emergence as a distinct religion many centuries ago, Shinto has happily coexisted with Buddhism; in fact, adherents often practise both simultaneously. Although it has changed considerably in the face of political upheaval and international conflict, it remains one of the most significant influences on Japanese culture.


Aung San Suu Kyi's Second Reith Lecture

Burmese President elect, Aung San Suu Kyi, examines what drives people to dissent in the second of the 2011 Reith Lecture series. 'Securing Freedom'.

Reflecting on the history of her own party, the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, examines the meaning of opposition and dissident. She also explains her reasons for following the path of non-violence.


Aung San Suu Kyi Delivers Reith Lecture

Examining the themes of dissent and freedom, Suu Kyi will share the five-lecture series with former MI5 director general Eliza Manningham-Buller, whose talks will mark the 10th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks on America.

Evil and the Self

Andrew Marr explores how far empathy, or the lack of it, can explain cruelty. Simon Baron-Cohen proposes turning the focus away from evil or specific personality disorders, and to understand human behaviour by studying the 'empathy circuit' in the brain. Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital and the crime writer Val McDermid question whether this would help in their line of work, and the philosopher Julian Baggini tries to pin down what we mean when we talk about the self.


We're All in this Together?

Keeping it topical, here's a talk on Buddhist economics by Kavyasiddhi.

"All in this together - is it time for a Buddhist economics?"