FPMT News Around the World
It’s no surprise that meditation continues to draw the media’s attention. More and more, its positive effects on the mind and body are being documented by scientists and its techniques are being taught in clinical settings. A 2007 national survey in the United States found that “9.4 percent of respondents (representing more than 20 million people) had used meditation in the past 12 months – compared with 7.6 percent of respondents (representing more than 15 million people) in a similar survey conducted in 2002.” In fact, U.S. National Institute of Health has a dedicated webpage on meditation’s health benefits, which include helping with anxiety, pain, depression, stress, insomnia and coping with chronic illness. All signs indicate this interest will only continue to grow. The inaugural International Symposia for Contemplative Studies recently brought together more than 700 neuroscientists, educators, and contemplative scholars from around the world to share cutting-edge research on the nature and workings of the human mind. We can sincerely rejoice in the benefits that people throughout the world may experience from this increased interest in and use of meditative techniques.
But for students of Mahayana Buddhism, a meditation practice has benefits beyond improved health (which is still important). Developing the ability to calm the mind facilitates one’s ability to progress towards enlightenment, when one can be of most benefit. Fortunately, FPMT offers many resources online to support the development of this kind of meditation practice. Discovering Buddhism’s Module 2 “How to Meditate” is available free of charge on the Online Learning Center as well as instruction on shiné or calm abiding meditation. In addition, Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive offers many teachings from Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other qualified teachers on meditation. These resources are freely available to you to deepen your Mahayana meditation practice and to share with others who might want to take the altruistic path of Dharma.
With 160 centers, projects, and services around the globe, there is always news on FPMT activities, teachers and events. Mandala hopes to share as many of these timely stories as possible. If you have news you would like to share, please let us know.