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Readings for Beginners
5 Reasons to Meditate
5 Reasons to Meditate
by Pema Chodron

Tibetan Buddhist nun and beloved teacher Pema Chödrön reminds us why sitting meditation is so essential to our lives. Contrary to our beliefs, the purpose of meditation is not to "feel good." But it's not to make us "feel badly," either. Read on to find out her five reasons why meditation is beneficial.

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A Meditation on Mothers
A Meditation on Mothers
from The Three Levels of Perception
by Deshung Rinpoche

Be seated on your meditation cushion and complete your regular preliminaries of taking refuge and awakening the enlightenment thought, as always. Then visualize your mother, whether living or dead, as you remember her best. Visualize her very clearly in front of you. Think of her sitting there, gazing at you with loving eyes and smiling. See her very clearly and just focus on her. Allow the very clear, conscious recognition that "this is truly my own mother." Now begin the reflection to awaken a recognition of her kindness to you.

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Sitting Meditation Step by Step
Sitting Meditation Step by Step
by Ezra Bayda

In this article Zen teacher and author Ezra Bayda asks, "How often have you realized, right in the middle of a sitting, that you don't even know what the basic practice is? How often have you asked yourself, 'What exactly am I supposed to be doing here?'" He goes on to offer us a flexible framework, to help us come back to our breath, come back to our bodies, and come back to "wide-open awareness" through which we can learn to be with our emotions as they are.

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Cure Your Illness with Mindfulness
Cure Your Illness with Mindfulness
by Ed Halliwell and Dr. Jonty Heaversedge

Mindfulness training makes it possible for a different kind of healing to take place. Ed Halliwell and Dr. Jonty Heaversedge, the authors of The Mindful Manifesto: how doing less and noticing more can help us thrive in a stressed-out world, explain how.

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Suffering is Optional
Suffering is Optional
by Susan Smalley and Diana Winston

Physical pain is unavoidable, but meditation practice can ease the mental suffering that often accompanies it. Susan Smalley and Diana Winston teach us how.

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Getting Started
Getting Started
by Norman Fischer

Teacher Norman Fischer proposes a two-week trial run to get your meditation practice started and looks at how to deal with some of the obstacles you may encounter.

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What is Meditation?
What is Meditation?
by Susan Piver

Meditation is the noble act of making friends with yourself. Breath by breath, moment by moment, we begin to learn who we really are. At first, this prospect may be interesting, shocking, appalling, mysterious, or boring. Eventually, the chop of discursive mind softens, and we find natural attunement with ourselves.   more...




The Key to Knowing Ourselves is Meditation
The Key to Knowing Ourselves is Meditation
by Pema Chodron

Meditation practice awakens our trust that the wisdom and compassion that we need are already within us. It helps us to know ourselves: our rough parts and our smooth parts, our passion, aggression, ignorance and wisdom.

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How to do Mindfulness Meditation
How to do Mindfulness Meditation
by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

"Mindfulness practice is simple and completely feasible. Just by sitting and doing nothing, we are doing a tremendous amount."

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Alone Together: Finding Friends on the Path
Alone Together: Finding Friends on the Path
by Christina Feldman

A personal meditation practice is the foundation of Buddhism, but do we need more? Essentially we make the journey alone, but many people find that committing themselves to the three jewels— Buddha, dharma, and sangha —helps take them further. These three make up the lineage, philosophy, and community of Buddhism, and their purpose is to deepen and expand our practice.

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Three Letters to a Beginner
Three Letters to a Beginner
by Zen Master Seung Sahn

You say that in the beginning you were enthusiastic and now you are discouraged. Both extremes are no good. It is like a guitar string; if you make it too tight, it will be out of tune and will soon snap; if you make it too loose, it will still be out of tune and will not play. You must make it just right. Too enthusiastic is no good, too discouraged is also no good. Zen mind is everyday mind.

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