Susan Bauer-Wu is another Western Buddhist who ran a meditation workshop section in the Coursera MOOC Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism ….. She trained as a nurse, moved into academia, became involved in the Mind & Life conferences founded by Varela and Engle with the Dalai Lama as Honorary Chairman and is now President of the Mind & Life Institute. Prior to that she was the director of the Compassionate Care Initiative and the Tussi and John Kluge Professor in Contemplative End-of-Life Care at the University of Virginia (UVa) School of Nursing and associate faculty in the UVa Department of Religious Studies and on the executive committee of the pan-university UVa Contemplative Sciences Center.
I really appreciated her contribution to the course. In fact it was the meditation workshops and the neuroscience worships that kept me interested in the course. The formal lectures introducing Tibetan Buddhism were incredibly stilted and pedagogical. Such a missed opportunity. Here are some of her led reflections. You can find more on YouTube or you can have a look at the MOOC material on the link above.
The reflection that I most appreciate is the one on stepping out of out thinking minds. But they are all very good, very simply done, and if you’re new to meditation listen to them all.
” Not trying to make the experience a certain way, but it is just as it is, and see what you notice…Just being curious, but not analysing…. with the breath as an anchor, in this moment…”
Stabilising the Mind:
“As long as you are alive, your breath is with you…. simply noticing the sensations of breathing in and breathing out ….. the texture of the breath…any time the mind wanders, and it will, very, very gently, very simply, coming back to the physical experience… “
Stepping Out of Our Thinking Minds:
“This practice is of choice-less awareness… and it’s a non-conceptual being with and knowing…an opportunity to go beyond the personal pronouns of I and me and mine…. beyond self-interests and self-centredness and contracting around thoughts, or events….awareness of all sensations …. and allow the field to expand further to include thought-streams, images, memories… without separation of it rest in this awareness in this moment.”
Opening the Heart: