Anne Klein: Short Contemplations

I came across these short contemplations from Anne Klein (Rigzin Drolma) whilst following a MOOC on Coursera and really appreciated them. (I didn’t appreciate the main lecturer on that course at all but that’s another story.)

Anne Klein is professor and former chair of religious studies at Rice University and co-founder of and resident teacher at Dawn Mountain Retreat Centre, celebrated by the Houston Press in 2006 for offering the best guided meditation in Houston. She’s a distinguished Buddhist scholar, she has studied in the United States, India, Tibet, and Nepal and has written numerous works on Buddhism, including co-authoring “Unbounded Wholeness” and “Knowledge and Liberation”.

Here are the meditations. They are in the order they were presented on the course so if you try them maybe try them in this order. If you have a look on YouTube you’ll find short introductions and conclusions to each as well.

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Cultivation of Mindfulness:

“.. with an intention to cultivate mindfulness, all your other concerns are simply going to rest outside of the room of your mind at this time.. all those other concerns, you just let them go like leaves in a stream flowing away from you…. they will arise, they will show you their faces, but you won’t latch on to them ….. which is very different from our ordinary habit pattern …. of course you are breathing ….inhale and exhale ….you’re not writing a paper about this, but you’re feeling it… words may come and you can let them go also…”

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Cultivating Calm:

“The cultivation of trust is a very significant foundation for the development of calm …. we can begin by cultivating a sense that we are being profoundly supported right now, in a very physical sense….that our body is supported…. and this is soothing to us .. and from that can come trust…”

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Cultivating an Understanding of Impermanence:

“Think of the world at large… how does it display impermanence?…it does it all the time… big things, things closer to home, death and loss ….and with this kind of practice we are also enjoined to understand it as an indication of what arises…the pain that is really no stranger to anyone’s life.. this moves towards love by recognising the shared, poignant situation that all of us are in …”

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A Line to Our Own Insight:

“How will we cultivate insight? how do we unfold in the world? ….if we don’t wonder, we’ll have no interest in investigating… so with curiosity motivating us, we can sit and simply observe….the practice of insight begins when you are moving forth from the intention to investigate, to look in and see what your experience is…”