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The perfect space for valuable discussions that may not neatly fit within the other forums.
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janterry

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I was looking for an active fiction group, but here is a nonfiction group that looks interesting .I don't know how much time I have to spare, I'm a single mother to a beautiful daughter and in a PhD program. (This means I am often up at 2am trying to work!) But the end of the semester is next week so I may in fact be able to read EO Wilson's book before long. It's been on my list of things to do for quite awhile - so maybe this will get me started. janet-therese
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Interbane

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Re: Hello

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Hello and welcome. What is your major in? PHD that is.
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Chris OConnor

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janet-therese Welcome to the BookTalk community!In time we will probably add a fiction discussion forum to the mix, including a means for democratically selecting a book of the month. Right now we have to focus on our nonfiction selection, but give it some time. I hope you have us bookmarked and stop by often, but I know what it is like to have a busy schedule and not be able to contribute as much as you might like to contribute. Chris
janterry

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Thanks. I'm looking forward to getting the Wilson book. Classes end this week (for me) but I have to grade my students papers until next week.My degree would be (should I ever get it ) in social work. It's a research degree, what I'm doing right now is a psychometric validation project.If I get to the dissertation, I want to do something more clinical. I'm a buddhist teacher so I have a bias towards meditation practices. I'd like to look at whether mindfulness impacts the clinicians ability to do treatment. Therapist characteristics that positively impact treatment is actually a hard thing to study - but a rich area for research, I think. I do hope to jump in soon. janet-therese
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I'll pretend that I know what a psychometric validation project is. So tell me about this Buddhist teacher stuff. Do you mean you are a teacher who happens to also be a Buddhist, or that you are a teacher of Buddhism? I've got questions about Buddhism too. If you care to share your feelings on the subject I'd love to chat further.To start with...explain meditation in your own words. How do you do it? Why do you do it? Is it simply a means of relaxing the mind or is something happening on a deeper level? Chris
janterry

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I am a Dharma Teacher - which is a very minor teacher indeed!(It differs from someone who is a Zen Master, for instance, who has formal inka - or recognition - from another Zen Master).I lived in a temple for a few years and taught meditation (as a teacher, not a therapist) in the prisons in MA (when I lived there) and in a psychiatric day club.DT's take vows about teaching (in addition to the regular 5 precepts that you take to be Buddhist).Meditation is commonly mistaken for 'relaxation.' When I use it with my therapy patients, I usually use 'relaxation' techniques. Meditation is mindfulness, moment by moment awareness. When you meditate you focus on the breath not to distract you from something else, but to connect with something constant, deep, real. When you do that in the beginning, your mind will appear with all kinds of thinking (some good, some bad). Maybe you have an analytic mind so you will start to analyze. Or you are sad, you will think of sad things. Your mind will color the moment. Meditation teaches you to be at one with the moment. My teacher (who died this week) was a Korean Zen Master famous for "Don't Know Mind." This means that we all think we know a lot! But it's best to keep the mind of 'don't know.'I heard someone say something similar after 9/11. He was a Rabbi and was charged with talking to victims and their families. He said, his job was to make them comfortable with not knowing, not knowing why.Zen is just one path. There are others. But all meditation has something to do with connecting to the moment, put down your thinking and connect with what is most real.We go through life too often with blinders on (me too!). Running to the car, forgetting to acknowledge dd when she is most cute because I am most late!It's not that those things are wrong, but that this moment is the most profound thing we have. Indeed, it is the only thing. We may die tomorrow! Meditation means wake up in this moment and find your true self. Don't just see the world around you - be it. If you achieve that, that's true enlightenment.OK, that's a bit zen - but there you have it.
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