This section includes a number of important topics that enhance the Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course. We encourage teachers and groups to include these explicitly in the course.
First, there is a guided body scan. This method is an excellent way to develop mindfulness of the body; to calm a scattered mind; and to investigate the nature of physical experience, leading to a lessening of identification with the body. It also helps release some types of emotional clinging, which show up as holding in the body.
Walking meditation is also an important practice in our tradition. It provides a change from the sitting posture; an opportunity to investigate the mind when engaged in intentional activity; and a link between practice on the cushion and practice in daily life.
Finally, we offer a very short list of recommended reading material that many beginning meditators find useful for learning more, establishing a daily practice, and generally supporting their meditation. This list aims to offer a variety of teachers discussing fundamental topics:
The Issue at Hand, by Gil Fronsdal
A Path with Heart, by Jack Kornfield
The Experience of Insight, by Joseph Goldstein
Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path, by Bhante Gunaratana
Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, by Sharon Salzberg
A Gradual Awakening, by Stephen Levine
In addition, a fuller list can be found on the IMC website.