After tossing and turning through some sleepless nights, Sunada discovered a few things about the discomfort at the root of her insomnia. Realizing that it’s always there on some level, it’s given her something real to work with, day and night.
I turn to look at my bedside clock. 3:18 am. Here I am again, wide awake, staring at the ceiling. Darn it.
This has been happening a lot lately. So I thought, how about trying something different? Why not use that time to meditate? You know, lie in bed, completely present with my body and mind, and being with how it all just IS? You’d think this would be ideal conditions. No distractions. The … Read more »
Just in case you’re taking this meditation thing too seriously, here’s a short video to make you laugh. Maybe you’ll recognize a little of yourself in it! I sure did.
You committed to yourself that you’ll meditate. And you do, for a few days or weeks. But then something happens. You miss one day. Then another. And before you know it, you’ve stopped entirely. Hmmmm…. What happened?
As a meditation teacher, I’ve been involved in many conversations on this subject. So I thought I’d look at what leads us to choose not to meditate, and how we might work with that choice more skillfully.
Less than ideal conditions
A very common scenario is putting off meditation on a day when we’re just not feeling up to it. Maybe we’re feeling lousy or distracted. Or the rest of the household is too noisy. Or we only … Read more »
I found a beautiful article by Jack Kornfield recently, which begins with the question, “Is enlightenment just a myth?” There are so many different descriptions of what enlightenment is like, we might begin to wonder whether it’s all made up.
I’m certainly not enlightened, and so I don’t know the answer. But here’s what I do know. Over the years, I’ve watched as my friends and I have changed. And I mean radically. Some of us bear little resemblance to the people we were ten or fifteen years ago. And this is the interesting part. Though I can see that we’ve all become kinder and more confident people, we’ve all changed in very different directions. … Read more »
When Sunada’s sangha in Boston had a big decision to make, they tried something different. Rather than taking a majority vote, they went for the challenge of finding a group consensus. In other words, they talked through a process where everyone contributed to envisioning a solution that all could support. And what a ride that was.
The decision to be made was this. Our basement level rented room got flooded with last spring’s heavy rains, and became unusable. Do we attempt to fix it back up, or do we move on? Although it was cold, damp, and dark, that basement had one big redeeming feature — it was affordable. Or should we rally our forces … Read more »
I’ve not been feeling very well the last couple months. I feel tired and achy a lot of the time. When I meditate, I catch myself dozing off before too long. My concentration is off. I’m finding it especially difficult to write. I can’t put it into words, but something is just not right.
A couple weeks ago, my preceptor (the woman who ordained me) came to visit for several days. She had some helpful and encouraging words to say about this, and I thought I’d pass them on.
This beautiful post came into my e-mail recently. It’s a wonderfully simple and clear exposition of the Buddhist view of life. Or maybe it just happens to coincide with my own. In any case, I thought I’d share it in the hope that might resonate for some of you as well.
A Slow, True Path
Pamela White affirms the beliefs of a Buddhist.
THIS I BELIEVE: That phenomena do not have any kind of demonstrable, intrinsic existence. That anything that is the composite sum of other parts is, logically, impermanent. That suffering is a given in any form of existence where confusion and ignorance are present. That when confusion and ignorance have been definitively eliminated, … Read more »
As many of you know, I was away on a month-long meditation retreat during July. I have to say it was the most valuable thing I’ve done in years. It will take me a long time to digest and write about it, but here’s my first stab.
The retreat was at the Jikoji Zen Center (www.jikoji.org/) in Los Gatos California. It’s about an hour south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the middle of acres and acres of nature conservation land (www.openspace.org/). My favorite spot, pictured, was along a west-facing ridge that overlooked vast tracts of mostly uninhabited mountains. The sunsets were gorgeous. Deer, wild turkey, and all
Being fresh off a retreat this past weekend, Sunada shares what it’s like to be in silence, and why it’s a good thing. Even if we don’t go on retreats, she thinks there are many reasons why it’s important to bring more silence into our lives.
A lot of the time we chatter just to fill the air. Not that talking is a bad thing. But sometimes we talk just because we’re uncomfortable with silence. We think of silence as the absence of something. It feels, well… empty. Not normal. But silence can be very rich, if only we give it a chance to speak to us.
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silence can be very rich, if only we
I have to confess, I’m a busy-holic. I’m often balancing at the knife-edge of being TOO busy. But everything I do is important to me, and I don’t want to give anything up. Recently, I started taking a different perspective, which is really helping me cut through the crap. Here’s what I’m doing differently.
There’s always something I want to do. I’m not only self-employed, I love my work and I’m eager to keep learning and growing personally and professionally. I’m constantly doing things with and for my Buddhist sangha. And I sing with my a cappella group, the Silk Tones. My calendar is always very full.
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I know many of us feel oppressed by