Jul 22, 2011
I have a long history of depression. And though it’s thankfully not a constant companion anymore, it still drops by for a visit now and then. This past week was one of them. Being in it again gave me another opportunity for practice. But it also showed me how far I’ve come. I have the confidence that there’s a way out.
When these moods come lately, they go up and down, and usually pass away after a week or two. (Thank goodness! It didn’t used to be that way.) And all the things that seem so hopeless and overwhelming when I’m down suddenly turn manageable when the mood …
Jun 27, 2011
One of my clients — I’ll call him Mark — took up meditation to help with his lifelong anxiety. He was all too aware of his tendency to over-analyze and worry about everything. He’d been meditating on and off for two years, gone on retreats, read tons of dharma books, done everything he could think of.
But he felt like there was no progress at all. He told me that every sit still featured that same old frenzied monkey mind swinging from tree to tree. It was nothing but frustration.
I have to say, I empathize. I bet you’ve been in a similar place, too. We all take up …
Apr 25, 2011
My friend Cecily recently lost her brother to illness. He had just turned 50 the week before he died. She is devastated.
Cecily is one of my best friends from college. We’ve known each other for 32 years. It’s that rare kind of friendship where even if months pass without connecting, we still pick right up where we left off. We’ve never lived anywhere near each other since graduation, but we’ve stayed in touch through all our ups and downs. It’s a friendship I treasure.
Mar 28, 2011
One of my clients – I’ll call her Kathryn – came to me because she was feeling overwhelmed. Her relationship of five years is fraying. Her career has stagnated. She has money concerns. She feels trapped in the small town she lives in. And she has a little two-year-old daughter to care for through all this. What to do? Where to start?
We live in such a quick-fix, instant gratification culture. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to DO something about this. Right away.
But is that really the most constructive thing to do?
When the ground underneath us falls away like …
Feb 22, 2011
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 …
Feb 11, 2011
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.
Jan 31, 2011
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 …
Dec 13, 2010
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, …
Nov 29, 2010
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.
Oct 20, 2010
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.