If you can sit quietly after difficult news;
if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm;
if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy;
if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate;
if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill;
if you can always find contentment just where you are:
you are probably a dog.
– Jack Kornfield
Thank you to Tim Brownson for sharing this, in a paraphrased form, on his blog.
The comes from Jack’s book, “A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times.”
Gary Gach: I wake up from a dream about President Obama, brush my teeth, and sit zazen. It’s a rainy day, so I do my walking meditation indoors. Routine matters. But then I’m to be present for a rare encounter: a gathering of people called Being Human.
I have no idea what it will prove to be. One never does. But it’s just conference retreats such as this where vital seeds can be planted, can germinate and sprout — seeds that can change consciousness, across the boards. And, these days, what better, more crucial game is there, in town?
I tote my bag …
Marin County officials continued to wrestle with proposed plans for the Spirit Rock Meditation Center — even though the county staff says doing nothing would be worse for the environment than approving the Buddhist retreat’s newest plan.
County planning commissioners decided Monday they need more time to reflect on a new master plan for the complex and told planning staff to outline specifics of regulations limiting attendance at special events. Another session will be scheduled later.
“I’m wondering if we are moving ahead with this before we have the program written out,” said Commissioner Randy Greenberg of attendance regulations. “We don’t know the magnitude of the issue,” added colleague Wade Holland. “What if they get … 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 »
Buddhist practices can help bring about a new kind of social enlightenment
A fresh kind of enlightenment is in the air. Madeleine Bunting recently reported on the bold vision for progress being set out by Matthew Taylor at the Royal Society Of Arts. Calling for a new “revolution of the mind”, the RSA is grounding its arguments in empirical studies from neuroscience and psychology.
Evidence from these disciplines is making it increasingly clear that we are social creatures with plastic minds, wired for empathy and able to access a consciousness that, if developed, could help release us from the shackles of emotion that so often bind us. Building on its 18th-century precursor, the defining feature … Read more »
Jack Kornfield says ‘we’re teaching meditation not as a religious activity but as a support for living a wise and healthy and compassionate inner life.’
In 1972, Jack Kornfield stepped off a plane in Washington, D.C., his head shaved and his body swathed in golden robes. He had come home to see if he could make it as a monk in America.
Kornfield had spent several contemplative years at a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, where he lived with few possessions, followed a strict monastic code and retreated each day to the lush forest for hours of meditation.
But in the U.S., he found no monasteries that practiced the Vipassana meditation he had studied. And the … Read more »
Psychology Today: How to change your brain in ways which support healthier, more satisfying relationships.
by Marsha Lucas, Ph.D.
Here’s the polite version of a question I received recently about my support of mindfulness meditation as a practice for well-being in relationships:
Why are you encouraging people to zone out? Sitting around pretending they’re above it all, and avoiding real feelings? Who wants to be in a relationship with a self-involved bliss-ninny?
There are an awful lot of misconceptions about mindfulness meditation. This one, about how people who meditate are just using it as a place to “hide out” by just getting zoned, escaping into some blissed-out, checked-out place, is why a lot of … Read more »