Meditation Practice

Right Speech and Self Talk

In one of my favorite passages in one of my favorite dharma books, "Loving Kindness," Sharon Salzberg talks about how she'd been practicing metta, loving kindness meditation, and wasn't sure it was having any effect -- until one morning when she broke something, said to herself what she always said, "You're such a klutz," and then surprised herself with, "But I love you anyway."

My Son's Toy Sword is Making Me Yell at Everyone

What had all the makings for a peaceful evening stroll through the streets of our suburban neighborhood quickly deteriorated into a shout-fest.  “Watch it!” I snapped, seeing in my periphery the blade of my son’s new toy slice through the air inches above my dogs’ heads.  “Stop it!” I said sternly, again interrupting another attempt at conversation with my mom, to let my son know I didn’t approve of him dicing the wheel of his sister’s stroller.  “Not near humans or animals!” I warned, hearing my mom gasp when he jabbed it towards my daughter’s stomach.  “Oliver!  Not okay!” I yelled, witnessing the tip of the sword barely miss my dog’s nose.

Taking Responsibility and Atonement

Buddhism is a path of personal responsibility. The concept of karma details how we are responsible for our actions -- across many lifetimes, if you want to take the long view. Buddhist teachings recommend that we constantly take stock of our actions to determine whether they create harm or benefit for beings. The goal is to create benefit, but, inevitably, there is harm done too. Someone interrupts our train of thought, and we snap in anger. We don't listen closely to someone and say something unkind.

Autumn Rhythms and Merch Mart Metta

We have several lovely weeks of autumn in Chicago. It's a shame that we are rarely here to enjoy them.

Fall brings with it a sense of panic. More like terror. You know what's coming and there's nothing you can do to stop it. The slick sidewalks and bone-grinding cold. The winter.

Meditation Makes Horse Sense

 

Practicing dharma is not difficult; it comes naturally. It is free from hassle, and it brings a lot of health. As you practice more and more, you find that practice begins to grow inside your bones, in the marrow. Practice becomes natural. It is just like a horse that is used to being ridden: that horse begins to like the rider rather than feeling resentful. That is why we sometimes call practice “riding the mind.”

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, from "The Profound Treasury of Knowledge, Volume Three: The Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness"

Meditation Makes Horse Sense

 

Practicing dharma is not difficult; it comes naturally. It is free from hassle, and it brings a lot of health. As you practice more and more, you find that practice begins to grow inside your bones, in the marrow. Practice becomes natural. It is just like a horse that is used to being ridden: that horse begins to like the rider rather than feeling resentful. That is why we sometimes call practice “riding the mind.”

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, from 'The Profound Treasury of Knowledge, Volume Three: The Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness'

Mindful Approach To How Often Kids Should Get Dessert

When my kids ask if they can have ice cream, a couple of things happen.  My body tenses and I try to push the question away.  When that gets me nowhere, I mentally note their recent dietary intake and attempt conviction by responding with a "no."  When I catch myself doing this, and take in their award-winning looks of despair, I occasionally change my mind and fork over the frozen gold.

3 Tips for Practicing Meditation in the Office

Wherever we are, we have the ability to be present. On the meditation cushion, we can be present with the physical sensation of our breathing. Off the meditation cushion, we can be present with the people we encounter, our morning commute, the food we eat, everything. That is the purpose of meditation practice: to become more present and aware of every aspect of our life. 

Kindness & Compassion Training - Part 1 of 2

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As qualities inherent in every human being, compassion and loving-kindness can be developed and cultivated through practice and training.  With effort, each and every person can learn to be more compassionate, kinder, and more patient.

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