intro to the five hindrances (week 1)

Supplemental readings and listening for the Five Hindrances topic CD: The Five Hindrances, a talk by Eugene Cash available at the weekly meetings.  Reading: The following chapters from Mindfulness in Plain English: Chapter 10 –Dealing with Problems. Chapters 11 and 12 –Dealing with Distractions, Introduction to the Five Hindrances The five hindrances are an important … Read more

Buddhist attitude toward anger

This says all you need to know about working with anger. “The Buddhist attitude is to take care of anger. We don’t suppress it. We don’t run away from it. We just breathe and hold our anger in our arms with utmost tenderness. Becoming angry at your anger only doubles it and makes you suffer … Read more

become a wizard of ahs

What happens when we sit down to meditate? We begin to see the movements of mind. Many of the movements are away from the perceived objects of our experience. Let’s call this the movement of rejection. There’s an itch, or a jarring sound, or an sudden upheaval of thoughts, and if we look carefully there … Read more

from Rumi (1)

“Those who don’t feel this life pulling them like a river. Those who don’t drink dawn like a cup of spring water, or take in the sunset like supper, Those who don’t want to change, let them sleep.”

to care and not to care

From the poem Ash Wednesday, by T.S. Eliot–” teach us to care and not to care, teach us to sit still.” Teach us to care about what’s important and not to care about what’s a waste of time. From the Thai forest meditation teacher Achaan Dhammadaro: “If people hate you, that’s when you are off … Read more

your original face

Hui-neng (638-713), asked “Without making good or bad in that moment, what is your original face before your parents were born?” He is asking us what is our original face before any ideas, images, feelings that you have been carrying like so much baggage. When we look into this question, which means to actually ask … Read more

dropping into the depths

As we get into our yoga and meditation practice, we naturally start dropping into deeper and deeper places within.  We see how this dropping down requires some initial effort. We become aware of the tremendous hold the “surface” has on us, how it holds us in its web of chatter, worry, anxiety and incessant wants.   … Read more

the conflict free mode

We have seen how widespread dissatisfaction and conflict are in our lives. We have also considered the possibility that dissatisfaction and conflict (dukkha in the language of early Buddhism) arise as a consequence of our reactive tendency to cling, grasp or push away at what is presented moment by moment through our senses.   The Third … Read more

Grateful Dead love song

As we work with extending thoughts of loving-kindness to the difficult people in our  lives, it becomes evident that we sometimes wish to pull back, to not go there, not to expose ourselves, perhaps fearing the imagined consequences of leaving ourselves open and vulnerable.   Oddly, we may find that it is precisely in vulnerability that we may find … Read more