Are you asking yourself toxic questions?

FIRST OF A SERIES ON INQUIRY Inquiry is an intrinsic part of the Insight Meditation tradition. After a meditation session, we are usually more relaxed and mindful. It can be a fruitful time to do a some self-inquiry. As we develop a regular meditation practice, the mind becomes more spacious, resilient, compassionate and wise, and […]

This too shall pass.

Despair is in the air this season, coming to the end of a year full of disasters, nuclear brinkmanship and sickening revelations. It’s enough to make a meditation teacher wonder what is the point of teaching how to find personal happiness. It seems equal parts selfishness and delusion. But then I remember that Pollyanna happiness […]

Equanimity :: Holding life in an open embrace

In the last few posts of my dharma talks we have been looking at the Brahma-viharas, spacious mind-states where we can dwell in loving-kindness, compassion and happiness for others. Now we look at the fourth of these mind states: Equanimity. Equanimity is the ability to hold all that arises in an open embrace. It is […]

Moment by moment

With the regular practice of meditation there is a subtle but profound shift of mind state into a spacious sense of infinite ease and compassionate awareness. Thoughts and emotions still arise, but we are better able to see them as objects of awareness passing through. When our attention wavers and the mind slips back to […]

The Practice Put to the Test

In recent weeks my meditation practice was put to the test. Together with my husband and five visiting family members, I hosted my brother’s hospice care in our home. While I won’t go into detail about our experience, I do want to share the ways in which the regular practice of meditation supported me throughout […]

Sniff, sniff. What’s cooking?

One of the Buddha’s most handy-dandy teachings is called the Noble Eightfold Path. It’s a practical tool for sorting out what’s going on in our lives and to see exactly where we’re making ourselves unhappy. Like so many of the Buddha’s lists, it’s challenging to remember. So I developed a visual metaphor that my students […]

How does happiness happen?

My granddaughters are seven and five years old. Their definition of happiness is getting what they want when they want it. If things go their way then it’s the ‘best day ever’ and if they are denied anything, then it’s the ‘worst day ever’. There are plenty of adults who concur with this definition of […]

Treasure beyond measure

Have you ever gone on a Scavenger Hunt? This one has a big reward, a treasure beyond measure — definitely worth doing! Most scavenger hunts have you go about town looking for things, but for this scavenger hunt we will stay seated and use our imaginations. Scavenger Hunt Instructions Close your eyes and think about […]