Meditation Buddies

A student emailed recently, pleased with how regular her home practice had become. While I imagine several factors played into this development, one was  identified as key. A routine had emerged between her and a friend, someone who also wanted to make meditation part of her daily life.

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What the Body Knows

Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie was greeted with a mix of acclaim and consternation upon its publication in 2015. The story of a Cree woman’s recovery from the wounds of her past resonated with many - “The novel Canada has been waiting for,” Leanne Betasamosake Simpson announced - and confounded others.

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What's the Practice?

I was exhausted. I’d made it through several high intensity weeks and now it seemed the bill had come due. I couldn’t concentrate. It was a struggle keeping my eyes open. My body ached and every few minutes another yawn stretched into the room. All I could think with any clarity was, ‘I am so tired.’

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Holding On

In Buddhism, holding on is considered the root of human suffering. When we hold on - whether we hold on to something and push it away, pull it toward, or even hold on in order to ignore - tension is generated. We feel stressed, anxious, edgy. We suffer.

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Maybe 'I'

My daughter put together an interesting history project recently. As part of their twentieth century overview, her class was looking at the stretch 1910-1919. Each student was given an aspect of this span to present upon; her focus was popular music.

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Curiosity and Appreciation

Completing a program typically initiates a time of transition for me. Whether I am returning from Crestone or Salt Spring Island, whether it’s Sutrayana Foundation Yana or Sutrayana Mahayana that has just ended, an event’s conclusion often opens a state of being in which I really don’t know.

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With Thanks

I recently had an opportunity to present at an online embodiment conference. It was a one-time session, late on a Monday night. Though our gathering was small, we shared a pleasant hour together - practicing, for the most part. And practicing, I felt, in a way that was far more settled than one might expect.

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Opportunity In Overwhelm

I find myself in a difficult position these days. It’s a busy time of year - as is often the case, truth be told - and I’ve been sick the last week or so. This means my already robust workflow has been left mostly unattended for a while, allowing a strong moving stream to become a raging torrent. I have meetings to schedule and essays to prepare, classes to ready for and talks to present. 

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Checking the Recipe

I make a lot of Caesar Salads. For whatever reason, people tend to like what comes out of our kitchen in this regard. As a result, the dish features regularly in our home diet and in what I am asked to share in other contexts, on other occasions. The initial recipe came from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham.

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Reminder

Fires burn tonight. Throughout British Columbia, more than five hundred wildfires are alight. Thousands of people have fled their homes; nearly four times as many wait on evacuation alert. Highways and airports have closed. Though my corner of the province has been spared this fate, a smoky haze has lingered over everything these past weeks.

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What Happens Next

It’s been some time since I’ve written here. Initially the issue was overwhelm. Spring kept me in near non-stop motion for months. Early summer’s catch up and recovery was not much easier. Through each span, any thought of updating was immediately swept aside by fatigue, by the next thing to do - sometimes both.

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Connect With Disconnect

“I've been having difficulty connecting to my practice…” This statement arrived via email recently. There was much more to the exchanges that followed, but this was the core of the matter: a sense of disconnection with practice. Because so many of us struggle with this from time to time, I asked my correspondent if I could share some of what passed between us.

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Her Mercy

In a recent comment, Emily raised that most pertinent question: “How do I do this?” How does one honour the body - the clear, potent wisdom of the body - while, in her case, taking on the professional “role of digital guide and web designer”? Many of us ask this. How do I bring the openness of meditation into the various roles I hold in the so-called ‘real world’? 

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On Comments

"Will this be easy to maintain?" While designing this website, this question arose a lot. While I did hope the site would become a useful resource for us, it was not something I could afford to spend hours updating. So again and again I voiced these words - and many decisions reflect their influence. This is why, for instance, there has been no comments section here.

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Roger That

I woke early last Sunday morning; shortly after one. Normally this is cause for distress, realizing another sleepless night may have arrived. This time around, however, was different. A sense of delight pulsed through my body. Simmering excitement suddenly came to full boil. Roger Federer was playing in the final match of this year’s Australian Open.

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What Now!?!

I’m not yet two days back. I returned from Colorado Sunday evening. A full day’s travel concluded the remarkable journey that was this year’s Winter Meditation Intensive at Dharma Ocean’s Blazing Mountain Retreat Centre in Crestone. Roughly one hundred fifty people came and went during the four-week event.

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Nurturing Our Practice Lives

I recently spent a few days in Boulder, Colorado. Dharma Ocean was hosting a series of meetings in which the overall direction of this lineage was to be explored and I was invited to take part. It was a fascinating, illuminating, and exhausting trip! Shortly after agreeing to this journey, my good friend and teaching peer Laurel Miller emailed.

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Raven's Gift

I enjoyed a short exchange with a friend not long ago. This is someone I have not seen in a while, but whose company was always rich and rewarding. Our back and forth took place via a series of email exchanges. At the bottom of all of her notes were a number of links; one of these took me to her blog.

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Go Deep

One of the most potent teachings I ever received was presented in an unusual way. I was meeting with a mentor for a reason I no longer recall. We sat face to face, knees a foot apart. I cannot remember whether our conversation had started or not. I do know, however, that at a certain point the person across from me leaned forward. He placed his mouth near one ear and whispered, “Don’t go broad, go deep.”

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Bone on Bone

Bruce Cockburn’s new album just came out. Bone on Bone is the twenty-fifth studio release in a recording career dating back almost fifty years. It also happens to be Cockburn’s first in quite a while - since 2011’s Small Source of Comfort. Is it any good? While I understand this question - it seems a most natural inquiry - it’s not one I’ve really considered.

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