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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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’? 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

Why Do I Meditate?

‘I’ve got a project due.’ ‘The garden needs attention.’ ‘Friends are coming to visit.’ ‘I’m kind of tired.’ ‘America’s Got Talent airs tonight.’ ‘I practiced yesterday.’ ‘It’s too noisy around here.’ So reads a quick - and truncated - litany of reasons we give ourselves for not meditating. ‘It’s too sunny out.’ ‘The room is cold.’ ‘I’m bored of meditation.’ ‘I’m not good at meditation.’ ‘Maybe after I read the news.’

Read More

The Path Is Not A Book

‘I thought you would save me.’ These words arose in my mind the other day. I was sitting at the dining room table, enjoying breakfast. My gaze, which had wandered out the window and into the waking day, was drawn back by one of our bookcases. It’s a sizeable structure, seven feet high and three across. The two upper shelves are swollen with dharma books.

Read More

Of Benefit To All

My initial impetus was self-centred. I was tired of how out of date my old website felt. Sure that site had served it’s purpose well at one point. It was now more than ten years old, however; much had changed. Even after considerable revamp and alteration, the old neilmckinlay.com - with its swimming-oriented background and its broad, careful language - no longer reflected what I was doing.

Read More