Posts

Mindfulness of Fear

Our reactivity to fear is at the root of many of the worlds most pressing problems. Fortunately, there is an antidote to fear and our mindfulness and heart practices can help.

Bridging the Emotion Gap

Mindfulness is a form of remembering - a way of coming back to the moment and home to ourselves, bridging the emotion gap so that we can respond more compassionately and with greater wisdom.

Building Confidence Mindfully

Life serves us up a rollercoaster ride of experiences that can leave us feeling insecure and confused. The practice of mindfulness can help us cultivate the equanimity needed to feel anchored, confident and balanced amidst the fickle winds of worldly concerns.

Radical Compassion

Radical compassion means nothing and nobody is excluded from the circle of kindness. The best evidence shows its good for us individually and as a society, but it can be difficult for us to trust given US mainstream cultural conditioning. Cultivating radical compassion takes courage and persistence, but when collectively practiced, it can become a powerful force for personal and societal transformation.

Are Good Intentions Enough?

Even when we are in touch with our intentions and they are good, our compassionate actions can be unskillful. Mindfulness, discernment, balance and equanimity in the face of suffering are also important factors in increasing the likelihood that our helping will be truly helpful.

Neither Praise Nor Blame

If we begin to observe ourselves and our reactions to experience, we may notice how impacted we are by our perception of others' approval or validation on the one hand, and their criticism, disapproval or rejection on the other. This can make for quite a rollercoaster ride when we care deeply, but are not fully present to the subtle workings of the mind. Mindfulness can help us have greater equanimity in the face of praise or blame.

Causes & Conditions

There is an unending interplay of complex circumstances behind any given situation and we may never be able to work out completely the confluence of factors that allow certain events to germinate. A mindfulness practice helps us understand and remember this, which in turn allows us to remain open to experience. We see things more clearly and make time for consideration of a skillful response rather than being caught up in strong emotions arising from interpretations and expectations.

Near Enemies of Mindfulness

True enemies may be easy to spot, but what about "near enemies"? If near enemies were people, we might call them "frenemies". A near enemy is a subtle quality that we may miss or confuse as useful or helpful when, in fact, it can become an obstacle to our mindfulness practice that is hidden from us or in disguise.

The Four Flavors of Love

Compassion, lovingkindness, appreciative joy, and equanimity are beneficial mental states that could be considered four complimentary "flavors of love". Together they form a firm foundation upon which authentic love can take solid root in a way that is boundless & indestructible. We can cultivate these qualities through a dedicated mindfulness practice.

Don’t Let Your Calm be Disturbed

Why is our calm so easily disturbed? Our culture values self promotion over humility, action over careful consideration, and passion over contentment. These human proclivities keep us off balance, tossed around by the waves of experience and…

Being with Difficulty

Sometimes we get onto the cushion, chair or mat and soften into a deep inner stillness and profound sense of peace. On these days, practice is full of ease. It feels like coming home to ourselves, which can be quite a pleasant place to rest.…

Facing Aversion

Aversion involves the desire to turn away from or avoid something unwanted. Most often experienced as annoyance, disliking, disgust, or even hatred, aversion obscures reality by turning attention away from what is present, preventing us from truly understanding our experience. By learning to face aversion, we can gather important information that can help us respond to life situations with greater ease and wisdom.

Equanimity Now

Equanimity is a state of calm and composure - a balance of the mind, that can be cultivated through practice and embodied, even under stress.