Relationship to Self

The template for our relationship with others is the one we’re engaged in already with ourselves. There is no escaping that truth: friendly or critical, neglectful or curious, the longer someone’s with us and the closer they get, the more we end up treating them as we treat ourselves. Among other things, that means the greatest kindness we can do for others is the one we begin doing for ourselves.

Nothing Is Healing

Our deepest healing happens when we rest. That’s when our system makes most of its repairs. I think it is healthy to plug into little nourishing wells of rest throughout the day, by stopping and doing nothing. In this meditation, we do exactly this, and explore what it might mean to orient to the stillness below the busy-busy.

Emptiness And Form

Let’s see … “something something something,” then “nothing nothing nothing.” “Nothing,” you say? “Nothing of any importance,” you respond. “Well, that’s something.” “But it isn’t,” you insist! “It isn’t any thing at all.” etc etc. Yup, this week we’ll explore The Really Big Mystery of Emptiness = Form and Form = Emptiness.

Practice Enlightenment

One of my favourite life and meditation practices is called “practice enlightenment.” It comes by way of Dogen, the famous Japanese founder of Soto Zen, and is a kind of antidote to spiritual striving. What if you were already exactly where you needed to be? In this way, we practice our own “enlightenment,” moment by moment. It’s a superb practice for lazy people and I intend to ruin your motivation forever.

Thanks For Nothing

“Hey, what are you doing today?”
“Nothing.”
“But, you did that yesterday.”
“Yes, and I haven’t finished.”

Something mysterious and beautiful happens when we do nothing together. It seems to make space for a particular kind of intimacy that – as per the theme of this month – we can call devotion. This Monday, we explore.

Full Body Absorption

Hello Exploded Brains! My own exploded brain wishes to communicate with you, but (on account of said explosion) I find myself unable to summon the necessary resources. Fortunately, like all of us, I have a strange nature-given capacity to un-plode myself. Call it focus, call it absorption. As I commit myself to the activity at hand, I can almost feel the various task-relevant parts of my brain, body, and attention all converge and synchronize. In this way, moment by moment, we secure the world in front of us. Join me as we explore this everyday miracle.

Journeys of the Up and Down

So apparently there is this thing called awareness that we are supposed to be aware of. It sounds ridiculous! But let’s give it a shot anyway. This Monday night, your CHALLENGE (should you choose to accept it) is to very lightly and delicately stay aware of the present moment, for 35 whole minutes, despite the artful shenanigans of yonder mind and yonder world, which will endeavour in their usual charming way to take us up and take us down and take us, frankly, all around.

Finding Simplicity

Many times I’ve heard Shinzen say how we begin with trying to fit meditation into our lives, but over time, a figure ground reversal can happen: our lives become more meditative. In part, that means they become simpler.  Amidst the growing complexity of our entanglements, we find ourselves beginning to appreciate simple things. Things well done. Simple pleasures once overlooked in the momentum of our busy days. This Monday, we slow things down and explore how relaxing our awareness and valuing simplicity can change our experience of meditation.

Choose Your Own Adventure

You can just sit and do “Nothing,” you know (that is a meditation) or you can choose to do “Something.” Which do you choose? Good choice! The category of Something has much to recommend it, in particular its vast … particularity. The next choice is form. Some options: “Stillness” (the obvious candidate), “Movement,” or “Relational,” “Expressive” (for the artists), or any “Life Activity” for that matter. Which do you choose? This Monday night, we ask: how might a practice address our needs of the moment?

Primordial Tugs

There is some interesting new research emerging from the field of smart-people-in-lab-coats that suggests we have more agency around our emotions than many of us realize. The key isn’t in the suppression; it’s in the reframing. We can choose HOW we want to experience our various tugs and tingles. And if we choose to experience them in an empowering light, it seems they no longer cause us the same kind of suffering.