How the West Fudges the Three Marks of Existence

The Three Marks of Existence are the backbone of Vipassana meditation, and they’re one of the tenets that set Buddhism apart from Jainism and Hinduism.  The Three Marks are suffering, impermanence, and not-self. Cheery, right? Basically, life is marked by suffering because everything that appears disappears (impermanence). If we’re not privy to this disappearing act, […]

Zen & The Art of Drumming (Part One)

Mr. Schneider was my band teacher in school. He was a fascist dick; all the other kids hated his guts. I thought he was awesome. And even though everyone else disliked him, they all became better musicians because of him.  There are four basic varieties of teachers: 1) easygoing and competent 2) easygoing and incompetent […]

A Zen Christmas: Seven Tips for Surviving the Holiday

I probably should’ve written about this sooner considering that many of you are probably necks-deep in the holiday deluge by now, but here we go anyway. Christmas is great. Well, ideally it’s great. The prototype for Christmas is of happy kids, good food, and a harmonious gathering with family. But it’s called an ideal for a reason. […]

How the Beatles Changed (Saved) My Life

The only behavioral traits leftover from my childhood are shyness, niceness, and imagination. I can’t remember much else. It was so thoroughly scooped out by puberty and intense experiences that much of my childhood self is lost to a kind of amnesia.  The first scoop was the Beatles. We were driving through the dark one […]