Elemental Mindfulness

I only use "mindfulness" in titles because that's the word everyone knows. In actual speech and writing, I say sati because that's what it's originally called. Plus, since it's a Pali word, it isn't as loaded with bad habits as "mindfulness" is. I like using the ROAR acronym to describe sati. Relax, observe, analyze, recognize. … Continue reading Elemental Mindfulness

Grounding: Feet & Hands

If you find yourself out of sorts, meaning if you find yourself conscious, it's helpful to keep your feet on the ground---literally. Our hands and feet are our main instruments in this fly by night half-assed symphony we call ordinary life. Our feet take us everywhere, they help us navigate through our surroundings. They carry … Continue reading Grounding: Feet & Hands

Growth Means Changing Routines

We could easily take sanskara (the 4th aggregate/2nd link of whatever) and translate it as "routines."  Routines are everything in life. These simple actions of body and mind wear traces through time. What began as a single step turns into a well-worn path that we follow without a second thought. Routines govern everything from our … Continue reading Growth Means Changing Routines

The Three Types of Meditation

So, yeah I know, there are a lot more than three. But we can pretty much clump them all into three categories: Focus, open-focus, and no-focus. The main difference between them is that in focus meditation you're taking one thing and making it into everything; in open-focus meditation, you're taking everything and making it into one … Continue reading The Three Types of Meditation

Back to the Breath: Commentary on the Arittha Sutta

The Arittha Sutta might be the most concise Buddhist meditation manual ever written:  "There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore (making mindfulness a … Continue reading Back to the Breath: Commentary on the Arittha Sutta

Kerouac, Cold Wind, & Apple Seeds

"All right," I said in my head, a soft bedrock of tranquility supporting my resolve, "take me."  I'd been fighting my afflictions for years; resisting them, decorating them, and ignoring them. The struggle against my sorrows has aged me. I'm 32, but I look and feel ten years older. The one thing I'd never tried---the … Continue reading Kerouac, Cold Wind, & Apple Seeds

What is the Present Moment?

Ya know, we talk about it all the time, but what is the present? What is right now? This is important to ponder, because inhabiting the present moment isn't just a huge part of Zen, it's one of the foundations of secular mindfulness as well. Philosophical ruminations won't bring us very far with this question. … Continue reading What is the Present Moment?