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Monasteries Everywhere

This is actually a letter I just sent to my friends taking the current Appamada course, “The Heart’s Release: The Zen Path to Softening Barriers to Love.” I thought it might be of interest to a larger audience so I am including it here as a blog post. I hope you find it an encouragement … Continue reading Monasteries Everywhere

Practice as a Conversation

As I sat quietly in my cabin on the hillside at Hui Ho’olana, looking out over the beautiful landscape, the vast sky, and seemingly endless expanse of ocean, I waited patiently for an idea to come. I was sitting with this question: “How can I weave various forms of meditation, embodied mindfulness practices, the challenges … Continue reading Practice as a Conversation

Embodied Practice and the Warm Sun of Friendship

The Buddha’s practice is an embodied practice. Every one of us is a product of the union of our parent’s bodies—we are miraculously borne in our mother’s body and then suddenly delivered into this world as a tender, embodied expression of that union. We learn to navigate our lives with a body and as a … Continue reading Embodied Practice and the Warm Sun of Friendship

The Space Between

Many of you have heard me say, over and over, that awakening does not happen “in” a person. It happens “between.” If our lives are woven as a single fabric and linked as one inconceivable network of relationship, then to “attain individual enlightenment” has no meaning. However, the realization of liberating intimacy through profound meeting … Continue reading The Space Between

Imagination and Wonder

There are two lines from the writings of the Chinese Zen Master Honghzi that I have always loved. I imagine their intention was instructive, however the phrase about “wonder” is also inspiring and enchanting. This translation is from the work of Taigen Dan Leighton (Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi). … Continue reading Imagination and Wonder

What do I do now?

There are moments in life when everything suddenly changes, when things shift in an instant and the world seems unfamiliar and new. In these moments we often feel confused, ungrounded, shattered, disoriented and disenchanted. No matter what we call these turning moments, we tend to think of them as problems to be solved, difficulties to … Continue reading What do I do now?

Ask me

This past September (2016) during the Swiss retreat one of my students brought a beautiful poem to me in practice discussion. The poem, Ask Me, is by one my favorite American poets, William Stafford (1914-1993). I’ve lived with the poem these three months and wanted to bring it to Inquiry. There is so much in … Continue reading Ask me

Let’s Grow Up

Growing into our fullness, into true human maturity, is the primary function of authentic spiritual practice. If we live long enough or pay attention carefully enough, we will inevitably meet the universal, unanswerable questions such as—“What is this life?—Why am I here?—What am I supposed to do with this life?—What happens next?” Willingness to respond … Continue reading Let’s Grow Up

Simply Aware

Awareness is always aware. It may be odd to consider awareness as something that flourishes without needing “you.” I don’t mean that there is no requirement for a body that is alive, a brain that receives and interprets sensory input, and the alchemy that occurs when all these elements come together. I mean that awareness … Continue reading Simply Aware

The Minds of Summer: An Interview

For the past three years I have had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the faculty for the Cape Cod Summer Institute and I look forward to teaching there again in 2016. This year the Institute’s founder and Director, Gil Levin, in association with Teresa Martin of the Lower Cape TV, organized a series, … Continue reading The Minds of Summer: An Interview