Introducing Hey Mama! a children’s ebook on Meditation

Andrew Berkley Sharp is a 25 year-old social worker living just south of Seattle. He has been interested in meditation since his late teens, writing, "I was a bit depressed at the time, experiencing periods of insomnia along with fluctuations in weight, and when I encountered Buddhist philosophy and meditation it was very much a moment of something mentally "clicking" into place for me. I was studying psychology at the time, and I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Psychology, focusing … [Read more...]

Settling into Online Meditation with Guideful

Mindfulness: Where We Are There is no escaping it. Mindfulness is everywhere these days. And while it hasn't hit the cultural saturation of meditation and yoga just yet, it is steadily on the rise (as shown in this Google NGRAM viewer, which goes through 2008):Mindfulness, while still lacking a single widely accepted definition, is a quality or skill being sought out more and more in today's fast-paced and heavily distracted world. The founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), … [Read more...]

A Roundup of Critical Perspectives on Meditation

A guest post by Pierce SalgueroI am not a scholar of Buddhist meditation. My own research has only touched on meditation insofar as it was claimed to have therapeutic benefits in a handful of texts in premodern Asia. But, as a long-time on-again/off-again practitioner myself, I have been following the rise of meditation in American popular consciousness over the past 15 years with interest. More recently, I have also begun following the critiques of meditation that have circulated in … [Read more...]

Confronting Our Demons: Courage as the Essence of Buddhism

A guest-post by Tom Clements. There is no nobler vision than a willingness to voluntarily encounter the unknown. As human beings, we are designed to go beyond what’s comfortable in order to grow and to develop. This growth is measured in large part by how bravely we face suffering in the forms of conflict, disagreement, disappointment and grief.Our conscience tells us when we need to do something we feel is right and our nervous systems are attuned to know and tell us that what we are doing … [Read more...]

A Survey on Mindfulness Coaching

With the ever-increasing awareness of mindfulness as a worthwhile practice and skill for everyone, new avenues are being sought to teach and guide new participants. For the last year, I have been teaching small groups the basics of mindfulness using mindfulness of breathing, walking meditations, and loving-kindness, along with other practices. I have also stressed the importance of community, ethics, and philosophy (understanding the nature of oneself and the world) in these classes while doing … [Read more...]

The Buddhist Parable of the Mustard Seed: Grief, Loss, and Heartbreak

Most Christians will know the Parable of the Mustard Seed, wherein Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as like a mustard seed in that it is tiny but grows into a great tree.Buddhism, too, has its Parable of the Mustard Seed, but here the story is quite different. Kisa Gotami In the Buddhist story a young woman -Kisa Gotami- follows a rather fairy-tale like path from birth in a poor family to a marriage to the only son of a wealthy family. She was not treated well by the wealthy family of … [Read more...]

Day 1 after the election, solidarity and kindness

A LOT of feelings came up for me Tuesday night. After teaching meditation, I turned on my phone to see a text from my girlfriend reading, "I'm pretty freaked out right now." I noted it as I walked to my car, unsure then (around 9pm MST) of what was going on exactly in the election.When I got home it was a clear, crisp night. I took a deep breath outside of my car. I looked at all of the stars I could see. So many brilliant bits of light sent to us from the distant past.A shooting star … [Read more...]

Facing the Election with Buddhist Practices of Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity

The days are mercifully winding down toward November 8th, the day our nation picks the next president. And while much rancor has come from the campaign, some calling it the most divisive period in America in at least 100 years, there is peace on the horizon.But that peace doesn't come in simply waiting out the next 48 hours. It comes from within. Odd as it may sound, this is a brilliant time to develop loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity - the Buddha's four "Divine … [Read more...]