Daily Life Practice

Observing the natural mind and things that change

Whatever you are doing today, you might enjoy it more if you relaxed. Be aware of your engagement in the activity.  As you are going about your business, watch your mind. Are you viewing your own experience of normal daily life with the wisdom that recognizes things are constantly changing?

2012-08-16T05:15:00-07:00August 16th, 2012|Daily Life Practice|

Getting in the mood to meditate

Some days you will want to sit in meditation; other days you may resist. How do you get yourself in the mood to meditate? How do you overcome the natural resistances that come with fluctuating levels of energy and interest? For most of us, concentration and insight develops more slowly than we would like, and [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51-08:00July 31st, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Meditation|

A Simple Practice of Clinging or Not Clinging

I’ve been enjoying a simple practice recently—observing the occurrence or absence of clinging. How do you recognize when the mind is relating to experience through grasping? What are the signs or indications? Clinging to experiences of mind and body is such a habitual way of engaging with sensory contacts that attachment may go unnoticed until [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:51-08:00July 23rd, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Emotions, Mindfulness Practice|

Enjoy a quiet moment

Our meditation community just held its annual spring retreat—a delightful four days for meditation at a retreat center situated in a redwood forest. Even if you are not standing near a redwood tree right now, wherever you find yourself today I hope you will take a few quiet minutes to relax—to listen to the sounds that surround [...]

2012-04-09T17:53:30-07:00April 9th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Mindfulness Practice|

Total Dedication

In what ways do you offer less than 100 percent dedication to awakening? Learn what drains and diminishes your effort. Notice the effect of daily habits and entertainments on your meditation. Observe the effects that watching TV, engaging in gossip, or surfing the Web might have on your concentration. If you discover that an activity [...]

2012-03-09T15:45:41-08:00March 9th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Enlightenment, Meditation|

Sharing notes from a recent class on self-compassion.

It is not only others who hurt; we each also need compassion. Self-compassion is a necessary foundation for any genuine personal development. Are we kind and considerate toward ourselves? Do we consider our long-term benefit rather than merely temporary pleasures? Do we respond in a truly compassionate way to the difficulties that come to us [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:56-08:00February 4th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Emotions, Loving Kindness and Compassion|

Reacting to feelings

How are you today? When we greet each other, we often ask, "how are you?" and then share how we are feeling today. For a moment, please tune into the quality of your mind: how are you feeling right now? Let your feelings be just as they are right now—mindfully aware of how they come, go, [...]

2012-01-29T17:11:25-08:00January 29th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Emotions, Mindfulness Practice|

Are Sense Pleasures Suffering?

We often link happiness to the attainment of sensory pleasure; or we expect sensory pleasures to bring happiness. The emphasis on the unsatisfactoriness of conditioned experiences, as taught in the Buddhist tradition can, at first, seem disheartening.  Why equate innocuous and natural pleasures with suffering? Is the Buddhist path life-denying? We had a rousing dialog [...]

Three Intentions

As we start the new year, it is natural to reflect on intention. The three right intentions that are included in the Noble Eight-Fold Path include 1) the intention of renunciation, 2) the intention of non-ill will, and 3) the intention of non-cruelty. Each of these intentions highlights an attitude that we can cultivate as we [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:56-08:00January 4th, 2012|Daily Life Practice|

Where do you look for fresh insight?

"Where do you search for fresh insight? Do you turn to classes, books, teachers, or nature? Meditation invites us to look carefully into our own material and mental experience."—from Shaila Catherine. Wisdom Wide and Deep, page 389 Instead of looking outside of yourself for understanding and insight, sit quietly and look into your own experience [...]

The Paramis

Shaila and the IMSB sangha have kindly invited me to be the resident teacher here for a couple of weeks, for which I am both grateful and honoured – both to the individuals and also to the dharma itself, expressed through all of us, which has opened this new door to serve and engage with [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:56-08:00June 22nd, 2011|Daily Life Practice, Guest Writers|


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