Shaila’s Blog

Lifting up the discouraged mind

It is almost inevitable that discouragement will arise, from time to time. Perhaps pain, illness, or unemployment creates a difficult time in our lives. Perhaps we apply ourselves to our meditation, but find progress much slower than we had hoped.  How do you prevent discouragement from stopping you on this path of awakening? I’m teaching [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:52-08:00June 10th, 2012|Emotions, Working with suffering|

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|

Settle Into the Bliss—An Interview

I was recently interviewed by Vlad Moskovski for his blog Meditation Secrets Revealed.  It was a delight to talk with him about the dhamma, and to see a nice interview result. We titled the interview Settle Into the Bliss: An Interview with Shaila Catherine. I hope you enjoy it.

2017-02-16T09:34:52-08:00March 23rd, 2012|Jhanas, Meditation|

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|

Right View and the Danger of Fixation

We concluded our six-week series on Right View last night with a talk and discussion on the Dangers of Fixation. Audio recordings will be posted at: The experience of right view does not require adherence to a set of beliefs or doctrines; it is not a theoretical position or social position. Right view occurs with [...]

2012-02-22T16:00:42-08:00February 22nd, 2012|Investigating body and mind, Mindfulness Practice|

On detachment

"Detachment describes the ease of a mind not adhering, not fixated, and not identified with the fleeting stream of lived events."—Shaila Catherine, Wisdom Wide and Deep, page 398. Often people bring negative associations to the term detachment—thinking it implies cold indifference. However, in the context of meditation practice, detachment refers to a vivid and liberating experience [...]

2012-02-13T15:50:58-08:00February 13th, 2012|Investigating body and mind, Mindfulness Practice, Sutta Study|

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 [...]


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