Three wisdom keepers on the inner voice of compassion in the mystical and contemplative traditions
Lovingkindness isn’t a sweet and soft thing. It’s a rigorous transformation of mind and spirit, and it’s the first step to cultivating a sense of connection to those around us.
A Greek Orthodox woman’s meditation on loss, redemption, and finding belonging in the Easter season.
“If you watched me run, you wouldn’t think I was sitting or thinking about sitting.” Justin Whitaker is a writer, a ChiRunner, and a Buddhist. For Justin, running is a part of his spiritual practice.
Independence is seen as a hallmark of success, but is it wise to deny our connection to one another? Sharon Salzberg on how unity and compassion can bolster individual strength.
From our Becoming Wise podcast, mindfulness researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn on the physiological and spiritual potential of being present to every moment of daily life.
In the world of superheroes, superpowers stand in. But in truth, the path to strength of heart, spirit, and soul is demanding, and requires us to perform feats that at times seem super-human.
In pop culture “coolness” is sometimes equated with nonchalance, isolation, and sarcasm. Sharon Salzberg asks us to rethink what it means to be “cool” and argues that kindness and empathy can be the “in” thing.
Physical presence and inner life are more integrated than we might imagine. Meditations on how we move through stress, our relationship with the body, and making meaning in the rhythms of everyday life.
“Sometimes the pain of the world seems incomprehensible. And if there’s anything that balances it, it’s wonder at the world, the amazingness of people.” Mindfulness meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein gives counsel on finding joy and spiritual practice embedded in the rhythms of everyday life.
One of our columnist’s most influential teachers passed away this spring. Sharon Salzberg with a reflection and an homage to “a man who completely walked the talk of his values.”
Life can be frustrating, and we often react with resistance, or overwhelm. Sharon Salzberg reminds us that emotional balance doesn’t come from denying feelings, but from allowing them room to play out fully.
Humility is a virtue, but denying ourselves the happiness we deserve can be a destructive habit. Sharon Salzberg with a reflection on the perils of self-deprecation, and how we might come to relish moments of joy, fully.
Working through discomfort doesn’t mean denying our suffering. Instead, Sharon Salzberg suggests a better way to move forward: allowing ourselves to feel pain without judgment, and accepting the validity of our own emotions.
There’s comfort in the ideal of perfection. But in this pursuit, we can trap ourselves in the striving. Sharon Salzberg on accepting imperfection as the unexpected path to spiritual fulfillment.
Many of us feel cast off and and think we have to go it alone. But what if we took solace in the third refuge of the community? Sharon Salzberg with a video meditation on standing in line and counsel on how we might thrive in our connectedness with one another.
We often equate ruthless doubt with intelligent discernment. As Sharon Salzberg points out, sitting through the uncertainty can be the surest way to become present to the wisdom of our own intuition.
The passage of time can seem like a dream. Sharon Salzberg looks back at enduring friendships and the journey “meditation” and “mindfulness” have taken these past 40 years in the U.S.
The harmful cycle of guilt can devolve into cycles of self-hatred. Guiding words on the constructive work of remorse, which can be especially powerful when directed toward forgiving ourselves.
Virtual reality technology is hinting at new possibilities, including the unexpected potential of “VR” to shape our inner lives, identities, and values — and lead to a fuller appreciation of the lives we have.
Terms such as Jubu and Nones may be inadequate labels to describe a person’s faith journey. Sharon Salzberg with a reminder that what you call yourself may not be as important as how you live.
To be confronted with a serious illness is to be confronted with a fear of death for most of us. How do we balance hope with realism? And how do we age with grace? Drawing on Atul Gawande’s book, Mary Jo Bennett highlights some ways our culture is evolving in its relationship with death.
With the near-constant news of extra-judicial police killings and mass shootings, it would be easy to live in a constant state of fear. Faced with his own fragile mortality, a Buddhist contemplates our collective fear and grief. For him, meditation is not about relaxation but about awakening to life — in its wonder and in its sorrow.
So often we dwell on our mistakes. Sharon Salzberg helps us step away from this routine and walk a different terrain — with the practice of lovingkindness that develops a flexibility of looking at our own lives.
To “prioritize intention rather than form” is a the heart of a contemplative practice, whatever that may be. A lay Buddhist monk tells the story of creating a “tree” that’s liberated us from narrow ideas of what contemplative practice is and find one (or more) that truly works for us.
Each one of us has a “constellation of tendencies,” but often we identify more strongly with a certain set of responses. By identifying our dominant personality type, we can see these tendencies in their purified and unpurified forms — and find a world of options opening up as we become more aware.
To be faithful and to practice faith in the Buddhist sense of the word, one must walk a path of doubt — one of honest questioning and active investigating. An enlightening column from Sharon Salzberg.
So often in the West we believe that the most genius works of art are created with suffering and torment. But, the Dalai Lama might say happiness is the foundation of great creativity of all kinds.
With news reports swirling about the fallibility of structures, the Buddha’s teachings on volition point us to the crucial importance of our own intentions, the responsibility in our actions, and therefore for our own freedom. An outlook on a way forward to our own accountability.
Inspired by the words and actions of Thich Nhat Hanh, Parker Palmer asks what it means to hold our differences in ways that open us to possibilities we never would have imagined.
To truly meet each other “that mysterious junction of suffering and love could well be the most truthful and potent place.”
Much great brain research has been coming out about the value of meditation and mindfulness. But, when the rigor overtakes the intention of the practice, how do we measure success and the “powerful signs of change in our everyday lives”?
Generosity is the tissue that connects us to ourselves, to others, and to life itself. And it’s a practice — one that has meaningful benefits to our mental and physical health, as well as our relationships with others.
A practicing Zen Buddhist pens an ode to the late poet Galway Kinnell by drawing on tradition and the art of the back-handed compliment.
Mindfulness and meditation are becoming pop culture buzzwords. But it isn’t just about hearing, seeing, or observing a particular feeling; it’s about doing so in a certain way — with balance and equanimity, and without judgment. Our columnist Sharon Salzberg walks us through the deeper case for mindful attention.
Sometimes the lead is the anecdote. A humorous story from a Nobel laureate that will bring a smile to your face and other instruction on powering down, offering help, bearing responsibility, and mystical connections.
In a world of many distractions, the Buddhist sage says, it may be our own cravings that may be most deleterious to our well-being. Watch and listen.
When a millennial woman hears about Buddhist teachings on overcoming anger through love, she decides to try out a meditation practice experiment on her own social media feeds.
Parker Palmer encourages us to look with child-like imagination to better understand the world’s mysteries.
A sneak preview of our upcoming show with Sounds True founder Tami Simon. Enjoy and share your favorites.
On this Mother’s Day, in some odd way, I can think of no more fitting tribute than to listen to Ms. Boorstein reciting these lovely lines from Pablo Neruda.
Our weekly wrap-up with poetry and prose, stories of Easter dishes from afar and links to things we’re reading in the news and blogging worlds!
To sketchnote Krista’s conversation with the Dalai Lama’s principal English translator requires many of the same qualities he embodies: attention, compassion, focus, humility, action. No small feat.
The Zen abbot walks a live audience through this guided meditation on encountering grief. Download and share with your friends and family.
I’d like to send you off this Saturday with a pairing of tracks from the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication: “Shambhala”…
“I think there are a lot of misconceptions in society in general about what actually brings happiness, we’re caught up in all these ideas that having a lot of money or having somebody beautiful to have sex with or having some cool objects, having a cool car, cool stereo or whatever is gonna make us happy.”
This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of sitting next to Mary Emeny at a dinner in Amarillo, Texas where we were showing highlights of Ken Burns’ upcoming film, The Dust Bowl Mary, I later learned, is prominent in the arts and environmental communities in Amarillo.
“Entering the forest without moving the grass; Entering the water without raising a ripple.” —Alan Watts, from Tao: The Watercourse…
I picked up Sylvia Boorstein’s lovely book, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist, years ago and loved it. Then, several…