From remembering police captain and dharma teacher Cheri Maples to soliciting perspectives on solitude and being alone, our editor in chief’s list of the week’s most compelling commentaries on motherhood, solitude, eldering, male vulnerability, and exile.
To make the world a better place is an intimidating challenge. But what if we focused on our immediate surroundings?
Reflections on the gravity of our words, online and off; taking a stand for our own well being; and the debut of Gen Z — summoning a new generation into the working world.
A balm for burnout: self-love and a guided meditation to empower us to take a stand — literally — for our own right to be happy and whole.
The celebrated Jewish-Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist offers a metta, or lovingkindness meditation for ourselves, our loved ones and strangers far and near.
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.
Faced with scatteredness of mind, body, and spirit, Omid Safi offers a balm: the prayer of the heart.
The stories we tell about love and life are the root of dreams and frustration, alike. Sharon Salzberg on how “unstitching and reweaving” the narratives we hold can lead to a more generous understanding of our relationships, and ourselves.
A pilgrimage of gratitude illuminates an essential connection between the private journeys we take in life and the messy path we all walk together.
Gordon Hempton guides us on an aural hike to One Square Inch of Silence, a sacred place void of man-made sound in Olympic National Park outside of Seattle.
“When I’m running, I’m in my body, with all of its limitations but with all of its capabilities at the same time.” Mike Stavlund wrote “A Force of Will” about the death of his four-month-old son. “Running became a metaphor for my life,” Mike says.
“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.
“I began to notice that my running life and my meditating life were beginning to merge.” Roger Joslin is an Episcopal priest and the author of “Running the Spiritual Path,” a how-to guide on running as meditation and prayer.
In our latest Becoming Wise podcast, wanderer and writer Pico Iyer tells of a lifetime of discovering outer stillness as an essential catalyst to a rich inner life.
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.
The Camino de Santiago is a well-trodden path for pilgrimage and silent reflection with other wayfarers. But with the increasingly ubiquitous presence of Wi-Fi, is it encroaching on the aspects of what makes the adventure special?
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.
Sitting meditation isn’t a discipline easily acquired. A contemplation on the challenges of sitting and being still in modern life.
With the arrival of spring come realizations of the capacity waiting within, among, and around us. Writings on discovering our true abundance of love, community, and self, particularly in the places where they have seemed absent.
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.
Reminding ourselves to breathe is simple enough, but the act of slowing down and bringing our awareness inward can be difficult. Omid Safi with a reminder that the ritual of respiration can be the place where presence of spirit begins.
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 catharsis of living up to challenge, in all walks of life — essays on powering through the hardest miles in a marathon to facing a crowd of unfamiliar strangers, to reckoning with one’s best and worst selves while reflecting in the solitude of the woods.
Though she’s the example many turn to for guidance on mindfulness practice, Sharon Salzberg didn’t always find meditation so easy. She reflects on an early retreat in India, and what it can teach us about letting go of ideals, and having faith in what is.
When we strip away various veneers, what are we left with? Sharon Salzberg on the practice of letting go of denial and the uncomfortability of avoidance.
Finding a clear sense of being home shouldn’t be sought from a desperate place. But, how is it possible to yearn without becoming lost in our deluded states of mind? Sharon Salzberg on the wise attention we possess that alchemizes delusion into wisdom.
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.
We are genetically inclined to look for possible negative outcomes. But, does this survival mechanism serve us well in our time? Some helpful insights on not judging ourselves too harshly and creating a new sense of spaciousness within.
To always be a beginner is frustrating to many of us. What if we embraced this as a choice rather than a deficiency? Sharon Salzberg on sticking it out and the right effort of beginning again.
What is the opposite of dukkha? Total rightness? Sharon Salzberg on the contorted postures we hold and the pain that arises out of the ungovernable nature of events in our lives.
When asked about love, people frequently use the word “need.” Sharon Salzberg analyzes this intermingling and why we should find a way to disentangle them to better understanding of real need, and real love.
In an increasingly frenetic world, emptying the mind in intentional silence can feel impossible. By returning to the Quaker tradition, one mother rediscovers the solace of communal stillness and embracing the busyness of her thoughts.
If kindness, especially towards ourselves, is not our habit, where will it come from? Sharon Salzberg tells of her first encounter with lovingkindness and how we use can this practice to look upon ourselves differently — and with those we most want to ignore.
A physician takes refuge in the wavelike nature of the inbreath and outbreath, and the soft beauty of a newborn child.
As life fleets by, we can get caught up in worrying about what may eventually happen. Through a story of receiving her first senior discount, Sharon Salzberg teaches us to exercise our “letting-go muscle” to be with what is.
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.
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.
In our utilitarian age, meditation is often discussed as a means to increase focus, productivity, and cognition but what about meditation as an engine for kindness? Sharon Salzberg explores the power of compassion and kindness to meet with abundance the suffering of the stranger.
Who is “the other”? A call to cultivate deep curiosity for the lives and struggles and to move away from the “Us-versus-Them” mentality — including a reflective exercise you can perform right now, wherever you are.
An unexpected moment on the Katie Couric show instills an awareness of the fruits of mindfulness, a deep sense of lineage, and an inexpressible peace for our columnist.
The act of letting go is a popular idea — but it isn’t easy. It’s a practice requiring time, patience, and a good deal of steadfastness. Words of wisdom on acknowledging an experience and changing our relationship to it.
It’s all good this week. Stories of success, laughter, landscape, and renewed energy.
The mind can get in the way of itself. Sharon Salzberg on the hindrance of delusion and not seeing things as they actually are by going numb and turning away from the world.
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”?