Tag: practice

Serenity: It’s Not Just For Monks

“Laypeople live in the realm of sensuality. They have families, money, and possessions, and are deeply involved in all sorts of activities. Yet sometimes they will gain insight and see Dhamma before monks and nuns do. Why is this? It’s

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The Imperfect Meditator (Sound Familiar?)

A couple of weeks ago during a weekly practice group, a woman shared that she is having a difficult time meditating recently.  “I keep looking at my watch,” she said. Her comment resonated with me.  Except that I don’t just

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The Mind’s Attachment to Complexity

Dear Common Ground Friends, One of the greatest challenges to mindfulness practice is the mind’s attachment to complexity. It is as if the mind has learned to equate simplicity with danger, and mental proliferation as some form of safety. When

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Lessons from Walnuts

Some days my practice seems perfect, just right.  I’m filled with love and compassion, patience for life’s inanities and generosity towards pretty much everything.  My life makes sense, I make sense, I observe and accept and everything is beautiful.  Even

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Joyful Backpacking

How was it possible to feel such immense joy while hiking 24 miles of mountainous terrain carrying 40 pounds on the back of my 105 pound body? But that is exactly what happened. Joy happened. Gratitude. Love. Peace. Clarity. The

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Right Speech as a Path to Peace

To speak is only human, so we all have our problems with Right Speech. For some, the challenge is resisting the urge to gossip. Other people shade the truth all day long, dramatizing every memory in the retelling, or padding

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The Mindfulness Watch

To cultivate mindfulness, I’ve heard teachers give the following advice: “Short moments, many times.” To help me on that path, I bought a watch with a vibrating alarm. I set it to go off every 30 minutes. (No one else

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Reflections on a Ten-Day Retreat

When I signed up for the June retreat with Steve and Kamala, my overriding concerns were whether I’d be physically comfortable and whether I’d make it through ten days. I was pretty much uncomfortable the whole time … and the

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Reflections on Heart of the Forest retreat

I remember thinking that people who went on last year’s Heart of the Forest Retreat were much further along in their meditation practice than I was.  I had only done a few of the three-day Holy Spirit retreats. I liked

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Observations of a barely yogi

I recently finished my first residential retreat (a weekend) at the Christine Center, led by Steven Armstrong and Kamala Masters. I had anticipated the mental dullness and torpor and–for someone who likes to talk–the stress of being silent. Got that.

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