10 May
2012
Posted in: Retreats
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Mudita Haiku

At the retreat, Pascal Auclair gave a wonderful talk on Mudita, which I understand to mean the way we share in and feel uplifted by the joy of others. He talked about how energy flows from one person to another, and how this quality of gladness…as well as compassion, goodwill and balanced attention….are always welcome.

After the talk, we each wrote a mudita haiku. Here’s mine:

They kiss and kiss.
I relax and smile.
Envy has left the building.

9 May
2012
Posted in: Practice, Retreats
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S-T-O-P

Stop. Take a breath. Observe. Proceed.

This is a cool little mindfulness practice I brought back from the retreat, thanks to Tempel Smith. At least once a day, I send a text to one of my dharma buddies that just says: STOP.

It stands for: Stop. Take a breath. Observe. Proceed.

And at least once a day, each of them sends the same text to me.

So, randomly, I get these little “pings” on my cell phone throughout the day, and I’m reminded to come back to the present moment and to notice what’s going on. It’s very sweet. Especially since I’m also reminded that someone I care about is thinking of me.

8 May
2012
Posted in: Food, Practice, Retreats
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First Bite Meditation

On the last day of the “Worldly Dharmas” retreat, Sally Armstrong asked us to write down — and to share — one or two intentions we have for bringing our practice into the world over the next few months.

One of mine has to do with money and I’ll write more about that later. But the other one is to practice what I’m calling First Bite Meditation.

Mindfully eating at every meal is surely a good idea, but the truth is, it’s just not going to happen. At least not for me. At least not right now.

But I do think I can manage to be somewhat more mindful. And my first step is to set an intention of mindfully eating the first bite of every meal.

I’ve been trying it now for 2-and-a-half days, and most of the time I’ve caught myself mid-bite, mid-meal and thought….#!%&!….I forgot again! But then I just say, OK, at least I can stop for a second and taste this bite.

And then I do.

It’s harder than I thought, but it’s getting easier. I’m catching myself earlier. And I’m slowing down a little bit more.

It’s good to be in the world….and to know what it tastes like!

7 May
2012
Posted in: Retreats, Sangha at Large
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The Artist Cook

I’m back from the desert, which was dry and prickly and full of life.

I learned a lot.

Amazing, isn’t it, the things you discover when you start paying attention. For example, I found out that one of the fabulous cooks at the retreat is an artist….and not only in the kitchen! Her name is Anna Oneglia and she paints and makes these wonderful word/image prints.

Check out her paintings of Ganeesha on a Bike and more!

26 Apr
2012
Posted in: Retreats
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Sitting in the Desert

I’m leaving on Saturday morning for Joshua Tree Retreat Center, which is in the high desert of southern California. I’m going for a 7-day retreat/workshop, which is part of the Dedicated Practitioner Program I’m enrolled in through Spirit Rock.

Jack Kornfield and Sally Armstrong will be the main teachers, but Pascal Auclair, Tempel Smith, Trudy Goodman and Diana Winston will also be teaching.

The theme of this retreat is “Worldly Dharmas.” The pre-retreat letter says: “We will explore what it means to be sincere lay practitioners in the 21st century, practicing in a tradition that has a monastic lineage, devoted to deepening wisdom and compassion, yet living a life in the world, with all the challenges of livelihood, relationships and more.”

So, basically, this retreat is all about money and sex!

Should be interesting. I’ll post all about it when I get back on May 6.

Stay tuned!

 

 

18 Apr
2012
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Coming Soon

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