“Regulating” Emotions

Here are some questions we might contemplate: what exactly is an emotion and how do we recognize emotions via our thoughts? When does an emotion become a mood, a thought, a body pain? When does thinking trigger an emotion and vice versa? You can explore this in your sitting. This is a good overview and […]

Playing and Meditating

We talked about playfulness today: what can we do with our meditation experience that might make it fun or interesting or even playful? I also pointed out some interesting studies and thought about how play is really part of our basic nature. We also were entertained by Kevin’s dog and cat basically acting out the […]

Two Goals of Meditation

This is a lovely article from Stephen Batchelor on the benefits of meditation: “We start to meditate because of individual circumstances and choices. However soon we find that two kinds of goals and aspirations inspire us to persevere on the meditative path. ” From Stephen Batchelor https://www.stephenbatchelor.org/index.php/en/benefits-of-meditation I found out that the quote about the […]

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Hard times make us long for comfort and “normalcy.” No one is disputing that these are difficult times. But, you might discover that there is some advantage in pushing the envelope a little.  Not everything has to be about comfort. This is a very useful article on how a flexible brain leads to a happier […]

Looking at the Self, or Not

To study the Way is to study the Self. To study the Self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe. — Dōgen Zenji The Buddha taught about not-self, or selflessness, but would not answer the question of whether there is or isn’t a […]

Hug a Tree

Here’s the article I referred to and quoted as being a good example of how I personally relate to nature. We heard a lot of other takes from the group on their ways and means of thinking about the natural world: To Be an Earth Ecstatic: Poet Diane Ackerman on the Spirituality of Wonder Without […]

Great Expectations

We may judge ourselves as lacking in positive qualities, and wonder why we can’t feel kindly towards others (and ourselves) when we do the metta or loving kindness practice.  So, we can’t dredge up feelings of love for a person from another political party? Maybe that’s okay. Perhaps we are just using unrealistic standards. Here’s […]

Human Nature and the illusion of control

I hope it wasn’t too much for the group, but we talked about the trials and tribulations of dealing with the Pandemic during the holidays, and the way we judge ourselves and others in how we all deal with our behavior. Please remember to be kind to yourselves and do what you can to be […]