(Thich Nhat Hanh’s version)  I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand. From: [...]

THE BUDDHA’S FIVE REMEMBRANCES2022-09-09T16:31:44+00:00

Cotton Balls Softly Touching My Heart: Andy’s Retreat Experience, Forest Refuge, March 2022


  Joy and Beauty I knew I was ready and excited for this month-long retreat at the Forest Refuge when I found myself dancing to Michael Jackson's “Beat it” and “Thriller” at the counter of Dunkin Donuts in Boston Logan airport. However, the woman taking orders and delivering food was indifferent to my antics and not too terribly impressed with my dance skills!  In Front of the Forest Refuge       Administrative Building I was excited to see the beauty of rural Massachusetts covered in snow. Forest Refuge was specifically built for meditation practitioners (yogis) developing deeper levels [...]

Cotton Balls Softly Touching My Heart: Andy’s Retreat Experience, Forest Refuge, March 20222022-04-15T13:37:20+00:00

The Sixth Awakening Factor Concentration


Why is Concentration Important?   "For one who develops in concentration, one can expect to develop in wisdom.” The Buddha Concentration makes us happy. At this stage we have been effectively committed to ethical conduct and guarding the sense doors. The mind is still, calm, unwavering, and focused. One finds it easy to witness what is arising in the mind, and to see what is arising as impermanent. We are developing a deep happiness that is not dependent on external sense pleasure. Truly, “happiness is an inside job.”  Concentration is important to reach the final goal of liberation from suffering. [...]

The Sixth Awakening Factor Concentration2022-02-04T13:51:20+00:00

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Helping Meditation Practitioners


Walking to Connection? This heart of ours is filled with joy when connecting with others. We can be challenged by vulnerability and closeness, allowing another to see our dark places. And we may find a challenge in listening to the dark places of the other. Many of us are lacking skill in navigating relationships. Many of us have been traumatized, and left with distrust and avoidance. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) gives those of us who meditate relationship skills to join others in the community. We can develop skills in NVC to give and receive support, and to have difficult conversations. [...]

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Helping Meditation Practitioners2021-09-26T19:42:09+00:00

Let’s Play Nice: How Can We Smooth Out Our Rough Edges


Let’s Play Nice: How Can We Smooth Out Our Rough Edges All of us have been touched by warm and fulfilling connections to the world around us. When we feel this way, we know things are right. For those of us that have not much of that, we think that we may be missing something or something may be wrong with us. When we are not connected and touched by others, we know things are wrong. Each of us have a deep knowing about our primal need for relating, our need for the spiritual. There are many barriers obstructing [...]

Let’s Play Nice: How Can We Smooth Out Our Rough Edges2021-09-21T19:24:35+00:00

The First Step on the Path of Freedom and Happiness Depends on How You See It!


We want to be happy. Consistently happy!  We all know that some of the ways that we are looking for happiness are flawed. Yet we keep on trying faulty ways of finding happiness, and that brings suffering. Or we use conventional ways to find happiness to avoid suffering. We think that if we let go of faulty ways of finding happiness, we think that will bring suffering, so we do not even try to meditate! No one wants to suffer. We meditate to move towards complete happiness! Happy with no need for things to be a particular way. Happy [...]

The First Step on the Path of Freedom and Happiness Depends on How You See It!2021-09-21T19:45:35+00:00

Meditation Myths


Meditation Myths “I tried meditation, I couldn’t do it. There were too many thoughts, I couldn’t stop thinking.” This attitude assumes that pure meditation involves attaining a quiet mind absolutely free from thinking. A more encouraging way to understand meditation is that it is the practice of letting go of thoughts, rather than the practice of not having thoughts. One teacher explains us as being the recipients of thoughts rather than the author. In meditation, when the mind produces thoughts on it’s own volition in spite of our resolution to not indulge in thinking we realize that the mind has [...]

Meditation Myths2021-09-21T19:44:31+00:00
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