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Winter Solstice

The week before Christmas is here. Whether we celebrate Christmas or not, during the days and weeks ahead we will experience a suspension of the usual pace and routine of our days.  It is the Christian season of Advent, a time of waiting for what has not yet come. As I sit writing this by…

Josef Breitenbach (German American, 1896-1984), "Illuminated Tree"

Like Scrooge on Christmas Morning

The dark time is here. This brings a feeling of drawing in. This can be a good time for reflection. In the ancient Buddhist dialect of Pali “reflection” has the same double meaning that it has in English—it means to be like a mirror or the surface of a calm lake, to receive an impression…

Marley's Ghost

The Message of Marley’s Ghost

The truth cannot be thought, a great teacher once told me. The real truth is not a secret formula or any other kind of privileged knowledge that

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard.”

Thich Nhat Hanh. Photo by Peter Kramer / Getty Images

My True Home Is Brooklyn

Tracy Cochran takes her child on a Thich Nhat Hanh retreat and meets her very own pint-size Zen master. On the first night of my seven-year-old daughter, Alexandra’s, first Buddhist retreat, Thich Nhat Hanh smiled and looked into her eyes as few adults ever look at children. Although he sat very still on a stage, the…

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Halloween Sutra

Last Sunday, a group of us talked about how meditation is like Halloween. This was understandable since we were sitting in a yoga studio that happens to be just up the street from the legendary cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, now ablaze with jack-o-lanterns. But no matter where you are autumn and Halloween in particular brings…

Maple- Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There Must Be More

There must be more to me than this. Have you ever thought this? It’s a little moment of awakening rather than an ordinary thought—a clearing in the clouds, a a distant memory, a knowing that there is more. More to life. More to me. This realization can feel like hitting bottom. It can arise in…