Take Off the Bubble Top

One November day awhile ago, I was dispatched by Publishers Weekly to Washington, D.C. to interview the famous newsman Jim Lehrer, who just had a novel out.  My editor insisted the interview take place at his home not far from the National Cathedral, not his office.  This to create a feeling of intimacy, including detailsContinue reading “Take Off the Bubble Top”

Seeing with Generous Eyes

Years ago I learned an important lesson while following a Buddhist nun through the woods in Western Massachusetts.  She was a different kind of Buddhist nun (not that I had encountered that many) and it was a different kind of walk. In the first place, she was not silent.  She asked kindly questions and madeContinue reading “Seeing with Generous Eyes”


“The first rule in answering, if there is one, is to wait,” writes Lillian Firestone in the new issue of Parabola, “Liberation & Letting Go.”   This brief, powerful essay stopped me in my tracks when I first read it because I happened to be on the train coming home from teaching a beginner’s meditationContinue reading “Wait”

Big News!

In May 2001, in a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk donned a cap studded with hundreds of sensors that were connected to a state -of- the- art EEG, a brain-scanning device capable of recording changes in his brain with speed and precision.  When the monk began meditating in a wayContinue reading “Big News!”