From Awareness

Let it Be

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be. Paul McCartney wrote this famous song about his own mother Mary, who died when…

Holy Week

This is Holy Week, a good time to reflect on what it can mean to be part of a greater wholeness. It is also Passover, celebrating liberation from bondage. Strange as it may sound, being still is also a way of coming to a new wholeness, a way of feasting on your life, realizing that…

George Inness, The Home of the Heron, oil on canvas, 30 by 45 inches, The Art Institute of Chicago, Edward B. Butler Collection, 1893

Giving Thanks

“Today we have gathered and see that the cycles of life continue.” Adapted from the Mohawk, this Thanksgiving greeting to the world offers thanks to the People, to Mother Earth and all her plants and herbs and creatures, to the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Waters, the Four Winds, and the Teachers. In the…

Share the Light

The Buddha had no plans to teach after he became enlightened. Isn’t that interesting? He planned to abide peacefully and at ease. Undoubtedly he beyond pleasant when someone happened to cross paths with him. But he had no plans to try to convey the great shift that had taken place inside him. And who could…

The Golden Ticket

One day recently, a Buddhist monk stopped me on the street in Manhattan, offering me peace for the rest of my life. But I was late so I shook my head no and hurried on. I had no time for peace. The monk persisted. He followed me, repeating “Lifetime peace. Lifetime peace.” He smiled broadly…

Everything and Nothing

“Love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.‘ Between the two, my life flows,” taught the great spiritual teacher Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.  How can this be? Spoiler alert: flow is key. Science and reason and our own subjective experience tell us we are limited. Yet we don’t always feel limited. In the face…

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…

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.”

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…