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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 […]

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A Formal Feeling Comes

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” writes Emily Dickinson.  “The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs.” After a great shock or loss or change, a stillness comes. We sit still and receive life without leaning forward to grasp at it or commenting on it—think of the way a king or queen receives visitors. We have […]

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Remembering a Noble Friend

The Buddha said that noble (spiritual) friends are the whole of the path. The other evening, John Fowle, a noble friend, slipped away from this world, and now I understand what the Buddha meant.  As a teacher said (actually roared) to me many years ago, “We don’t share what we know; we share what we […]

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The Power of Stillness

This afternoon, I stood very still on the blue stone floor of my front porch, looking out the screen door at flowers and green and trees. Everything looked so still in the golden afternoon light, yet so much has changed—some of the flowers and even the slabs of blue stone I stood on were not […]

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One Day This Will Happen

One day this will happen to you: life will surprise you. Life will show you that you have been dreaming, and it will wake you. We each have countless examples. Here is one of mine. Once many years ago, I took my young daughter on a meditation retreat led by Thich Nhat Hanh—a retreat that […]

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Pickpocket Sutra

  Last time, I wrote about practice as a way of return, of recollection, of remembering—coming down out of our thoughts and memories and dreams to experience of being in a living, breathing body here and now.   I wrote about how this movement of return can feel like a last resort, something we turn to […]