Beginner’s Tip of the Week: Appreciate the Joy

This week’s tip is to stop and appreciate the joy in your life! So many Buddhist teachings speak of suffering and the pain in our lives. Sometimes this suffering is from painful experiences, and sometimes it is from clinging to the impermanent, happy experiences. Pausing to experience the joy can help us to appreciate it. Knowing that the happiness is impermanent … Read More

Beginner’s Tip of the Week: Journaling

This week’s tip is to try a meditation journal. Journals are a great way to process your meditation practice. You don’t need to write much; just sit down for a minute or so after meditating and try just writing anything that stood out to you. You can write anything pleasant you experienced, anything you struggled with, and anything that was … Read More

Upcoming Courses

This June I am offering a couple courses through my business, The Easier Softer Way. Both courses are offered on a donation basis so all may participate. Meditation for Two Meditation for Two is a new course I developed to investigate interpersonal mindfulness. The course is designed to work with another person in building mindfulness, compassion, and understanding. Through brief exercises, … Read More

Listen to Talks

If you’re interested in deepening your practice and understanding of the teachings, you should listen to some dharma talks. Dharma talks cover a wide range of Buddhist topics and vary in length. Listening to talks can really help clarify or refresh some points about the teachings. As with guided meditations, you may hear something in a new way that makes … Read More

Just Observe

When we sit in mindfulness or insight meditation, we are to just observe what is present. We often find ourselves interfering. We dive deeply into investigation, try to solve problems, or seek to figure something out. When you notice yourself doing this, just watch it happen. Is it a craving? Aversion? How does it feel in the body? When we … Read More

Open the Heart

This week’s tip is to try some heart practices. We often think of meditation as mainly mindfulness and insight practices, but the heart practices are just as important. You may want to begin with some forgiveness practice or maybe some metta. If you’re in pain, compassion may be called for. Do what feels right. I really encourage you to not … Read More

Slowing Down

One of the best things we can do for our practice in daily life is simply slowing down. It’s a rather cliché suggestion, but it really works. When you find yourself stressed, angry, anxious, or in some unpleasant state, take a moment to just slow down. Watch what is happening. Make each movement and decision mindfully. When we slow down … Read More

Impermanence in Meditation

One of the core Buddhist teachings is that every conditioned thing is impermanent. We may see this in our daily lives as things come and go. We buy something, knowing that it eventually will break, be lost, or simply cease to exist. We see the change in the weather, cars go by, and relationships change. Although we may understand impermanence … Read More

Listen to Guided Meditations

This week’s beginner’s tip is to listen to guided meditations! Especially if you’re new to meditation, it may be helpful to listen to guided meditations. Guided meditations give the listener something to do. Rather than sitting with our eyes closed wondering what we should be doing, we are supplied with some instruction. This gives our practice some direction. As you … Read More

Experience vs. Reading

I’m a big reader. I have been since I can remember. I was first introduced to Buddhist meditation via a book, as many people are. My parents gave me a copy of The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. I read it and really enjoyed it. I liked the ideas, but I really didn’t apply them in my own life. … Read More