We Can’t Breathe

On the cushion I sit with my breath, to learn the nature of mind, and to connect myself to all other sentient beings. May we all be free from suffering, and from the nature of suffering. I have mostly questions today, in the morning light after a day and night of protests. I listen to … Continue 

Meditation and Family – A Reflection

I’m a meditator in my mid-twenties who’s completed Level V of Shambhala Training workshops. So, I consider myself comfortably beyond the beginner stage of meditation (compared to where I was a few years ago), though I’ve studied and sat enough to know that what I don’t know is vast. What I noticed when going home … Continue 

On Meditation and Technology

On Meditation and Technology

                      How does technology help us connect to ourselves? How does it not help? And how does technology help us better connect to others? Or how does it not help with that? And more importantly, what can technology do better to make connecting with others … Continue 

Introducing “Ashe Cafe”: Joining Work and Practice

Just another ordinary Tuesday afternoon at the Berkeley Shambhala Center: quiet, spacious, and a little dull. Core staff going about their business, a breeze blowing through the Community Room, and one person had stopped in to see if we had a dharma book for sale. Add to that a seemingly endless inbox to empty, flyers … Continue 

The Practice of Community

In Shambhala, we have recently begun to describe membership as the “practice of community.” As Director of the Berkeley Shambhala Center, I’ve been giving this phrase a lot of thought. At first it sounds quite pleasant; as though, “yes, please, sign me up for that.” But then questions arise. What makes a group of people … Continue 

Basic Goodness Violent World

Basic Goodness, Violent World

                      All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.  -Blaise Pascal Some of the headlines from today’s New York Times:   Why Drivers Get Away With Murder Oklahoma Man Charged With Murder In Beheading of Co-Worker For ISIS, … Continue 

Words for Love

Hello love, for you I have so many words.   -Ben Howard I have found that sitting practice has enhanced my love for the people, places, and things in my life. Some of my words for love: My wife Old friends New friends Wooly bear caterpillars Alfalfa fields Balancing rocks Listening Feeling heard My cats Guitar … Continue 

Eternal Itch

Our Eternal Itch

The butter melts out of habit You know, the toast isn’t even warm -Ani Difranco The left side of my nose itches as I type this sentence. I notice this. I’ve been wondering lately about the origins of itches, the origin of each itch. In my own observational experiments, itches seem to be triggered by … Continue 

A Pathless Land

Traveler, there is no path, The path is made by walking.  -Antonio Machado The words I type at this very moment are pathless. No one has ever composed these words in this sequence, not in this moment, not with this intention. These words are utterly fresh. The landscape they navigate is uncharted. This landscape is … Continue 

Anchors to Now

As one of our teachers has been emphasizing, the mind moves, and our posture and breath reroute us back to now. There are so many signposts to which we can refer that can reroute us back to now. Trees. The wind. The earth beneath our bare feet. Shimmering light. Shadow. As Zen teacher Cheri Huber … Continue