Spaciousness Within the Mundane

I hate doing laundry.  I realize this is somewhat ridiculous. It would be one thing if this chore was an all day affair that involved boiling a huge vat of water over a fire, scrubbing clothes on a metal washboard with hard soap, and hanging the clothes on a line to dry. But in our … Continue reading Spaciousness Within the Mundane

Training the Mind for Realization

When I was first establishing my meditation practice and studying Buddhism at the Shambhala Center of New York, I remember telling a teacher that it was hard for me not to berate myself for realizing that my attention had wandered, that it was actually getting in the way of returning my attention to the breath. … Continue reading Training the Mind for Realization

“What’s Next?”

As a one friend celebrates his birthday today, and two other friends are getting married tomorrow, I've been thinking a lot about how we mark the different chapters of life. It seems as though childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood are full of clear transitions--school is littered with fresh starts as we make our way from … Continue reading “What’s Next?”

Optional Suffering

The Buddha did not present suffering as the first noble truth just because he had figured out that everybody has a hard time in life. He said that there is something much deeper going on. We suffer because we are projecting the myth of permanence upon a situation that is actually conditioned, selfless, and constantly … Continue reading Optional Suffering

Going to the “Compassion Gym”

After taking a break from running for several weeks, I've started ramping up so that I can participate in the Chase Corporate Challenge this next Thursday, along with an expected 25,000 runners in downtown Chicago. Whenever I return to regular exercise after a hiatus, I'm always struck by how hard the first couple of runs … Continue reading Going to the “Compassion Gym”

Life for Rent

This has been a long week--a long two weeks, actually. I edit financial news releases, and we're in the second busiest quarter of the year. This means working overtime, which is physically exhausting, but more than that, it means hectic, frenetic days in which the phone never stops ringing, deadlines are tight, and the mood … Continue reading Life for Rent

Built In Fresh Starts

Every year around this time spring creeps up on me and takes me by surprise: I'm going along, living day-to-day, probably a bit caught up in the grind of work, and have basically accepted the winter chill as an immovable fact of life as I know it...when one day, I wake up and find myself … Continue reading Built In Fresh Starts

The Space in Between

“We spend all our energy and waste our lives trying to re-create these zones of safety, which are always falling apart. That's the essence of samsara - the cycle of suffering that comes from continuing to seek happiness in all the wrong places.” ~ Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty Yesterday morning, I sipped my coffee and … Continue reading The Space in Between

Socializing With the Past

Yesterday a dear friend whom I know from graduate school visited from London. Even though I adore her and have been excited about this visit for months, there was part of me that was undeniably anxious as the time to meet up with her drew near. Some of the anxiety was purely logistics--finding her when … Continue reading Socializing With the Past

The Cost of Being “Real”

This week I've been thinking back on the books I loved most when I was a little girl as I tried to decide on a gift for the son of a couple of dear friends. Stuart Little, Le Petit Prince, Rikki Tikki Tavi were some of the first that came to mind--stories of spirited adventures and courage, … Continue reading The Cost of Being “Real”