Filtering Experience

Something I've long puzzled over is the balance between allowing myself to accept undesirable states of mind--fractious moods, low spirits, unmotivated inertia--while also not getting so wrapped up in these states such that I wallow in them. Well, I say I've "long" puzzled over this, but really, it's only been in the last five years … Continue reading Filtering Experience

The Trance of “Real But Not True”

Last night I accidentally erased six months worth of texts sent between my partner and me. In the grand scheme of things, it's not *that* big of a deal. Sure, I sometimes indulge in looking back at a sweet message from a day or two ago, but I rarely scroll back through several weeks or … Continue reading The Trance of “Real But Not True”

Inviting in a Crowd of Sorrows

Sometimes I feel as though I spend my life slipping into ruts and then struggling to climb out of them. Each time I snap out of the trance of anxiety or fear or sadness, I look back on it and think to myself, "Oh, that again. How am I still falling into that trap?" However, … Continue reading Inviting in a Crowd of Sorrows

Slow and Steady Is the Pace

“How was therapy?” my partner asked me shortly after I sat down in the pub where we’d met for lunch. “Good,” I laughed, pretty sure I knew what was coming. “And? Any illuminating insights? Are you fixed?” he teased, leaning in for a kiss. “Nope, still broken,” I replied cheerily. “But yup, some good insights … Continue reading Slow and Steady Is the Pace

Hanging Out With The Mess

“If we begin to surrender to ourselves — begin to drop the storyline and experience what all this messy stuff behind the storyline feels like — we begin to find bodhichitta, the tenderness that’s underneath all the harshness.” ~ Pema Chodron The quotation above was one of the first I encountered when I first began … Continue reading Hanging Out With The Mess

Sharing Our Lives With Ourselves

I’m currently in the midst of reading a book called Missing Out: in praise of the unlived life by Adam Phillips. Its prologue begins: “The unexamined life is surely worth living, but is the unlived life worth examining? It seems a strange question until one realizes how much of our so-called mental life is about … Continue reading Sharing Our Lives With Ourselves

Managing Life

I have not been sleeping well. It’s been about a week since I both slept more than six hours in duration or slept through the night without interruption. And while it’s certainly been exhausting and frustrating, it’s also been interesting. Since I’m someone who typically sticks to a fairly rigid early-to-bed, early-to-rise schedule, this change … Continue reading Managing Life

"I Learn By Going Where I Have To Go"

One of the things that has been interesting about embarking on the Buddhist path has been how much more sensitive I have become to the little shifts in my internal landscape of emotions and well being. As is common with novices, I think I had a subconscious expectation that my meditation practice would somehow stabilize … Continue reading "I Learn By Going Where I Have To Go"

Answering the Knock at the Door

A couple of weeks ago, while reading Cormack McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, I stumbled on a passage that stopped me in my tracks: “I wanted very much to be a person of value and I had to ask myself how this could be possible if there were not something like a soul or like … Continue reading Answering the Knock at the Door

Divided Selves

I’m not sure when it happened. I can’t remember a ‘before’, but I know there must be one, a brief little pocket of time when my sense of myself was not divided into who I am and this other, outward facing ‘me’. Both a facade and an aspiration, this other ‘me’ is my representative to … Continue reading Divided Selves