Is Mindfulness Warmed-over Buddhism?

Mindfulness meditation seems everywhere these days. Even the corporate world embraces it, e. g., Google, Facebook, EBay and Twitter. And in medical circles, it’s all the rage, particularly in psychiatry where it increasingly rivals pharmaceutical intervention as a primary therapy in treating depression and general anxiety disorders. But is there any real science behind mindfulness, or is it simply Buddhism warmed over for Western consumers? … Continue reading Is Mindfulness Warmed-over Buddhism?

Happiness: What it is and How to Find It

I came across this still proverbial Tibetan saying in my pre-meditation reading the other day that I wanted to share with you: “Seeking happiness outside is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north.” In short, our happiness must be found within ourselves and not in events, goods, or even among those we love, for life often doesn’t reciprocate what we want, love, or … Continue reading Happiness: What it is and How to Find It

Tibet’s Tragedy: A Culture Teetering into Oblivion

The horror began with the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949. In the decades since, Chinese oppression has continued relentlessly, with several hundred thousand Tibetans having been executed, tortured or imprisoned. Commenting after her recent release, one survivor informs us that “Chinese officials used different torture instruments on me to break my spirit…to make me denounce his Holiness and the aspirations of my people. My … Continue reading Tibet’s Tragedy: A Culture Teetering into Oblivion

My first attempts at meditation

Recently I completed a 28-day online course in Zen meditation from a Buddhist source, not that I’m thinking of becoming a Buddhist, but because I’m drawn to its spirituality, virtually absent in current secular approaches such as the wildly popular Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBDT) approaches. I think meditation doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out affair to reap its … Continue reading My first attempts at meditation

Cultivating Stillness

I am full of early morning, tucked beneath my comforter, stretching my legs, my brain filling its daily bucket of anxieties sufficient for another day’s wrestlings. These several days I’ve laid siege to my citadel of habit, rising in winter’s early morning coldness to meditate in dark stillness. It’s not easy. Plagued by inertia, I prefer my cocoon to elbowing out of bed and sitting … Continue reading Cultivating Stillness

Peter Matthiessen: Homegoing

We lost a great writer, Peter Matthiessen, this past weekend. A co-founder of the renowned Paris Review and author of thirty-three books, both fiction and non-fiction, his supreme subject was Nature and, sadly, Man’s pervasive impact upon it: Species appear, and left behind by a changing earth, they disappear forever, and there is a certain solace in the inexorable. But until man, the highest predator, … Continue reading Peter Matthiessen: Homegoing

Susan Sarandon Gets It: Authentic Living

“I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I’ve been dreaming of my parents every day,” says Wang Zheng, a 31-year old engineer whose parents were aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight  370, now into its third week with still no positive yields as to its fate.  Ironically, new reports of possible debris 1500 miles off the coast of Western Australia aren’t offering the languishing families and friends … Continue reading Susan Sarandon Gets It: Authentic Living