I’m Not the Man they Think I am at Home.

Note: This article first appeared on elephant journal here. There is a phenomenon I would like to explore that involves a person beginning and traveling a meditative or yogic path that is in complete contradistinction from the spiritual or religious position of their family and upbringing. Maybe Westerners who have become Buddhists or serious yoga…

The Dawn of Enlightenment

Note: This piece first appeared on elephant journal, here. We are all alone. In Sophie Fiennes’ wonderful documentary starring the contemporary celebrity philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, Zizek speaks of the spontaneous arising ideology that we all employ to help us manage our lives, but which instead keeps us from seeing what’s…

Effort is a Moment of Mistrust

Author’s note: The title of this article is a quote, taken out of context, from a talk that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche gave at an advanced assembly several years ago. The following is my processing this idea while sitting in the dining hall at Karme Choling as we waited for Rinpoche to invite us in the…

Pema Chodron: This is the Most Important Thing

Note: This piece first appeared on elephant journal, here. Pema Chodron, the Rockstar Nun, made this enlightening statement to an audience at Shambhala Mountain Center for the first Shambhala Sangha Retreat in 2009: “There’s nothing more important on our spiritual path than developing gentleness to oneself.” This key practice translates into gentleness towards others and…

Three Steps to Learning to Experience Life Fully

Note: This piece first appeared on elephant journal, here. In 2009, Pema Chodron and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche co-led a week long meditation retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado entitled Cultivating Gentleness and Strength. When Pema Chodron speaks about relating to life in a sane way, people listen. They listen because of her friendly demeanor,…