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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…

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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…

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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,…

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Let Go or Be Dragged

Note: This piece first appeared on elephant journal, here. One of the best results of a dedicated meditation practice is learning to relax. Not in the floppy sense, but in the lightening up sense. Meditation allows one to see, to varying extents, that there is a possibility of having an experience that is not dominated…

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What does it really mean to be a Buddhist?

*Note: This piece first appeared on elephant journal, here. More and more what I’m noticing about what it means to me to be a Buddhist is that it is really simply about being human. I am a Buddhist in order to be more fully human. Buddhism is just a word—and a word that has a…

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The Simple Technique that Changed My Life

*Note: This piece first appeared on elephantjournal.com here. During meditation instruction I try to convey some importance about the part of the technique that involves letting go of our thoughts and returning to the breath. But, I don’t think that I really do it justice. When Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche visited my dathun (month long retreat)…