Play As a Root of Sati (Mindfulness)

Suppose for a moment that play were a root from which mindfulness develops—its immediate precursor, or most archaic form—and that root shared by accomplished meditators, children, and animals. What would that mean? How might it change our ideas of play? How might it change our ideas of meditation? Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting the (Working) Mind to Empty

Personal productivity expert David Allen describes a type of distractibility very familiar to meditators—and diagnoses it as stemming from the attempt to manage too commitments in short term memory, which is poorly suited to the task. He thinks we can get to concentrated clarity and "flow" by managing those commitments outside the mind, in an external system reliable enough that the mind can trust it. Read more...
Posted in book/article/movie reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Improv, Dress Up, and Deity Yoga: Playing With Identity

I got interested in improv when I saw a connection between it and certain forms of meditation that work to deconstruct the sense of a solid and permanent self—particularly, deity yoga. Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Improvisation As a Spiritual Practice

I have been doing some improv this fall—as a spiritual practice. Standard principles of improv include: stay in the present moment, listen carefully, do not get tangled up in your ego, keep letting go of your idea from a second ago, and trust what emerges from the group. Oh, and take care of each other. Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reading the Suttas with Dharma Contemplation

On five Tuesdays in April and May (2013) I led Dharma Contemplation for a group of seven meditators, reading passages from the Pali suttas. Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dharma Contemplation Now Available as E-book

Greg Kramer's book Dharma Contemplation: Meditating Together With Wisdom Texts (Orcas, WA: Metta, 2011) is now available for e-readers in EPub and Mobi formats! Read more...
Posted in other resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dharma Contemplation for Interfaith Dialogue

My friend Liz and I led a series of interfaith dialogues this spring, using the protocol of Greg Kramer's Dharma Contemplation and reading texts from a variety of world religions. Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Meditating at the Edge of Reactivity

I have been remembering my first encounter with Insight Dialogue and thinking about how my understanding of that practice has grown and shifted over the years. (Insight Dialogue, as some readers will know, is an interpersonal meditation practice in which meditators work in changing dyads and small groups, Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Experiment Using Dharma Contemplation: First Series

Eight participants (including myself) met in my small apartment on six Tuesday evenings in September and October (2012) for an experiment in Dharma Contemplation. (See here for my planning and intentions for this group.) For simplicity's sake, I announced this series only to the Evanston Quaker Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

About This Project

So, who am I, publishing this stuff? And what on earth do I think I'm doing? Short answer: I've been thinking and wondering, in recent years, about the role of relationship in Buddhist practice, both early and contemporary. Somewhere in that topic there might even be a book I want to write!  Since Read more...
Posted in other resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Scent of Green Papaya

This movie presents a young Vietnamese girl who habitually meets the world with bright, steady, clear attention and just a trace of a Buddha-like smile. Read more...
Posted in book/article/movie reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Experiment Using Dharma Contemplation: Planning

I've begun an experiment: facilitating group dialogic meditation using a text—using Greg Kramer's Dharma Contemplation method—and doing so primarily as a way of conveying certain meditative skills. Dharma Contemplation is a meditative method engaging a text in four stages, a bit reminiscent of Read more...
Posted in 21st century relational practice | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Pali Flashcards for Lily de Silva’s Primer

Here's a deck of flashcards for Lily de Silva's Pali Primer. They work in the flashcard program Anki, which is the best free/open source flashcard program I could find. (I'd be interested to know if you have another favorite.) Anki can be downloaded at anksrs.net. UPDATED: through lesson 17: 657 Read more...
Posted in other resources | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lighting Up The Night: Mahagosinga Sutta, MN 32

It was a dark and stormy retreat afternoon. My mind was dull, my body sagged. Suddenly, I remembered Mahāgosinga Sutta, MN 32. Read more...
Posted in early buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Half of the Holy Life: Upaddha Sutta, SN 45.2

This web site draws its name from the Upaḍḍha Sutta, a conversation between the Buddha and Ānanda. (The word upaḍḍha itself means "half.") Ānanda exclaims about the value of friendship, and the Buddha responds by describing two ways in which good friendship helps in the quest for liberation. Read more...
Posted in early buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment