Sunday, December 23, 2012

Being Present for the Holidays

The holidays can be a happy time, but often they become a difficult time. We may find that our ability to be present is compromised by super-charged emotions and busy minds. Hence, we miss the opportunity to fully appreciate a little time off from work and being close to loved ones.

The storylines that hold us back from being present grow strong at this time of year. Often those storylines are about disappointment. The holidays are a time of high expectation. You don't want to end up feeling like a kid who opened all of his presents and didn't get the thing he really wanted.

The "touch and go" technique, which I've blogged about before, is the perfect practice for the holidays. When your uncle is about to make a crazy political statement at dinner, or you're annoyed by

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Buddha Was Not a Project Manager

For Buddhists, the Buddha is a model that provides inspiration. He walked the same path we walk and overcame many obstacles to attain enlightenment and free himself from the confusion that is samsara.

The historical Buddha left the gourmet food and dancing naked girls of his palace to work on freeing himself from suffering. He shopped around for different teachings and sat with many different teachers. Before he sat under the Bodhi Tree, where he attained enlightenment, he starved himself and probably did some terribly painful yoga poses.

In some ways we look at the Buddha as a model of hard work. After all, if you are going to pursue this path, it takes work. You don't just show up in front of a teacher and wait for him to waive a magic wand that frees you from suffering. You have to put in your own effort to

Sunday, December 2, 2012

6 Ways to Create Space When Life is too Busy

When we get too busy our awareness is compromised. When relatives come to visit, or I'm trying to catch an airplane, or I just have a million things to do, my mind doesn't feel like an ally. Suddenly keys disappear, sunglasses hide on top of my head, important things go unnoticed.

Our minds are like one of those springs in the back of a wind up toy.  Sure, winding up the spring makes you like a to-do-list destroying, 6-armed Energizer Bunny. Sometimes we need that to get things done, but the down-side is that winding the spring tightly means there is no space between our thoughts.