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Buddhism 101: The Bodhisattva and Jizo

Bodhisattva. For the non-Buddhist, it is almost certainly a foreign term.  Maybe you recall the name of an old Steely Dan album, at best. Put simply, bodhisattva is “a Sanskrit term for anyone or anything motivated by great compassion.” It is a combination of two separate Sanskrit concepts: Bodhi—meaning awakening or enlightenment Sattva—meaning existence, reality [...]

By |February 2nd, 2016|Buddhism, Education, Inner Child, Meditation, Mindfulness, News|0 Comments

Practicing Pelvic Floor Meditation

We rarely acknowledge the pelvic floor...It's like a dark room no one wants to talk about...and yet, it is a foundational element of the body. Pelvic floor meditation is meant to bring you emotionally, physically and spiritually into this oft overlooked area. Imagine Jizo, the Earth Womb Bodhisattva, holding this part of your body with kindness and patience, [...]

By |December 16th, 2015|Meditation, Mindfulness|0 Comments

How to resist Halloween candy with meditation

Sugar.  Childhood obesity.  Adult onset diabetes.  Makes one anxious.  Feeling uncomfortable?  Hey, h ave something sweet.  Then, beat yourself up.  Then try to get back in "control" of it.  Then, eat it again.  And again.  Try to stop.  Can't?  If this sounds familiar, you are so Not Alone.  Me, I ask Jizo to hold the Craving Child inside me safely, just for this moment.  Just For This Moment.  No craving is permanent, even the ones I have been feeling lately. I usually don't walk down candy aisles.  Usually.  A couple of weeks ago I was in a big name drug store to pick up some sundries and I ran smack into an aisle of Halloween candy, side by side with an aisle of, yes, Christmas candy. [...]
By |October 15th, 2015|Holidays, Meditation, Uncategorized|1 Comment

How to let go of fear, a Jizo visualization

Our minds are full of thoughts, many of which do not serve us well, even causing physical and emotional pain, unnecessarily. We long for healing but our habitual thoughts block our progress at every turn. We have expectations of permanent change instead of accepting that we are works-in-progress. How can we let go of those destructive thoughts? [...]
By |September 7th, 2015|Meditation, Uncategorized|0 Comments

#MeditationChallenge: Try 30 Days, 5 Minutes a Day

Almost everyone I know who meditates, quits.  They get excited to start, but then they quickly become disappointed that enlightenment doesn't look the way they expected. No, meditation doesn't raise us to a state of Always Peaceful or Always Patient With Loved Ones. It doesn't remove Self-Loathing or Resentment Toward Lots of People.   [...]
By |August 6th, 2014|Meditation, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hate to Meditate? Try Tapping into Jizo

In the ongoing quest to mend our anxious minds, many of us are drawn to meditation. Once we begin, we find that we fidget, we get sleepy, we get bored. We don't do it right, we fail, we quit, we start again only to quit again. Our expectations of finding peace are not met and we think we have failed. We want to be grounded, we want to detach, but we can't -- or if we do, it only lasts until the next car cuts us off on the freeway, someone disappoints us or we have a craving for chocolate. Accepting that the ground within us is always in motion, like weather patterns, is difficult. After all, our psyche is invisible to us. [...]
By |July 7th, 2014|Meditation, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Just Sit, Just Do Yoga: Know Yourself

I feel as if I need to explain that without having encountered Jizo on the hillsides of Kyoto in 2006, the stuff I write about would be more grounded in knowledge than experience. I had no idea how much I lived in my intellect, in my mind, and how little I resided within my body. It was not safe to be "at one." Enlightenment means "awake" and I have found that the combination of yoga and sitting meditation has been the best prescription for me to practice mindful living, to wake up. The operative word is Practice. We Practice yoga, we Practice mindfulness.  We have a meditation practice. I found a definition of practice: "the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use." There are thousands of books about this stuff and then there is the Being. The Doing.  Over and over again. And then, again. [...]
By |April 19th, 2014|Meditation, Mindfulness, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Four Questions: Sufi Mindfulness

As I contemplate new and more effective ways to travel the path of the Jizo Bodhisattva, I find myself encountering more and more astonishing suggestions for "How To Live." I found a Sufi teaching that goes something like this: [...]
By |February 19th, 2014|All, Buddhism, Meditation, Mindfulness|2 Comments

Hello, Ego: Meet your Builder, Remodel your Mind

Enlightenment is to be awake.  When we sit in meditation, we begin to hear our thoughts, feel our feelings with greater clarity.  As we observe our minds with compassion, we are able to distinguish between what is our personal ego and what is the ineffable part of us that is connected to all sentient beings.  We may begin to recognize when the ego engages and when it is at rest. [...]
By |February 18th, 2014|All, Buddhism, Meditation, Mindfulness|0 Comments

I Can’t Sit Still!

In order for us to develop a relationship with our innermost self, we need quiet time.  Many of my patients laugh when I suggest that they get up early enough to try meditating consistently.  "Getting and staying quiet is impossible," the ego says.  [...]
By |February 12th, 2014|All, Buddhism, Meditation|0 Comments
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