What Meditation & Mindfulness are Really About

  As a long-time meditator and Buddhist, I am increasingly concerned about the level of appropriation of meditation practices.  I am especially frightened by people and professionals who claim to others that they are knowledgeable on the subject, to the point of calling themselves teachers, but who clearly promote a harmful and grossly misguided version of meditation. … Continue reading What Meditation & Mindfulness are Really About

Going to the “Compassion Gym”

After taking a break from running for several weeks, I've started ramping up so that I can participate in the Chase Corporate Challenge this next Thursday, along with an expected 25,000 runners in downtown Chicago. Whenever I return to regular exercise after a hiatus, I'm always struck by how hard the first couple of runs … Continue reading Going to the “Compassion Gym”

Stay With Me | Why Being Present Makes or Breaks Relationships

The other night I was streaming an episode of the show American Odyssey when an intimate scene between two characters struck me in such a lovely way.  For those of you who don't know the show, it has a "network television series" feel to it and the main plot centers around a female soldier in the middle east who's presumed dead … Continue reading Stay With Me | Why Being Present Makes or Breaks Relationships

Built In Fresh Starts

Every year around this time spring creeps up on me and takes me by surprise: I'm going along, living day-to-day, probably a bit caught up in the grind of work, and have basically accepted the winter chill as an immovable fact of life as I know it...when one day, I wake up and find myself … Continue reading Built In Fresh Starts

The Trance of “Real But Not True”

Last night I accidentally erased six months worth of texts sent between my partner and me. In the grand scheme of things, it's not *that* big of a deal. Sure, I sometimes indulge in looking back at a sweet message from a day or two ago, but I rarely scroll back through several weeks or … Continue reading The Trance of “Real But Not True”

Hanging Out With The Mess

“If we begin to surrender to ourselves — begin to drop the storyline and experience what all this messy stuff behind the storyline feels like — we begin to find bodhichitta, the tenderness that’s underneath all the harshness.” ~ Pema Chodron The quotation above was one of the first I encountered when I first began … Continue reading Hanging Out With The Mess

On the Power and Rigidity of Narrative

That we as human beings construct narratives for ourselves is as old as language itself. We tell stories to reflect and share experiences; we listen to stories and connect them back to ourselves in order to make sense of our existence. But narratives don’t just come into being as a way to communicate with others. … Continue reading On the Power and Rigidity of Narrative

Locating the Cessation of Suffering in Its Cause

Some time ago, one of my dharma teachers suggested the phrase, I have everything I need, as a mantra of sorts to return to when caught up in feelings of anxiety. At the time it sounded a bit hokey to me--the idea of stopping in a moment of anxiousness to say to myself, “Laura, you … Continue reading Locating the Cessation of Suffering in Its Cause

Ordinary Magic – The Present Moment Challenge

People who are from the Shambhala tradition are probably familiar with this term, Ordinary Magic, and if you're one of these people know that I have read very little of Chogyam Trungpa's writings. However, I find this phrase particularly important in my life right now. It is that which I misunderstood during my last spiritual … Continue reading Ordinary Magic – The Present Moment Challenge