On Second Thought / Dharma Prompts

Photo by Bill Wellhouse   /  Dharma Prompts, General

Finding your voice

Finding your voice: to prepare for speaking, to manage to say something after being too nervous or afraid to speak,  to express yourself and your ideas in the way you want. It is not unusual for other voices to enter our meditation sittings, have their say, and leave us wondering what that was all about?  Finding your own voice and knowing when to use it can be like sorting through a mob of kangaroos ‘in there’ (remember I … read on

  /  Creative Writing, Dharma Prompts

A creative process can parallel our meditative process

Over the past two years, I have been drawn to pair creativity and meditation on retreat to see how they fit together.  An experiment really, but I have a premise in mind:  In both meditation and creativity we tend to go back and forth with interest in our experience, the question of doing it right or not, along with pressure to make progress, or have a product to show for our efforts.   Both processes are dynamic, ongoing, and nuanced.  Seclusion … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, General

Fading Away

I believe that every human being has valuable qualities and deserves some kindness and compassion, but I can’t always feel and act this way. The desire to reconcile this ‘so called’ discrepancy distorts my thoughts and feelings, and can keep me trying to correct my actions, rather than understanding how this view* is intricately woven into my daily life.  Sometimes, it just sucks that I can’t surgically remove this complex from my experience, fix it up, and then put it back into my … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, General

what is your ‘bottom line’ in meditation practice?

A nine minute audio recording from Linda and meditators in San Luis Obispo, CA Because I don’t quite get to an adequate explanation of ‘bottom line’ in the talk, I will say here that the intention behind using the phrase is for meditators to explore their values and why they have a meditation practice.  Listening before you meditate, and then reflecting can contribute to a meditation practice that values your own unique understandings.

  /  Dharma Prompts

A Question about Reflective Meditation

A meditator’s question: In your orientation towards meditation, I want to question what seems like a bias that this practice is more “natural”.  Can you say a few things about this? Linda’s response: These days in teaching, I don’t tend to use the word “natural” about our practice, and yet, many meditators speak about the ease and relaxation that comes from taking a more “natural” (relaxed, fitting with their body type) posture, or how having a sense of play and spontaneity return … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, Guest Contributors

Qualities of Reflective Meditation

Several months ago I received a paper called “Fundamentals/The Ground,” which was written by several teachers in reflective meditation. I would like to use some of these ideas to further explore what we mean by the term “reflective meditation.” The first question to consider is this new name of reflective meditation. What do we mean by reflective? There are several implications. It’s a  word that invites curiosity, meaning to ponder, meditate, turn, or consider.  Also … read on

  /  Audio, Dharma Prompts

Sensory Overload and Quirkyalone

“Reflective Meditation puts the pause on sensory overload. The simple, but not easy, act of laying down or sitting still without seeking external input takes practice. Your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind may still be sensing, but you won’t be ‘heaping’ it on.” Linda Modaro When you decide to meditate, you have choices. Meditate on your own: Sit silently for 20-30 minutes and journal afterwards. Try a 20 minute meditation prompt / guided meditation. Meditate on your own with … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, eBook

Analysis of ‘That’s Taboo’

My contribution to the eJournal was three ‘guided’ meditations which I created based on the practice of Reflective Meditation. In That’s Taboo I present our meditation instructions as “Our story is that we want to hear your story.” Not your typical meditation instruction, eh? We want you to sit with your stories in the meditation, not to concretize them, but because they can help you develop a meditation practice that is relevant and integrated with … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, Guest Contributors


The topic of anatta is a difficult topic to talk about without creating misconceptions or reducing meaning. The common translation of anatta as “no self” is misleading. Although a mouthful, let’s consider anatta as “no enduring, unchanging self.” Our sense of self, who we are, is fluid. It changes over time and in different situations. I’m going to tie this talk on anatta to my Vipassana practice which is also a complex topic, too easily reduced in … read on