On Second Thought / Dharma Prompts

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Qualities of Receptive Listening

Engaged – listening to the meditation sitting, while paying attention to your thoughts and feelings is a development from practice in this orientation Restrained – knowing your views and triggers, putting the meditator’s sitting experience first Humble – trained but not becoming the authority, not the expert on their experience Inquisitive – asking about experiences, frequent words or phrases, looking for changes in their experience, questioning their assumptions Accepting – they are leading, you are … read on

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2017 July Reflections

by Linda Modaro Like awareness, a photograph can catch a moment in time, say a thousand words, and express a mixture of mood and feeling.  The view co-mingles with clarity, shadows, and other unknown elements. By looking and re-looking, we have access to so much more than what appears in the frame; what we were thinking at the time, the way we fit in our bodies, our relationships with the location and people with us. Momentary … read on

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2017 April – Dharma Query

Simple definitions of teachings in Buddhadharma: Dependent arising or Conditionality Within our experience, nothing arises in isolation; when this arises, so does that, with the arising of this, so that arises, refers back to multiplicity and a variety of conditions that make up experience Interconnectedness Within our experience, everything is connected; there is no true separation different than appearances, refers back to the idea that all things are of the same underlying reality The early … read on

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Sitting with Strong Emotions

By Linda Modaro “Like trusted friends are a safe place to pour out your heart; meditation is, too.” In life and in meditation intense emotions may elicit self-diagnoses.  As feelings amp up and escalate you may begin to label yourself: depressed, anxious, addicted, co-dependent, suicidal, psychotic, homicidal…. crazy. A tendency to self-label may be useful at first; you might take a situation more seriously if things have gotten “that bad”.  The label makes things clear … read on

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Secret Lists

By Linda Modaro Over the years, I have kept a secret list of what Buddhist meditation teachers do not do. They do not: sing country music and rock themselves during meditation give dharma talks on love watch TV series like ‘The Good Wife’ all day on a Sunday, five episodes in a row like a marathon have intense feelings of shame or low self-esteem; old as multiple lifetimes, physical as DNA This is not, by … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, Guest Contributors

Intention and Attention in Psychotherapy and Meditation

By Nina Asher I have thought a lot about the concept of intention as it applies to both psychotherapy and meditation.  My life’s intention is an ongoing commitment to working on myself. My work as a psychotherapist allows me to help others in their commitment to this journey. My meditation practice creates a space in which I can quietly reflect on my thoughts, and like in contemplative psychotherapy, see what is arising. Whereas psychotherapy is … read on

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We are Only Our Thoughts

By Jerome Lewis We experience our non-abstract and personal thoughts and feelings, which continually occur in our mind about other people and ourselves, as if they’re actually being currently lived out in the world, rather than simply thought out in our mind. It’s this lived-out quality of our thought-feelings that makes them seem so real and have so much impact on us. It is significant, then, to be able to see that this in-the-world phenomenon … read on

  /  Creative Writing, Dharma Prompts

When Our World Breaks Apart…

When our world breaks apart, it is hard to remember what a privilege it is to be a human being with desire and motivation for understanding, reflection, and meditation practice. It is an advantage, something to be grateful for, not only because so many never have the opportunity, but also because many who do lack the inclination. Linda Modaro  

  /  Creative Writing, Dharma Prompts

What is Meditation?

Sitting with breathing with body aches with pillows, bright lights with wondering if you can really call this meditation, it feels like driving on the 405. Sitting and sleeping Sitting and ruminating Sitting and waiting not moving, not running, not doing anything. Sitting and making to do lists, redecorating the kitchen, writing an email to Soma, did she get stood up on Valentine’s day or not? Sitting wallowing Sitting swallowing Sitting and forgetting, and forgetting, … read on