On Second Thought / Guest Contributors

  /  General, Guest Contributors

Permission to do any practice in Reflective Meditation

We have been working with creative ways to reflect before and after our meditation practice. One way we discovered is through free-form writing. In the piece below, we chose the topic of permission to do any practice in Reflective Meditation and wrote for 15 minutes, then shared our writing with each other. We then wrote again for another 15 minutes and did the same thing. This is the result, with a little editing, of course. –Linda … read on

  /  General, Guest Contributors

Ethical Reflection

“Perhaps a new era is dawning where large organizations and charismatic leaders are less needed for individuals to learn the dharma and maintain their practice.” – Anna Markey, Coast and City Sangha How to continue with dharma and meditation amidst ethical crises was at the heart of the GenX Buddhist Teachers and the Sakyidhita conferences last month. I came away with a few questions to contemplate and discuss with our sangha: Is meditation in itself enough for … read on

  /  Guest Contributors

Meditation and Poetry – Wilton, NSW Australia

“I recently attended Linda’s creative meditation retreat – the juices flowed into Tanka poetry – in Wilton, NSW Australia, a beautiful peaceful location where I concentrated on messages from my inner world. People smirk when they hear that I was at a silence retreat as they know I have spent my life talking. I actually love the silence aspect. The most astonishing insight occurred at the end of the retreat. Although we had not had … read on

  /  Guest Contributors

Still Small Voice

  Coming round the Big Bend, in Western Texas North to Colorado and the Great Divide I followed the wind to California Out where those Seven Sisters ride And I’m looking to find that still small voice That cuts like a whisper through the noise The sound of the truth, the song of my life Will I have the heart to hear that still small voice You’d have thought that by now, throughout my travels … read on

  /  Guest Contributors

Self Improvement

We like to think that because we have learned to know our various mind states we ought to be able to order up our preferred ones, like on Amazon We think self-awareness should reduce envy or that if we are really good meditators, we won’t feel the sting of envy at all, or the need for more chocolate In any given moment we take on faith the feeling This is Me, rather than seeing how many different … read on

  /  Guest Contributors

Hindrances in Meditation

Traditionally in Buddhism, hindrances were considered obstacles or things that get in the way of concentration in meditation. Here is one list of hindrances that I found. 1.  Sensual desire 2.  Ill-will 3.  Torpor and sloth 4.  Restlessness 5.  Doubt Some of these—such as “torpor and sloth”—may sound a bit out of touch with our current meditation practice. “Doubt” here, I believe, refers to a lack of faith in the practice. These were considered conditions … read on

  /  Creative Writing, Guest Contributors

Lost in thought, even Google Maps can’t find me…

On the first evening of a nine day retreat, I was surprised to discover that the retreat had a theme: “meditation and creativity”.  I was initially very intimidated by the encouragement to write or draw something, to produce an object, to “create”.  But seeing and hearing how others were encouraged by the “permission” to represent ourselves in some undefined way, I decided to see if any inspirations would appear and, if so, to follow where … read on

  /  General, Guest Contributors

‘After Buddhism’ – The Buddha’s Ultimate Concerns

June 8, 2018 Hi Linda, Winton, Ramsey: I was contemplating our first online study group and the discussion. The irritation came about the “Ultimate Concerns” in connection with the 4P’s. If you ask me Linda what are my concerns or what would I add to these 4P’s then it is Joy. But I sense there is a mistake in the question. Looking at Stephen’s Book and how he writes about the 4P’s I understand this 4 P’s … read on

  /  General, Guest Contributors


A few weeks ago I suggested to some of the reflective meditation teachers to write something about Gratitude within the Buddhist teachings. I have become more and more inspired by the history of dharma teachings through conversations, and I wanted to see what a written conversation might look like. What emerged is a creative, secular endeavor – a written conversation from modern times; there was no written language in the time of the Buddha. We hope … read on