On Second Thought / Guest Contributors

  /  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

Gratitude

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

  /  Creative Writing, Guest Contributors

Opera on a Saturday Morning

The Zen center of Los Angeles on a warm Saturday morning June of 1975. I’d come down to ZCLA from my home in Highland Park to practice Zazen with the Sangha. Every available window was open to catch any air that might be stirring. This meant that any stray sound or smell was free to wander in as well; and they did.I was sitting close to a window that faces across a narrow driveway to an … read on