Wednesday, October 29, 2014


We are all struggling.  Struggling to find our balance.  Struggling with our health and our work.  Struggling to discover our purpose or passion.

We try to resolve this struggle, to figure it out and to find the right answer.  We think that if we can fix this situation then everything will be fine.  We will be happy and feel content. 

So we fix our relationships.  Our work.  We try to find a new social circle, a new hobby and a different story.  We search and we find and we fix. 

Except with all the fixing we have been doing over the years we still find ourselves in the same situation.  Strange isn't it? 

Strange that we keep trying to fix the outer condition of things.  We keep trying to fix our situation and our surroundings.

What if we stopped investing all that time and energy in applying a fix?  What if instead of trying to blame the outer condition of things we look at our own minds?  What is it about our habits, our neurosis, our negative emotions that contributes to our struggles? 

The path ahead is not going to be easy, but if we are honest with ourselves we will realize that shifting the blame and never brought us any closer to the goal. 

Time to take responsibility for our struggles.  We don't need to fix the whole world in order to fulfill our aims, we simply need to train our mind.  The weight of the world rests on this task. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mental vigilance.

Vigilance is alert. Focused. Sharp and attentive. 

But vigilance divorced of method only leads to attachment or aversion.  You need to rely on discipline and mindfulness in order to gain freedom in your situation.

Discipline gives you form.  It is your posture.
Mindfulness brings you back when you have strayed.

When you combine discipline and mindfulness with mental vigilance, you will easily carry out your aims.  You will know what you have to do and have the vehicle to get there.  You will not tire and giving up is not an option.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Equal measure.

Cultivate these two in equal measure: freedom and resources.

You may have plenty of freedom and leisure, all the time in the world, but if you lack the resources to carry out your aims you will be stuck in states of misery.

What are those resources?  Knowledge, tools, assets, skills, support, connections.

You may have all the resources in the world, but no freedom to use them.  Stuck in a state of misery. 

What are those freedoms? Time, leisure, freedom from negative emotions and negative conditions. 

Seek to balance these two in your life, always.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What's the point?

Why do you want to learn to meditate?

Peace of mind.
Your own spiritual practice.
Confront your fear of death.
Rainbow body.

The truth is, I meditate because I realize that I am my own biggest obstacle.

My own discontentment and dissatisfaction.
My own negative emotions.
My impatience.
My fear and uncertainty.
My grasping and fixation.
The contradiction between what I know is possible and what is.

I want to be generous, patient and kind.
I want to be happy and I want to benefit others.
I want to live a meaningful life, to be part of a community that is vibrant and worth being a part of.

What makes life and connections meaningful?  That they are shared.

In order to share, I need to overcome my shortcomings and downfalls.
I need to overcome my neurosis and habitual tendencies.
I need to learn to overcome obstacles and resistance.

The only way I have ever discovered to do those things is through meditation, but not just any meditation.  Your meditation should allow you to liberate yourself from that which binds you and in the space that remains to find something worth sharing. 

The great Dzogchen master Patrul Rinpoche very concisely stated:

To meditate but not to liberate, what's the point. 

Run in the rain.

Don't worry about achievement.
Don't worry about the result.
Don't worry about enlightenment.

Practice so that you can run in the rain, and enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reaching for straws.

The mind loves to find something to do.  It craves something to do.

Check email.
Check FB.
Check Instagram.

The mind is naturally unsettled.  It is constantly movin' and a shakin'.

When you sit, you notice just how unsettled your mind really is.  The mind resists, it tries to do anything it can to get away, to continue churning and doing and feeling like it is accomplishing something.

This is why meditation is difficult.  We see directly just how dissatisfied and discontent we really are.  We see with our own eyes how unsettled and restless we are.

How do you resist?

You maintain your discipline with mindfulness and vigilance.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

An assignment: Emanations.

How many roles do you play in your life?

Father, mother, sister, brother, spouse.
Student, teacher, mentor, apprentice.
Leader, counselor, manager, employee.
Friend, enemy, stranger.
You in an empty house, you in a room of strangers, you at a party with friends.

Which one is you?

Could you be each aspect of you with generosity, love and kindness?
Could each aspect of you be patient, insightful and understanding?
Which aspect of you cannot be helpful?
Which aspect of you can allow forgiveness?
Which aspect of you gives rise to anger and jealousy?

Now the real question:
Can each aspect of you act for the benefit of others?
Could each emanation fulfill your own aims and the aims of others?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Why am I so angry?

Is it the person in front of me or the situation?
Is it because of what they are doing or because I don't know how to respond?
Is it too intense?  Am I too tired? 
Is it because I don't know the right answer?
Is it because what I have tried isn't working?

Why am I so angry and what am I to do with this anger?

If you can sit with the intensity of that question and continue to work with it,
the only thing left to do is create.

Try another method.
Push another limit.
Fail another attempt.
Reach a different conclusion.
Dance to a different rhythm.

When the situation is intense, you could simply be angry- internally or externally.
Or you could dance harder. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An extension of you.

The samurai's sword.
A mother's child.
Your practice.

Don't drop it.
The ability to wake from a deep sleep and still have a firm hold is a sign of accomplishment.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Straying into confusion.

The gap between the present and the future is the source of all fear and uncertainty. 
It is the ground which gives birth to infinite fictitious worlds. 
It is the demon from which we run and hide,
the instigator of selfish actions and irrational choices.

When we stray from our natural state of being-
a peaceful state of clarity and inner wealth-
we stray into a wheel of confusion.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Meditation Workshop.

Resting in the Nature of Mind

You are invited to a practice intensive, discussion based
meditation workshop.  We invite students with no experience
and practitioners with lots of experience to create a learning
environment that provokes insight and understanding.
Learn about meditation, share your experience,
deepen your practice.

Sunday October 19th, 2014
10-12pm and 2-4pm
1716 NW Market St 
Seattle, WA 98107

Cost $30
Bring a friend for FREE

For more information contact Greg at

Friday, October 3, 2014

Skip the regalia.

Skip the romance.
Skip the awards and honors.
Skip the pretentiousness.
Skip being right and thinking your done.

Your practice is about showing up,
its about what you do when faced with problems and adversity,
and how you deal with opportunity available to you. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The grind.

How much of the grind is a concept?

A fabricated obstacle, a perceived barrier, an unreachable endpoint.

How much of the grind is fixation?

On how much this is going to hurt, on how bad you are going to do, on your own position.

We often find ourselves in the grind.  It could be Monday.  It could be a deadline.  It could be your health.

The grind can be a lot of things, but what is it really?