Awake in Nature

By Leslie Mott

This past weekend I was at a wedding in Vermont.  The groom has been a friend for over two decades.  And like all the rest of his friends, I was so happy that he had found love, especially after the pain and loss of his first wife’s illness and passing.  It was bittersweet; the ache and grief were still there,…

Making the most of summer break: Taking stock, enjoying and resetting resilience

By Mark Bertin

Happy summer. Enjoy. Let go wherever you are able of excessive thinking and ongoing planning and any striving. Come back to whatever feels best for your family. Relax, recharge, and reset your priorities. As parents, letting go does not have to mean ignoring reality. We can use these times of relative relaxation to reconnect with our own common-sense wisdom. Under…

The Mythic Imagination and Contemplative Practice

By Dr. Sharon Blackie

When I was a small child, I inhabited, as most children do, a vivid imaginal world. But the products of my imagination weren’t created from inside my head: my imagination took flight as a result of my interactions with the physical and sensory world around me. The pitchfork-shaped, steam-spewing industrial structures which I could see across the river from where…

Belonging to Ourselves and Each Other

By La Sarmiento

Being an immigrant to the US, a person of color, and genderqueer, much of my life I never felt I belonged fully to any particular group or community. A coping strategy I learned early on was to conform to the dominant culture so that I didn’t stand out with the hope of being accepted and loved. That stopped working for…

Mindfulness in the Micro Moment

By Alex Tzelnic

There’s an iconic scene in the movie There’s Something About Mary in which Ben Stiller picks up a sketchy hitchhiker played by Harland Williams. Williams tells Stiller about a groundbreaking idea he’s had. “You heard of this thing, the eight minute abs?” he asks. “This is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: seven minute…

Deep Winter

By Geneen Marie Haugen

The trail through the snow was easy enough to follow at night, without a flashlight to show the way. Pausing occasionally, I’d wait until my eyes could discern the subtly darker shadow that snaked through a stand of fir and pine: a trail carved by my boots and supplemented by occasional moose, maybe elk or coyote. On the blackest nights,…

Grateful for Now

By Dr. Mark Bertin

“And so, kids, if you don’t find this awesome new game under the tree you’ve really got to ask yourselves what you’re doing there.” – New Yorker Cartoon Take a moment to reflect on what “the holidays” mean to you–whatever ones you celebrate and all the other parties that crop up this time of year. Or what they could mean,…

What is the Role of Laughter in Contemplative Practice?

By Alex Tzelnic

Here is a modern koan: two friends decide to meditate alongside a dog named Jules. It is immediately apparent that Jules is unsettled by the sight of two humans sitting completely still. She begins to nudge these humans; gently at first, and then with more insistence, as if to say, snap out of it! After a few restless minutes, Jules…