The Four Foundations of Mindfulness According to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

By Derek Kolleeny

Leading up to the Westchester Buddhist Center’s sixth annual retreat at the Garrison Institute on February 16-23, 2018, Derek Kolleeny discusses the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one here. In the second part of this series on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (FFM), we will look at the unique presentation of…

Solitary Encounters

By Jennifer Stitt

Every story has a beginning. Mine begins, too, with silence—with being silenced. My voice was smothered and squashed for years by a violent mother whose anger and bitterness consumed her, whose anger and bitterness very nearly consumed me. As a young girl, my only desire was to vanish from the world, and I did by disappearing into the stories printed in books. I devoured books.

Practicing the Four Foundations of Mindfulness

By Derek Kolleeny

Leading up to the Westchester Buddhist Center’s sixth annual retreat at the Garrison Institute on February 16-23, 2018, Derek Kolleeny discusses the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. This is part one of a two-part series. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness (FFM) are a system of contemplation presented by Siddhartha Gautama—known more commonly as the Buddha Shakyamuni—to his students in the year…

Enter the Gates That Open

By John Tarrant

Q: What is Zen? A: Food in the pot, water in the pail. (Zen Koan) The creative moment appears inside the things of the world. When we stop grabbing at things, they seem to approach us and our connection with them is something we feel and know. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke said that an angel wouldn’t be impressed by our…

The Courage to Be in Solitude

By Jennifer Stitt

The remedy for loneliness is in learning to admit solitude as one admits the bayonet: gracefully, now that already it pierces the heart. —Denis Johnson, “The White Fires of Venus” (1975) In dark times, we often turn to literature to help us understand the turmoil raging within ourselves and our worlds. During the 1850s, for example, American readers looked to…

A Prayer of Gratitude

By The Garrison Institute

For many of us, Thanksgiving represents a mixed bag of our most altruistic and our most greedy impulses. On the one hand, we gather together with our loved ones to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for. On the other, we often do this through excessive consumption and the madness of Black Friday shopping. In this video from…

The Difference between Loneliness and Solitude

By Jennifer Stitt

Americans lead lonely lives. Or so say so many headlines. Study after study posits that we have never been more socially isolated than we are now, and that the pain of loneliness is expressed not just in our psychic yearning for companionship but also in our physical afflictions. Lonely minds are also lonely bodies, experiencing higher rates of cardiovascular disease,…

The Theory and Practice of Satyagraha

By Mohandas Gandhi

Carried out to its utmost limit, Satyagraha is independent of pecuniary or other material assistance; certainly, even in its elementary form, of physical force or violence. Indeed, violence is the negation of this great spiritual face, which can only be cultivated or wielded by those who will entirely eschew violence. It is a force that may be used by individuals…