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,…

How Does Chanting Work?

By Krishna Das

They say that every repetition of every one of these Names (Divine Names) is a seed that we plant in our life stream. Sri Ramakrishna, who was a great Indian saint in the 1800’s, talked about how this practice of the repetition of the Name works. He said that every Name is a seed, and just like a little tiny…

Living and Dying Well Through the End of Life

By Jenara Nerenberg

Last month, I attended the second annual End Well Symposium in San Francisco–a multidisciplinary event focused on reframing end-of-life care and conversations through the lens of design, health care, language, spirit, community activism, and policy. I caught up with founder Shoshana Ungerleider just before the conference to explore these themes and the long-term outlook of how to live well through…

Photo: Paul Itkin via Unsplash winter grateful gratitude

Oh, Holy Night!

By Jeanine M. Canty

Blackness, darkness, emptiness–this time of year, where we are at the apex of the slumbering sunlight, gives us permission to enter the realm of soul and emotion. It is time for a cyclical death. Not too long ago, I chose to forego the winter holiday celebrations with friends and family each year, and instead, hibernate. It was a deliberate space…

The No Nonsense–and No Device–Guide to Gratitude

By Alex Tzelnic

If we had the technology to create a 3D map of what in our environment draws our attention–after getting over the initial mortification–we’d all be alarmed by how much energy goes towards our devices. Like a black hole for awareness, they have a certain gravitational pull. The amount of times I’ve found myself with my unlocked phone in hand and…

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…

Singing From Mountain to Mountain

By Sara Overton

“…[I]f you are painting my song the way I sing, then it would be like a sky with drifting clouds without having to wonder about the borders in the clouds. So there [are] infinite possibilities in that space of how many different shapes of clouds that will form, or how many clouds that you won’t see… A lot of the…