Enlarge Your Sense of Things

Enlarge Your Sense of Things

A sweet teaching story appeared in a recent online thread. I don't know the author, so if you do, please share. Meanwhile, enjoy:

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked...

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Glad Tidings for Holiday Blues

Glad Tidings for Holiday Blues

'Tis the season for gifts and giving, comfort and joy, peace on earth, and goodwill to all. 

Yet, despite the glad tidings of the season, there are many among us who feel less than merry or downright blue during the holidays. Emotional responses to personal challenges are often intensified during this time of increased cultural pressures to be of good cheer. The inability to be with loved onesbe they deceased, afar, or estrangedcan infuse the holidays with discomforting sadness and grief. Holiday consumption, impulsive spending, dietary overindulgence, un(der)employment woes, and financial hardships can create anxiety, worry, and dread.

Moreover, many of us may endure stressful travel conditions to arrive at childhood homes beset with family dynamics and expectations (unchecked assumptions, unresolved conflicts, unsolicited opinions) that may not fully embrace our current selves. Past surroundings prime behavioral patterns from earlier times. Furnishings, heirlooms, and scents often trigger residual responses and ways of being.

Sometimes, falling into familiar patterns in familiar places surrounded by familiar faces can be comforting. But...

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Why Retreats Inspire Advances

Why Retreats Inspire Advances

In a world that typically encourages us to advance—subscribing to outdated conventional notions of progress involving some perpetual motion forward, onward, and upward to some where—the idea of a “retreat” can seem somehow regressive and unappealing, even conjuring images of defeat, escape, and failure. These associations, though limiting, are not unfounded. Indeed, the phrase “beat a retreat” arose during times of early warfare in which a drummed communication, a particular beat, customarily signaled troops on the battlefield to disengage from combat.

However, the essence of retreats—temporarily withdrawing from the fray—extends well beyond military conventions and connotations....

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Chronic Ecstasy: Are You Addicted to Meditation?

Chronic Ecstasy: Are You Addicted to Meditation?

Recently, a friend published this quote on FB: "Chronic ecstasy is a learnable skill."

Chronic.  Ecstasy.  A strange juxtaposition. Chronic, often associated with a less healthy form of constancy—as in chronic pain. And ecstasy, often associated with a less healthy form of drug-induced high—as in rave culture drug of choice. 

My initial response was one of both affirmation and caution. Yes, chronic ecstasy is indeed a learnable, even valuable, skill, and yet, chronic ecstasy without discerning engagement is simply self-indulgent escapism...

 

  

 

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