Tag Archives: Mark Coleman

January 28 – Poetry of Awakening

Dear Friends, In the penultimate track from this retreat, The Awakening Poem, DaRa reads a reflection which is sometimes attributed to by Sonny Carroll, although the wording on various websites isn’t always consistent. You can read a version fairly close to DaRa’s recitation here:https://www.michaelppowers.com/wisdom/awakening2.html The poem didn’t really resonate with me, though there are some useful life lessons… Read More »

January 31 – Practicing gratitude

Dear Friends, In insight meditation, we often practice cultivating four specific qualities of the heart: kindness (a.k.a. metta, loving kindness, goodwill, friendliness), compassion, joy (particularly joy in the joy of others, a.k.a. mudita), and equanimity (having a balanced perspective). In some circles, my fellow practitioners and I have discussed that this list could include a fifth quality: gratitude.… Read More »

January 21 – Thinking about thoughts

Dear Friends, Thinking Don’t you wish they would stop, all the thoughtsswirling around in your head, bees in a hive, dancerstapping their way across the stage? I should rake the leavesin the carport, buy Christmas lights. Was there really life on Mars?What will I cook for dinner? I walk up the driveway,put out the garbage bins. I should… Read More »

January 4 – Mindfulness: kind, interested, relaxed attention

Dear Friends, Continuing with Sally Armstrong’s talk, “The roles of mindfulness, metta and equanimity in our practice“, and her discussion on mindfulness… Sally shares various definitions of mindfulness, but I really resonate with the definition that Jeanne Corrigal offers: Mindfulness is paying attention, with open, curious interest, to what is happening within and around us, with the intention… Read More »

January 22 – Your meditation is always successful

Dear Friends, As we enter into the fourth week of our daily emails, our focus now moves to the fourth way of establishing mindfulness, mindfulness of dhammas, which can be translated as mindfulness of phenomena or “stuff”. As Mark Coleman explains in a lecture from Essential Buddhist Teachings, The other three [ways of establishing mindfulness] – we were… Read More »

January 19 – Recognition without self-deception

Dear Friends, Chapter 9 of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English is titled “Mental States”, and it delves into the specifics from the discourse, where we are instructed to know whether the mind is greedy or not greedy hate or not hateful deluded or not deluded contracted or distracted (or not) great or narrow surpassable or not… Read More »

January 25 – On the receiving end

Dear Friends, Generosity is a quality that makes us feel happy, bright, and expansive – whether giving, receiving, or both. Yesterday, one of our participants shared a beautiful reflection about being on the receiving end of generosity. I think this is an important part of this practice of generosity – to be able to receive, with mindfulness, what… Read More »

January 24 – Gift of presence

Dear Friends, When it comes to generosity, we often have a limited sense of what generosity means – that it involves a monetary exchange or some grand act. In one of Mark Coleman’s talks on generosity, he says that our own presence and attention is a most powerful thing to give. In that talk he tells the story of… Read More »

January 20 – take 10

Dear Friends, Here’s a short exercise to bring mindfulness to the changing nature of feeling tone. Mark Coleman, in week 8 of the on-line course Essential Buddhist Teachings 1, said, “Another thing about pleasant experiences is how quickly we acclimatize.” For this exercise, he suggests that you eat one of your favorite pieces of food, and notice the… Read More »