Thought Wings

Ustrasana Variation. New  Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Ustrasana Variation. New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

Every object and being in the universe is a jar overfilled with wisdom and beauty, a drop of the Tigris that cannot be contained by any skin. Every jarful spills and makes the earth more shining, as though covered in satin…

You knock at the door of reality, shake your thought-wings, loosen your shoulders, and open.

-from The Gift of Water by Rumi

A Radical Act Of Love

“CALLING THE EARTH”, New Orleans,  June 2015, Photo: MBuffett

“As the pace of our lives continues to be accelerated by a host of forces seemingly beyond our control, more and more of us are finding ourselves drawn to engage in meditation, in this radical act of being, this radical act of love, astonishing as that may seem given the materialistic “can do” speed-obsessed, progress-obsessed, celebrity-and-other-peoples-lives obsessed orientation of our culture. We are moving in the direction of meditative awareness for many reasons, not the least of which may be “to maintain our sanity, or recover our perspective and sense of meaning, or simply to deal with the outrageous stress and insecurity of this age. By stopping and intentionally falling awake to how things are in this moment, purposefully, without succumbing to reaction or judgment and by working wisely with such occurrences, with a healthy dose of self-compassion when we do succumb, and by our willingness to take up residency for a time in the present moment in spite of all our plans and activities aimed at getting somewhere else, completing a project or pursuing desired objects or goals, we discover that such an act is both immensely, discouragingly, difficult and yet utterly simple, profound, hugely possible after all, and restorative of mind and body, soul and spirit.”

-from Coming To Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Joy is A Choice and A Practice

“JOY THEATER” New Orleans, January 2015, Photo: MBuffett

May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.

May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.

May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.

“These meditations help us water the seeds of joy and happiness in our consciousness store. How can we touch true joy in every moment of our lives? How can we live in a way that brings a smile, the eyes of love, and happiness to everyone we encounter? Use your talent to find ways to bring happiness to yourself and others… Meditative joy has the capacity to nourish our mindfulness, understanding, and love. Try to live in a way that encourages deep happiness in yourself and others. “I vow to bring joy to one person in the morning and to help relieve the suffering of one person in the afternoon.” Ask yourself, “Who can I make smile this morning?” This is the art of creating happiness.” ”

-from Nourishing Happiness by Thich Nhat Hanh


Violence Stress and Meditation

candle“To integrate meditation in action is the whole ground and point and purpose of meditation. The violence and stress, the challenges and distractions of modern life make this integration even more urgently necessary.”
-from ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ by Sogyal Rinpoche

Medicine of Mindfulness


“The way we start producing the medicine of mindfulness is by stopping and taking a conscious breath, giving our complete attention to our in-breath and our out-breath. When we stop and take a breath in this way, we unite body and mind and come back home to ourselves. We feel our bodies more fully. We are truly alive only when the mind is with the body. The great news is that oneness of body and mind can be realized just by one in-breath.”
-from No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh

Sacredness of Breath and Sound with Phil Jones

The didgeridoo
The didgeridoo

Visiting Australian interfaith minister and recording artist Phil Jones will present an interactive workshop teaching meditation and simple breathing techniques with the Australian didgeridoo. The didgeridoo is an ancient mesmerizing drone instrument made from a eucalyptus tree and traditionally played in ceremony and healing by the Aboriginal clans of Australia. Phil has been performing Sanskrit chants for over 40 years and will begin the evening with meditative chanting – setting up a wonderful vibrational atmosphere for the workshop, whereby the participants will be invited to tone and chant the OM mantra as he sings the chants to the accompaniment of a Shruti box (a traditional east Indian instrument). No musical experience is necessary. Phil studied seven years with an enlightened Hindu teacher (1968-1975) and parallels the didgeridoo, a non-denominational meditation accelerator, with Eastern Philosophy, New Thought, and Aboriginal Traditions. He was the lead singer and songwriter of the renowned English band Quintessence (Island Records/RCA), where he pioneered the merging of sacred Sanskrit mantras into a modern musical format during the late 1960’s and 1970’s (performing three concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and two at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London). Phil has been a frequent guest presenter at Deepak Chopra’s Center for Well-Being, has appeared on radio (NPR, Sightings, etc) and television (The Wisdom Channel, ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, BBC), and is featured performing and teaching the Australian didgeridoo on the IMAX DVD: ‘Sydney – A Story of a City.’ Phil’s website is $20 Pre Registration, $25 Day Of Register and Pay at Workshops are non-refundable.


King Consistency

Today in one of my yoga books I read “Consistency is the highest form of discipline.” Discipline then is not to be confused with a ruler slap on the wrist by Sr. Assumpta or being yelled at and grounded for a messy room. These are simultaneously old and childish apparitions of my once held notion of discipline.

Recently, I read Swami Muktananda’s Meditate.Since then I have been sitting in meditation every morning at 5:30 a.m. for 20 minutes. This new consistent practice happens before my glorious morning coffee–shockingly now in 2nd place as my favorite daily ritual.
There are some lines in Muktananda’s book that are simple and profound and keep me consistently sitting every morning before doing anything else.

“When the Self is within, why should we look for knowledge of it somewhere else?”
“We meditate to unfold our inner being.”
“Within every human being lies a great divine energy.”

The book is a short easy read and chock full of simple brilliance. The biggest gift that it has given me is access to consistency of meditation.

This new found daily discipline is shifting and changing everything subtly from the inside out. After sitting in the morning I feel opened, refreshed, and ready to fill myself up with the day ahead. Overall, my attention and focus are sharpening. I am becoming comfortably conscious of my domain and my role in it. I like who and where I am in the world. This is the path of absolute freedom through discipline.