Category Archives: Mindfulness

A Gift

I have a tendency to get a bit serious when I am doing something that is good for me, like hiking or cooking a good meal. Between moments of full presence and enjoyment, I am going through the motions. In … Continue reading

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Pure Enjoyment

Snowshoeing up a hill on a beautiful sunny day, it was so much fun to notice a dog’s pure enjoyment as she played in the snow.  Her energy seemed boundless, though her human said she would later pay the price.  … Continue reading

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Meditation Retreat with Kathy on the shores of Lake Tahoe April 8-11

Dear Friends, I am so happy to be co-teaching a short residential retreat with my good friend Amita Schmidt on the beautful shore of Lake Tahoe, our “third teacher.”  (We’d just been swimming in Tahoe when this photo was taken.)  … Continue reading

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Can We Talk?

This is the guest column I wrote for Fresh Ideas in the Nevada Appeal (published on 5/31).  Hoping it will jump start my creative process! “That’s it!” he said, “I’m not talking to you anymore; you’re not listening to me,” … Continue reading

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A Heart as Wide as the World

To have a heart as wide as the world—a phrase I first heard from meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg—is my aspiration.  In Buddhist psychology the heart is not separate from the mind, which is known as citta in Sanskrit.  … Continue reading

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Beginning Again

Beginnings lead to endings and endings to beginnings.  Maybe that is part of the romance of  sunsets—not only are they beautiful, but they end the day and begin the night. As a long-time meditator, I have trained in noticing the … Continue reading

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Haiku

Recently I went on a walk with friends from our Buddhist study group. An artist in my book club had invited us to write a poem for our December meeting, which is the one where we don’t read a book. … Continue reading

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Relaxing Relentlessly

There have been times in my life when I awoke feeling so overwhelmed I’d wish the world would stop for awhile so I could catch up.  It’s relentless, I would say, sighing. That’s why I found it especially funny on … Continue reading

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Soft and Strong

This morning in yoga Amy asked some questions:  What do we need/want from the class?  What is our intention for the class?  Then she guided us to quiet our minds and use our breath to tune into our bodies and … Continue reading

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Cat Consciousness

Calico arrived in my home almost eight years ago after living as a barn cat in central Nevada. Though too scared to allow herself to be touched, she used to follow the family around the ranch, so when they moved … Continue reading

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One Hundred

A Mindful Breath began over two years ago as a way to share my photos, ideas and experiences.  This post is number one hundred!  As I began I asked advice of a friend who enjoys subscribing to blogs.  She suggested … Continue reading

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Legs

I was walking on the trail last week feeling puny (love that word), slogging along, when I heard a voice from decades ago:  “You have strong legs—use them!” said the Aikido sensei to me during the brief period when I … Continue reading

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Reunion

I should have known better.  When I casually announced I’d like to go up Lembert Dome in Yosemite, I imagined a relatively easy switch-backing trail to the top.  It does exist, but that’s how we went down, not up. This … Continue reading

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Alert and Relaxed

When I hit menopause, I lost my excellent ability to nap—gone, gone, gone.  I’d lie there totally alert, practicing breathing and relaxing to no avail.  Recently I’ve had the luxury of more down time.  Those who know me will know … Continue reading

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Moving Meditation

At a meditation retreat years ago I mentioned to my teacher that I was taking a long walk every day. He didn’t see that as a distraction, but rather an opportunity to practice another form of meditation. When practicing concentration … Continue reading

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MOMs

A few days ago I was sitting on my soft, camel-colored chair in my usual morning trance, drinking coffee and absorbed in reading or playing a game on the iPad.  Suddenly I was fully present; it was like a light … Continue reading

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Five Daily Recollections

Recently, inspired by the meditation retreat she had just attended, our beloved yoga teacher Angela recited the Five Daily Recollections given to us by the Buddha in one of his sermons.  There were two typical types of responses:  “wow, that’s … Continue reading

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The Four Worldly Winds

Last week I tuned into Fresh Air on National Public Radio; Terry Gross is in her fourth decade interviewing people in this highly regarded show, and yet she was saying, “…if somebody gives me positive feedback, I feel like yeah, … Continue reading

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Imperfect Human

“Why are we so hard on ourselves?” a friend plaintively asked me.  She told me she had made a scheduling error, and felt bad that she had let someone down. Then she brightened and said that she had been able … Continue reading

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Perfections of the Heart

At a recent retreat, Kamala Masters, our teacher, would ask us after a meditation period to report on what we were experiencing.  What were we aware of, and even more important, what was the attitude in the mind towards our … Continue reading

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Excitement

  When I was twelve, my father took us to an amusement park and I went on a large roller coaster for the first time.  I opened my mouth wide and screamed from the first descent to the very end … Continue reading

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Spinning Plates

Sometimes we are so caught up in worrying about a number of subjects that it can feel like our head is spinning.  Today a friend said he felt like each issue that was bothering him was like a leaf in … Continue reading

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Sleep?

If you asked me what I did best when I was younger, I would have said sleep.  I could sleep wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, for how long I wanted, and never need an alarm, even for a twenty … Continue reading

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Unbidden

Sometimes it can feel difficult to accept a gift.  I have a friend who told me he had the impulse to return a gift that seemed too generous, but he knew immediately that that was not an impulse to be … Continue reading

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Non-Toothache

  As I look at the tag cloud at the side of the blog front page, I am amazed to see that the largest tag is Thich Nhat Hanh.  It’s been 20 years since I studied with him, both in … Continue reading

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Tie Your Camels

One of my favorite sayings comes out of the middle east:  Trust in God, but tie your camels to the post.  (The Buddhist version might be to trust in the dharma, in life itself.) It reminds us not to be … Continue reading

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Space Free

  The last stanza in our gatha (practice poem) is: “Breathing in, I see myself as space; breathing out, I feel free.” Shortened it becomes “space, free.” With this verse Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that we need space, to … Continue reading

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Water Reflecting

The fourth stanza in our gatha (practice poem) is: “Breathing in, I make myself still, like a pond on a mountain; breathing out, I reflect things as they are.”  The short version is to quietly note “still water” as we … Continue reading

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Mountain Solid

  The third stanza in our gatha (practice poem) is: “Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain; breathing out, I feel solid.”  As with the other images, we can shorten this to “mountain” as we breathe in, and “solid” … Continue reading

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