The Art of Being

In Italian there is a wonderful expression:  Il dolce far niente.  It means the sweetness of doing nothing. When I told my Italian friend I liked this expression, he responded, “That’s what lazy people say.”  Perhaps he has a point.  But at the same time, for many of us, the problem isn’t being lazy.  The problem is being too busy.  

The Power of Mindfulness

Present-day psychological research confirms that mindfulness can ease our suffering.  Simply being aware of our actual experiencing, without engaging in endless rumination, and with an attitude of accepting and allowing, may not seem like much.  But it can ease our depression and anxiety, while also increasing the clarity with which we experience pleasant life events.


     To surrender means to allow the situation to be just as it is, to let go of any sense that the universe is out of whack because what is happening may not be to our liking.  As a spiritual practice, it is not a synonym for resignation or giving up.  Surrender means to stop struggling, because struggle never really helps.  

Mindfulness As Love

     To love someone means first of all to be present to that person, to see them as really there, existing in their individual, distinctive, and startling reality.  To love someone means to produce out true presence, to make a space in ourselves to be open to that person, to be truly available.  It also means that we have a deep intention to understand, even if at times we cannot do so. 

When You Wake Up in the Morning

When you wake up in the morning, do you find yourself running through all the things you need to do and accomplish that day? When you find this happening, ask yourself: how can I make this an enjoyable day?

What are you, Really?

According to the insight of the Buddha, we are not at all what we seem. Like everything else in the universe, we are impermanent, a karmically conditioned, patterned flow of change. We are more like a river than a rock, more like a rainbow than like steel.


The key to taking care of our emotions is to change how we relate to them.  Often, well-meaning people will tell us to simply “put it out of our mind,” or “stop thinking about it.”  This may work for a short while, but we can verify its ineffectiveness in a short thought experiment: simply try to avoid thinking about flying elephants.  


Meditation is a state of relaxed attention. It is a natural state characterized by production of alpha waves in the brain, and similar to states you have already experienced

Walking Meditation

The essence of walking meditation is to walk so that you enjoy the walking, aware of your breathing and of each step, unencumbered by worries and preoccupations.

Daily Life

On retreat with a famous Zen master, we listened carefully when someone asked him: How long should I meditate?  The answer was not in terms of hours or minutes. The answer was: you should meditate all day long.



To make peaceful steps on the earth.
To sit with serenity.
To do each thing with clear awareness.
To take my time.
To live fully in the present moment.
To be deeply present to each person.
To understand.
To appreciate the good elements in each one and see
the less good elements with kindness.
To do this all day long.
Every day.

-Thomas Bien

Recovery From Addiction

Life hurts. It is full of dangers and difficulties. Each life includes its share of suffering.

The Buddha faced this truth head on. Over a long life of teaching, he claimed to teach only the truth of suffering and the way out of suffering.RichText.

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