Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Coming to Ground: Science and Buddha Suggest Humility

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I spent this past weekend at the Barre Center for Buddhist studies leading a workshop on metaphors and the Buddha’s teachings. We shared poems, conversation, and meditation practice. We contemplated the ubiquity of metaphors, their power to inspire and influence, and how the Buddha’s teachings relied upon metaphors.

The upshot of these considerations is an invitation to loosen our grasp on our thoughts. If these thoughts are constructed, filtered, and biased then we shouldn’t treat them with grave seriousness. They are best guesses. Meditation practice helps us to make the best guesses that we can. There is a comforting coming to ground that opens up when we consider how we are metaphorical creatures. A humility that can help us to live with ease in the world.

This coming to ground reminds me of the David Whyte poem, “The Opening of Eyes” from his collection, Songs for Coming Home

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.



  • http://louellabryant.com Ellie

    Love After Love ~ Derek Walcott

    The time will come
    when, with elation,
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door, in your own mirror,
    and each will smile at the other’s welcome
    and say, sit here. Eat.
    You will love again the stranger who was your self.
    Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
    to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
    all your life, whom you have ignored
    for another, who knows you by heart.
    Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
    the photographs, the desperate notes,
    peel your own image from the mirror.
    Sit. Feast on your life.

Previous Posts

Transitions, Attachments, and Hope
It's been a long winter here in Northern Vermont and elsewhere around the country. The mountain is still frozen and buried in snow. In the valley, the long buried grass, brown and tired, is emerging from under the receding glacier, yet my yard is still buried in snow. The calendar reads April but

posted 3:02:56pm Apr. 07, 2014 | read full post »

A Special Opportunity for Opening Your Heart in Relationship with Tara Brach
I'd like to let you know about a special opportunity with my charma friend Tara Brach who is one of the more authentic and beloved mindfulness teachers. She is author of the bestsellers Radical Acceptance and more recently, True Refuge. Please read about this special program below. It’s often

posted 8:12:05pm Mar. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Equanimity in the Face of Adversity, Controversy, and Memory
The Dalai Lama recently visited with President Obama. Not such an unusual event since they have visited before, but the Chinese Government used this as an opportunity to complain, threaten, and

posted 7:24:11pm Mar. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Sit Still
If you listen carefully to my meditation instructions, you might detect a contradiction. On the one hand, I de-emphasize the posture because I don't want people to get deterred by the physical difficulties of sitting. On the other hand, I encourage everyone to sit still and to resist the reflexive t

posted 7:48:21am Feb. 11, 2014 | read full post »

P is for Perfectionism; M is for Mindfulness
The February Kripalu Compass Newsletter featured an article I wrote on perfectionism and mindfulness. You can read it here. "My basement was a disaster for months, a dumping ground for junk: empty boxes, retired appliances and gadgets, books, old LPs, outdoor gear. Each time I walked through the cl

posted 7:34:32pm Feb. 03, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.