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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Bio

Recognized as an innovator in the field of mindfulness-based psychology, Dr. Arnie Kozak is northern New England's leading expert in the field. Dr. Kozak's ability to translate ancient healing traditions into pragmatic applications suitable for modern lifestyles through the use of metaphors have made him a strong voice in healthcare and business.

Beginning with a journey to India in the 80’s where he took the Bodhisattva vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Arnie Dr. Kozak began his lifelong practice in mindfulness meditation. Intent on finding a way to bring the practical healing attributes of mindfulness he began incorporating these techniques in his private practice. In 2002 Dr. Kozak created Exquisite Mind in Burlington, Vermont as a vehicle that could expand his wisdom to larger audiences beyond individual psychotherapy to professionals and corporations, health care providers, public groups and, most recently with Exquisite Mind Golf, amateur and professional golfers. His award-winning new book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness (Wisdom Publications, 2009) is a thoughtful, funny, and inspiring translation of mindfulness practice through the inventive use of metaphor applicable to our daily lives.

In addition to his work with Exquisite Mind, Arnie Kozak, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist—Doctorate has been a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Vermont and is a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry and Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine. He has studied and practiced clinical psychology, meditation, and yoga for more than 25 years. He has studied with several meditation masters, including S. N. Goenka, Larry Rosenberg, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After receiving his bachelors degree with honors from Tufts University, he was awarded a Presidential Fellowship to get his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University at Buffalo. He completed his training as a Psychological Fellow at the Harvard Medical School. Prior to founding the Exquisite Mind in 2002, Arnie worked ten years in the private sector for the PKC Corporation consulting on mental health content for this revolutionary software company.

Liberation For You and Me

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha’s teachings aren’t just about making yourself feel good, they offer the potential of life transforming awakening – liberation from the anguish of suffering. This liberative potential is not just for you and me; it carries the potential to […]

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Welcome New Readers

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If you are visiting from the Rohatsu article in the Buddhism section, Welcome! In Mindfulness Matters I write about mindfulness, especially integrating it into daily life. I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions for topics. You may enjoy reading these […]

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101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy: Free iPhone App for RevActivists

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The folks at Experience Life Magazine and Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act have just released a very nifty app, “101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy” “The “101 Ways” app includes a featured “Revolutionary Act of the Day,” along with […]

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Shambhala Book Shelf: What Really Helps: Using Mindfulness and Compassionate Presence to Help, Support and Encourage Others

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

  Today I’m reading What Really Helps by Karen Kissel Wegela, Ph.D. It’s an approachable, well-written text on how to help others. Simple enough you might think. However, not so simple. She highlights our tendency to want either want to […]

Gratitude on Thanksgiving Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently interviewed by Ansley Roan for a piece she wrote on Gratitude for CNN.com, “In season of giving thanks, signs that gratitude is back.” She asked me the following questions regarding the increasing consciousness around gratitude. –Is this […]

Mindfulness of Music: Attending to the Vibration of Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We live inside of sound in every moment of our lives. Sound orients, soothes, irritates, and grounds us. The ubiquity of sound explains why deafness can be such a devastating disability as it disconnects from the envelop of sound. Over […]

300 Posts and Counting

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Hello Everyone. Faithful readers. I just noticed that my previous post on Teaching Doctors to be Mindful was the 300th post for Mindfulness Matters. Without readers there wouldn’t be much point to writing these entries. I thank you for your eyeballs, […]

Teaching Doctors to be Mindful

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There is a basic irony in our health care system (well, probably more than one!). Our doctors, nurses, and physician assistants are some of the most stressed professionals. Medical resident training only recently instituted a rule limiting the number of […]

TED Tuesday: Allan Jones: A map of the brain

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Ever since I took a neurospsychology course from Dr. Maryanne Wolf at Tufts University (author of Proust and the Squid), I have held a fascination with the human brain. The brain imaging technology discussed in this course lies close to […]

MedMob on Veteran’s Day 2011 (11.11.11)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On 11.11.11 over 100 people gathered in the University of Vermont Davis Center to meditate and chant the ancient sound, “Om.” Other people were doing the same in locations all around the world. This event was sponsored by the UVM […]

Acceptance is Mindfulness; Mindfulness is Acceptance

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Acceptance is, in many ways, a synonym for mindfulness. When we are mindful, when we give our full attention to whatever is happening now, and can do so without the usual storytelling, pushing, pulling, and judgment then we are here […]

TED Tuesday: Paul Zak: Trust, morality — and oxytocin

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Dr. Love, as he is affectionately known, Paul Zak discusses his research on the molecule of connection — oxytocin. While this may be an oversimplification, he presents fascinating findings on experiments of trust and trustworthiness, and opines on whether oxytocin may be […]

Climate Change, Schmimite Change: Finding Beauty in the Changing Cycles of Nature

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There are still green leaves on the trees in Burlington, Vermont at the time of year when the leaves are typically on the ground becoming fertilizer in the cycle of life. Perhaps this late transition of foliage is evidence of […]

Dealing with Anguish from the Bronze Age to the Information Age

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Anguish is a pervasive feature of human life. It seems like this has been so for a long time has continued despite all the advancements of 21st century. Siddhartha Gautama, the soon to be Buddha, observed this to be so […]

Shambhala Book Shelf: The Power of an Open Question by Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I’ve mentioned before, I love the look and feel of books. I have yet to buy my first ebook, although that can’t be too far in my future. I am reading the Power of an Open Question: The Buddha’s […]

MedMob Coming to a City Near You

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

MedMob is a variation on Flash mobs with a bit more organization. It’s an international movement to bring meditation to the people. It’s catchy motto is “Inquire Within.” The concept is simple: get people together in one place, meditate in […]

H is for Hell

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Every religion has some version of hell. It’s where you might go in the afterlife if you don’t do as you should in this life. As such, it is a means for enforcing morality. The Buddha talked about hell, too. […]

My Reincarnation Screening at Vermont International Film Festival

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The film I recently reviewed, My Reincarnation, will have two screenings at the upcoming Vermont International Film Festival. The first screening will be Tuesday 25 October 2011, 4 PM at the Palace 9 Theater; the second will be Saturday 29 […]

Shambhala Book Shelf: Right Here with You: Bringing Mindful Awareness Into Our Relationships

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This week, I’m reading Right Here With You: Bringing Mindful Awareness into our Relationships (Shambhala). It’s a wonderful collection of essays from mindfulness and Buddhist teachers, from Thich Nhat Hanh to Tara Brach on the value of relationships for the […]

My Reincarnation: A Compelling film by Jennifer Fox

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My Reincarnation is a beautiful documentary film by Jennifer Fox about the dharma, Tibetan Buddhism and culture, family, and living everyday life. Spanning three decades, it is an intimate, almost voyeuristic, look into the lives of the family of a […]

Tibetan Rinpoche Likes Ben & Jerry’s

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is a personal account of a meeting with a remarkable being – a Tibetan Rinpoche. This meeting took place in October of 2003, in the small city of Burlington, in the small state of Vermont. This account is, at […]

Live Webcast from Dharamsala: Mind and Life XXIII, Ecology, Ethics and Interdepence

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In 1984, I attended the Inner Science Conference with the Dalai Lama and Western scientists and clinicians. The Inner Science Conference was the precursor to the Mind and Life Series, that is now in its 23rd incarnation. Amazingly, you can […]

Book Shelf: Your True Home by Thich Nhat Hanh

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Tich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala 2011) arrived in the mail the other day. It’s a lovely book, and I mean the physicality of “book.” It’s a thick 5 by 7 inch volume that you know […]

From the Archive: Wisdom from the Exquisite Mind (A)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Action Action is what we do in the world, and sometimes not do. Actions or behaviors can be beneficial, neutral or destructive. Discernment helps us to know what actions might lead to what outcomes. Action can also be mental. A certain thought […]

G is for Gratitude: Mindfulness and the Gift of this Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Before Buddhist’s eat a meal they take a moment to acknowledge all the efforts by the countless beings that contributed to the possibility of this meal — the worms, farmers, pickers, truckers, grocery store clerks, even bacteria. This acknowledgement helps […]

The Buddha’s Dharma in Burlington, Vermont

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Fall and Winter community meditation schedule for the Exquisite Mind Psychotherapy and Meditation Studio has been updated. We will now be sitting four days a week at the studio and conducting a half-day retreat the second Saturday of each […]

10 Mindful Minutes for Kids: Goldie Hawn Promotes Mindfulness in Schools

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Goldie Hawn speaking on Good Morning America about well-being for kids — with mindfulness as the central approach. She has founded the Hawn Foundation and the approach called, “MindUP” implemented in schools. She has also written a book, 10 Mindful […]

Axiom: The Classics: Bhagavad Gita

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Bhagavad Gita — Lord Krishna talking to Arjuna, Chapter 2, stanzas 14 & 15 When the senses contact sense objects, a person experiences cold or heat, pleasure or pain. These experiences are fleeting; they come and go. Bear them patiently, […]

TED Tuesday: Sunni Brown: Doodler’s Unite

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Doodle your way to creativity! Watch this fascinating and brief talk on the value of doodling. Like play, doodling gets lost as we move out of childhood, but may be no less essential. She defines doodling as, “To make spontaneous […]

Fall in the North Country: Transitions, Color, and Bliss

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The leaves are changing color, a little later than usual in the North Country of Vermont. Fall is here and winter inexorably behind. Cool nights attest to this transition, as the living world of flora gets ready to go to […]

Creating a Mindful Society Conference: Free Live Streaming!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Previously, I announced the Creating a Mindful Society Conference, sponsored by the Omega Institute and to be held in New York City on September 30 and October 1. You can go in person or you can now access it live […]

Another Look at Forgiveness: Not What You Might Think

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If we are holding onto a grievance towards others or ourselves, this can be damaging to our sense of wellbeing and even our health. The grievance story is like poison, it festers, fulminates, and preoccupies. Meanwhile, our stress response systems […]

It’s All About Energy: Using Mindfulness to Maximize Your Presence in the World

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We often hear about time management, and less about energy management. If you think about, though, much of what we confront is not just an issue of time, but the quality of our energy during the time that we have. […]

Happy Mindfulness Day!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I mentioned in a previous recent post, the publisher of my book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness, is sponsoring Mindfulness Day, today 12 September 2011. They have invited you to contritbute your experiences with mindfulness […]

11 September 2011, Ten Years After

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Where were you ten years ago today on 11 September 2001? Chances are you remember. It was a beautiful day in New York until the skies turned dark with smoke. The ten year anniversary of the World Trade Center destruction, […]

Creating a Mindful Society: The Mindfulness Revolution Gathers in New York City

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Omega Institute and the Center for Mindfulness are hosting a conference in New York City called Creating the Mindful Society.The heavy hitters in the field will be there, including Jon Kabat-Zinn and Congressman Tim Ryan who has become an […]

TED Talks: Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Venerated, engaged Buddhist teacher Joan Halifax speaks on compassion and empathy. She speaks to opening to the pain of the world with courage, strength, and wisdom.

Labor Day: What Are We Being Mindful of Today?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Labor Day. Today seems like one of many holidays that has become a generic “holiday” without reference to its original purpose. Memorial Day and Labor Day mark the beginning and end of the summer season in the Northeast United […]

Hurricane Irene: Not Just a Metaphor

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Hurricane Irene is very real and causing death and damage on the East Coast. It’s raining here in Vermont, the winds are picking up. We are not sure what to expect as this storm wends its way north. There has […]

Fascination. Mindfulness Provides All You Need to be Thrilled and it is Right Under Your Nose

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We live to be fascinated by the fascinating. We are built to appreciate the novel. After all, something new on the horizon may have meant dinner or being dinner for our ancestors. However, today, novelty seeking can become an end […]

Wisdom Publications Mindfulness Day: 12 September 2011

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Monday, 12 September 2011 has been designated “Mindfulness Day” by Wisdom Publications. For more information click here. While everyday should be a mindfulness day, it is great to see the growing recognition of mindfulness in the public consciousness. If you […]

We Are Constructed Through Metaphor: Article in the New Online Publication “Full Moon Insight Journal”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My article, We Are Constructed Through Metaphor just appeared in the the new online Journal, full moon Insight Journal, from the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies where I am a faculty member. The article explores the role of language, metaphor, […]

Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act — The 2011 Intent Web Award

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings to everyone at Mindfulness Matters. Below is a message from my friends at Experience Life Magazine and Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act. Take a moment to cast your vote and join the Healthy Revolution! With blessings and gratitude — […]

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Part Six: You Have Everything You Need To Start Right Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

You can meditate anytime anywhere. You don’t need any special conditions. Wherever you are right now is just fine. You can be in a crowded train, or waiting for a bus, or in a quiet cloister. All of these geographies […]

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Part Five: Your Religion, If You Have One, Is OK With This

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Meditation is not religion. Or at least it doesn’t have to be. All religions have a meditative tradition, but meditation is just about paying attention to what is happening now. Religion doesn’t own attention. You do. Meditation is not necessarily […]

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living, Part Five: Be Good

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Imagine what the world would be like if generosity, kindness, and wisdom prevailed over greed, hatred, and ignorance.  We would devote our resources to education, science, creativity, wellness, and infrastructure rather than spending on defense. Instead of destroying the infrastructure […]

Metaphor Monday: The Glass is Alway Full Even if You’re a Pessimist

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Folk wisdom asks if the glass is half-empty or half-full. The optimist sees it as half-full, focusing on the positive; the pessimist sees it as half-empty, focusing on the negative. Yet, if you really think about it, the glass is […]

Stress Reduction Sunday now Thrive Friday

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s been a a while since I’ve linked to my weekly posts on Connecticut Watchdog website. These columns, DESTRESS, focused on how to apply mindfulness to everyday stressful circumstances. I’m changing the emphasis from DESTRESS to THRIVE to include a […]

Independence Day, 4 July, Mindfulness Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The 4th of July will be celebrated around the United States to mark our independence from the British. And while that event happened on 4 July 1776, 231 years ago, have we achieved all the independence we can? Like most […]

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Four: You Can’t Do It Wrong

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

One of the most frequent complaints I get from my meditation students is the concern that they can’t meditate because they can’t concentrate; can’t clear the thoughts, clutter, and commotion from their minds. Relax. The goal of meditation is not […]

How To Train A Wild Elephant

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Do we really need yet another book on mindfulness? In this case, yes. Jan Chozen Bays, M.D., author of Mindful Eating, has written How To Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness (Shambhala 2011) a collection of mindfulness […]

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living, Part Four: Be Impeccable

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The point of life is that there is no point. We are biological beings equipped with impulses, intelligences, and insights that interplay with recent human creations such as language, culture, religions, and the arts. With memory, relics, and writing, we […]

Boredom and Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I caught some of On Point today and the topic was boredom and the book by Peter Toohey, entitled, Boredom: A Lively History. Here is an excerpt: Predictability, monotony and confinement are all key. Any situation that stays the same […]

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Part Three: You Do Have The Time: If You Are Breathing You Can Be Meditating

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Meditation can happen in any moment of your day. It can happen while you are taking your shower, walking to work, and eating your lunch. There are many opportunities to meditate including doing a formal practice where you are doing […]

Metaphor Monday: Catch and Release: A Variation on a Classic Metaphor

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha urged us not to get hooked by greed, desire, aversion, and so forth. Don’t be taken in and away by the temptations of transient things (or confusing them to be anything but transient). The fisher’s hook provides an […]

A Quick Note on Grief and This Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In a recent comment, one of Mindfulness Matter’s readers shared her questions in the wake of the loss of a loved one. She wondered whether mindfulness was really as simple as it is sometimes portrayed. She also wondered how to […]

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Part Two: Meditation Is Neither Complicated Nor Mystical

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The instructions for meditation couldn’t be simpler. The instructions are as follows: Pay attention to what is happening now, when you’re attention moves into the future or past or starts talking about the present, bring it back. Repeat as necessary. […]

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Gil Scott Heron died yesterday, the poet and musician most known for his composition, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” The context was different in 1970 when he made this recording; he was speaking to a social revolution, for civil […]

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Part One: You Already Know How to Meditate

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today, I’ll introduce another series in addition to Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act. This primer, Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going will be presented in seven sections. It answers basic questions and addresses particular myths about […]

TED Tuesday: Ron Gutman

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Speaking of smiling. Check out this seven minute talk and you can’t help but smile :-). Ron Gutman makes a quick and convincing case for the super powers of smiling. A few interesting numbers: Kids smile on average 400/day (not […]

Metaphor Monday: The Power of Orange and Smiling

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently bought these iridescent orange running shoes. I just love them. The color is bold, bright, and downright audacious. Every time I put them on I feel happy. How could you not? Is it possible to understand and practice […]

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living, Part Three: Put That Big Brain To Good Use

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I alluded to in the entry, The Mindfulness Revolution, any good revolution needs a manifesto. So here it is, part one of ten. There is a book out called the Mindfulness Manifesto and I confess that I haven’t read it. […]

Happy Buddha Day!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I wonder what the Buddha would think about all this fuss about his birthday or celebrating his enlightenment. He might just say — work on your own enlightenment! Of course, rituals can be a beneficial part of practice, but I […]

Metaphor Monday: What’s in Your Tree

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This metaphor comes from, Lorie, a member of our little meditation community in Burlington, Vermont. The insight came to her while on meditation retreat at IMS (The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts). We can understand the mind as a […]

“If You are in the Present, the Next Moment Takes Care of Itself”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This axiom of wisdom comes from Jo, the author of “Kensho: Or What I did on My Christmas Vacation.” It’s disarming in it simplicity; obvious in its importance. It speaks to the futility of worry and reminds us that when […]

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living, Part Two: Put Yourself In Context

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I alluded to in the entry, The Mindfulness Revolution, any good revolution needs a manifesto. So here it is, part one of ten. There is a book out called the Mindfulness Manifesto and I confess that I haven’t read it. […]

Metaphor Monday: Cultivating Fierce Attention

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Whoever said mindfulness was supposed to be all gentleness, nicety, and soft? Attention is a psychological faculty. It’s neither nice nor cruel. It’s job is to apprehend what is going on in the world around and inside us in any […]

Satya Sai Baba, “Miracle Man of Bangalore” Dead at 85: Reflections on Bliss

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Satya Sai Baba, perhaps India’s most popular guru died the other day at 85 years of age. Read more from the Washington Post >> I first became acquainted with the orange-clad and afro-sporting guru from hearing Ram Dass speak of […]

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I alluded to in the entry, The Mindfulness Revolution, any good revolution needs a manifesto. So here it is, part one of ten. There is a book out called the Mindfulness Manifesto and I confess that I haven’t read […]

TED Tuesday: Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch this interesting talk by Kathryn Schulz on the virtues and necessity of being wrong. Being wrong is something we avoid with phobic-like intensity. We might generate a narrative, “If I get it wrong there is something wrong with me.” […]

The Mindfulness Revolution: Coming to a Moment Near You Soon … In Fact, Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There is talk about a revolution, a “mindfulness revolution.” And the evidence for this revolution is mounting and coming from many corners of the world. My “Dictionary” app on my iPhone offers multiple definitions of revolution: An overthrow or repudiation […]

Metaphor Monday: Spring is a Metaphor for Transitions

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Yesterday, in my CT Watchdog post, I pondered how spring is a time of transition and we can often experience stress in our transitions in life and throughout our day. Today I’d like to explore the metaphorical opportunities of spring. […]

Ruki, Dharma Dog

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It is with great sadness that I announce the loss of my dog, Ruki (or Ruki Dog Kozak as his last prescription medicine said) on the 2nd of April 2011. After 9.5 years of faithful companionship  he developed a painful […]

One Metaphor Every 10 to 25 Words: The Poetry of Everyday Life by David Brooks

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

New York Times columnist David Brooks, recently opined on the ubiquity of metaphors mentioning the work of Lakoff and Johnson as well as what sounds like an intriguing book entitled “I is An Other” by James Geary (soon to be […]

Metaphor Monday: What Golf Can Teach Us About Mindfulness and Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s almost something of a cliché to point out the life lessons of golf. Many authors have focused on the values of integrity, honesty, fortitude, patience, and many other significant virtues that the game fosters or reveals in people. I’ve […]

Happy Birthday Buddha!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In Japan, the Buddha’s birthday is being celebrated today. Actually, it is the birthday of Siddhartha Gautama (or Siddhata Gotama in Pali), the man that later became the Buddha — the awakened one. This is a day of gratitude and […]

TED Tuesday: Bill Strickland in His Own Words

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Make the Impossible Possible: The Heart Opening Work of Bill Strickland

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the privilege, the honor, and the experience of hearing Bill Strickland talk. If you don’t know about Bill, finding out about him just might change your life. He’s on a mission to save our country from the cancer […]

The Good Thing About Mindfulness is that it’s Always Now!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Hello Everyone! I’ve missed you and suspect you’ve missed me too. A few things have conspired to keep me from writing Mindfulness Matters, including the migration from Moveable Type to WordPress. Beliefnet is still working out the kinks and everything […]

Kensho: Or What I Did on My Christmas Vacation

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The following post was written by one of the members of my meditation community on an experience that happened to her just before Christmas. It’s a wonderful story about acceptance and putting mindfulness practice into action, precisely at the moment […]

Book Review: The Book of Mu: Essential Writings on Zen’s Most Important Koan edited by James Ishmael Ford & Melissa Moyzen Blacker

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mu is Zen’s most famous and challenging koan.  The Book of Mu (Wisdom Publications) is a collection of essays, contemporary and classic on this ancient mind puzzle and a wonderful introduction to the practice of Zen. I have had little […]

Book Review: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher by Scott Edelstein

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Sexual scandals have given spiritual communities a bad name. And no tradition has been immune from their occurrence.  Many websites document the sobering and continuing incidents of sexual involvement, as well as other abuses of power (google spiritual teacher and […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: DESTRESS: Savor Each Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

                It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week:   DESTRESS: Savor Each Moment         If you […]

Working with Pain and Anger–Mindfully

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Pain, especially chronic pain, is difficult to cope with Mindfulness can help us to change our relationship to painful sensations. I have two guided meditations for coping with pain. The first is mindfulness-based and guides you to become interested in […]

TED Tuesday :: Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

What does a live well lived look like? Nigel Marsh opines on the critical issue of work-life balance. He muses wryly that we “work long hours at jobs we hate to make money to buy things we don’t need to […]

Metaphor Monday: Untying Your Knots

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’ve had these bells for many years; sufficient ringing to wear the leather string that holds them together. When the string first wore out I just tied a knot to hold them together. This worked, or so it seemed. I […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: If You Hadn’t Noticed, Things Change

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This may be stating the obvious, but things change and they often change in ways that we’d prefer they not. It’s raining today instead of snowing. I’d prefer snow, or at least not rain. Too bad. This is what we’ve […]

Zen Brain 2011: Consciousness and the Fundamental Nature of Mind Series :: Part Two

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Want to learn about your brain on meditation? Listen to the podcasts from this recent conference featuring Joan Halifax, Richard Davidson, and others. Here the description from the Upaya Institute and Zen Center website: Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice distinguish […]

Metaphor Monday :: The Question is the Answer

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke, in his Letters to a Young Poet, says: “You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with […]

Art of the Gentle Return

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The other day, my former UVM student Ari led the meditation at the Exquisite Mind Psychotherapy and Meditation Studio in Burlington, Vermont. He gave us a lovely little reminder of how to practice. He invited a view of practice as […]

TED Tuesday :: Rebecca Saxe: How we read each other’s minds

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Check out this fascinating video about the right temporal parietal junction (RTPJ) which helps us to “read minds.”  

Zen Brain 2011: Consciousness and the Fundamental Nature of Mind Series :: Part One

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Want to learn about your brain on meditation? Listen to the podcasts from this recent conference featuring Joan Halifax, Richard Davidson, and others. Here the description from the Upaya Institute and Zen Center website: Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice distinguish […]

Metaphors, Meaning & Change: Finding Our Way to Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

One week from today I will be presenting a workshop at the Barre Center For Buddhist Studies (BCBS). I invite you to join me (25-27 February 2011). Click here to register.  This is an opportunity to spend a weekend at […]

Nirvana Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today, 15 February, marks the Buddhist holiday of “Nirvana Day.” It celebrates the Buddha’s death at the age of 80 and his transition into paranirvana — the ultimate nirvana.  The idea of paranirvana is predicated on the idea of rebirth. […]

Navigating Valentine’s Day with Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am reposting my CT Watchdog entry from a couple of weeks ago now that Valentine’s Day is upon us and in case you missed it.  What do Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day have in common? They are holidays that […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Finding Gracefulness in Unexpected Places Grace is not the first word that comes to mind contemplating a turkey. I’m not sure […]

“I can see clearly now the stories are gone … “

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently riding my snowboard on a snowy day. My goggles were probably 14 years old, from my first season of riding. They are old, scratched and don’t fit particularly well, so they squish my nose making it hard […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: It’s 8:16 AM, Do You Know Where Your Attention Is?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In any given moment our attention can be in any one of ten places. Nine of them of can be visualized on a grid, like a tic-tac-toe board. There are three locations attention can be — future, past, and present […]

Metaphor Monday :: The Rigged Balance Beam

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There’s an old Zen saying, “Fall down seven times, get up eight times.” In Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants I shared the image of a young children learning to walk. Just at that point where they are getting it, they […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Navigating Valentine’s Day and Other Capitalistic Tyrannies

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Navigating Valentine’s Day and Other Capitalistic Tyrannies What do Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day have in common? They are holidays that […]

Expect the Unexpected; Embrace the Changing

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

How’s the weather by you? It’s snowing here again in my home of Northern Vermont. This is not too unusual. It also snowed in Irving Texas, sight of the Super Bowl tomorrow. That is unusual. Last week much of the […]

Eight Good Things to Keep in Mind: Exploring the Noble Eight-Fold Path :: Right Speech

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In this series of entries, we are exploring the Buddha’s basic teaching of the Noble Eight-Fold Path. In a previous entry, we focused on Right Effort, today, we’ll focus on Right Speech. Again, the use of the term “right” suggests […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: The Mindfulness Revolution in Your Brain

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The New York Times and the Boston Globe have recently written about a forthcoming study on the brain changes associated with mindfulness meditation. This is great news and is not really new. Researches such as Britta Holzl, Sarah Lazar, and […]

TED Tuesday :: Classic Videos :: Victor Frankl

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch some vintage footage of Victor Frankl, author of the classic Man’s Search for Meaning. A book that has inspired generations of healers and other courageous individuals by his example  to persist in the face of humanity’s worst. He even […]

Metaphor Monday :: Whirlpool Self

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The other day I discussed metaphors for the self, how the idea of a self-contained individual is misleading (see the entry called “The Self is not and Island: Finding Our Place in the Natural World.” Carl Safina offered the metaphor […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Hot Buddha Sweats; Cold Buddha Shivers: Enjoying the Conditions of Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Hot Buddha Sweats; Cold Buddha Shivers: Enjoying the Conditions of Now It’s cold outside. Here in Northern Vermont the temperatures […]

The Self is not an Island: Finding Our Place in the Natural World

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was captivated listening to the NPR program, On Point with Tom Ashbrook, yesterday. His guest was Carl Safina, ecologist and author of The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World. You can read excerpts and […]

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

From 25-27 February 2011, I will be giving a weekend workshop at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. I am honored to be among the teaching faculty of this august and important organization, dedicated to making the dharma available. In […]

Metaphors for Mindfulness: Top 5 Metaphors for Mindfulness: Interview with Arnie Kozak Ph.D.

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was very happy to be interviewed by Elisha Goldstein, co-author of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook on his blog Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. When it comes to trying to understand almost anything, I have found metaphors to be extremely useful. In […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: How To Evolve From Our Worst To Our Best

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: How To Evolve From Our Worst To Our Best In the beginning we were reptiles with one mandate — survival. […]

Jean-Paul Sartre, The Buddha, a Mountain and a Snowboard

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Vermont has mountains and snow, lots of snow. Despite their diminutive stature relative to the Rockies or the Alps, we still have a lot of vertical feet. This day I was dropping down the 2680 vertical feet at Smugglers Notch.  […]

Metaphors for Mindfulness on the Mindfulness and Psychotherapy Blog

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was very happy to be interviewed by Elisha Goldstein, co-author of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook on his blog Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. When it comes to trying to understand almost anything, I have found metaphors to be extremely useful. […]

The Mindfulness Revolution Takes a Big Step Forward

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The insurance giant, Aetna, has announced in a recent press release its commitment to bringing mindfulness to its membership. Aetna, in conjunction with eMindful, Duke Integrative Medicine, and the Viniyoga Institute have been conducting a randomized controlled trial of two […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Diligent Joy: Cultivating the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: Diligent Joy: Cultivating the Present Moment In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about “diligent joy,” suggesting that joy is an […]

Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If you are one of the 29 million people in the United States touched by Alzheimer’s you will want to read this book, Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s by Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle. It […]

Eight Good Things to Keep in Mind: Exploring the Noble Eight-Fold Path: Effort

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Thank you to everyone who reads Mindfulness Matters and thinks deeply about the issues and participates in the commentary and discussion. I truly appreciate that. The Noble Eight-Fold Path is integral to the Buddha’s teachings and I’ll present a series […]

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

From 25-27 February 2011, I will be giving a weekend workshop at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. I am honored to be among the teaching faculty of this august and important organization, dedicated to making the dharma available. In […]

TED Tuesday :: His Holiness the Karmapa: The technology of the heart

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch His Holiness the Karmapa, one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism, talk about his life and philosophy.   

Metaphor Monday :: Can Words Kill?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat from Arizona, was shot in the head a point blank range this past Saturday injuring 14 other people, with six dead. The suspect is 22-year-old Jared Loughner who apparently planned out this killing ahead of time.  […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: After the Novelty: Finding Peace in the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: After the Novelty: Finding Peace in the Present Moment OK. Now it’s 2 January and it’s time to get to […]

Beauty is Here to Stay … Get Used to It!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The snow has been falling gently here in Northern Vermont for the past day or so and the beauty just sort of punches you between the eyes. The naked branches of stick season offer themselves to the gentle flakes of […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: “You have nothing to threaten me with …”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We can find the dharma in unlikely places. This shouldn’t be surprising because everything is dharma — the sacred and the profane; in pigs and the most sublime thing you can imagine. As the commenter on my blog entry from […]

Metaphor Monday :: Take the Dog for a Walk :: How to Avoid Getting Caught in Limiting Mindsets

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I heard a joke on Old Jews Telling Jokes that is a funny testimony to the power of mindlessness.  It goes something like this: A man is stranded on an island with only a dog and a pig. After a […]

The Everything Buddhism Book

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am pleased to announce the publication of my next book, The Everything Buddhism Book. You can look “inside” the book on Amazon and read the first couple of chapters. It is available in both a print version and is […]

Happy New Instant; Happy New Year

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Happy New Year! One of the greatest cliches in the vernacular and an important one at that. One of my friends* shared the alternate term, “Happy New Instant” and I really dig that.  On the one hand, the transition to […]

New Year’s Eve — Zen Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I celebrated the New Year Zen style at a small Zen temple in a rural corner of Vermont. The evening consisted of meditation (zazen) starting at 5 PM. It’s always a good idea to start with meditation to settle into […]

From the Archive :: Best of 2010 :: Buddha Versus Buddhism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Buddhism is a relatively new term, coined in the 19th century by Western “Orientalists” studying the cultures and traditions. Mu Soeng points out that, “Buddhism is not a unitary phenomenon.” It might be more accurate to say there are many […]

From the Archive :: Best of 2010 :: Stuart Brown Says Play is More Than Fun

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Stuart Brown’s fascinating TED talk was the most popular video of 2010. As we move into the new year, we can take his talk under consideration. 2011 can be a year of play no matter what we are doing if […]

From the Archive :: Best of 2010 :: Mindful Politics

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It snowed 30 inches in parts of New Jersey yesterday and I’m enjoying being stranded. An unexpected and welcome extension of the holiday weekend. I’ll be back in Vermont tomorrow and we’ll resume our regular meditation schedule at the Exquisite […]

From the Archive :: Best of 2010 :: Being Comfortable Being Out of Balance, Performance Art by Janine Antoni

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is one of my favorite metaphors. It’s an axiom to live by: “being comfortable being out of balance.” So no matter what is happening we can be comfortable. This is equanimity in action. Here is my post from 16 […]

From the Archive :: Best of 2010 :: Dining at the Trough: Mindful Eating in an Age of Gluttony

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On Christmas Day when gluttony may be a strong temptation, I am posting one of your favorite entries from the archive (originally posted 20 July 2010). Accept my sincere wishes for a wonderful holiday and an invitation to be mindful […]

Suzanne Matthiessen :: MInd/Body Wellness Awareness Writer, Educator, & Coach

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Suzanne Matthiessen is my eMindful.com colleague and a fellow blogger and mindfulness-baseed practitioner.  She has dedicated her life and work to teaching integrated Mind/Body approaches to well-being for over two decades. She has successfully employed proactive holistic wellness awareness tools […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Welcome Winter Solstice

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Last night marked the winter solstice — the longest night of the year. Today the days grow longer, even as we reach into the deep belly of winter here in Northern Vermont and elsewhere. The solstice marks the end of […]

TED Tuesday :: Kiran Bedi: A police chief with a difference

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mindfulness meditation in prison? What better place to practice? Kiran Bedi is a visionary Indian civil servant who, among other things, reformed Tihar prison in New Dehli, one of the biggest and most dangerous prisons in the world. Her work […]

Metaphor Monday: Full Circle

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s the end of the calendar year and we’ve traveled “full circle” from the beginning to the end of this year. As if by magic, on January 1 we’ll be starting anew (even though we are really just continuing, one […]

Give the Gift of Mindfulness This Holiday Season

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There’s still time for last minute Christmas and Holiday gifts. Give your loved ones, or yourself, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness, the gift of mindfulness. This book has been well-received by the mindfulness community and is a […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Keep Calm and Carry On” :: Timeless Wisdom from Wartime Propaganda

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from last week: “Keep Calm and Carry On” :: Timeless Wisdom from Wartime Propaganda I’I was walking down Church Street in Burlington, Vermont […]

MBCT versus Medication

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We’ve known for some time that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for preventing further episodes of depression for people who have mad multiple episodes of depression.  The pioneering work of Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale has […]

Teachers and Talks: Ram Dass

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Ram Dass, aka, Richard Alpert, a nice Jewish boy from Brookline Massacusetts becomes the voice of a generation. There are few who have done more to introduce the East to the West. Author of the million copy selling, Be Here Now […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are distinct and overlapping experiences. Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to our experience; it is a particular way of being engaged with our experience. Mindfulness meditation is a process that trains our brains to […]

TED Tuesday :: Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

What should we be focusing upon? Entrepreneur Chip Conley talks about customer service and the rationale for Gross National Happiness. Would we need a Universal Human Rights Month if we focused more on Gross National Happiness (GNH) than Gross National […]

Metaphor Monday :: Proust, Thoreau, Pascal, James, and Sherlock Holmes on Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” I enjoyed watching the recent movie version of “Sherlock Holmes” starring Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law as Dr. Watson. Homes is […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Mindful Eating Through the Holidays; Inviting Silence to Quiet Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog. Here is my CT Watchdog posts from the past few weeks: Mindful Eating Through the Holidays: The Antidote to Gluttony: I’m willing to be that we all over did […]

Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the pleasure of interviewing fellow wisdom author, Pilar Jennings on the release of her recent book, Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism. PilarJennings was exposed to Buddhist meditation early in life. Her mother took […]

International Human Rights Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

10 December marks International Human Rights day that has been observed since 1948. It includes the  On the one hand it is necessary and important to promote the cause of human rights. On the other hand, it is a sad […]

Bodhi Day :: December 8 A Day for Awakening

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today is 8 December and Bodhi is being observed around the world. It marks the day of Siddhartha Guatama’s enlightenment sitting under the pipal tree in what is now Bodhgaya India. This event occurred somewhere between 527 BCE and 444 […]

Metaphor Monday :: The Buzzing Fly

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Metaphor 66 in Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness is, “The Buzzing Fly.” The fly is a metaphor for all things bothersome, especially thoughts that keep buzzing around seeking attention; moving out of what appears to be […]

Art as Practice

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’ve recently resumed painting after about a 25 year hiatus. This is my latest piece, “9 Moments” that depicts nine moments of meditation, with each circle representing the arising of talking thoughts, images, and feelings in the mind. This piece […]

Freeform Friday :: Sleepless Nights

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’ve written about sleep for my stress reduction column and I’m no stranger to difficulty sleeping. Mindfulness offers us a way to work with sleeplessness. As we lie in bed trying to fall asleep or back asleep we can do […]

The Dharma According to Me(taphor)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha taught the dharma through metaphor. It’s right there in the first Noble Truth and, indeed, The Four Noble Truths themselves are presented in the form of a medical metaphor with the Buddha as physician. With the First Noble […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Energetic Silence

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Silence is a rare commodity in our lives. Our culture does not value silence, does not provide us with rituals to cultivate it, and we often finds ourselves in an “uncomfortable” silence. Why would that be? Silence in those moments […]

Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy? on TED Talks

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Dan Gilbert’s research was recently published in Science and featured in the New York Times and discussed in my blog entry from 20 November 2010. Here is an excerpt in case you missed that: A recent article in Science (reviewed […]

Metaphor Monday :: Squid Eye

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Squid Eye metaphor comes from business consultant and coach Susan Scott in her book Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today. It refers to the ability of squid hunters to detect their prey […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Surviving the Holidays with Poise: Mindfulness Put to the Test

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Surviving the Holidays with Poise: Mindfulness Put to the Test It’s the holiday season, and this can be a challenging time of year. When we discussed […]

First Snow

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Here in the Champlain Valley we got the first dusting of snow. The mountains are open for snowboarding and winter is announcing its arrival with stalwart force. It’s been slow to arrive and much of our “stick season” has seemed […]

The Morning After: Persisting with Gratitude

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I can hear the sucking sound as the gratitude vortex that reached its apex yesterday is losing air. We are at risk for post-Thanksgiving gratitude slump. For many, gratitude has given way to sleep deprivation as they showed up for […]

Thanksgiving 2010

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Happy Thanksgiving! Today in the United States we feast with an eye towards gratitude for the abundance we have. It’s our biggest holiday with two days off and many of us are traveling and visiting with family.  Of course, if […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Montaigne on Reason

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Montaigne said he preferred the “company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.” This bit of wisdom applies to the path of Buddhist meditation too. The smarter we are the more we may place obstacles in […]

Metaphor Monday :: Guardian of Solitude

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My friend and fellow author, Laurel Saville, just wrote an interesting piece on solitude for Single Minded Women entitled Stay, Fetch, Lick: Love Me, Love My Dog. Literally.  Her musings on gender-based perceptions of solitude got me thinking about one of […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Mindfulness and Yoga: A Potent Combination for Combatting Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Mindfulness and Yoga: A Potent Combination for Combatting Stress Today there are 20 million practitioners of yoga in the United States today. My hometown of Burlington, Vermont sports […]

Science Saturday :: Happiness and Attention

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent article in Science (reviewed in the New York Times) lends support to what practitioners of mindfulness already know. First, our minds wander a lot. According to the study about 47% of the time (and the percentage of wandering […]

Teachers and Talks: Jack Kornfield

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I met Jack Kornfield at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center in the late-1980s. And while I only had a brief opportunity to learn from him, I’ve always held a fondness for his writings and teachings. As you will see from […]

Buddha Versus Buddhism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Buddhism is a relatively new term, coined in the 19th century by Western “Orientalists” studying the cultures and traditions. Mu Soeng points out that, “Buddhism is not a unitary phenomenon.” It might be more accurate to say there are many […]

TED Tuesday :: How complexity leads to simplicity

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

According to ecologist Eric Berlow in this 3-minute talk, complex is not necessarily complicated. This sounds to me like the human brain — the most complex thing in the known universe. What that brain does can be complicated — if […]

Metaphor Monday :: Drinking Saltwater

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Pema Chödrön said, “Since impermanence defies our attempts to hold onto anything, outer pleasures can never bring lasting joy. Even when we manage to get short-term gratification, it doesn’t heal our longing for happiness; it only enhances our shenpa (getting hooked). As […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Strategies To Deal With Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Strategies To Deal With Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People What Does Mindfulness Have to Offer? Part Two There are a variety of scenarios we might […]

Book Shelf: Be Love Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Thank you Ram Dass. It’s good to hear from you again. For many of us, Ram Dass has been an integral part of our spiritual path. I first became aware of him while in college. I read The Only Dance […]

Consciousness, Culture and Community in Bali, Indonesia

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My University of Vermont friends and colleagues, David and Carla Osgood, teach a unique course in Bali. Continuing Education credits are available for mental health professionals. This course has changed the life of my students who have had the fortune […]

Teachers and Talks: Sharon Salzberg

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Sharon Salzberg is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Societyand the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, both in Barre, Massachusetts. Shehas studied and practiced Buddhist meditation since 1970 and has been teachingworldwide since 1974. She is a guiding teacher at […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Walking Meditation

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha spoke of four postures for meditation: sitting, walking, standing, and lying down. Walking meditation is another form of mindfulness practice that helps us to bring mindfulness into movement and our activities in the world. If we are blessed […]

Metaphor Monday :: Take Off Your Shoes

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In the poem “Fire in the Earth,” David Whyte tells us of Moses receiving the command to “take off his shoes” as he approached the burning bush. This act of humility brought him closer to the earth, to the ground, […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Dealing with Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Dealing with Difficult Bosses and Other Problem People.  Relationships can be our greatest source of both consternation and joy. Humans are social creatures and social support has […]

Metaphors for Mindfulness: The Interview

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Q: “Your book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants, is about mindfulness and you studied with the Dalai Lama. You’re also a practicing psychologist. Can you tell us how your Buddhist background comes into play in your work as a psychologist?” […]

Freeform Friday :: Really? The Phone to Save You From Your Phone

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Have you seen Microsoft’s clever ad for their new Windows-based phone? It ties in to our lively discussion from last Friday on how technology challenges our ability to be mindful. After an hilarious parade of phone-based attention lapses culminating in […]

Teachers and Talks: Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Meditation doesn’t just make us feel good; it changes our brains. Studies show that meditation changes both structure and function of our brains (in beneficial ways) beyond the period of meditation. Recent advances in neuroimaging along with encouragement from His […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Don’t Be an Asshole

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’m reading the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week Bestseller, and provocatively titled, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert Sutton reveals some harrowing statistics of bullying and abuse in the […]

TED Tuesday :: Heribert Watzke: The brain in your gut

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

“I cook therefore I am” Watzke suggests. Did you know there are 500 million neurons in your gut. That pales in comparison to the brain (100 billion) but is certainly enough to qualify as a “second brain.” This fascinating talk […]

Metaphor Monday :: Playing a Violin with Three Strings?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Urban legend has it that Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman once played through a violin concerto after having broken one of his strings. Perlman was afflicted by polio as a child so walking is difficult for him. The story goes that he made […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Working Ourselves to Death :: Mindfulness May Save Your Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry Working Ourselves to Death :: Mindfulness May Save Your Life ABC News did a recent feature on workplace stress and the increased mortality associated with chronic job […]

Meditate Now! (Free)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In the spirit of making mindfulness more accessible i am posting CDs worth of my guided meditations to my website, Exquisitemind.com.  The tracks from the first CD are now available to listen to and to download as mp3 to your […]

Freeform Friday :: Talking to Yourself

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Welcome the new technological age! Today, I’d like to discuss some on our relationship to technology.  Having spent many years working in mental hospitals, I am accustomed to people talking to themselves. Not long ago, if you overheard someone talking to […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Short Sleeves in Late October

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Yesterday was an unexpected pleasure here in Northern Vermont. At at time when there can be snow on the ground, it was 70 degrees and sunny. A gentle breeze came off Lake Champlain and the world seemed to slow down. […]

Metaphor Monday :: Running Stitch

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

According to Wikipedia, “the running stitch or straight stitch is the basic stitch in hand-sewing and embroidery, on which all other forms of sewing are based. The stitch is worked by passing the needle in and out of the fabric.”  Sounds like the breath, no? Our breath […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 2

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 2 In last week’s entry, we started talking about “sleep hygiene.” We’ll continue with some general and specific guidance on getting […]

The Architecture of Bliss: Devoting a Day to Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I led a mini-mindfulness meditation retreat at the new Exquisite Mind Studio. The Studio was drenched with sun the entire day. We spent the day doing sitting and walking meditation in alternating fashion with two hours of practice in the […]

Freeform Friday :: Poetry

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Fall is an easy reminder of impermanence — anicca– in Pali or anitya in Sanskrit. Change is the rep of autumn. We expect it; we relish it. The changing season can be a great teacher, and metaphor, to the moment-by-moment […]

Teachers and Talks Thursday :: Larry Rosenberg

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Larry Rosenberg is a guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Society and the founder of the Cambridge Insight Medication Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I have had the great fortune to receive teachings from many teachers over the past 27 years […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Silence-Containment-Engagement

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu said yesterday, “Not answering an email in 10 minutes used to mean you’re dead, but now 10 seconds is enough. After 10 minutes, they’ve already filed away your obituary.” We’ve come to the nanosecond availability of […]

TED Tuesday :: Sherwin Nuland on Hope

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Surgeon, author, and inspirational speaker, Sherwin Nuland discusses hope. He mentions that the Oxford English Dictionary lists 14 definitions of hope and none of them are particularly satisfying.  His remarks on hope are consistent with mine from yesterday and take […]

Metaphor Monday :: Kill Hope

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

According the Random House Dictionary, hope is the feeling that what is desired is also possible; or that events may turn out for the best. These seem to be very different senses of the word. The first suggest confidence; the […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 1

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Sleep-Deprived Society: Getting A Better Sleep, Part 1 In last week’s entry, we touched on the dangers of sleep-deprivation. Today we’ll begin to focus on how to […]

Mindfulness Revolution at Home

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mindfulness has been taught, practiced, and lived in medical settings for over 30 years now. Jon Kabat-Zinn started the revolution and now his students and colleagues Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein are taking the revolution to your living room. While Mindfulness-Based Stress […]

Teachers and Talks Thursday :: Noah Levine

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

One of the freshest voices in the community of Buddha, Noah Levine, provides a brief meditation tutorial. He eschews Buddhism in favor of Buddha and recommends a revolutionary path. He suggests that we: •• Defy the lies •• Serve the […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Is Your Dog a Pessimist?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A British veterinary study reported in the New York Times finds that dogs who have separation anxiety can demonstrate what the researchers call “pessimism” — a more enduring state of negative emotion. We’ve known for a long time that dogs […]

TED Tuesday :: Martin Seligman on positive psychology

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Martin Seligman is one of the biggest names in the field of psychology. He did the original research ont he concept of learned helplessness and has now helped to found the field of positive psychology with concepts like learned optimism. […]

Metaphor Monday :: Plow Your Own Field

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent Tricycle Daily Dharma (click here to receive these daily emails with brief excerpts of writing from Tricycle Magazine) the great Thai teacher Ajahn Chah gave the metaphor of plowing your own field.  When people genuinely meet the dharma, […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Sleep-Deprived Society :: The Critical Importance of Sleep for Managing Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Sleep-Deprived Society :: The Critical Importance for Sleep in Managing Stress In previous entries we’ve explored the nature of stress and how paying attention to the […]

Pali Canon

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This past summer I stood in the reference library at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies staring at the Pali Canon. It occupies an entire bookshelf, standing 2.5 by 8 feet tall, comprised of 140 volumes on six and one […]

TED Tuesday :: Srikumar Rao: Plug into your hard-wired happiness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A life that doesn’t provide radiant happiness may not be worth living according to Skrikumar Rao. Happiness is not from what we have or what we do. He claims that happiness is in our DNA. That claim may seem counterintuitive. […]

Fireworks and Foliage

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s foliage season in Northern Vermont. Fabulous displays of color across the Green Mountains. As their name implies, they are covered with trees that are throwing off color; wild screaming death throes. I love foliage time and I also love […]

Previous Posts

How to Create Solitude in the Context of Relationship
Solitude is necessary for my existence just as water is. Without it, I wither and become listless in my desiccated state. I am not, however, a ...

posted 5:50:36pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Three Reasons Why I Wrote the Awakened Introvert
I am excited to announce that my next book, The Awakened Introvert: Practical Mindfulness Skills for Maximizing Your Strengths and Thriving in a Loud and Crazy World, is just about to be released! I am happy that this workbook will soon be ...

posted 4:56:47pm Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

The Interovert Revolution (no this is not a typo)
I recently misspelled introvert in a draft of an article I was writing. While I was correcting, I read what I had written: "interovert." It was an easy enough fix, just remove the "e." However, interovert has meaning on its own. Mindfulness ...

posted 3:30:51pm Apr. 11, 2015 | read full post »

The Value of Unplugging
As you know from my last post, I was on vacation and while I was dealing with technology, I was also mostly unplugged, at least in a relative sense. I contemplated the meaning of vacation and reflected on its purpose and why it can be so ...

posted 11:32:26am Apr. 05, 2015 | read full post »

I Want my WiFi Now!
A recent adventure I had illustrates the limitations of the technology in certain places and how easily our expectations can give rise to a world of frustration. On Thursday March 12, I listened with great interest to Fresh Air that featured ...

posted 9:10:31am Mar. 24, 2015 | read full post »

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