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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Buddha 101 Archives

I Want my WiFi Now!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

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Mindful in Relationship: The Biggest Spiritual Challenge We Face

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Our closest relationships are often the most challenging places to be mindful. We may be prone to feelings of unworthiness, superiority, and fear as well as a host of other feelings that push us around. When we can bring equanimity […]

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Translating the Experience of the Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Whether we know it or not, we are all amateur translators. Instead of translating a poem from one language to another we put into words what previously existed without words: we translate experience into language. Mostly, we are unaware of […]

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The Three C’s of Self-Forgiveness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Imagine a situation where you “lose it.” You get angry, your blood boils, you may yell at the person who has occasioned this anger or you may throw something or swear in vain. This feeling is no stranger to me. […]

Oliver Sacks Writes his Pre-Obituary

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The neurologist and author Oliver Sacks recently wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times about his impending death and the light this news casts on his life. His reflections are the epitome of equanimity. What we hear from […]

Getting Out of Our Own Way: Finding Liberation in the Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If you are like me, you spend more time than you would like caught up in imagined stories that don’t feel good and keep you stuck. How can you get out of your own way and stop beating yourself up […]

Living in the Present Moment of Clinical Work

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There are a number of name brand mindfulness-based interventions for use in clinical work, starting with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 1979. Since then, we’ve seen the emergence of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), Acceptance […]

Happy Nirvana Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day; today is Nirvana Day or Parinirvana Day. It is the day that celebrates the Buddha’s death or his release into the final state of nirvana. A few years ago, in a post about Nirvana Day, I […]

Visit With an Old Friend: Three Steps to Awakening By Larry Rosenberg

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Larry Rosenberg’s latest book came out in 2013 and I am just getting to it. I’ve been holding offer, like saving something precious that you know will likely not be replaceable. Larry is now in his 80s, and while he […]

The Anatomy of Grasping and Craving: Lessons from the Super Bowl

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Two forces motivate much, if not all, of human behavior–grasping and craving, or crasping for an economical combination of the two. I should say that it’s not just human behavior, all animal behavior falls under this rubric. Humans have our […]

Super Sunday

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Super Bowl Sunday. Much of the world will be watching the game, the commercials, and the half-time entertainment. Many of these watchers won’t be all that interested in the game itself. I will be. Having lived in Vermont for […]

Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My dharma friend and mindfulness colleague, Elisha Goldstein has a fascinating new book out. It describes the ways that we can harness our own healing power to create natural antidepressants. These five include mindfulness, of course, self-compassion, living in accordance […]

Prime Time, All the Time

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

An add for television streaming service Hulu states, “Every minute of every day should be considered prime time.” This clever quip has a double meaning. On the one hand, it reflects the tyrannical notion that every experience that we have […]

Mindfulness with a Capital “M”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent Telegraph column asked if mindfulness lives up to its hype. The author, Polly Vernon, predicts that “mindfulness” will be the OED’s (Oxford English Dictionary) word of the year. That would not surprise me. She goes on to give a […]

Time to Wake Up: Reading Your Way to Awakening

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We have been asleep, collectively and individually and there is a growing call to wake up. The Buddha was the first to suggest this change in consciousness 2500 years ago (and as you know the term buddha means one who […]

The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Discovery

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Polly Young-Eisendrath has a new book out, her fourteenth. This is a book like no other that I’ve ever read. It is a memoir and it recounts events that I lived through as dharma friends of Polly and the love […]

Drive by Shooting: Mindfulness on NPR

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s not surprising when a feature on mindfulness appears in a major media outlet. Mindfulness is popular. This time it is a sub-four minute interview on NPR. Tamara Keith spoke with Sharon Salzberg, one of the co-founders of the Insight […]

No More Fooling Around: Changing the World Through Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today I will start a series of posts about how we can change the world through mindfulness and the wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings. This transformation starts with individuals and progresses through groups, corporations, and then societies. Ultimately, a global […]

Mindfulness for Introverts

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mindfulness is a natural fit for introverts. The act of meditation itself is an introverted activity and at the same time equips introverts to navigate their interior without getting stuck in rumination. I recently wrote an essay for the Kripalu Thrive […]

The transformative power of mindfulness . . .

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I mentioned last week, there is a special learning opportunity upcoming with Jack Kornfield. I hope you got a chance to look at his videos. Registration is now open to take advantage of studying mindfulness with one of the […]

7 Contemplations for Realizing the Spiritual Introvert Edge (for introverts AND extroverts)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Spirituality Defined “Spiritual but not religious” is a popular designation. What does it mean to be spiritual? There may be as many definitions of spirituality as spiritual people. Everyone puts their unique imprint on what it is to be a […]

Transitions Into Spring

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The weather is such a great metaphor. Spring is reluctant to arrive. On a Monday it was 80 degrees and then on Wednesday it snowed several inches. The nights have continued to be below freezing and the greening landscape is […]

A Special Opportunity for Opening Your Heart in Relationship with Tara Brach

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

Sit Still

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

P is for Perfectionism; M is for Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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, […]

Report from the Internal Front: A Week of Silence

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings everyone. I have a report from the meditation retreat I embarked upon in early December. I should have written sooner when the impressions were fresher, but daily life has a way of asserting itself. The week in silence feels […]

Enlightenment Meets Enlightenment: Finding the Buddha in the Secular West

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently gave a talk at the University of Vermont College of Medicine called “Beyond Stress Reduction: Mindfulness as a Radical Technology. In this talk, I spoke about the indictment that the healthcare and corporate-related applications of mindfulness are tantamount […]

The Anatomy of Letting Go

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On Friday, I was challenged with a disappointment. I wanted something and it did not happen. The strong emotions that accompanied this “loss” illustrate the factors that give rise to attachment and the ways in which we can let go. […]

Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth: Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, Education and Research Conference

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The program committee of the 3rd Annual Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth: Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, Education and Research conference in San Diego is pleased to announce that they have finalized the agenda for this year’s conference. The […]

Should is a Red Flag That a Lie is Being Told

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I heard the words in the title to this post uttered by Anne Lamott as she was interviewed for OnPoint. She has a new book: Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair. She begins, “One rarely knows where to […]

Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am listening to the album by Tomasz Bednarczyk entitled: “Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow.” This strikes me as a very dharmic statement, something the Buddha might have encouraged. This bit of wisdom recognizes that mistakes are happening all the […]

Living Buddha, Goenka, Dead at 90

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was surprised by the news of S. N. Goenka’s death this past Saturday. He was almost 90 years old. In the summer of 1989, I sat my first vipassana meditation retreat with Goenka at the Vipassana Meditation Center in […]

Rethinking Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Kelly McGonigal tells us how to make stress our friend in her TED talk. As a health psychologist, she talks about how she made stress the enemy to her students and how she has now changed her mind. She points […]

I, Me, and Mine Doggie Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watching my dogs swim out for a thrown stick made me think of one the Buddha’s classic teachings: I, me, and mine. They swim competitively out. There appears to be some motivation to get there first. But regardless of who […]

Reliving the 70s

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

  Recently, I’ve consumed some video about the 1970s–the decade of my coming of age, more or less. I watched the thrilling documentary Man on Wire, Saturday Night Fever (whatever you want to say about John Travolta, his dancing was […]

McMindfulness Revisited

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have read Ron Purser and David Loy’s Huffington Post blog entry, Beyond McMindfulness. They write a thoughtful indictment of the popularization of all things mindfulness, especially in the corporate context. There are many important points made in this essay: […]

Clarifying Attachment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The notion of non-attachment is often misunderstood. Non-attachment is not non-caring. Confusion arises because we have two meanings for non-attachment. There is the biological meaning: attachment is the process that bonds mothers (and to a lesser degree, fathers) to their […]

Daily Doses of Wisdom; A Year of Buddhist Inspiration

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was excited to see the release of this new book from Wisdom Publications. It is edited by Josh Bartok who edited my first book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness. I was looking forward to it […]

Personality With and Without a Person

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My dogs have personalities. Each distinct. They show emotions: joy, frustration, excitement, anger, fear, anxiety, affection, and although I haven’t seen it with these guys yet, sadness. All emotions we have. What this shows us is that there can be […]

Hypocrisy: An Obstacle to Living an Awakened Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Previously, we explored perfectionism’s role as an obstacle to living an awakened life and today we’ll investigate how hypocrisy contributes, often in concert with perfectionism. It is difficult, I would say impossible, not be a hypocrite about something at least […]

Perfectionism and Hypocrisy: Two Obstacles to Living an Awakened and Happy Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

When it comes to spiritual development we tend to be perfectionists and also hypocrites. I will address perfectionism in this post and hypocrisy in another. I’ve read a lot of books on Buddhism and mindfulness over the past thirty years. […]

What is Wrong with the World?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I often wonder over the state of the world trying to understand why things are the way they are. The Buddha was right: greed, hatred, and delusion are the sources of suffering. This applies to the world as well. I […]

Grief is the Admission Price to the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am back from teaching Mindfulness A-Z: Liberating Regret, Stuckness, and Perfectionism at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. One insight that arose during the week was that “grief is the admission price to the present moment.” We are often […]

Mindfulness A-Z: Liberating Regret, Stuckness, and Perfectionism: Coming Soon at Kripalu

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In less than two weeks my Kripalu workshop Mindfulness A-Z: Liberating Regret, Stuckness, and Perfectionism will be underway! There is still time to register for this 5-day workshop, August 4-9. We will start the process on Sunday evening and then […]

Perfectly Imperfect: A Gallery on Beliefnet

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Please check out the gallery on perfectionism that is currently featured on the Beliefnet homesite: Overcoming perfectionism is one of the major themes of my upcoming Kripalu workshop starting August 4. More information here: I hope you can join us!

Independence Day Harley Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Life is a precious thing. It’s delicate, fragile, and tenuous. It can be taken from us in any moment. James Gandolfini’s sudden death was recent reminder of the precariousness of life. Alive one day; dead the next. We’ve constructed the […]

Mindfulness A–Z: Liberating Regret, Stuckness, and Perfectionism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

From Sunday August 4 to Friday August 9, I will be presenting this special workshop at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. If you are not familiar, Kripalu is a wonderful place. Nestled in the Berkshire Mountains, it is […]

We Are All Defective, New?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I uttered these words recently: “We are all defective, new?” I offered them as a tonic, a soothing balm, a normalizing unguent. If we are all defective in some way, there is no reason to feel shame for your own […]

What’s Right With America is Wrong with America

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

People love to hate New Jersey. In Vermont, we have bumper stickers that say “Don’t Jersey Vermont.” I did most of my growing up in the Garden State and recently spent some time there. It is a place of contradictions […]

Participate in Your Own Rescue

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

One of my students shared a story. A friend of hers was on a whitewater rafting trip in Colorado. During the trip, one of the people in the raft fell out into the river. He floundered around passively while the […]

Polly Young-Eisendrath: Getting Free Of Self-Importance Is The Key To Happiness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My dharma friend and sister, Polly Young-Eisendrath presented at the TEDx Conference at Middlebury College. The theme of the conference was “The Road not Taken.” Polly is a world renown author, Jungian analyst, and integrator of Western psychology and Buddhist […]

Mud Season: Lessons on Impermanence

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Mud Season, a time of transition, change, and promise. The ground is thawing, the grass is considering growing, and the geese have returned to the North Country. The trails are wet and muddy from the thaw and the rains. […]

Manhunt

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was running my morning vigil with the dogs on the back trails of a public park near my home. When I stepped outside the house, I could hear the helicopter droning above in the foggy sky. As we headed […]

Tara Brach Speaks on Deliberate Practice

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My dharma friend, Tara Brach posted a short video where she speaks of “deliberate practice.” By this she means coming to this moment regardless of what is happening. It means not shying away from difficulty if that is what this […]

Pema Chodron with Bill Moyers: Speaking of Faith

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This classic video features a 2004 interviews between Pema Chodron and Bill Moyers on Moyer’s series, Speaking of Faith that aired on PBS. While it took place in 2004, it’s message is timeless. I show this to my Mindfulness in […]

Buddhism and Science

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently read the cover articles on the relationship between Buddhism and Science in the penultimate issue of Tricycle Magazine. I was moved to write a letter to the editor. Much to my surprise and delight, they published my letter […]

One Thing I Have in Common with the Buddha: Love of Metaphors: “I, Me, Mine: Untangling the Dharma of “Self” Through Metaphors and Mindfulness at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s that time of year again. I will be teaching my annual workshop at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies entitled: “I, Me, and Mine: Untangling the Dharma of “Self” through Metaphors and Mindfulness. I invite you to join me […]

True Refuge: The New Book from Tara Brach

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We had to wait ten years and now the wait is over. Following her bestselling book, Radical Acceptance, Tara has written True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart. True Refuge starts on a highly personal note […]

Finding Joe: A Movie About Possibility, Bliss, and Discovery

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have had the pleasure of viewing and reviewing the movie, Finding Joe that focuses on the teachings of the late great mythologist, Joseph Campbell. Notable authors, teachers, and athletes are interviewed.The film is beautifully edited and visually appealing, the […]

PostSecret Project: A Precursor to Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The PostSecret Project started when Frank Warren printed 3,000 blank postcards with instructions and his address on the front. He distributed them randomly in the streets of Washington DC. He asked people to present an artful secret. The process went […]

The Fear Project–Now Available for Pre-Order

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The latest book from Jaimal Yogis, author of the precious Saltwater Buddha, is now available for pre-order. “Like a mammoth wave moving across the ocean, The Fear Project takes us on a wild ride into the heart of our deepest […]

Mindfulness in the Workplace: A Natural Fit

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Wall Street Journal gave a recent shout-out to the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in the workplace. The article states: “One of the most effective stress-beaters, research shows, is a training program called “mindfulness-based stress reduction,” developed years ago at […]

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Answers Questions from Prayer to Dying

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On Saturday, 13 October, His Holiness (H. H.) gave a thirty minute talk at Middlebury College as part of his Cultivating Hope, Wisdom, and Compassion tour. His simple message, there is “one humanity.” He then sat down, put on his red […]

Dalai Lama Regales Middlebury Crowd with Simple Message: “One Humanity”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama gave his public talk at Middlebury College today to a crowd of a couple thousand or so people. I had the fortune of being in that crowd. It had been a long time since I […]

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Coming to Middlebury College

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Dalai Lama is coming to Vermont and giving two talks on his current tour. The one for the public is entitled, “Finding Common Ground: Ethics for a Whole World.” I wasn’t planning on going, I did not wake up […]

MedMob Burlington September 2012

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The University of Vermont sponsored its third MedMob yesterday. If you are unfamiliar with MedMob, you can read more about it here. I wrote about the last MedMob, held in April, here.  My impression was that this event had fewer […]

Turn Off the Faucet–Even if Just for a Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

When are mind is going in high gear, mindfulness can seem like a futile option. No matter how many times we return attention to breathing, it is yanked back to whatever concerns we are preoccupied with. It’s as if the […]

Mindfulness Day–The Hangover

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Yesterday was Mindfulness Day. Are you hungover from all the attention spent on the present moment? Are you exhausted because you were not used to paying attention to what is actually happening–head aching? Are you off kilter from the constant […]

Happy Mindfulness Day 2012!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today, 12 September, is Mindfulness Day. According to Wisdom Publications: “Mindfulness Day was created to share the power and benefits of mindfulness. So many people, in so many ways, have benefited from the techniques of mindfulness, it made sense to […]

It’s the Season of Lies, Hope, and Transition

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The past two weeks have seen the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. On purpose, I did not consume much of these. I don’t like to be lied to and I don’t like to have my sense of hope provoked (in […]

Rilke Knew a Thing or Two About Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am reading the lovely volume of excerpts from Rilke’s voluminous letters, Letters on Life, edited and translated by Ulrich Baer. Rilke wrote thousands of letters during his lifetime and seven thousand were reviewed for this volume. Rilke was a […]

“Reality is Unforgivingly Complex”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I came across the title quotation–“reality is unforgivingly complex”–reading Anne Lamott’s bestselling book, Bird by Bird. This observation will be the basis for my reflections today. What does she mean by this? As a shorthand, we’ll think of reality as the […]

Obstacles to Practice: Five Hindrances: Doubt

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is the last installment of the final set of reflections on obstacles to practice focusing on the Buddha’s five hindrances (well not his hindrances, but the five that he set out as obstacles to meditation). The Five are a laundry list […]

Obstacles to Practice: The Five Hindrances: Restlessness and Worry

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is the penultimate installment of the final set of reflections on obstacles to practice focusing on the Buddha’s five hindrances (well not his hindrances, but the five that he set out as obstacles to meditation). The Five are a laundry list […]

Independence Day Buddha Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Last year at this time, I opined about the 4th of July Holiday. It’s one of my least favorite holidays. I’ll be working today in “celebration” and we sat our regular meditation schedule at the Studio. I eschewed the Burlington […]

Dharma Day: Today and Every Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

3 July marks “Dharma Day” a commemoration of the day when the Buddha initiated his teaching career–a tenure that lasted for over forty years. According to legend, he hesitated at first to teach what he had experienced under the Bodhi […]

Everything is on Fire

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The worst fires in Colorado’s history are still burning and will be until the snows come this Fall. Hundreds of homes have been lost to fire. Thousands have been evacuated. This kind of disaster begs the question: When your house […]

Hot Buddha Sweats 2012 Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We are in the midst of another heat wave. It’s in the 90s and that is unusual for Northern Vermont. It’s dangerously hot and humid. It’s easy not to like this weather and because of this ready aversion the heat […]

A Mindful Nation: The Revolution Has a Voice in Congressman Tim Ryan

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The eleventh district of Ohio has a remarkable representative to congress–Tim Ryan. In 2005, of all the members of House of Representatives who received a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s magnum opus–Coming to Our Senses–apparently Congressman Ryan is the only one […]

Obstacles to Practice: The Five Hindrances–Sloth and Torpor

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I don’t feel like writing a post. I didn’t feel like exercising either. I don’t feel like sitting, too. Fortunately, I am hosting a group sit later this afternoon, so this will help me to overcome my sloth and torpor. […]

Mind over Matter

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Someone recently, said she was going to use mind over matter to deal with some discomfort that she was anticipating to arise during meditation. Insetad, I suggested she engage “mind with matter.” Mind over matter suggests a clear separation between […]

How are you?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In a contemplative context with a group of friends, we considered this most common of questions. “How are you” is a powerful communication and one that is not always asked with intention, authenticity, and interest. Sometimes it is hard to […]

Obstacles to Practice: The Five Hindrances–Anger and Ill-Will

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is the final set of reflections on obstacles to practice focusing on the Buddha’s five hindrances (well not his hindrances, but the five that he set out as obstacles to meditation). The Five are a laundry list of things […]

Obstacles to Practice: The Five Hindrances–Sensual Desire

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is the final set of reflections on obstacles to practice focusing on the Buddha’s five hindrances (well not his hindrances, but the five that he set out as obstacles to meditation). The Five are a laundry list of things […]

Relaxation

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I tend to avoid using “relaxation” in my teaching of mindfulness. As I understand it, the goal of mindfulness practice is not to relax but to know our minds. Relaxation is a reliable by-product of the process but not the […]

Mindfulness Revolution for Kids

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My colleagues at the University of California San Diego recently held a conference called Bridging Hearts & Minds of Youth. The conference audio and videos are now available if you missed this conference. They are planning the conference again for next February. […]

Happy Birthday Buddha

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Around this time and around the world, the Buddha’s birthday is celebrated. I’ll take this occasion to reflect on the Buddha and what he means to me. Archeological evidence suggests he was an actual person. The year’s of his existence […]

Public Meditation: MedMob at the University of Vermont

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

27 April 2012: I enter the Davis Center at the University of Vermont. I’m heading for the meditation flash mob scheduled for noon. I enter on the second floor and pass by throngs of students getting their lunch in the […]

Obstacles to Practice: Agendas, Expectations, and Striving

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today I continue the series on obstacles to practice with a focus on affective factors that may keep us off the cushion. The other day, I talked about difficult experiences that may arise during practice–in a sense what comes to us unbidden. […]

Obstacles to Practice: Discomfort, Pain, and Intensity

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today I continue the series on obstacles to practice with a focus on affective factors that may keep us off the cushion. Denise commented that: “My story telling mind is always trying to steer me away from the pillow! The […]

The Mindful Writer by Dinty Moore

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life (MW) is a beautiful little book. It is hard-bound without a dust jacket. A slim volume that you can slip into your coat pocket. I’ve been carrying with me almost everywhere I […]

The Dharma of Tiger Woods: Humiliation and Redemption

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Yesterday, I was critical of Tiger’s public demeanor; today I’ll congratulate his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Perhaps no other athlete has been scrutinized as much as Tiger. Before his scandal, he was bigger than life […]

Conversations on Loss: Grief, Mindfulness, and the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Our culture doesn’t know what to do with grief, loss, and failure. The culture says these things are bad and if we experience them, we are less than. I wonder how we got to this perception? People are quick to […]

From Winter to Summer in 3.5 Seconds

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A few years ago, we had the St. Patrick’s day snowstorm that left over two feet of snow. This March, we are experiencing record breaking warm temperatures. A local golf course opened last weekend, a full nineteen days earlier than […]

The Specialness of Canine Commonality

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’m having a secret love affair. She lives down the road. I don’t know what her name is, but I call her “sweetie.” Sweetie is my neighbor’s yellow lab. I see her several times a week when I am walking […]

The Color Blue

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In How to Train a Wild Elephant, Jan Chozen Bays suggests an exercise: notice the color blue as you move through the world. Of course, you could pick any color. I tried this mindfulness exercise one day walking from my […]

Obstacles to Meditation Practice: A Time to Sit is a Time to Procrastinate

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’m thinking about the obstacles to practice and invite you to do the same. What gets in the way? What keeps you from the cushion. What pulls you off the cushion? What makes you forget you have a cushion to […]

In Praise of Editors and Editing

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If you think you’ve got a lock on reality, think again. We are constantly commercing in impressions, approximations, and constructions. What can you do with this glimpse of reality, especially if you are trying to write about it?  A good […]

Religious Education in the Age of Fundamentalism and Political Correctness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently contacted by a courageous Minnesota high school teacher, James Morrison. He has been teaching a world religion course. Over the years he has been accused of “polluting the minds of children with false Ideas” and “doing the devil’s […]

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, […]

Super Bowl Sunday: “The Most Epic Day in America”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, nearly a Holiday, and according to the Morgan Freeman’s reassuring voice over on a VISA commercial, “The most epic day in America.” That’s a commercial, yet I think he is right. Today is epic and […]

“Wait Without Hope …”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

T. S. Eliot gave us these lines: I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is […]

Is There A Real You? Julian Baggini Explores The Buddha’s Favorite Question

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch this video by Julian Baggini, author of the Ego Trick. The answer to the question is yes and no, mostly no — there is no real self if you are looking for some core, essence, or unchanging “permanent truth” that […]

Cold Buddha Shivers

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Winter has been relatively mild here in Northern Vermont, yet winter nonetheless. It’s cold. Often below freezing. The pond near my home supports ice fishing. The mountains are snow covered. When it is cold we may shiver. Simple as that. […]

Right View: One Thing Leads to Another

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In a recent post I mentioned “mistaken views” as a source of all dissatisfaction, anguish, and suffering. In this post, I’ll expand on Right View — one of the Noble Eightfold Path. “Right” is, perhaps, a misleading translation because it […]

New Year’s Buddhist Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Check out my feature article in the Buddhism section of Beliefnet. 

Renunciation: The Key to Liberation in 2012 and Any Other Year

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In our culture of must have, right now, or else I’m gonna freak out, renunciation is a dirty word. Renunciation means giving up something and to give up something means that I have less; and if I have less then […]

Minding the Fires of the Holidays

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If you are like me, like most people, you are probably digesting a large Christmas meal. How fortunate we are to have the opportunity to engage in gluttony. And how readily we fall into that trap. The holidays are an […]

You Are Never Done: Life as Process

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha taught that life is process. Everything is process, including what we regard to be self. Nothing exists outside of this process and when it appears to, it is an illusion, perhaps even a delusion. It is impossible to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 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. […]

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.  […]

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 […]

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 :: 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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?” […]

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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 »

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