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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Buddha 101 Archives

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

The Mindfulness Revolution Continues

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Naomi Morris wrote an article for the L. A. Times entitled “Fully experiencing the present: a practice for everyone, religious or not.” The article focuses on the pioneering mindfulness work of Jon Kabat-Zinn (featured here on Mindfulness Matters a couple of […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Dismantling the Work-Life Balance Myth

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In an age when the work week enroaches more and more into the hours of each day and even reaches its hand into weekends, holidays, and vacations the notion arises that we need to have good work-life “balance.” I would […]

Metaphor Monday :: Stop, Drop, & Roll

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We all learned “Stop, Drop, and Roll” in fire safety. This mnemonic helps to avert panic and the proliferation of the fire. In fact, when done correctly you can put the fire out limiting its destructive impact.  In the Buddha’s […]

Mindful Politics

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As the mid-term elections approach, political rhetoric is ramping up and along with it the usual fervor, apathy, distortion, and promulgation of hope (mostly false hope, I’m afraid). Here is a mindful perspective on politics from renown  Buddhist author and […]

We Are Poetry

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The psychotherapist Connelly turned to William Carlos Williams to elucidate the “poetry” of living. Williams said, “The underlying meaning of all [our patients] want to tell us an have always failed to communicate is the poem, the poem which their […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: “Resistance is Futile”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Trying to explain the potential value of mindfulness to a new patient, someone in prolonged and severe chronic pain, I started by talking about resistance. We have a tendency to develop a relationship based on resistance to chronic pain. But […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: FOGWINE: Fear of Getting What is Not Enjoyed

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In a previous entry we explored FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. Today we’ll explore its counterpart, FOGWINE: Fear of Getting What is not Enjoyed.  FOGWINE explains much of the Second Noble Truth — the cause of suffering, anguish, and pervasive […]

Metaphor Monday :: Topple a Nant’an with a Cow

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Back to the Starfish and the Spider. The starfish represents the decentralized organization and provides a fitting metaphor for the Buddha’s notion of self. There is no “person” at the top, no executive, no CEO in control of self. The […]

Teachers and Talks :: Jon Kabat-Zinn

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

No one, perhaps, has done more for the transmission of the dharma in the West than Jon Kabat-Zinn and he has done so without ever mentioning the word dharma.  Anyone who teaches mindfulness in a secular, healthcare setting would probably […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: “Am I OK now? How ’bout now? And now?”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Perhaps my mind is singular in its craziness, but my experience with others tells me that I’m not alone. Our minds are constantly asking the question: “Am I OK?” To answer this question, there must be an “I” that is […]

TED Tuesday :: Robert Thurman :: Expanding your circle of compassion

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

TED Tuesday returns with Robert Thurman. More on compassion and the story of Asanga and his search for Maitreya in the form of a mangy dog. It’s a story of compassion through the vehicle of patience and open mind.  He […]

Metaphor Monday :: Welcome to the Starfish Revolution

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In the compelling book, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom present the case for decentralization as an agent of profit and social good.  Many entities are decentralized, including our brains. […]

Teachers and Talks: Pema Chodron

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Ani Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and author whose teachings and writings on meditation have helped make Buddhism accessible to a broad Western audience. She currently directs the Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada, the first Tibetan monastery […]

TED Tuesday: Rev. James Forbes: Compassion at the dinner table

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Continuing with the Charter for Compassion talks. Rev. Jams Forbes presents a refreshing and everyday perspective on compassion, including sympathetic joy — rejoicing in successes of others. He grew up in a family asking, “Are all the children in?”

Kalyanamitra: The Spiritual Friend

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Kalyanamitra (Sanskrit) or kalyanamitta (Pali) refers to the “spiritual friend.” This friend can be a spiritual teacher that guides on the path and also refers to peers that travel the path along with you. The sangha (community of people who follow […]

Does a Tiger Have Buddhanature?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Wisdom Wednesday. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant recounts the story of a wounded Siberian tiger that tracks and kills the poacher, Vladimir Markov who had previously wounded him. After being shot in […]

Metaphor Monday: Mushroom Circle Sangha

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On a recent Thursday our meditation group gathered in the Exquisite Mind Studio for one of our weekly meditation practices. We sit in a rectangular “circle” around the perimeter of the room. The energy was particularly strong that day. One […]

Teachers & Talks: Tara Brach

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Tara Brach, Ph.D.,  is a beloved dharma teacher and the founder and senior teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, and teaches Buddhist meditation at centers in the United States and Canada (such as Kripalu and Omega). A clinical psychologist […]

Wisdom Wednesday: Mindfulness and the Metaphors We Live By

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Wisdom Wednesday! In a previous entry, I discussed how the Buddha loved to teach with metaphors. Each Monday I present a new metaphor for your enjoyment, education, and inspiration. For previous metaphors see the entries on Teach a Horse […]

Powerless

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

About two-thirds the way through online Morning Meditation, I heard what sounded like a gun shot and then complete power failure. A sudden and irrevocable intrusion of reality into the moment. I apologize to those of you in the classroom […]

Guest Blog on Shambhala SunSpace

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have just authored a guest blog on Shambhala SunSpace, the blog of the Shambhala Sun. Thanks to Rod Meade Sperry and my publicist at Wisdom Publications, Joe Evans, for inviting me to post. The guest blog is entitled: Mindfulness […]

Mindfulness in Sport: The Embodiment of Awakening (Part One)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Meditation. What images does this word bring to mind? It mind be a saffron-robed longhaired Indian swami or a seated and smiling Buddha. While the mention of the word meditation may evoke exotic images, it can also be more accessible […]

Shinzen Young: Basic Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Shinzen is one of the world’s most unique meditation teachers and he happens to live in Vermont. That’s very fortunate for us here and fortunately for everyone else, Shinzen travels around the country offering retreats and has a YouTube channels […]

How Did the Buddha Use Metaphor?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha used metaphors as upaya, which translate to skillful means. One Buddhist scholar said, “The Buddha’s skill in teaching the Dharma, demonstrated in his ability to adapt his message to the context in which it was delivered. Parables, metaphors, […]

Everybody Needs a Tap Code: The Healing Grace of Social Connection

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There are two things we can safely say about human beings. The first is that we are social creatures. The second is that we are highly resilient, able to withstand the most horrific of circumstances and resume life once the […]

Hachi: Dogs, Loyalty, Attachment, and Hope

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently rented and watched “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” starring Richard Gere and an array of Akita’s. The movie is based on the true story of an Akita who waited for his deceased master at the train station everyday for […]

What is Mindfulness Anyway?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Q: Talk a little bit about mindfulness. What is it? What are it’s benefits? How can it be cultivated? A:  A New Yorker cartoon shows a beleaguered looking man clutching the arms of a stuffed chair being addressed by his wife. […]

Cutting Through the Three Poisons to See Reality More Clearly

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Buddha noted three obstacles to seeing reality more clearly: delusion, greed, and hatred (or sometimes translated ignorance, desire, and aversion). These forces bias our perception and the distorted experience does not map onto reality. The results of pursuing such […]

Mindfulness Matters: The First Month

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Dear Readers, It’s been nearly a month since I started writing Mindfulness Matters: Tools for Living Now, and I thought I would take a moment to say thanks to those of you who have discovered the blog and have been […]

“Her belly may be full, but her spirit will be empty”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As those of you who have read my book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 MEtaphors for Mindfulness, already know, I am quite fond of Star Trek (Original Series and Next Generation) and have plumbed these episodes for metaphors. Star […]

Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens and Macho Masters

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens and Macho Masters Grace Schireson tells the untold story of women in Zen. The unfortunate truth is that the history of Buddhism is not one of gender equality. While the Buddha did finally […]

Matthieu Ricard on the habits of happiness (TED talks)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

“Buddha in Glory” by Rainer Marie Rilke

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

You will find the poet Rainer Maria Rilke showing up on mindfulness teaching poetry lists. Here is his poem, “Buddha in Glory” Center of all centers, core of cores, almond self-enclosed and growing sweet – all this universe, to the […]

Mindfulness of Breath: The Buddha’s Path to Awakening (Part Three)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Another distraction that might arise is feelings of impatience, restlessness, or boredom. Typically, this happens when the mind projects itself into the future or tries to make this practice into something other than this simple looking at the breath. You […]

Mindfulness of Breath: The Buddha’s Path to Awakening (Part Two)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Why pay attention to breathing? Well, you could pay attention to whatever you like, but breathing confers certain advantages over other objects of attention. First, the breath is always with you and always available to you as an object of […]

Mindfulness of Breath: The Buddha’s Path to Awakening (Part One)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

To get started with mindfulness practice, just start where you are. Posture is important and is secondary to the cultivation of awareness. If you can sit cross-legged on the floor this will provide a stable posture for practice. But if […]

Dukkha: The Buddha’s Metaphor for All That Ails You

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Dukkha is a Pali term central to the Buddha’s teaching. It’s difficult to translate. “Suffering” captures some but not all of its aspects. Dissatisfaction captures another portion of is variance. Even if were to speak Pali as the Buddha did, the […]

Dharma Punx: Going “Against the Stream” by Noah Levine

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In his latest book, Against the Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries, Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, tells us just how radical the Buddha’s teachings are in a refreshing new way. He starts, “Against the Stream is more than just […]

The 8 Hooks: How Mindfulness Can Get You Off the Hook

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In the Pathamalokadhamma Sutta, the Buddha said, Among humans, these things, namely,Gain, loss, status, disrepute, blame, praise, pleasure, and painNaturally are impermanent, uncertain, and liable to change,The wise, ever mindful, understand these things,And contemplate them as always shifting and changingThus, delightful […]

Razor Wire Dharma

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

What could be a better place to practice meditation than prison? Many have discovered the transformative potential of doing time and exploited that opportunity to do important work on themselves. The documentary film, Doing Vipassana, Doing Time depicts the remarkable work of […]

Spiritual Materialism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The 20% richest of the world’s population consume 60% of its resources. We in American do more than our fair share of the damage whether it is oil, food, or narcotics. After the economic downturn that followed the terrorist attacks […]

Mud Season: The Way Beyond is Through

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mud season has arrived early in mid-march. Warm days and sunshine are melting the snowpack and the ground is thawing, partially in places and yielding to soft pools of mud in many spots. A sign at the nature preserve near […]

Previous Posts

Be Mindful and Be Lovely
It is always a joy to discover a new poem that captures the spirt of mindful living. The late poet Galway Kinnell said, “To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for ...

posted 9:12:44am May. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Awakened Introvert on the Radio
I had the pleasure, again, of being Mark Johnson's guest on WDEV for his morning call-in radio program. Mark and I connect as fellow introverts. Click here to listen to the show. We talked about the differences between introverts and ...

posted 1:34:58pm May. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Louis CK Teaches Buddhadharma
I was recently turned on to Louis CK's epistle on cell phones during an appearance with Conan O'Brian. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c[/youtube] Louis CK is very funny and he captures the sense of infomania that ...

posted 8:23:15am Apr. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Love the Inside of Your Own Head and Be Free
I recently read Abigail Thomas's new book, What Comes Next and How to Like It. It's a poetic reflection on a lifelong friendship and life itself. You can read it, as I did, on the span of an airplane ride. After the death of her husband, ...

posted 3:07:12pm Apr. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Mindfulness Matures
A recent article in the Sunday Times is critical of the mindfulness movement. I read through some of the comments to the article and they ...

posted 9:22:21am Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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