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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Mindful Living Archives

Introvert Overload: Redefining Rest

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The other day I had an unusual Thursday. My typical Thursday involves an afternoon of clinical practice. This particular Thursday, in addition to my clinical hours I had a number of extra-curricular activities. It was a concatenation of extrovert-like activities […]

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Alone Time Requires Skill, Courage, and Planning

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I read an interesting piece on spending time alone recently by Cassandra Bodzak. In a culture dominated by extrovert values, being alone might seem like alien territory and mostly to be avoided. Introverts crave it, but everyone needs it. Meditation […]

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Be Mindful and Be Lovely

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

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Love the Inside of Your Own Head and Be Free

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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. […]

Mindfulness Matures

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 thought the piece was cynical or misinformed. I think the presence of a critical, high […]

The Road To Character Walked By Jordan Spieth

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am reading with strong interest David Brooks’s new book, The Road to Character. In this book, he argues that this generation has lost its connection to character. We are in an age of self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, and self-importance. Masters Champion […]

I Was Born Thirty Years Too Late

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If I had been born in 1933 instead of 1963, I would have largely missed the demands of the Information Age. If I had come of age as a writer thirty years ago in 1985, there would have been no […]

How to Create Solitude in the Context of Relationship

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 hermit. I am in a committed relationship, married in fact, and must negotiate my […]

The Interovert Revolution (no this is not a typo)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

The Other Kind of PDF: Public Displays of Frustration

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The world’s number one ranked golfer, Rory McIlroy made a spectacle of himself yesterday during the World Golf Championship tournament at Doral. After pulling his long approach shot into the water on hole number 8, he then launched his 3-iron […]

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 […]

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 […]

Finding Our Place in the World

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There is no such thing as “nature” if we are part of all things. To seek nature sets us apart from the natural world. In the Tao, there is no separation. Any separation we feel is conventional and not based […]

Find Your GPS for Success

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

GPS has become part of our lives. We find it in our cars, our phones, and even in watches (I got one as a gift over the holidays). In any moment, we can know where we are and also communicate […]

Getting Past the Tyranny of Should: A Timely Message for the Holiday Season

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There are many things we “should” be doing around the holidays. We should be happy, merry, and jolly. We should be with family. We should be the consummate hosts. In the course of the day, we might impose expectations, rules, […]

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 […]

Giving Thanks 2014: Still a Lot to be Grateful For

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

There is not now, nor ever, a shortage of tragic, unjust, and violent events occurring around the world. The news media exploits these events and brings them into our brains 24/7 with an unrelenting insistence. Our nervous systems are vulnerable […]

Buddhist Icon–Thich Nhat Hanh Recovering in Hospital

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Beloved Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (TNH) has experienced a severe cerebral hemorrhage and remains in critical condition. He recently had his 88th Birthday. I surmise that he is, along with the Dalai, Lama, one of the two […]

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 […]

Citizen of the Cosmos

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently heard Ann Druyan interviewed on Radio Lab. She spoke of falling in love with Carl Sagan when they were working together on the Voyager mission in the late 70s, where she was in charge of developing the content […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mud Season: The Way Beyond is (Still) Through

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Below is a repost of a post on mud season from last year. It’s that time of year again, except that it has come much later this year, several weeks later, almost a month. Mud season has arrived early in […]

Turtles Don’t Surf is Now Available!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

  Jamial Yogis, author of Saltwater Buddha (SWB) and The Fear Project, has written his first children’s book, Turtles Don’t Surf (a sort of SWB for little ones) I read an advanced copy of this book last summer and it […]

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 […]

Transitions, Attachments, and Hope

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s been a long winter here in Northern Vermont and elsewhere around the country. The mountain is still frozen and buried in snow. In the valley, the long buried grass, brown and tired, is emerging from under the receding glacier, […]

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 […]

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. […]

Have We Lost the Art of Seeing?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Yesterday was the last day for the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Chihuly makes grand scale blown glass sculptures in illuminated colors that can blow your mind. The museum was packed with people, like myself, […]

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 […]

Eat, Play, Love

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A friend was visiting from the West Coast. He was looking forward to the crisp, colorful autumn of Vermont. To his and my surprise, summer persisted through past the middle of October. The colors have persisted too. The nights have […]

Fall Foliage: Invitation to Awakening

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Vermont is famous for its fall foliage. Given that the mountains are covered with trees, it can be rather spectacular. I’ve had a particular interest in the changing colors this season because of my new mode of transportation. I can […]

Climb a Mountain, Get a View; Climb a Cushion Get Another View

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently hiked a small mountain with my dogs. It took some time and effort to navigate the trail. A perfect 60 degree fall day. A beutiful view at the top was our reward (or at least my reward, I […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What is Art? Why Do We Need it?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

What is art and why is it important? Why do we need art? I’ve been contemplating this question after my recent post about What’s Wrong with the World. Life is something of a mystery. We don’t know how we got […]

Rock that Beauty Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

  I have the great fortune to live in Vermont, a place where natural beauty resides in breathtaking abundance. Not every vista in Vermont gives you the Green Mountains, the inland sea of Lake Champlain, or the valleys in between. […]

Shinzen On Insomnia

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My dharma brother Shinzen Young has some sage advice for sleeping here is his blog: Help for Insomnia: Yet Another use for Mindfulness. He recommends what I call “Beditation.” If you can’t sleep than you can use the sleep window for […]

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 […]

What is Story Art?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Arnie talks about his therapeutic technique for overcoming stuckness–Story Art

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

The War on Mindfulness: A Google-tastrophe

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Hello Readers, this blog post comes from one of my students, Cricket Cooper. All of my students have been invited to post a guest blog entry. For my  musings on all you can eat buffets see my blog post from […]

Mindful Eating

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have been teaching a new course at the University of Vermont in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. It is called Conscious Eating: Mindfulness for Wellbeing. We have been exploring mindful eating by reading Jan Chozen Bays wonderful […]

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 […]

Mindfulness Revolution Ongoing in the New York Times

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

On 22 March 2013 The Business Day, Your Money section of the New York Times published an article by Alina Tugend, “In Mindfulness, a Method to Sharpen Focus and Open Minds.” Score another little victory for the Mindfulness Revolution. She recognizes […]

Dress Well or Go Home

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent piece in the New York Times “The New Mantra: Replacing ‘Om’ With ‘Glam’” caught the attention of Tricylcle blogger, Emma Varvaloucas. She screamed “noooooooooooooooo.” In my book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness, I quoted Thoreau who said, […]

Quietude Lost

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Tim Krieder wrote an opinion in a recent New York Times Sunday Review (17 November 2012) called the Quiet Ones about the Quiet Car on Amtrack. His observations are prescient. We have lost quiet in our world and we have […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mindfulness, Psychotherapy, and Prescription Drugs

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch part one of my interview with Dr. Tyler Nelson on the overuse of prescription drugs in this country. We talk about alternative treatments, such as mindfulness and how they may play a role in offsetting prescription drug use.   […]

Mindfulness for Common Problems: Seven Things to Know About Anxiety

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The first in this series focused on stress. Anxiety and stress are closely related. Anxiety is central to our threat detection system and stress helps us to mount responses to potential threats. Like stress, anxiety gets a bad rap. Our […]

Mindfulness for Common Problems: Seven Things to Know About Stress

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today, I will introduce a new series of posts with practical, mindfulness-based advise for dealing with common problems. These problems include stress, anxiety, depressed mood, pain, overeating, sleep difficulties, and more. Each post will provide principles and techniques for handling […]

“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 […]

What’s On Your Mind?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Having just written about the obstacles to practice, I would like to invite you, dear readers, to submit questions that are arising in your practice. My favorite way of teaching is responding to questions. The challenge of mindfulness is not […]

Fear of Missing Out: Are You a Slave to FOMO? in Women’s Health

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Hello readers. More to come soon, I promise. Meanwhile, read this article on FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) that I was consulted for. It appears in Women’s Health on the ABC News site. Fear of Missing Out: Are You a Slave to FOMO? by Sarah […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Writing and True Love: A Weekend (June 8-10) with Polly Young-Eisendrath and Mark Matousek at Omega

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My friend, colleague, and dharma sister Polly-Young Eisdendrathis presenting at Omega with Mark Matousek. Polly is a gifted writer and engaging speaker. On the weekend of June 8-10, they will be teaching at the Omega Institute a workshop: Writing and […]

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: 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 […]

Under the Knife: More Security than TSA

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

“Are you Arnold Kozak?” “Yes.” “Date of birth?” “Really?” Do you really think someone came into this hospital room and replaced me since the last time someone asked me these questions?” (which was about five minutes ago). Pre-op has more […]

Dirt Road: Decay and Renewal

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s early mud season. My dirt road is in a state of flux.The deep ice started to melt this week under the warmth of 80 degree sunshine. Parts of the road became wet, soft, and then rutted. The grating crew […]

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 […]

Obstacles to Practice: Time Management

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today, I’ll look at the obstacle of time management in more detail. Time Management is not just about time, it’s about energy too. The present moment works when an openness of time coincides with good available energy. There are many […]

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 […]

Obscene Beauty

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This amaryllis bloomed at the Meditation Studio, brilliant to the point of obscenity. It bloomed for a few precious days. It is now withered and sits in its pot reminding us of impermanence. It will stay there for a while […]

You are HOW You Eat: Mindful Eating in the Age of Gluttony

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The adage goes, “You are what you eat.” And this may be the case. It is also the case that, “You are how you eat.” This is the message of mindful eating. You can eat anything mindfully Mindful eating is […]

Natural Antidepressant: Mindfulness on Mansfield

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In 2007 the CDC reported that antidepressants had become the most frequently prescribed drug, eclipsing drugs for high blood pressure. 118 Million scripts were written in 2005. This number continues to grow. I wonder what would happen if more people […]

“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 […]

“Waiting”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is the Exquisite Mind Studio in Burlington, Vermont as captured on a sunny day. One of the members of our community, Bruce Post, took this photo and called it “Waiting.” The pregnant emptiness that precedes the group sitting. We […]

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. […]

TED Talks: Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

What is beauty? What are blessings? What is a good day? Watch this beautiful short film on Happiness Revealed.”Open your heart to all these blessing and let them flow through you so that everyone you meet today will be blessed […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

TED Tuesday: Bill Strickland in His Own Words

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 :: 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 :: 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stress Reduction Sunday :: How To Interupt Cycles Of Stress Overload

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Mindfulness :: How To Interrupt Cycles of Stress Overload In previous entries we’ve explored the nature of stress and how paying attention to the present moment through […]

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 […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Mindfulness :: Human Being Versus Doing

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Mindfulness :: Human Being Versus Doing In my last entry, Mindfulness :: Becoming and Dissolving as an Antidote to Stress, I discussed the practical value of focusing on […]

Sport Saturday :: Mindfulness in Sport :: The Embodiment of Awakening (Part Four)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Sport, like life, can be joyful, and some of this joy comes from the quality of attention we bring to the sport, in addition to the activity being fun.  However, sometimes we can get caught in a trap of trying […]

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 […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Mindfulness: The Art of Being in the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, The Art of Being in the Present Moment: In my last entry, Mindfulness: An Ancient Remedy for a Modern Problem, I discussed the importance of mindfulness and gave […]

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Sport Saturday. This entry continues an essay on using sport to awaken. Click here to read part one and part two here.  Mindfulness and sport-samadhi can also impact how we deal with exertion and the limits of our body. I have […]

Wisdom Wednesday: Waiting for a Train and the Beauty of Persistence

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Over Labor Day Weekend, I found myself waiting for a train at Newark Airport. I arrived about 15 minutes late for the train I wanted to catch, the 9:30. I grumbled to myself with a complaint about having to wait. […]

Stress Reduction Sunday: Mindfulness: An Ancient Remedy for a Modern Problem

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Stress Reduction Sunday. Read my weekly post in the Connecticut Watchdog, This week’s entry, Mindfulness: An Ancient Remedy for a Modern Problem: Mindfulness is an ancient technology that has relevance to today’s problem of chronic stress overload. Part of the […]

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Sport Saturday. This entry continues an essay on using sport to awaken. Click here to read part one. Non-gravity sports such as road running, road biking, and swimming offer a ready opportunity to full body awareness. Instead of a […]

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 […]

Living in Vermont

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Let me tell you a thing or two about the place where I live in Northern Vermont. Vermont has a population of approximately 600,000 people and 300,000 cows. It is one of the least populated states. Our shining metropolis, Burlington, […]

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 […]

Metaphor Monday: Being Comfortable Being Out of Balance, Performance Art by Janine Antoni

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Performance artist Janine Antoni provides a compelling image for mindfulness in life through acceptance of what is so. Mindfulness does not just magically make everything OK but it shows us, when we can stop resisting. She discovered this lesson while […]

Stuart Brown Says Play is More Than Fun

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s TED Tuesday! We tend to think of play as something kids do and as frivolous for adults in our work-ethic driven culture. But as Stuart Brown demonstrates in this TED talk, play is anything but frivolous and not just […]

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 […]

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 […]

Forgiveness, Stress, and Living in the Present Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Some time ago, m good friend and colleague, Dr. Sam Standard, lectured in both my Health Psychology course and Introduction to Clinical Psychology course at UVM. We heard about his dissertation research conducted while obtaining his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology […]

Mindfully Green: Can Buddhism Save the Planet?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Thich Nhat Hanh warns, “If we continue to live as we have been living, consuming without a thought of the future, destroying our forests and emitting greenhouse gases, then devastating climate change in inevitable. Much of our ecosystem will be […]

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 […]

Money Sex War Karma Series (Money)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

David Loy graces us with a book of essays, provocatively titled with a compelling cover design presenting the four big human hang ups: money, sex, war, karma. (Money, War, Sex, Karma: Notes for Buddhist Revolution, 2008, Wisdom Publications). In his […]

Amor Fati: Deep Acceptance

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

From The Onion: “Life Unfair” “EARTH–For the 50 billionth consecutive week since its inception, life was revealed to be unfair Monday. Death and suffering continued to be dispersed randomly among the planet’s life forms, with such potentially mitigating factors as solid […]

Dining at the Trough: Mindful Eating in an Age of Gluttony

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

New Jersey (or anywhere in the United States), I am returning from a meal at a Japanese Sushi buffet. All you can eat sushi? This sounds too good to be true. The restaurant is as big as a supermarket and […]

Hot Buddha Sweats; Cold Buddha Shivers

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s been record-breaking temperatures in New York and elsewhere on the East Coast this week. Oppressive heat and humidity. Record demands on electricity as everyone seeks to cool off. It’s a real challenge in acceptance and one not easily met. […]

FOMO: The Cost of Being Permeated by Desire

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I recently heard a new acronym: FOMO (fear of missing out). This is a panic that runs through our culture. It permeates, if we are not mindful, every bit of our psyche. FOMO account for one large portion of the […]

Welcome to Mindfulness Matters: Tools for Living Now with Dr. Arnie Kozak

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am very happy to be here writing my blog on Mindfulness Matters: Tools for Living Now with Dr. Arnie Kozak. This blog will cover a range of mindfulness-related topics. It will present and comment on mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist […]

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

Introvert Overload: Redefining Rest
The other day I had an unusual Thursday. My typical Thursday involves an afternoon of clinical practice. This particular Thursday, in addition to my clinical hours I had a number of extra-curricular activities. It was a concatenation of ...

posted 9:20:24am May. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Alone Time Requires Skill, Courage, and Planning
I read an interesting piece on spending time alone recently by Cassandra Bodzak. In a culture dominated by extrovert values, being alone might ...

posted 9:44:48am May. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Protect and renew your energy as seen on Oprah.com from the Awakened Introvert
I am pleased to share that Oprah.com has published an excerpt from The Awakened Introvert. It's on the "Shift Your Life" section of Oprah that provides interactive ways to make changes in your life. They took an excerpt from the energy ...

posted 2:01:41pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Conversationally-Induced Comas
A recent cartoon in The New Yorker portrays a couple having coffee on a sidewalk cafe. The female member of the couple is lying prostrate in her chair, being attended to by EMTs. One EMT says to the other, "She's in a conversationally induced ...

posted 11:20:58am May. 12, 2015 | read full post »

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 »

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