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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulnesss Archives

Everything Essential Buddhism Book

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently on the Mark Johnson Show on WDEV in Vermont. We spoke about the Buddha and Buddhism themes that are covered in my new book, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book. It’s always a pleasure to talk with mark […]

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Relationships 2.0 Interview August 11

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Tune in Tuesday August 11 at 6 PM (3 PM PST) for my radio conversation with Dr. Michelle Skeen, host of Relationships 2.0. We’ll be discussing relationship challenges for introverts and guidance from my book, The Awakened Introvert. If you miss the […]

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Coming Soon: Mindfulness A to Z

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

2015 has been a busy year for me publishing books. In May, The Awakened Introvert came out (New Harbinger). In July, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book came out (Adams Media). Soon, Mindfulness A to Z: 108 Insights for Awakening Now […]

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Life Interrupted

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’ve been thinking a lot about interruptions lately. When I meditate in the mornings, I prefer to do it at a time when I won’t be interrupted by others. Yet, even in the most protected environment, interruptions are inevitable. My […]

Mindful America: Are You Part of the Movement?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have just finished reading Jeff Wilson’s Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture. Wilson is an associate professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at Renison University College (University of Waterloo). It’s a thought […]

Conversationally-Induced Comas

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

Louis CK Teaches Buddhadharma

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently turned on to Louis CK’s epistle on cell phones during an appearance with Conan O’Brian. Louis CK is very funny and he captures the sense of infomania that afflicts so many of us. We turn to our […]

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 […]

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 […]

Three Reasons Why I Wrote the Awakened Introvert

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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 […]

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 Value of Unplugging

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As you know from my last post, I was on vacation and while I was dealing with technology, I was also mostly unplugged, at least in a relative sense. I contemplated the meaning of vacation and reflected on its purpose […]

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 […]

The Train’s Eye View of the Landscape

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I am sitting on a train riding from Essex Junction, Vermont to Hartford Connecticut where I will be teaching my workshop at the Copper Beech Institute. I haven’t been on an Amtrak train since I was in graduate school over […]

Mindfulness in Corporate America

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Two recent articles in two major publications–The New York Times and The Atlantic–focused on the rising trend of mindfulness in corporate settings and both articles feature the recently published book by David Gelles: Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Finding the Fall Line: The Technique of Practice

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

As I was meditating this morning, I came up with a new practice metaphor. There were times when I was clearly in the flow of my body, very attuned the myriad body sensations and there were other moments where I […]

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 […]

Mindfulness and Climate Action

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

One Earth Sangha presents Mindfulness and Climate Action, a series of online conversations. These are free and start today and will continue through October into November. I am especially excited that Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield will be presenting today. […]

A Chilling View Inside the Quiet Room: Electric Shocks Preferred to Sitting Still

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A study recently published in Science provides a window into the restless soul of Americans and a compelling case of why we need mindfulness. University of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson and colleagues conducted a series of experiments where subjects spent […]

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 […]

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 […]

Selling Water by the River: The Deceptive Simplicity of Learning Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The proliferation of all things mindfulness is mind boggling (does that make one more or less mindful, I wonder?). Research, teachers, books, blogs, and applications continue to grow. It may be safe to say, mindfulness has become a fad. There […]

The Science of Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent analysis of mindfulness research studies (known as a meta-analysis) was published by the Association for Health and Research Quality (AHRQ). This government agency does major reviews of various therapies. The good news is that mindfulness has come of age […]

10 Percent Happier Courtesy of Mindfulness, Of Course

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings faithful readers. I have been busy finishing up the final draft of my forthcoming book The Awakened Introvert: A Practical Mindfulness Skills to Help you Maximize Your Strengths and Thrive in a Loud and Crazy World (New Harbinger, Spring 2015). […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Equanimity in the Face of Adversity, Controversy, and Memory

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The Dalai Lama recently visited with President Obama. Not such an unusual event since they have visited before, but the Chinese Government used this as an opportunity to complain, threaten, and posture. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been through […]

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, […]

The Mindful Revolution Comes of Age: Cover Story in Time Magazine

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Mindfulness made the cover of Time Magazine this week in an article entitled: The Mindful Revolution: The science of finding focus in a stressed-out, multitasking culture. This is not the first time meditation has graced the cover of time. For […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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. […]

Contemplating How Regret and Perfectionism Keep Us Stuck

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I’ve been thinking a lot about regret, stuckness, and perfectionism leading up to my Kripalu workshop that starts on Sunday. Regret is a variant of stuckness. We are locked into the past, replaying a loop of a past event, usually […]

Getting Unstuck

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was interviewed by Kripalu blogger Jennifer Mattson for her brief article entitled How to Get Unstuck and Back to Your Practice. “Arnie suggests looking at the resistance with kindness and genuine inquiry. Ask yourself, “What’s going on here?” What […]

Story Art: The Bridge Between Narrative and Liberation

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I developed a technique called Story Art that combines journaling practice, meditation, and creativity to help people to free themselves from difficult situations. The writing helps to take the issue out of your head space and onto paper. The Story […]

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 […]

Long Before Mindfulness was a Buzzword …

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Arnie talks about his involvement with mindfulness and meditation spanning the past thirty years.

What is Mindfulness?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch this video, the first in a series, explaining mindfulness and other related topics.

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 […]

Free the Mind: A New Documentary on Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the great pleasure of reviewing the new film by Danish filmmaker, Phie Ambo: Free the Mind. It’s a beautiful and compelling film about how mindfulness can help us to overcome fear and heal from trauma. It features of […]

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 […]

Military Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The following is a guest blog post by one of the current students in my Mindfulness in Health Care course at the University of Vermont, Melinda Rouille. She is a therapist at a local veteran’s clinic. Something that we all […]

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. […]

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 […]

An Innovative Approach to Reducing Stress and Burnout and Fostering Student Self-care and Professionalism

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Committee for the Program in Integrative Health (PIH) recently had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Avaid Haramati from Georgetown Medical School. Adi, as he was affectionately called, talked about the course he has […]

Returning to This Very Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We are ceaselessly engaged in cycles of returning. We attend to breathing and then we get drawn into stories. We dwell in those stories for a while until something prompts us to the fact that we are not being present. […]

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 […]

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, […]

Mindfulness for Winter Blues

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s full on winter in Northern Vermont. It has snowed over five feet on the mountain in the past couple of weeks. There is snow in the valley and today saw a strong wind and temps in the teens. Winter […]

More Gun Shops than Starbucks

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I heard the news of the Connecticut shooting incident from one of my patients and then listened to NPR and Marketplace. Kai Ryssdal, who has four young children, wanted to find a way to present the massacre from a perspective […]

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 […]

The Mindful Brain: Hype or Hope

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent New York Times Sunday Review opinion by Alissa Quart rails against the misuse of neuroscience. The brain is a hot topic and like anything, I suppose, will succumb to popularization and misrepresentation. I was glad to see that […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Fear Project–HEY SHAME AND DEATH — “GO F&#@ YOURSELF”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My friend and fellow Wisdom author of Saltwater Buddha (one of my favorite books and a forthcoming film), Jaimal Yogis, has created the Fear Project. It’s a blog and a soon forthcoming book that explores all dimensions of fear from athletics, adventures, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Yoga on the Mountain a Benefit for the Center for Mindful Learning

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My dharma friend, Soryu Forall, has founded the Center for Mindful Learning. “The Center for Mindful Learning (CML) is a non-profit organization devoted to improving lives and strengthening communities by offering mindfulness training that cultivates happiness, compassion, and success for […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: Self-Sabotage

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today I continue the series on obstacles to practice with a focus on self-sabotage that may keep us off the cushion. The other day, I talked about agendas, expectations, and strivng that may arise during practice–in a sense what comes to us unbidden. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Personality: Got Some? Tiger Woods versus Graeme McDowell

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Tiger Woods has the lead going into the final Sunday round of a golf tournement for the first time in what seems to be forever. I am always struck with how awkward Tiger’s post-round interviews are. This was the case […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

The Mindfulness Revolution Carries On

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I missed this Newsweek article when it came out on January 1, but I’ve heard a bunch of mentions of it just recently. It’s another high profile exposure for mindfulness. The article is entitled, “Mindfulness Meditation Rediscovered.” A curious title, […]

MBCT for Depression Relapse Prevention Training at Kripalu

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My dharma friends and colleagues Susan Woods and Miv London will be presenting their annual training workshop at Kripalu. Get your CE credits  in the wonderful environment of Kripalu and enjoy this heartfelt training with Miv and Susan. An Introduction […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

The Spaces In Between

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco said (as quoted on The Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor) noted that atoms are mostly space. He pointed out one of my favorite and fascinating facts. If you could somehow remove all the space in atoms, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Teaching Doctors to be Mindful

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

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 […]

MedMob Coming to a City Near You

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

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 […]

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

TED Tuesday: Sunni Brown: Doodler’s Unite

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Another Look at Forgiveness: Not What You Might Think

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Happy Mindfulness Day!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

11 September 2011, Ten Years After

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

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 […]

Stress Reduction Sunday now Thrive Friday

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Independence Day, 4 July, Mindfulness Style

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

How To Train A Wild Elephant

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Boredom and Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

A Quick Note on Grief and This Moment

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nirvana Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Navigating Valentine’s Day with Mindfulness

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Stress Reduction Sunday :: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Metaphor Monday :: The Rigged Balance Beam

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: The Mindfulness Revolution in Your Brain

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Metaphor Monday :: Whirlpool Self

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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.  […]

The Mindfulness Revolution Takes a Big Step Forward

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Previous Posts

Everything Essential Buddhism Book
I was recently on the Mark Johnson Show on WDEV in Vermont. We spoke about the Buddha and Buddhism themes that are covered in my new book, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book. It's always a pleasure to talk with mark and a touch of sadness to ...

posted 10:05:58am Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Don't Own Your Mind
Our brains are little factories. Their chief product is, of course, thoughts. They also manufacture images, memories, and emotions. Best of all, they fabricate stories. Our brains can do this unbidden, without any direction from us. Given the ...

posted 6:36:24pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Relationships 2.0 Interview August 11
Tune in Tuesday August 11 at 6 PM (3 PM PST) for my radio conversation with Dr. Michelle Skeen, host of Relationships 2.0. We'll be discussing relationship challenges for introverts and guidance from my book, The Awakened Introvert. If you ...

posted 9:00:13pm Aug. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Mindfulness A to Z
2015 has been a busy year for me publishing books. In May, The Awakened Introvert came out (New Harbinger). In July, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book came out (Adams Media). Soon, Mindfulness A to Z: 108 Insights for Awakening Now (Wisdom ...

posted 12:46:02pm Aug. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Life Interrupted
I've been thinking a lot about interruptions lately. When I meditate in the mornings, I prefer to do it at a time when I won't be interrupted by others. Yet, even in the most protected environment, interruptions are inevitable. My mind will ...

posted 4:50:31pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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