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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Powerless

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

sunflower.jpgAbout 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 for my sudden disappearance. I felt “powerless” to do anything about it since we were connected through the Internet and with no power to run the computer or the modem there was no way to connect. Such intrusions of “reality” pierce the bubble of illusion that we live in most of the time.

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The power failure was caused by a squirrel getting into trouble on the power pole. His execution caused the power outage. This has never happened before in twelve years living in this place.

On the way back from my morning vigil trail run with my dog Ruki I noticed a black-capped chickadee adhered to a burdock bush. As I feared, it was dead. It’s tiny precious life captured by that prickly fate for no particular reason.

20 Million people have been affected by the floods in Pakistan.

Somewhere, every moment contains these unexpected and unfortunate events. They can serve to awaken us to the preciousness of life. Yesterday, on the Writer’s Almanac Garrison Keillor read a quote from Bill Clinton whose father had died in car accident before he was born. Clinton said:

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My father left me with the feeling that I had to live for two people, and that if I did it well enough, somehow I could make up for the life he should have had. And his memory infused me, at a younger age than most, with a sense of my own mortality. The knowledge that I, too, could die young drove me both to try to drain the most out of every moment of life and to get on with the next big challenge.

So, as we move through the day today we can notice the cycles of life around us. The sunflower that is starting to decay yet still sings to towards the sky. We can try to be awake so that when unexpected things happen we can use these events to awaken to the fragility of life around us and the gift it is to be alive and breathing.

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Guest Blog on Shambhala SunSpace

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have just authored a guest blog on Shambhala SunSpace, the blog of the Shambhala Sun. Thanks to Rod Meade Sperry and my publicist at Wisdom Publications, Joe Evans, for inviting me to post.
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The guest blog is entitled: Mindfulness for Pain and “FOMO” and comments upon an article on pain in the latest issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly Magazine.

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eMindful: A Global Live Mindfulness Community: Morning Meditation

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak
eMindful.com is a cutting edge leader in online mindfulness education, taking advantage of video conferencing technology to offer mindfulness in unique formats. eMindful brings mindfulness into the Information Age and does so in a way that represents skillful means or upaya because it makes the wisdom of mindfulness accessible to people who might otherwise not have the opportunity. eMindful is the global Internet source for comprehensive health and wellness services. Our suite of online courses in mindfulness, yoga, and qigong skills directly impact physiological and psychological well-being. Inspiring, interactive classes are taught live by the world’s most respected mindfulness educators.”

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I am pleased to be on the faculty and lead one of their daily Morning Meditation sessions. These live meditations are offered free of charge to the global online community. These meditations are held each morning from 8:00 to 8:45 (EST). I lead the meditation on Fridays. Click on this link to login. Watch the recorded video of previously recorded session that I led below. 

Join me every Friday for the Morning Meditation and start your day and weekend off with mindfulness practice! 

Morning Meditation 6 August 2010 from Arnold Kozak on Vimeo.

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TED Tuesday: Karen Armstrong makes her TED Prize wish: the Charter for Compassion

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Former Catholic nun, Karen Armstrong authored the brilliant book on the Buddha’s life, entitled, simply enough, Buddha. She has also published many fine books on the history of religion. Listen to her TED Prize Talk and her invitation to compassion, a behavior, common to all religions. And, by the way, the pathway to the divine, and perhaps the way out of the mess we’ve made of the world.

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