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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Spider Mind: World of Interconnections Archives

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 […]

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Super Sunday

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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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 […]

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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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Should is a Red Flag That a Lie is Being Told

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Violence is Everywhere … Or is It?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the privilege of seeing Steven Pinker talk at the University of Vermont the other day. Pinker is the author of How The Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Language Instinct, The Stuff of Thought, and most recently, The […]

Reliving the 70s

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

The New Boston Massacre: Marathon Bombing

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I went to college in Boston; I did my internship in Boston and I lived there in between. I’ve watched the finish line of the marathon at the place where the bombs exploded. This event has riveted the attention of […]

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 […]

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 […]

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Answers Questions from Prayer to Dying

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Welcome New Readers

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

If you are visiting from the Rohatsu article in the Buddhism section, Welcome! In Mindfulness Matters I write about mindfulness, especially integrating it into daily life. I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions for topics. You may enjoy reading these […]

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 […]

TED Tuesday: Paul Zak: Trust, morality — and oxytocin

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Dr. Love, as he is affectionately known, Paul Zak discusses his research on the molecule of connection — oxytocin. While this may be an oversimplification, he presents fascinating findings on experiments of trust and trustworthiness, and opines on whether oxytocin may be […]

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 […]

H is for Hell

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Every religion has some version of hell. It’s where you might go in the afterlife if you don’t do as you should in this life. As such, it is a means for enforcing morality. The Buddha talked about hell, too. […]

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 […]

Creating a Mindful Society Conference: Free Live Streaming!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Previously, I announced the Creating a Mindful Society Conference, sponsored by the Omega Institute and to be held in New York City on September 30 and October 1. You can go in person or you can now access it live […]

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, […]

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 […]

Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act — The 2011 Intent Web Award

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings to everyone at Mindfulness Matters. Below is a message from my friends at Experience Life Magazine and Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act. Take a moment to cast your vote and join the Healthy Revolution! With blessings and gratitude — […]

“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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

TED Tuesday: Bill Strickland in His Own Words

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Make the Impossible Possible: The Heart Opening Work of Bill Strickland

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I had the privilege, the honor, and the experience of hearing Bill Strickland talk. If you don’t know about Bill, finding out about him just might change your life. He’s on a mission to save our country from the cancer […]

TED Tuesday :: Rebecca Saxe: How we read each other’s minds

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Check out this fascinating video about the right temporal parietal junction (RTPJ) which helps us to “read minds.”  

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 […]

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

In this series of entries, we are exploring the Buddha’s basic teaching of the Noble Eight-Fold Path. In a previous entry, we focused on Right Effort, today, we’ll focus on Right Speech. Again, the use of the term “right” suggests […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

TED Tuesday :: His Holiness the Karmapa: The technology of the heart

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch His Holiness the Karmapa, one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism, talk about his life and philosophy.   

Metaphor Monday :: Can Words Kill?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat from Arizona, was shot in the head a point blank range this past Saturday injuring 14 other people, with six dead. The suspect is 22-year-old Jared Loughner who apparently planned out this killing ahead of time.  […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: “You have nothing to threaten me with …”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We can find the dharma in unlikely places. This shouldn’t be surprising because everything is dharma — the sacred and the profane; in pigs and the most sublime thing you can imagine. As the commenter on my blog entry from […]

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 […]

From the Archive :: Best of 2010 :: Mindful Politics

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It snowed 30 inches in parts of New Jersey yesterday and I’m enjoying being stranded. An unexpected and welcome extension of the holiday weekend. I’ll be back in Vermont tomorrow and we’ll resume our regular meditation schedule at the Exquisite […]

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 […]

Teachers and Talks: Ram Dass

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Ram Dass, aka, Richard Alpert, a nice Jewish boy from Brookline Massacusetts becomes the voice of a generation. There are few who have done more to introduce the East to the West. Author of the million copy selling, Be Here Now […]

TED Tuesday :: Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

What should we be focusing upon? Entrepreneur Chip Conley talks about customer service and the rationale for Gross National Happiness. Would we need a Universal Human Rights Month if we focused more on Gross National Happiness (GNH) than Gross National […]

International Human Rights Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

10 December marks International Human Rights day that has been observed since 1948. It includes the  On the one hand it is necessary and important to promote the cause of human rights. On the other hand, it is a sad […]

Bodhi Day :: December 8 A Day for Awakening

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Today is 8 December and Bodhi is being observed around the world. It marks the day of Siddhartha Guatama’s enlightenment sitting under the pipal tree in what is now Bodhgaya India. This event occurred somewhere between 527 BCE and 444 […]

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 […]

TED Tuesday :: How complexity leads to simplicity

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

According to ecologist Eric Berlow in this 3-minute talk, complex is not necessarily complicated. This sounds to me like the human brain — the most complex thing in the known universe. What that brain does can be complicated — if […]

Consciousness, Culture and Community in Bali, Indonesia

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

My University of Vermont friends and colleagues, David and Carla Osgood, teach a unique course in Bali. Continuing Education credits are available for mental health professionals. This course has changed the life of my students who have had the fortune […]

Freeform Friday :: Really? The Phone to Save You From Your Phone

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Have you seen Microsoft’s clever ad for their new Windows-based phone? It ties in to our lively discussion from last Friday on how technology challenges our ability to be mindful. After an hilarious parade of phone-based attention lapses culminating in […]

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 […]

TED Tuesday :: Sherwin Nuland on Hope

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Surgeon, author, and inspirational speaker, Sherwin Nuland discusses hope. He mentions that the Oxford English Dictionary lists 14 definitions of hope and none of them are particularly satisfying.  His remarks on hope are consistent with mine from yesterday and take […]

TED Tuesday: Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf: Lose your ego, find your compassion

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

This is the last installment of the Charter for Compassion talks with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (the Imam at the center of the controversy over the Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero). He gives a brief overview of the Muslim […]

Mindful Politics

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

TED Tuesday: Robert Wright: The evolution of compassion

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

After exploring compassion from religious perspectives, today we’ll hear about the science of compassion. Robert Wright provides a natural history of compassion and Golden Rule. Feelings, love, and sympathy are not unique to humanity, but all are built into us by […]

TED Tuesday: Rabbi Jackie Tabick: The balancing act of compassion

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

More on compassion from the Charter for Compassion. Today, Rabbi Jackie Tabick. From Snoopy to compassion fatigue, Rabbi Jacky reflects on compassion and the Golden Rule. 

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Does a Tiger Have Buddhanature?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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, […]

Social Networking

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Greetings friends on Beliefnet. Thanks for following my blog. We can also connect through social media. I invite you to link to me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Friend me on Facebook Follow me on Twitter  Link to me on LinkedIn […]

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

Generosity as an Antidote to Greed: 40 Billionaires Donate Half Their Wealth

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Has the Buddhist revolution begun? This Wall Street Journal headline, “U. S. Superrich Vow to Share Wealth” gives hope that perhaps the revolution has begun. Buddhism doesn’t have a patent on generosity and none of these philanthropists has cited Buddhist […]

Bob Thurman on happiness and becoming Buddha — on TED.com

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The first time I heard of Bob Thurman it was 1984. I was in the small audience of the Amherst College Chapel for the first Inner Science Meeting. The Inner Science Meeting was the predecessor to the Mind and Life […]

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 […]

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dalai Lama Op-Ed in New York Times: “Many Faiths, One Truth”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

His Holiness The Dalia Lama wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on Monday 24 May 2010. He begins by saying, “WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best […]

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 […]

Previous Posts

Mindful America: Are You Part of the Movement?
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 ...

posted 6:35:19pm May. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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 »

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