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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters Archives

Laughter and Awakening

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A recent column in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review discussed laughter. It was written by Bodhipaksa and debunks the quote that is attributed to the Buddha and something that he never actually said. “When you realize how perfect everything is, you […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

Perfectionism and Hypocrisy: Two Obstacles to Living an Awakened and Happy Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

When it comes to spiritual development we tend to be perfectionists and also hypocrites. I will address perfectionism in this post and hypocrisy in another. I’ve read a lot of books on Buddhism and mindfulness over the past thirty years. […]

What is Wrong with the World?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I often wonder over the state of the world trying to understand why things are the way they are. The Buddha was right: greed, hatred, and delusion are the sources of suffering. This applies to the world as well. I […]

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 […]

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 […]

One Thing I Have in Common with the Buddha: Love of Metaphors: “I, Me, Mine: Untangling the Dharma of “Self” Through Metaphors and Mindfulness at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS)

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s that time of year again. I will be teaching my annual workshop at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies entitled: “I, Me, and Mine: Untangling the Dharma of “Self” through Metaphors and Mindfulness. I invite you to join me […]

It’s the Season of Lies, Hope, and Transition

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

The past two weeks have seen the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. On purpose, I did not consume much of these. I don’t like to be lied to and I don’t like to have my sense of hope provoked (in […]

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 […]

Dharma Day: Today and Every Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

3 July marks “Dharma Day” a commemoration of the day when the Buddha initiated his teaching career–a tenure that lasted for over forty years. According to legend, he hesitated at first to teach what he had experienced under the Bodhi […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

The Fear Project

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Jaimal Yogis is the author of the compelling, endearing, and enlightening memoir–Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea. If you haven’t read this already, you should. It’s one of my favorite books. Jaimal has just launched […]

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 […]

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 […]

Coming to Ground: Science and Buddha Suggest Humility

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I spent this past weekend at the Barre Center for Buddhist studies leading a workshop on metaphors and the Buddha’s teachings. We shared poems, conversation, and meditation practice. We contemplated the ubiquity of metaphors, their power to inspire and influence, […]

“Wait Without Hope …”

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

T. S. Eliot gave us these lines: I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is […]

Is There A Real You? Julian Baggini Explores The Buddha’s Favorite Question

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Watch this video by Julian Baggini, author of the Ego Trick. The answer to the question is yes and no, mostly no — there is no real self if you are looking for some core, essence, or unchanging “permanent truth” that […]

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 […]

Is the Self a Metaphor? Come to the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and Find Out

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I will be conducting my annual workshop at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies the weekend of 17-19 February 2012. I’ll be teaching the Buddha’s dharma through metaphors. This summer I wrote an article for the BCBS online publication Full […]

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 […]

Gratitude on Thanksgiving Day

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I was recently interviewed by Ansley Roan for a piece she wrote on Gratitude for CNN.com, “In season of giving thanks, signs that gratitude is back.” She asked me the following questions regarding the increasing consciousness around gratitude. –Is this […]

Mindfulness of Music: Attending to the Vibration of Now

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We live inside of sound in every moment of our lives. Sound orients, soothes, irritates, and grounds us. The ubiquity of sound explains why deafness can be such a devastating disability as it disconnects from the envelop of sound. Over […]

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 […]

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. […]

Labor Day: What Are We Being Mindful of Today?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Labor Day. Today seems like one of many holidays that has become a generic “holiday” without reference to its original purpose. Memorial Day and Labor Day mark the beginning and end of the summer season in the Northeast United […]

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 […]

Happy Buddha Day!

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I wonder what the Buddha would think about all this fuss about his birthday or celebrating his enlightenment. He might just say — work on your own enlightenment! Of course, rituals can be a beneficial part of practice, but I […]

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 […]

Metaphor Monday: What Golf Can Teach Us About Mindfulness and Life

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s almost something of a cliché to point out the life lessons of golf. Many authors have focused on the values of integrity, honesty, fortitude, patience, and many other significant virtues that the game fosters or reveals in people. I’ve […]

Wisdom Wednesday :: Is Your Dog a Pessimist?

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

A British veterinary study reported in the New York Times finds that dogs who have separation anxiety can demonstrate what the researchers call “pessimism” — a more enduring state of negative emotion. We’ve known for a long time that dogs […]

Previous Posts

Happy Birthday to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
July 6 will be the 80th birthday of His Holiness (HH) the Dalai Lama. I first encountered the Dalai Lama when he would have been ...

posted 2:06:43pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Introverts and Extroverts at the Neuronal Level
Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I have a thing for metaphors. Those of you who have been to my workshops know that I have a thing for the brain. I have been delighted to read Giorgio Ascoli's book, Trees of the Brain, Roots ...

posted 12:11:28pm Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Set Aside Greed and Distress with Reference to the World
The Buddha encouraged his monks to be "ardent, alert, & mindful" and to put "aside greed and distress in reference to the ...

posted 2:29:24pm Jun. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Tame Your Sabotaging Self-Talk Part 2
The second part of my interview with Self-Promotion for Introverts author, Nancy Ancowitz, is now available on her Psychology Today blog or ...

posted 7:34:40am Jun. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Laughter and Awakening
A recent column in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review discussed laughter. It was written by Bodhipaksa and debunks the quote that is attributed to the ...

posted 7:29:06am Jun. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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