Meditation: Skill vs Path

When it comes to meditation, the CEC has a split-focus: we explore meditation as a life skill, and we explore meditation as a transformative path. Although each may use the same technique, they involve two very different approaches and intentions.

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Nonduality vs Meditation

There is a long and confusing and ultimately useless debate about which approach is correct. The debate is useless because both approaches are right. It’s a paradox, and there is no getting around paradox in the wooly and contradictory world of spirituality.

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The Idiots of Compassion

Sometimes I’m an idiot of a very particular type. When I see a person in any kind of hurt, I experience a seizure of compulsive helpfulness. I say the words, perform the gestures, provide the resources, and sometimes make the commitments I later realize are beyond my power to make and may not actually be that helpful in the first place.

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Is Consciousness Evolving?

A more realistic take on the so-called “evolution” of consciousness: an increase in discernment and sensitivity, largely driven forward by young people. It’s obvious why young people see and experience bias and discrimination at a level of nuance many in older generations cannot: they aren’t habituated yet.

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Plant Medicine and Meditation

What she showed me – and for me she is a she – is I am not alone in this process. My reality is co-created – with her when she is with me, with the other participants in the room, with the shamans and their icaros and the whole ecology of natural presences teeming in the space around us.

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What Practice?

I often meet people who say playing music is their practice, or taking a bubble bath, or walking in nature. The implication is that whatever happens in meditation can happen in these activities too.

Is this true?

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The Direct Path

This is a deceptively simple practice that is so simple most folks write it off without giving it a sincere shot. Like meditation, it can take a while to get the hang of. Its many proponents argue no other practice can change your relationship to hardship and suffering more radically in so short a time.

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The Promise and Peril of Spiritual Belief

I have a theory. Not a perfect theory, but it is a theory based on experience – based on my experience. And that’s exactly what my theory is about: the feedback loop between our ideas about reality, and our experience of reality. A celebration – and critique – of spiritual growth and understanding.

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Science and Spiritual “Enlightenment”

In March of 2012, myself and twenty other “adept” meditators participated in an experiment to try to answer the question: what is the real resting state of the brain? Strange things happened. An exploration of one view of so-called “enlightenment.”

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