Select pieces written over the past few years. Click here to see the Newsletter Archive.


Embodying Trees

As I sat in a small group of fellow meditators, I began to imagine each point of the posture as a feature of a tree: the base of my posture, my crossed legs, was the earth; my rooted tailbone was the roots of the tree; my balanced centre the trunk; my open heart the branches; and my crown the crown of the tree, lifted and tilted slightly forward, like a leaf on its petiole. It didn’t map perfectly, of course, but it worked for me, enabling me to feel grounded in my body, grounded in the earth. I imagined the mycelial network that connects each tree to its neighbour through the teeming earth connecting me to my fellow meditators, invisible threads providing what each of us needed in that moment, like mycelia move nutrients through the soil. I felt a kind of joy that I hadn’t felt in years, a sense of belonging to the earth, of being part of nature. I won’t claim the joy has persisted, exactly, but it opened a door for me that has stayed open, just a crack, even if I’m usually stuck on the other side.

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The Evolving Mind

Well, I think the big picture is that the mind is evolving. In response to the pressures of the time, the unique stresses and the faster pace of living, the increased volume of information that we need to take in … the human nervous system is changing.There seems to be more ADHD than ever, and more autistic people, and more people with sensory sensitivities, and on and on. 
Mental health authorities often pathologize this increase, but another way to think of it is as nature’s creative response to the challenges we face. If you think about the gifts of neurodiversity, there’s more sensitivity, more emotional and spiritual nuance, more creativity, more capacity to pivot quickly, more systems intelligence. Maybe we’re one expression of how the mind and body are addressing the world’s problems.

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How to practice peace (when all seems lost)

What do I believe? Peace is our natural state, and underneath expressions of violence or anger is a deep sense of helplessness. That when we war, we do it against ourselves. That conflict comes out of ignorance and self-hatred, a mistaken understanding that somehow sees life as less magnificent and precious than it is, and greatly underestimates the abundance we are born into. 

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Lessons in the Future from 1906

The more we try to control the future by pinning it down using our well-worn concepts, the more blindsided we will be as the future keeps manifesting the new into reality. In contrast, when we enter into the future with our imaginations, rather than trying to predict it or bend it to our will, we seek a balance between channeling that which wants to be born into the world and using our agency to actively shape this new creation towards the good.

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Celebrate Everything

Just like in meditation, when we pick a focus – the breath, the earth, sounds, sensations – we start to attune to that focus. We begin to notice more. Our perspective shifts. When I started to actively turn my awareness towards celebration, there was no shortage of content and possibility, of reasons and occasions to partake in some revelry.

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