A Guided Meditation for Dealing with Difficult Emotions


Life is always in flux. Every thought, feeling, and moment is quickly changing into the next. In the moment, when something feels difficult, it seems like it will never pass. The practice is learning how to stay with and turn toward the difficulty.

Carley Hauck at mindful.org reviews the benefits of sitting with your emotions and training your own ability to be present with difficult emotions. Click here to read why and how to do this. Here you’ll find a quick ten minute guided meditation as well. Use it as a guide for working in this area. Keep it if ever you need that extra centering: something or someone to bring you back into the moment so you can focus your mind grapes* long enough to handle your biznass.

*If you do not recognize this reference, your practice is incomplete. (j/k, but 30 Rock is a great show.)

Alan Watts tells you how to turn work into play

Very cool to find this video. I’ve never seen this footage before, or heard this “lecture,” as it were.

“The art of washing dishes is that you only have to wash one at a time. If you’re doing it day after day, you have it in your mind’s eye an enormous stack of filthy dishes which you have washed up in years past, and an enormous stack of filthy dishes you will wash up in years future. But if you bring in your mind the state of reality, which is…this is where we are, there is only now… you only have to wash one dish. It’s the only dish you’ll ever have to wash: this one. You ignore all the rest. Because in reality, there is no past, and there is no future.”


Two old friends met for dinner.

“How’s that husband of yours? Is he still unemployed?”

“No, no, not anymore.”

“Oh well some good news at least. What does he do now?”

“Now he meditates.”

“Meditates! What’s that?”

“I’m not sure, but it’s better than sitting around doing nothing.”




Helping Raven arrange flowers before a meeting, Woodpecker asked, “What’s liberation?”

Raven said, “Another couple of daffodils on this side, I think.”

Woodpecker said, “You’re not answering my question.”

Raven said, “Daffodils.”

-“Zen Master Raven” by Robert Aitken

THE NEW BREED by Alison Luterman

I heard this beautiful poem by Alison Luterman read by Jack Kornfield in his dharma talk: “Living with a Peaceful Heart.”

Click here if you’d like to listen to the talk and hear Jack’s wonderful reading of it (starts right after the 41 min. mark).


— for Emma Gonzalez and the other student activists

I see her on TV, screaming into a microphone.
Her head is shaved and she is beautiful
and seventeen, and her high school was just shot up, 
she’s had to walk by friends lying in their own blood,
her teacher bleeding out,
and she’s my daughter, the one I never had,
and she’s your daughter and everyone’s daughter
and she’s her own woman, in the fullness of her young fire,
calling bullshit on politicians who take money from the gun-makers.
Tears rain down her face but she doesn’t stop shouting
she doesn’t apologize she keeps calling them out,
all of them all of us
who didn’t do enough to stop this thing.
And you can see the gray faces of those who have always held power
contort, utterly baffled
to face this new breed of young woman,
not silky, not compliant,
not caring if they call her a ten or a troll. 
And she cries but she doesn’t stop
yelling truth into the microphone,
though her voice is raw and shaking
and the Florida sun is molten brass.
I’m three thousand miles away, thinking how
Neruda said The blood of the children
ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood. 
Only now she is, they are
raising a fuss, shouting down the walls of Jericho,
and it’s not that we road-weary elders
have been given the all-clear exactly,
but our shoulders do let down a little, 
we breathe from a deeper place,
we say to each other, 
Well, it looks like the baton
may be passing
to these next runners and they are
fleet as thought, 
fiery as stars,
and we take another breath
and say to each other, The baton
has been passed, and we set off then
running hard behind them.

–Alison Luterman
I hope this poem finds its way to whoever can use it.

Weekend Reading

“Igniting a long-overdue dialogue about how the legacy of racial injustice and white supremacy plays out in society at large and Buddhist communities in particular, this urgent call to action outlines a new dharma that takes into account the ways that racism and privilege prevent our collective awakening. The authors traveled around the country to spark an open conversation that brings together the Black prophetic tradition and the wisdom of the Dharma. Bridging the world of spirit and activism, they urge a compassionate response to the systemic, state-sanctioned violence and oppression that has persisted against black people since the slave era. With national attention focused on the recent killings of unarmed black citizens and the response of the Black-centered liberation groups such as Black Lives Matter, Radical Dharma demonstrates how social transformation and personal, spiritual liberation must be articulated and inextricably linked.”

Picked up this juicy little thang from the library today. Will read, will report. Someone keep me honest. I’ll have it done by Monday. In the mean time from Amazon’s store:

Marcus shoots 3s all day, son.

Of all the philosophical strains, I love stoicism for its simplicity, forwardness, calmness, and practicality. It has tenets that can be adopted right away and used to great effect. When other schools of thought get wishy-washy, stoicism is pretty straight-up in the real talk department. Youtube is #blessed with some sick hour+ lectures on the subject (which I fully intend to share), but there are some great distillations of its core ideas in more manageable segments, like this one from Philosophies for Life.

Ji Gong Spotted on Colfax Today

It may be apocryphal, but by way of Alan Watts, I am informed that the Arabs have a saying about crazy people: Be kind to them. Their souls are with God.

I was walking on Colfax with Dr. Phantomizer today and this older guy who was uh, let’s just call him, “well-worn,” started walking with us and telling us jokes.

I was about to tell him that I was sorry, I didn’t really care for riddles, because, well, I don’t, but he seemed harmless so I just smiled and nodded politely.

And then something remarkable happened.

After the string of jokes and riddles he spouted off with impressive fluency, the man said, with an alarmingly honest earnestness, “Keep at it. Apply yourself, and things will work out. Things will turn out alright.”

And then he gave me a hug. And it was exactly what I needed that particularly shitty day.

It was then I remembered hearing about the notably badass monk Ji Gong who reminds me that gurus come in many forms- the crazy, the drunkard, the strung-out hippie, the quiet one, the dancer, the joker.

That’s really all I have to say about that. So, just remember, and I’m saying this because I know how easy it is to forget: Things are going to be okay. Really.