6 Things I've Learned on the Meditation Cushion

(1) Suit-Up and Show-Up
Anne Lamott says-
Almost everything will work again
if you unplug it

(2) Trust the Process
When you trust the process and learn to stay,
you take hold of life with
tenderness and kindness
taking a giant step forward for
HumanKind and HumanKindness

(3) I am not my Mind
You are not the habitual, compulsive,
emotional, reactive, egocentric voice
between your ears

(4) It all comes together
then It all falls apart
then it all comes together again (ad infinitum)

This is the normal, natural flow of life
on and off the cushion

(5) Hold Space
Letting there be space and breath
around the beautiful and the messy,
the hard and the grief,
is vital to living a mindful, happy, healthy life

(6) What you Practice Becomes Stronger
Contemplative Neuroscience shows
that through Mindfulness Meditation practice
you are using your mind
to change your brain
to change your mind

come back to the breath
follow the breath
stay with the breath 



Trust the Process

Meditation means cultivating a non-judging attitude toward what comes up in the mind

-Jon Kabat-Zinn


trusting the process is hard.  on-the-cushion you learn to trust the process in this microcosm experience of your life.  on-the-cushion practice helps you trust the process of life off-the-cushion.  You suit-up and show-up, no matter what.  no matter if you’re eager or apathetic, rain or shine.  no matter if the mood is right or not or if you really do or really don’t think you have the time.  you show up, no matter what.   

a non-judging attitude comes from on-the-cushion practice.  judgement limits your perception of the experience.  the experience itself is wide open; the mind’s judgement of it limits you.  you have expectations and standards that need to be lived up to.  this goes on and you don’t even know it.  you are being pulled around by unconscious expectations.  expectations are resentments under construction.  mindfulness meditation practice on-the-cushion is where you learn to trust the process.  

sometimes sitting is easy; so trusting the process seems easy.  sometimes sitting is hard.  there’s resistance.  the thinking mind says, “this isn’t working for me.”  resistance is strong and emotion rises up and you think if you do something about it like think it through or change the situation or get up from practice this will make it better.  The truth is 99% of the time, when you’re acting from strong emotion, you’re reacting and stunting your own growth.  

trust the process– practice  

trust the process– practice right here

trust the process– this moment is your teacher  

trust the process– follow the breath


no mud


no lotus


Practice: Loving Kindness Meditation

Science and research demonstrate that Loving Kindness Meditation-

Decreases negative emotions
Increases positive emotions

Decreases bias toward others
Increases social connection

Strengthens emotional intelligence by activating
empathy, compassion, and emotional processing in the brain

Impacts the stress response in the body
which has to do with slowing down and relaxing your breathing 

How do you do Loving Kindness Meditation? 

What do you say?
May i be safe
May i be happy
May i be healthy
May i be easeful

To whom do you send Loving Kindness?
Someone you love
Someone who loves you
Someone you don't really know (( a neutral person ))
Someone who is difficult
Your enemy
All beings, including yourself


Poem: The Fruits of Practice by Danna Faulds

Despite fervent pleas for ease and safety,
there are many days when reality
doesn't quite line up with what I'd choose.
Breakdown. Letting go.
Surrendering even the illusion of control.
Breathing into the unknown...
Practice hasn't brought an end to pain.
I still increase my suffering
like a fish caught on a line.
My struggles only draw the hook in deeper.
But being in reality is its own reward.
It's the perfect paradox;
the courage to stand and breathe
when everything in me wants to flee...
No, practice hasn't brought an end to pain
but it has honed my willingness
to experience the moment
and sometimes see perfection
unfolding in ways I wasn't big enough to plan,
much less predict.
Practice isn't... a means to pole-vault over suffering.
Practice is my way of looking life in the face
and saying yes... 

Poet and Kripalu yoga practitioner and teacher, Danna Faulds’ deep yoga practice palpably enhances her remarkable ability to express herself creatively + magnificently through poetry.

Go In and In: Poems from the Heart of Yoga by Danna Faulds


Poem: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1
I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I am lost... I am helpless
It isn't my fault
It takes forever to find a way out

Chapter 2
I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don't see it
I fall in again
I can't believe I am in the same place
But, it isn't my fault
It still takes a long time to get out     
Chapter 3
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it is there
I still fall in... it's a habit
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately  
Chapter 4
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it
Chapter 5
I walk down another street

Mindfulness has to do with waking-up, opening your eyes, and seeing the choices before you.  Yes, you can go the same way, so mindfully choose it.  Or, mindfully choose another way.  What ever way you choose, as Anne Lamott says, be where your butt is! This is the simplest definition of Mindfulness I've come across.  

Book of Poetry: Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West

While this book has many poems about God, do not be put off if you do not believe in God; this is still a book to have on your shelf. Rabia, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, Hafiz, Kabir, + St. Teresa of Avila are among the poets included in this brilliant collection.

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky