Suffering is what happens when we are lonely and forget that we participate in the world. People often complain about love, or at least about its consequences, but welcoming the consequences is part of the game of generosity. The earth gives a Yes without regard to what is given back, and being a human is also a gift, not a purchase. Even the No’s we get are gates to the generosity of the world.

– John Tarrant, “The Erotic Life of Emptiness”

Why do you meditate?

Sangha sibs, I’d like to create a new page on our website documenting why we meditate. Yesterday, I was asked point blank what I get out of meditating and I found it a really interesting exercise to think about the changes that have occurred in my life through the meditation practice. I’d be thrilled if you would kindly, in the comments section of this post, write a little blurb about what you’ve gotten out of meditation. Then I can collect those into a new page.

Material Selfishness vs. Spiritual Selfishness

Check out this link for an interesting framework for understanding selfishness. In general, I agree with the author, but I think sometimes the distinctions between one and the other are not that clear!

Sometimes the deeper patterns of the mind are such that we often can fool ourselves into thinking that our material gain is spiritual gain, as when we think that a particular yoga mat, mala, or book is going to help us “achieve” the letting go that is necessary for spiritual progress.  Feel free to discuss!

Mind, by Richard Wilbur


Mind at its purest play is like some bat
That beats about in caverns all alone.
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore;
Darkly it knows what obstacles are there’
And so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
In perfect courses through the darkening air.

And has this simile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bat. Precisely. Save
That in the very happiest intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.