All Blog Posts (249)

The War on Consciousness

No one should be diverted by self-oriented concerns—self-improvement, self-promotion, self-satisfaction, victimhood, or self-soothing when we are in the midst of a full-out war on human consciousness on a scale unimaginable in our time.

The assault on our collective and our individual wisdom, compassion, and clarity cannot be ignored. It is happening through the deliberate attacks on established sources of truthful information: reputable and reliable news media, scientists,…


Added by Peg Syverson on February 22, 2017 at 9:56am — 5 Comments

Spiritual Warriors

In Tuesday’s inquiry, I talked about Spiritual Warriors. You can listen here ( and also find copies of my map and the meditation from Milarepa that we used at the beginning.

The common view of meditation practice is that it is…


Added by Peg Syverson on December 22, 2016 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Appamada Alpine Launching 1/5/17

I'm excited to announce that Appamada Alpine (aka my living room in Alpine, Texas) will open for meditation on Thursday, January 5, 2017. 

We'll start off with morning and evening meditation (6:15 am and pm) and see where that leads. We'll also participate with the Austin sangha in the Depth in Practice Study Group. 

Here's our website:

I hope to…


Added by Vaughn Grisham on December 14, 2016 at 5:58pm — 1 Comment

Tuesday Inquiry: What is here if there is no problem to solve?

Alas, last week’s inquiry did not record. However, I will share some of my reflections about it here. We began with an experiment, an exercise from the book Shift Into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness, by Loch Kelly, a teacher in the tradition of Adyashanti. I’ve not finished the book, but I wanted to explore some of the exercises he suggests.

Here is the exercise we tried on Tuesday.…


Added by Peg Syverson on December 10, 2016 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Inquiry into Wisdom-Sangha inquiry

This inquiry into the nature of wisdom was our Sunday dharma activity. I provided the introduction and a bit of context, and we together explored some questions I had set out. You might even reflect or do a bit of writing in response to any of these questions. I didn't capture the thoughtful answers that sangha members offered, but you can listen to them on the recording …


Added by Peg Syverson on April 25, 2016 at 12:49pm — 1 Comment

The history of the Future

There came a time when people decided to release themselves from the grip of their past history, which can never be improved, remedied, avenged, or expunged, and began in earnest the work of creating the history of the future. 

They turned to each other and said, the history of the future will not be like the history of the past. They became determined to be more loyal to the children of the future than to the losses…


Added by Peg Syverson on April 21, 2016 at 8:02am — No Comments

Right Use of Power

Recently, I attended the Advanced Teacher Training in Right Use of Power, with Cedar Barstow. As part of our work together, she asked us to write up our understanding of the core teachings. Of course it's impossible to cover all that is included in this enormous body of work, but I did respond and I thought readers might be interested, especially as we are studying the Right Use of Power in the current Foundations course. Here's what I…


Added by Peg Syverson on March 24, 2016 at 9:24pm — No Comments

At the LZTA Meeting

Dear Sangha-

It's lovely to be here with other Zen teachers who focus, as we do, on Zen for people living contemporary lives. We are in an excellent hotel called the Mark Spencer; I recommend it if you are ever in Portland. Here we are sharing ideas for supporting and nourishing our communities of practice and learning together how to bring these profound wisdom teachings into our everyday world—a world of families, work,…


Added by Peg Syverson on January 17, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

Becoming Unpersonal

This talk and inquiry did not get recorded, unfortunately!

Inquiry 12/1/15

Peg Syverson

Of course we begin with the self, that is where we are at the beginning, washed up on the shore of life wailing for the lost paradise of the womb and oriented toward getting our urgent needs met. This is the infant’s view of the world, grasping for what will nourish and sustain it, for someone—anyone to care for it. Gradually we include others in our view: parents, family,…


Added by Peg Syverson on December 1, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Appamada Potluck and Zen Conversation Cafe

Our first Appamada Potluck and Zen Conversation Cafe was a great success! Many thanks to Lila for coordinating the event. Twenty-six people brought an incredible range of delicious dishes, salads, soups, breads, casseroles, noodles, and desserts. There were three tables set up in the Zendo with about 8 people at each table. We enjoyed our meal together, then began the Conversation Cafe.

First I asked folks to think of a topic related to Zen or Buddhism that they would love to hear…


Added by Peg Syverson on October 3, 2015 at 11:14am — 2 Comments

The Hopeless Vow of Freeing All Beings

Here's the text of the dharma talk from last Sunday:

The hopeless vow of freeing all beings and liberating them from suffering

Dharma talk

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I want to talk today about the hopeless vow of freeing all beings and liberating them from suffering. In the morning chants, after we have avowed our own karma and taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, we make these impossible…


Added by Peg Syverson on October 3, 2015 at 10:54am — No Comments

Retirement Group - a rich sangha gathering

We met at Laurie Winnette's house last Saturday to share with each other our current concerns.  I was tired and debated whether I would go.  As usual, I was uplifted by the depth of our sharing and the support we gave one another.  That kind of personal openness and support  for each other happens with dharma friends.  I am grateful to have such a group in my life.  
Joan Mueller

Added by joan mueller on August 19, 2015 at 11:43am — 1 Comment

A Diet of Stories

Eating touches many old, old parts of our selves, so it's no surprise that stories abound in our diets. Still, I enjoyed this article.

Added by Greg Emil on August 9, 2015 at 2:55pm — 1 Comment

New Study grop on the Work That Reconnects

I have started a new Meetup group called Active Hope. Our purpose is to study a process called "the Work That Reconnects". This is a specific group of experiential exercises designed to reconnect our relationship to the earth.

 Developed by Joanna Macy, its theory and practice are described in the books "…


Added by Mike Polacheck on July 29, 2015 at 8:59pm — 1 Comment

Zen and Money-Tuesday's inquiry

Last week I asked for suggestions for the Tuesday inquiry, and Rupesh suggested Zen and money. This is of course a huge topic, too much for an inquiry reflection, but I decided to at least begin this conversation. Unfortunately, my reflections didn’t get recorded, although we did manage to capture the questions and responses in the section that followed. You can find these on the website here:…


Added by Peg Syverson on July 13, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

Nothing . . . and everything

My dear friend has decided she has borne enough pain in this life.  For the three years that I have known her, she has only been able to assimilate nutrients first through a feed tube inserted into her intestine and now through a tube inserted into her vein.  I don’t know the total length of time this has been going on or the agony that led up to these drastic measures.  But she has had enough and plans to receive no more nutrition intravenously starting tomorrow.  My friend is 34.  Words…


Added by Joan Harman on June 30, 2015 at 11:01am — 2 Comments

Reflections from Chicago

I am sitting in the Integral Coffee Shop off Michigan Avenue and watching the people passing by on the sidewalk, a constant stream of purposeful young businessmen, mothers with babies in strollers, Asian tourists with cameras ready, couples hand in hand, two women talking intently, heads bent close together. Behind them is a homeless veteran with a cardboard sign and a young woman selling Streetwise. If you sit in the same place you…


Added by Peg Syverson on June 18, 2015 at 9:23am — 1 Comment


Hi All,

I want to express my deepest appreciation for all of you and your graciousness while I sojourned in Texas.  It was an unexpected visit and I'm was profoundly changed by the experiences in that short three years.  Appamada was a crucial source of inspiration and social connection that I relished and will always recall fondly.  If ever I'm in AusTex again I will certainly place you at the top of me list!  If anyone is visiting Portlandia don't hesitate to contact me as…


Added by Neil Crawford on April 21, 2015 at 9:28pm — No Comments

Joan Mueller's poem called Highway 5


This poem was written when Bill and Iived in California. We were traveling all day on Highway 5 through the San Joaquin Valley going north from Los Angeles to the Bay Area.. That is a long meditative time for us  with time to watch the rich valley filled with fruit…


Added by joan mueller on April 15, 2015 at 11:39am — 1 Comment

Practice Period

Here is the writing exercise and its introduction that was our dharma activity on Sunday. If you were not able to be with us, you might explore it on your own. It is a way to expand our view of how we might use this opportunity. 

Practice Period

Dharma Activity


Traditionally, in Zen, a practice period of 90 days reflects the Buddha’s gathering of the disciples during the rains in India, when the roads become…


Added by Peg Syverson on January 5, 2015 at 1:52pm — 1 Comment



Appamada is not just the occasional mindful thought or attentive state of mind, it’s actually a commitment to being attentive. It’s more than just a meditative state of mind, it’s more than just being mindful. It has to do with that primary ethical or moral orientation we have in life, with which we bring into being whatever activity we’re engaged in. Whether in formal meditation, in our interactions with other people, in our social concerns, or in our political choices, it’s the energetic cherishing of what we regard as good.

—Stephen Batchelor


© 2019   Created by Peg Syverson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service