May 2011 Blog Posts (4)

Connection, community, commitment

Connection is where we begin, in practice and as a sangha. We make a connection with some aspect of practice, the teachings, the teachers, or other sangha members. Maybe that early connection comes simply from curiosity about meditation or Zen. Or we read something that seems to fit our experience or our life. Lots of people come to a place like Appamada just to check things out, but unless some connection is formed, most of them will not stay. 

Now, a place like this is not for…


Added by Peg Syverson on May 26, 2011 at 9:11am — 2 Comments

Driving to El Paso

In a way, our practice is like driving to El Paso. We think we are driving to Disneyland, but really, we are simply driving to El Paso. If you’ve ever made this drive from Austin, you know that it begins in the beauty of the Texas hill country, with its rolling hills and lush green trees, quaint small towns filled with lovable characters. You begin to relax and admire the wildflowers, maybe you stop for a bite at a cafe, enjoying the people you meet. 


The landscape begins to…


Added by Peg Syverson on May 26, 2011 at 9:06am — No Comments

What Serves Life?

Having just completed a retreat in the UK with the focus of "Living Together," and using the precepts as a guide, I also referred to the retreat and the precepts in today's Inquiry.  Attached here is one way the precepts have been opened up beyond prohibitions.  This comes primarily from the work of Cheri Huber and Diane Rizzetto with adjustments and additions by me.  I hope this is helpful. 

“…Not only…


Added by Flint Sparks on May 17, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Non-Perfection and Profound Acceptance

Inquiry Reflection: May 3, 2011

Flint Sparks

There is a commonly told story about an old Tibetan teachers who came to the West to teach.  He was meeting with a group of psychotherapists who were interested in the potential for the intersection of dharma and therapy.  The Tibetan teacher asked the Westerners what kinds of problems their clients brought to them.  After a short conference the group said that generally they would say that some form of low self-esteem was common.  At… Continue

Added by Flint Sparks on May 9, 2011 at 5:07pm — 2 Comments



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


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