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"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Transitioning Out of Life

Death is a subject that has often been on my mind because it began visiting the course of my life relatively early, losing a grandmother at 13, my mother at 19, my only brother at 23 when my eldest son was only thre weeks old, and since then, so many, so many more that have been important in my life.

So it was with great interest that I have been reading a series in the New York Times about the subject of the transition and how to deal with it:

And this article, that does not form part of the series, nevertheless adds to it:

And here you can join the online discussion at the NY Times Talking to Patients About Life's End

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meditation

A recent article in the New York Times about meditation caught my attention because of the sharply honest manner in which the author, Robert Wright, describes his mainly negative perceptions - at the beginning - of a retreat in the Vipassana tradition.

He writes:

"This Friday I’m heading up to rural Massachusetts in hopes of getting born again — again.

Six years ago, in the same locale, I attended my first and only silent meditation retreat. It was just about the most amazing experience of my life. Certainly it seemed more dramatic than my very first born-again experience — my response to a southern Baptist altar call as a child, which I wrote about in this space last month.

I came away from that week feeling I had found a new kind of happiness, deeper than the kind I’d always pursued. I also came away a better person — just ask my wife. (And neither of those things lasted — just ask my wife.)

So with the retreat approaching, I should be as eager as a kid on Christmas Eve, right? Well, no. Meditation retreats — at this place, at least — are no picnic. You don’t follow your bliss. You learn not to follow your bliss, to let your bliss follow you. And you learn this arduously. If at the end you feel like you’re leaving Shangri-La, that’s because the beginning felt like Guantanamo.

We spent 5.5 hours per day in sitting meditation, 5.5 hours per day in walking meditation. By day three I was feeling achy, far from nirvana and really, really sick of the place. "

Read the entire article here