The glass is already broken

When I’m feeling too attached to something – an object, a person, or an outcome – I meditate on the Buddhist saying, “The glass is already broken.”

When you start to sweat the small stuff, and remember that it’s all small stuff, you have to know that this will pass. We’re in a constant state of change with new beginnings and new endings every day.

And, like the glass, we’re here for a short time. Continue reading

Practicing loving kindness

I met Broadway actor and writer John Cariani a few weeks ago at a writing workshop. I sat in the front row and was so delighted to be there, John asked if he knew me. I assured him he did not. I knew him from seeing him on Broadway but I was pretty sure he had not noticed me in an audience of about a thousand people.

Partway through the class, John asked me again, confused. “Do we know one another?”

I smiled. “Nope!” Continue reading

When you’re having a bad day…

I’m just finishing an audio version of Sharon Salzberg’s book Real Happiness at Work. Sharon’s focus, as always, is on practicing loving kindness.

Here are three tips ¬†from Sharon if you’re having a bad day: Continue reading

Listening to silence

I’m listening to Eckhardt Tolle’s audio book Peace in the Present Moment. Being present and having a clear intent about how you spend your time is only a small part of what I talk about in my Organizational Zen presentations – so it’s awesome to hear six or seven hours on this one topic!

My big takeaway yesterday was on silence. We all know we could use more of it – but then what do we do with it? In our society, silence is an uncomfortable state. If you’re at a meeting or a party where everyone is quiet, there’s almost a race to fill the void with talking, a joke, data… Or when we get home to turn on the radio or TV. It almost feels sinful to be caught somewhere without something to do or something to think about or to listen to. When we have a quiet minute, we grab our phones or a magazine or a book. We dare not be caught in a moment of silence! Continue reading

Changing habits

If you place electrodes in a rat’s brain and put him in an unfamiliar maze with a piece of chocolate hidden at the end of a path, you see an amazing thing about how habits affect your brain. I’ve personally never tried this, but Charles Duhigg talks about it in detail in his AWESOME book The Power of Habit.

cute-ratBut back to the rat. The first time he’s in the maze, he wanders¬†through, sniffing the walls and working his way down the path. When he finds the chocolate he happily settles in for a quick snack. All this time, his brain activity is high. He’s learning something and his brain wants to capture every minute. Continue reading

Spend time with your senses

If you’re looking for a way to decelerate for a few minutes, I’d highly recommend spending time with your senses. I work my way through some or all of these when I meditate.

buddha-eyesStart with the senses you’re most familiar with, then work your way into the senses you don’t think about as often. That’s where the sensations really get interesting! Continue reading

We’re in this together

dog-meditationIn times of uncertainty and divisiveness, it helps to be mindful of the people around you and to recognize that we’re all in this together.

Patriot’s Day weekend, 2007, I was at an Omega Institute class in mid-town Manhattan with Zen teacher Sharon Salzberg. The topic was mindfulness. At the end of the class, Sharon asked us to look around the room and imagine that we were going to be stuck in a subway car with this specific group of people – for eternity.

“If you know you’ll be with this group for eternity, does that change how you feel about them? Does it make you more curious? Are you going to get to know them? Or are they going to continue to be strangers?” Continue reading