Category Archive: Secular Meditation/ Mindfulness

Jul 30 2013

Secular Meditation: Flexible Discipline, Or, On Creating a Regular Practice in an Irregular Life

dali clock

So I’m working on creating a regular meditation routine. I’m running into an interesting conundrum with it. And the conundrum, like so many I run into with meditation, is bringing me some compelling insights into how I live my life… in this case, into what it means to have discipline, and what stability and security …

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Jul 29 2013

Secular Meditation: The “Present Moment” Podcast/ Website

Present Moment logo

Some of you who’ve been reading my recent writings on secular meditation have been asking me, “How can I do this myself?” “What are some good resources?” “Where can I find out more about this?” Ted Meissner — the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, and host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular …

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Jul 19 2013

Secular Meditation: “That’s not for me”


“I could never meditate. I can’t sit still for more than five minutes. I’m too impatient, too restless, too driven, too abstract, too ambitious, too overloaded, too much of a worrier, too much of a multi-tasker, too much of a rapid-fire thinker and talker, too easily bored, too attracted to action, too much of a …

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Jul 09 2013

Secular Meditation: I Am Who I Am


“Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.” This is a moderately famous Zen koan. And it’s a phrase that keeps popping into my head as I pursue the secular meditation/ mindfulness practice that I keep gassing on about. Like many Zen koans, it seems to mean somewhat different things to …

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Jun 20 2013

Secular Meditation: “This is my job”

computer keyboard with hands

“This is my job.” I have a few quasi-mantras that I sometimes use when I meditate. They’re not mantras, exactly: they’re not words or ideas that I’m making the focus of my meditation. They’re more like reminders, ways to pull my focus back to whatever it is that I am working to focus on. “I …

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Jun 13 2013

Secular Meditation: How Down Time is Changing

So here’s a change I wasn’t expecting: I’m no longer annoyed by down time. I’m actually welcoming it and appreciating it. At least sometimes. As regular readers know, I’ve recently begun a secular meditation/ mindfulness practice, based on the evidence-based Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques. There are about eleventy billion ways that this is affecting …

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Jun 06 2013

Secular Meditation: “Energy,” and Attention/ Awareness


So what does this “energy” thing mean, anyway? I don’t mean literal, physical energy. I more or less understand that. I mean “energy” in the supernatural/ metaphysical/ woo bullshit sense. And specifically, what does it mean for a meditation practice? Here’s what I’m talking about. As regular readers know, I’ve recently begun a secular meditation/ …

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May 29 2013

Secular Meditation, and Doing One Thing at a Time

This is going to seem ridiculously obvious. It is ridiculously obvious. I feel more than a little silly that it’s taken me over fifty years to get it. But it’s making a big difference in my life and my work, and I want to share it with the rest of the class. As I’ve been …

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May 17 2013

Some Thoughts on Secular Meditation and Depression/Anxiety

(This is part of a series on mindfulness based stress reduction: a secular, evidence-based meditation practice that I’ve recently started.) Note to self: This works. It has been a bad, bad couple of days. I don’t want to get into a lot of details… but it hasn’t been good. My depression, which has largely been …

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Apr 30 2013

Blogathon For SSA Week: Meditation, and the Difference Between Theory and Practice

This post continues my leg of the Blogathon for SSA Week… now! From now until 9pm PDT, I will write one new blog post every hour. Plus, for every $100 raised during that time, I will post one new picture of our cats! And all donations will be matched by SSA Supporters Jeff Hawkins and …

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