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    ON GARDENING: Arranging Garbage Paid Member

    IT WAS ALMOST DARK when I came upon the bobcat, walking alone on a steep overgrown trail far above the Green Gulch valley. She had been dead for weeks, her black-rimmed lips pulled back in a snarl of protest, tiny soot flies scouring her empty eye sockets. Her belly was slit open and she lay, disemboweled, in her own dry blood. The acrid stench of death rose off her matted fur. I considered carrying the� More »
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    SANGHA SPOTLIGHT: Being Time Paid Member

    EVERY SUNDAY AFTERNOON, in a basement corner in one of America’s most infamous prisons, a transformation begins with the simple sweep of a broom. Here, on the rocky banks of the Hudson River, beneath Sing Sing Correctional Facility’s chapel auditorium, a small group of prisoners enter an angular, pale-yellow classroom and swiftly clear away the desks and chairs. In their place, the men set zabutons and zafus - meditation mats and cushions - in facing rows. Soon, incense smokes� More »
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    ON THE CUSHION: Strong and Silent Paid Member

    I just signed up for my first weeklong meditation retreat. I have a history of back pain and am a little scared of all that sitting. Is there anything I can do to prepare? WHEN I ATTENDED my first meditation retreat, I had the exact same issue. Within two days of sitting, my lower back began to hurt. I tried to sit ramrod straight and stretch on every break, but no amount of adjustment seemed to� More »
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    ON LOCATION: Tribute in Light Paid Member

    LIKE EVERY NEW YORKER who was living in the city on that cloudless day five years ago, I had been to other local memorials; in the fall of 2001, the visceral debris of aftermath made potent shrines. Standing in sick awe before the white-dust-coated hole at Ground Zero, or reading names on the heartbreaking “MISSING” posters, I remember feeling the relief of real contact, of collective concentration in the face of shock. In the intervening� More »
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    Haiku Mind Paid Member

    What relationship have you discovered between haiku and meditation? A certain kind of hokum accompanies much of haiku today. People imagine it to be something other than it is in spiritual terms. But haiku is very, very simple. In the same way that you make yourself very simple by following the breath. You clear your mind, let go of everything else. In the same way, writing haiku takes you right to the heart of the moment. That’s the Zen of haiku, really. Being able to let go of everything and enter into this space. Haiku is seventeen syllables long, so it seems very small. More »
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    The Science of Enlightenment Paid Member

    Meditative Medicine: The World Renaissance Has Arrived More »