What to Let Live: A Meditator’s Guide to Insects

Was I a hypocrite for rescuing the bug? It was a Wednesday, not that that mattered. I was halfway through a six-week retreat and, aside from laundry days, each silent day seemed more or less like the others.

During the morning walking period, I shared the basement with two other yogis. One was a heavyset guy who reminded me of an old boyfriend and the other was a slim guy with a moustache who looked like young Adolf Hitler.

I usually like walking meditation, and though I was trying to practice earnestly, I wasn’t connecting with my steps and my mind was distracted, trying to remember the lyrics to “Muskrat Love.” Suddenly, as my left foot was in midair, a  blur of movement startled me. A bug scuttled past as I stepped awkwardly to avoid it. Continue reading What to Let Live: A Meditator’s Guide to Insects

How Taco Bell Made Me a Better Meditator

Though I’ve learned a lot from Pema Chödrön over the years, I balked on first reading her instruction to drop the story. In the May 2001 issue of Shambhala Sun she wrote, “In sitting meditation we practice dropping whatever story we are telling ourselves and leaning into the emotions and the fear. Thus we train in opening the fearful heart to the restlessness of our own energy. We learn to abide with the experience of our emotional distress.” Continue reading How Taco Bell Made Me a Better Meditator