The Way Things Are

The more I inhabit the present moment, the less I get to choose what gets revealed. So, today: sadness. Embarrassment. Impatience. Even the unpleasant stuff is worth it. It’s such a relief not to run from the way things are.

The pain isn’t in the things. It’s in the running. …but don’t take my word for it.

Being Assertive

assertive sheep

It’s unfortunate to see how often equanimity gets misunderstood to mean that one is not supposed to have needs or desires.  This mistaken notion dovetails well with the general aversion to conflict that many people feel.  It runs so deep that a friend of mine recently mentioned she had started noticing people using “I’m sorry” as a sort of greeting in the cafe where she works.

Being spiritual doesn’t mean we don’t have preferences, desires, needs.  Sometimes the action that equanimity calls for is to allow the fear of confrontation to arise, and assert yourself anyway!  My metric is this: I can say anything as long as it’s kind, timely, true, and helpful.  None of that excludes confrontation.  Sometimes being assertive is actually the kindest thing to do.




It’s humbling how seductive the narrative is: “practice is going nowhere,” “my bad habits will never shift,” etc.  Meditation doesn’t follow the linear trajectory that we’re all accustomed to.

So, in life, sometimes we speak kindly, and sometimes we yell at someone.  Sometimes we forgive, and sometimes we resent.  Sometimes we watch ourselves engaged in old, unskillful behaviors, and sometimes we don’t even notice them happening.  And then at some point, regardless of how much we’ve bemoaned the pace of things or berated ourselves along the way, the fruits of our labor appear.  Things are just suddenly (or gradually) different.

We can all afford to be kind with ourselves and trust this process to unfold at its own pace.

The Trouble With Clinging

The trouble with clinging is, the person who’s clinging is the same person who is trying to get free.  That person will be clingy about getting free.  Fixated about getting un-fixated.  If he/she WASN’T, he/she would be free.

So in emotion land–we’re sad about being sad, we’re happy about being happy, we’re be mad about being mad, we’re scattered about being scattered.  Clinging is the perpetuator.  Like an echo chamber.  That’s why the only medicine is letting go.  The de-perpetuator.  The un-fixated.  The non-resonating.  The non-feeding back.  The non-doing.

Sometimes I think about it this way–it’s the not-ok-ness.  When we’re in not-ok-ness, we’re not ok with it.  When we’re ok, we’re ok with being ok.  So how do we get out of not-ok-ness?  Be ok with it!


A beautiful quote from one of my teachers, George Haas: “we want to get to a place where we no longer need to restrict knowledge of ourselves from ourselves.”