“What? You can’t be serious. That is completely dumb and dangerous. Who do you think you are? Over my dead body you’re doing that. Just go on your course.”

There is no one like my wife to knock me off a cloud and cut through my bullshit. But we’ll get to that later.

As Spring 2020 approached, it had been a year and a half since I completed my first 10-day vipassana meditation course and I felt ready to return. I searched for reasons to go. I asked my wife, “do you want to come with me this time?” NO.

This article is also available as a narrated presentation by clicking here.

Whenever this finds you (or you find it), I promise that it’s a particularly good time for this discussion. Whether you’re unbalanced from personal relationships, family, elections, pandemics, natural disasters, or unfairness, there is a way to get through it that is exceedingly simple. Aldous Huxley, an English philosopher and writer, said “It’s a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research and study, the best advice I can give people is be a little kinder to each other.” Kindness and compassion are integral parts of most spiritual…

As I turned the corner to enter the inn’s grounds, suddenly, a man confronted me and started screaming in my face. I was shocked and disoriented. I was minding my own business, plainly dressed and quiet, returning from an enjoyable sunset beach walk in quiet, family friendly vacation locale with my young kids and dog at my side. I didn’t have any political conversations. No hot takes. I wasn’t even sure his wrath was aimed at me.

As the verbal attacks escalated and threatened to become physical, the woman who accompanied the man tried to steer him away from me…

It can be overwhelming to think about the unfairness of life, the complexity of its problems, the impossibility of solutions, and the ignorance, irrationality, pettiness and selfishness of humans, myself included. But it helps to remember dhamma centers, places that make sense. Places that seem too good to be true. Unrealistic. A system, an environment, an organization, and a way of life that I would never believe to be true without first-hand experience.

At dhamma centers, anyone can take as many courses as they want as long as they’re willing to abide by very simple rules: stay quiet, disturb no…

As I write this, we’re currently going through the most universal crisis of our time. We’ve all been affected by COVID-19 and we’re all facing great uncertainty. If you’re reading this post-pandemic, congrats on surviving(!) and, as a bonus, this guide will still be useful.

While it’s not a panacea, I feel fortunate to possess the tool of meditation. The majority of my knowledge about meditation comes from courses taken from Dhamma.org. They require participants to give the technique a full try by completing a 10 day silent meditation course before moving to shorter (or even longer) courses. …

I ask for your patience because, if you’re at all like me, you will initially find this topic to be dopey and hokey. If someone sent me an article with “lovingkindness” in the title, I would smirk and then delete before opening. But this will only take five minutes to read and might actually prove to be helpful, so give it a shot.

Some of you might have read my narrative about a 10 day vipassana meditation course and/or going through a midlife crisis. …

This wasn’t planned. I’m a reader, not a writer. A critic, not a creator.

OK, I know how to write. I wrote a dissertation. I write a lot of emails to friends. I’m a master of writing acerbic histrionic yet somehow witty and charming complaints to customer service departments. But I never write for pleasure. Never for an audience. This feels different. Others might enjoy taking this ride with me. Or maybe the silence has already done a number on me?

Writing is forbidden where I am. But I see my nephew Kevin’s boarding pass on the bed of my…

David Cohen

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