This month at Sacred Chill {West} our theme is Unlearn.

To remove preconceived ideas/beliefs and look with beginner’s eyes. Today we are unlearning COURAGE.
This is a brief dharma talk and meditation addressing our practice in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville. Our practice is to WORK the light, rather than love it.

For the days when even a 5-minute break doesn’t feel possible. Rather than think, “I SHOULD pause and meditate” let’s really do it… One minute to wake up, reconnect, and move forward with clear intention.

This month’s meditation is my take on a classic practice: The Smile Meditation.
There is a great story about the Dalai Lama visiting a Zen center in San Francisco many years ago. The students there were very dedicated to their practices. Waking up very early, meditating for hours at a time, etc. During one Q&A, a student asks the Dalai Lama – “what else can we do to further our practice?”

The Dalai Lama responds by encouraging the students to be not-so-serious all the time. “I have only two instructions,” he said. “Breath. And smile.”

A smile does not have to show on the outside, it doesn’t have to mean you are happy. It DOES tell your nervous system that this moment is ok. That you are ok. This practice is designed to to cultivate joy or, at least, the space for joy in the heart, mind and body.

Take 7-minutes out of your day today and give it try.

This meditation shifts our formal practice to a “mindful minute”. In the midst of our busy days, can we find moments to re-awaken? To become present to the full experience of whatever it is that we are doing? Even if it is simply washing dishes.


You can access my previously recorded meditations here.


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