This entire series, Joyful Effort, was inspired by a student’s recent comment to me that although she was trying to meditate everyday she didn’t really feel BETTER. Her anxiety didn’t go away after meditation. Neither did sadness…

This is truly so common, and it is this way because in meditation we aren’t trying to feel better. We aren’t trying to do anything other than be with whatever is happening for us in that moment.

Remember, mindfulness meditation is simply being in the PRESENT moment, without JUDGMENT, and with COMPASSION. That’s it. It isn’t about being peaceful. Or happy. It is just about being.

When we sit in this way a funny thing starts to happen. We start to feel MORE. It isn’t always comfortable, but this is the path we’ve picked. And, in truth, the comfortable path doesn’t really exist, does it? We could try to stay closed off and shut down but that is exhausting and lonely. We could try drugs or alcohol to numb us but those effects don’t last and eventually kill us. We could try some white-light, head-in-the-clouds stuff but is that really our calling as citizens on this planet? To check out?

This practice isn’t about feeling better; it’s about feeling more alive.

Join me for this week’s brief discussion and 20-minute meditation. And, don’t forget, if this topic calls to you, the early-bird pricing for my August meditation retreat, From Tough to Tender, ends Friday, June 22. Grab your spot before they are gone via

How do we keep the work of sitting still & learning our own minds joyful? How do we remain curious through boredom, fear, or frustration?

One of the most common frustrations that comes up with a meditation practice is the oh-so-irritating, “I CAN’T STOP THINKING?!”

As we explore joy in our meditation practice this week, I want us to notice that it isn’t the thoughts themselves that cause suffering. It is how we FEEL about our thoughts that causes this discomfort. In this week’s podcast, we talk about finding stability within instability, non-attachment and turning around to meet your thoughts.

“The bad news is you’re falling through air, nothing to hang onto, no parachute. The good news is, there is no ground.”
~Chogyam Trungpa


Happy June, meditators! This month our community intention at Sacred Chill {West} is JOYFUL EFFORT <3 As we think about summer there is a carefree, exciting hum of energy that often accompanies the expectation of the next many weeks. And, yet as adults, most of us will still get up and go to work. We will still be responsible for bills, laundry and dirty dishes. The normalcy of life goes on right along side this feeling of summertime… This seems to be a perfect parallel to our meditation practice. There is often an expectation of feeling peaceful, joyous, or maybe just calm, and yet the truth of meditation is we are just sitting there, feeling our breath and noticing our 1,000,000,000 thoughts. #notpeacefulnotjoyousnotcalm And, so we kick-off this month’s meditation series, Joyful Effort, with a look at the juxtaposition of the mundane and the joyous. Tune in for this week’s introduction to the series as well as a look at one of meditation’s most common complaints: “I don’t have enough time!” #meditatewithmeryl

In our final installment of The Conditions for Magic series, we are talking about the alchemy, the transformation, that takes place within meditation. I was inspired by a recent interview with Italian Physicist Carlo Rovelli when he said, “we understand the world through interactions.”

I find, in meditation, that the clarity we gain comes from the direct, conscious interaction with our minds. When we meditate, we come face to face with our thoughts, the patterns or habits, the level of noise or quiet we exist with….

We have something like 60,000 thoughts a day and 80% of those thoughts we had yesterday. The magic, the transformation, occurs as we start to see the threads that connect our thoughts. We start to connect the seemingly unconnected – first with ourselves, then with others, to our environment…. It is endless; the connections are there the moment you start to see clearly.

Join me today for this brief talk and 20-minute meditation, and, always, please share your thoughts with me via or .


This series, The Conditions For Magic, is quickly shaping up to be my favorite series of all time… Something about it feels, well…, magical 😉

Last week, we started with The Container for magic. The foundation. We talked of magic being a skill, something that is developed through practice. Through the mindfulness of our posture as we sit in meditation.

This week, we talked of The Inspiration for magic. The subtleness of it. There is no TRYING to be inspired; we simply feel the lightening bolt of inspiration strike. Although we can’t force the magical, beautiful moments in our lives, we can prime ourselves to be ready, eyes open, for when they appear.

I share one of my all-time favorite stories and an enticing question… when we are in a hurry, can we appreciate beauty?

And, we talk about the “Noble Failure” of meditation courtesy of Stephen Cope. Curious? Tune into this week’s edition of The Mindful Minute, and, of course, please join me in person for the last class in this series on Monday, May 21 at 6:15 p.m. We will be talking about The Alchemy of magic!


For The Mamas

May 11, 2018

Happy Mother’s Day, mamas! This short meditation is a chance to sit and be with it all. Being a mother is its own complex mess of emotions, feelings and thoughts. And, we are here for it. All of it. Celebrating the joys, the sorrows, the triumphs and the defeats. Celebrating the mundane and the magnificent. We are here for it. We are here for each other. Happy Mother’s Day.


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