The Good, the Bad, and the Chocolate

Someone critiqued my blog recently, saying he wished I would write about some of the good things that happened in my life, and not just my personal challenges. He wanted to hear more of what I do well. I hear that. And yet, my foibles and challenges are the places where l have learned the most and which provide lessons to share with my students and readers. Someday I may write a blog about my proudest moments. But not today.

Today, I want to share a short vignette about chocolate. 

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Mindful Parenting - A talk by Annie at Blue Cliff Monastery

Last month, while attending a family retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery, I gave a talk on mindful parenting. In the talk, I share lots of stories of our parenting struggles and how the practice of mindfulness helped me/us get through it and find love and joy in the process. Parenting is hard. And my personal practice, looking clearly at what is really happening, and connecting to other parents are the things that consistently helped us.

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GUEST BLOG BY Michelle Johnson-Weider: Embracing Vulnerability

A number of years ago, I fulfilled a long-time dream of signing up for a pottery class. I loved the idea of creating wheel-thrown pottery. I spent so much of my daily life in mental activities that I craved the visceral and embodied. I yearned to sink my hands into a lump of moist raw clay and feel something beautiful spring into life as my fingers pulled forth a unique work of art. 

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There's a Crack in Everything

Dear Friends,

Some days I think I will never get anything right.

No matter how many yoga classes I go to or how many hours I sit on my meditation cushion (OK, some of those moments are spent checking my Facebook page), I still manage to piss people off by forgetting to invite them to something or giving them advice when they don’t want it. I hate that I can’t stop rolling my eyes and being sarcastic, and I’m still mad at myself for telling a good friend all the reasons I dislike someone she adores. What is wrong with me?

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How to Prepare for a Crisis

Several years ago, I was preparing to teach my Tuesday morning Mindful Yoga class at Circle Yoga in Washington DC. I was sitting at the front of the class as students streamed in, setting up mats, blankets and bolsters.

Four minutes before class was due to begin, one of my regular students walked into class and straight to where I was sitting. She handed me a small newspaper clipping without saying a word. I assumed it was a yoga comic or other funny yoga tidbit. It wasn’t.

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The Art of Going into the Wilderness

In my college sorority room, back in the “olden” days, the telephone was attached to the wall. This meant that while I was on the phone getting berated by my parents about being placed on academic probation and my continuing lack of a major, my roommate Janet, a computer science student, was on her side of the room drawing with fine tip markers on computer paper. And smirking.

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GUEST BLOG BY Gracy Obuchowicz: Your Self-Care Shouldn't Always Feel Good

Six years ago, I made a real commitment to taking better care of myself.  Although I was a yoga teacher and to all appearances looked very healthy, I knew I wasn’t feeling as good as I could.  I drank more often than I wanted to, ended most of my days with a couple of hours of TV, and managed to sleep through all of the morning practices I wanted to be doing. 

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You have Enough, You are Enough

I have been living in a small house in the Blue Ridge mountains, up a long winding driveway for most of 2019. When it snows, I can’t get out of the driveway until my neighbor has time to bring his tractor plow up and help me out. And since he is busy plowing for the county, it usually doesn’t get plowed for several days.

My home has been in the city of Washington, D.C. for thirty-four years, which is hard to believe, but true. When I’m staying in the city, the part of me that wants to run after people, activities, and restaurants gets really going. As a result, my ability to be satisfied with what I already have gets weaker….

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Our Inner Toddlers

I recently got angry about an email I received in which someone explained something they did which annoyed me. My first reaction was anger and judgment: “Why would they do this? What were they thinking?!” Then, my Perfect-Mindfulness-Person part chimed in with a falsely sweet voice…

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The Girl Who Made Milkweed Soup

Mountain walk in early spring. It looks like a Safeway the night before a blizzard. All the shelves are empty – barren trees, grey and brown. A few half-eaten berries on a branch. Nothing remains. As a very young girl, growing up in Michigan, winters were long. As soon as the snow began to melt…

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The Co-Arising of the Flower and Me While Roger Peed

Walking my dogs up Mt. Weather in the Blue Ridge Mountains recently, I saw a little white flower that had survived our mild early winter. I would have easily missed seeing it, except that Roger, one of our feisty little Terriers, had stopped to sniff and pee nearby.

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Grief and Despair: Don’t Stop Planting

During a Question & Answer session some years ago, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh was asked, “What is the hardest part of your practice?”

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