Learning the Craft by Imitation

Ducklings by SteveHDC, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution/Share

  When I see a smooth gesture or kind behavior from my meditation teacher (or indeed, from anyone I admire), I turn around and, in private, imitate it to see how it feels, bringing a bit of that wonderful inspiration or kindness into my own physical being, if even for a moment. From this I learn what’s […]

Meditation and The Saint John’s Bible

Detail 2 from "Christ Our Light" from the Gospels of The Saint John's Bible.

The continuous process of remaining open and accepting of what may reveal itself through hand and heart on a crafted page is the closest I have ever come to God. — Donald Jackson Artistic Director, The Saint John’s Bible While at a recent Tergar meditation workshop and retreat at Saint John’s Abbey and University north of […]

Meditation and Creativity

yongey mingyur Rinpoche

I have often felt that meditation helped my creativity by allowing me first to relax, and then in that relaxation to be open to whatever arises — inside or out — using methods taught by great meditators like Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Rinpoche explains how meditation and creativity work together in this short video on the Tergar Learning Community […]

Noticing Your Surroundings


The best writers seem to be the ones who add just enough detail about the setting in each scene of fiction to make it alive inside the reader’s mind. Leo Tolstoy is amazing at it, and so it China Mieville, both of whom I posted about earlier. You have your favorites, I’m sure. How about the sights […]

Two Lucid Passages from War & Peace

French Retreat from Russia in 1812 by Illarion Pryanishikov

On this 4th of July in America, I am inspired to review a few passages in Leo Tolstoy’s famous epic War & Peace, which coversthe period of 1805 to 1820 and features Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Why I call this book great is because of the clear writing style and the themes that deeply address leadership issues, romantic struggles, walking the tightrope between spiritual beliefs and […]