Five Reasons to Meditate: Lion’s Roar Interview With Pema Chödrön

Photo by Liza Matthews.


“Yes, it’s a strange thing to do — just sit there and do basically nothing. Yet the simple act of stopping, says Pema Chödrön, is the best way to cultivate our good qualities. Here are five ways meditation makes us better people”. Read more here.


I’ve been meditating for about 8 years now and there are times I still lose my shit. It happened just the other day when I was driving and this crazy woman was in her car behind me, tailgating me, then flashing her headlights and finally honking her horn. It was the honking that put me over the edge. I unleashed a tirade of cuss words that would make a sailor blush….and hubby who was in the passenger seat and unaware of this woman’s actions behind us, said, “I guess all that meditating is really paying off.” I immediately saw how absurd my behavior was and how I allowed this woman’s erratic behavior suck me into her drama. I let my anger go and laughed about it. Before I learned about meditation, I would have stewed about what happened for hours but now I get over my anger more quickly.




This morning I woke up grouchy. I’ve done this before but this time I decided to look at my behavior. While doing my morning chores which starts with taking care of and feeding my furbabies, I tried to change my negative energy. It didn’t work very well, so instead I observed my thoughts. They are only thoughts, I told myself. It’s funny how one negative thought will remind me of another and before I know it, I am remembering things that irritated me years ago that have nothingg to do with what’s happening right now.

As the morning progresses, I decided to go with the flow. I’m grumpy, I told myself because its hot…again. It was probably 85 degrees in my house and it was only 9 o’clock. I don’t have air conditioning but I do have a box fan, so I focused on that and was grateful to have it. There are plenty of people living in hotter climates than mine who don’t even have the luxury of a box fan. From there I gave thanks for living in a house that has clean running water and I have two refrigerator/freezers that stores fresh food, I can eat anytime I want. There are people who do not eat everyday because they cannot afford to.

My mood started to change. I listened to one of my guided meditation videos and after a while, I felt my heart soften. My mood was changing and i felt like my old self. I really am a happy person so when I feel negative emotions, I REALLY feel them. I don’t like it and I don’t like my grumpy behavior.

As I write this, I feel better. There isn’t anything I can do about the weather but I can do what I can to stay cool (both physically and mentally).

Today will be a good day and I am grateful to be alive to experience it.



How I Got into Buddhism and a Spiritual Life


We all have a story about how we took our spiritual path seriously, whether it’s traditional Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu, Wicca or whatever. Sure, there are plenty of us walking around going through the motions and celebrating holidays of religions that were passed down to us by our parents and even society. I grew up in a household that never mentioned religion. We never went to church. I was around nine years old when I decided to go to church a few times, to see what went on inside. Seen through the eyes of a nine-year old girl, I can say, not much was happening. It was boring.

Off and on from my teenage years through my adult life, I dabbled in astrology and read spiritual writings from authors I can’t remember. I never took my spiritual life seriously…until I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. That day my life changed forever. It wasn’t that I thought I was going to die, I never believed that. Something deep inside me said, I would survive. I just knew there was something more than the day-to-day bullshit, I called my life.

While I was looking up other cancer survivors on the Internet, I ran across many who wrote about spirituality and suggested books to help other cancer patients get through their ordeal. Louise Hay seemed to be a favorite, so I found her books in the library and started reading. Hay is a cancer survivor and lives a rich spiritual life, dedicated to helping others. I wanted to be like her (and Oprah)spiritual life. Her books led me to other writers and eventually to Buddhist teachings.

I don’t call myself a Buddhist but I strive to be Buddha like, or at least not to be an asshole. I don’t like labels, especially religious ones; there’s too many problems that come from saying, “I believe this or I believe that.” There are too many people who like to argue that your belief is wrong and theirs is right. If you ask me, we’re all right. Even atheists. We all believe in something that resonates with us. There might be some who say, I can’t follow Buddhism AND some other spiritual belief. That’s their opinion.

I read that the Dali Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh both say Buddhism doesn’t care if one follows another religion as well. Buddhism is not jealous of other religious beliefs. Thich Nhat Hanh said Buddha and Jesus said the same thing… “don’t be an asshole”. OK, they didn’t say that but they did say to get along with each other.

I was watching Davidji give an interview on You Tube about stress management the other day and he mentioned how he found his spiritual life. He was working in “mergers and acquisitions” in New York for many years and then…911 happened. His life changed drastically after that and he quit his lucrative job… I suggest watching his interview to find out more. It’s really good and he’s a funny guy!

After watching the video, I got to thinking how many others have a similar story, maybe not as drastic as Davidji’s and mine but something that happened in their lives that made them “examine” their life choices? According to Abraham Maslow, only 3% of the population ever look at their life critically and wonder why they made the choices they did, or as he puts it, “become self-actualized”.

I am far from being self-actualized. I still have too many knee jerk reactions to situations. I still put my foot in my mouth and I allow my buttons to get pushed. I am working on it though and Buddhist teachings, along with other spiritual practices help me. I’m definitely much better than before cancer.

I know you, dear reader have a story to tell and feel free to share it by leaving a comment. I enjoy hearing people’s stories, not only about spiritual things but their lives in general. We are all on our personal journeys but we also share space on a huge rock spinning thousands of miles an hour through space. Now that’s some mind-blowing shit!




“How to Live in Your Truth” Ying Yang Living Video

I’ve been sick in bed the last couple days (nothing terrible, just a head cold but I decided to lay low) and watched tons of wonderful videos. This one really resonated with me.