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My Friend Andy

Share If the dogs who are friends with unhoused people could talk, what stories they would tell! Thank goodness for the realm of fiction where their voices can be heard, as in this tale told by a canine narrator named Fluffy who walks through town every day with their family. Fluffy wants to play with Andy, a playful gray dog they pass every morning along with his busking human friend. But we can see a taut leash holding Fluffy back — they're never allowed to go closer. So what happens when Fluffy, chasing a ball, runs out of the park and gets ...

Presence

Share “In the Buddhist tradition, as well as other spiritual traditions, the human world is considered a place of special possibility precisely because we are positioned between heaven and hell. Each human life inevitably contains a mix of happiness and misery, and nothing stays the same. Things are lost without warning. Mishaps are always happening. Keys and jobs and great loves are lost, as well as a red wine spilling on a white suit. And it turns out that our true awakening depends on this very instability. It is in the midst of those awful ...

Presence

Share Tracy Cochran will be known to many by association: she’s the editorial director at Parabola, the popular, non-profit, quarterly, interspiritual magazine. She’s also a committed Buddhist practitioner, a meditation teacher, and founder of the Hudson River Sangha, which meets in Tarrytown, New York. Her book is all about the practices of being present, compassion, listening, and meaning. She tells stories from her life, rich with experience, and she quotes other great teachers including Robert Pirsig, Meister Eckhart, Annie Dillard, Bhikkhu...

Brightening Up Tax Day with Gratitude and Dissent

29 Weeks Until the Election

Ecological Spirituality

Share “As we begin to feel our way in and through the natural world, we begin to transcend the rational, functional consciousness of viewing life as an amalgam of objects put there for our sole use and benefit. We feel our way into a range of connectivity. “Emotional connectedness … becomes a perceptual wisdom that begins to see what systems theorist Jeremy Lent calls the ‘patterning instinct’ across several life structures. It can evolve into what visionaries like Douglas E. Christie describe as a contemplative gaze. “If we can remain long eno...

Ecological Spirituality

Share Diarmuid O’Murchu has long been a part of our Living Spiritual Teachers Project. He’s a member of the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Missionary Order, a social psychologist, workshop leader and group facilitator for adult faith development, and author of many books including two previous winners of the Spirituality & Practice annual book awards. O’Murchu excels in articulating the spiritual practices of hope, connections, meaning, and transformation. In this new book, he challenges common religious understandings of human holiness that p...

A Mindfulness Practice for Nonjudgmental Awareness

There’s a space that opens up for yourself when you can sit with your thoughts and sensations and practice observing them without reacting to them—without trying to fix them or ruminate over them. Nonjudgmental awareness is sort of like remembering your most horribly embarrassing moment and appreciating the pings of regret and shame—just finding some room to let yourself be human for a little. The more we practice sitting with our whole selves nonjudgmentally (the good, bad, beautiful, and painful), the better we get at opening ourselves up to ...

Zoom Fatigue is Real: Here Are Six Ways to Find Balance

The Covid-19 pandemic transformed the way we work, leading to a surge in the use of video conferencing tools, with Zoom being a prime example. But with this new mode of communication comes a challenge: Zoom fatigue. Zoom fatigue is a form of burnout caused by an excessive use of video conferencing software, particularly Zoom. About 26% of adults who frequently use video conferencing are affected by Zoom fatigue. While video conferencing tools like Zoom have been instrumental in helping us stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, research sh...

Lights Out

Share According to the Canadian charity Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), many millions of migratory birds die each year from building collisions, cats, pollution, climate change, invasive species, and habitat erosion. Without serious efforts on our part, the problem will only get worse. Lights Out shows that children can make a real difference by taking action to reduce light pollution that throws migrating birds off course. It tells the story of a flock of sparrows thrown off course in cities where "headlights and billboards glare. Busine...

The Artist's Joy

Share “The hardest part for creatives when naming and examining the generalized other is that when we share our work, we get feedback and messages from all kinds of people all the time. They unabashedly praise or constructively criticize or verbally attack our art, which, good or bad, feels personal. From trusted mentors and friends to faceless internet trolls, it can be hard to differentiate ourselves from what we create and how we perceive others’ reactions to it. “We are put in positions to receive feedback from people we do not know at all ...

After the Worst Day Ever

Share Hope means seeing and acknowledging hard things, paying attention to everything long — all of it, good and bad — without denying anything. Learning to live with all that we feel, all that we think, all that we see, everything that happens — accepting all of it without pushing away pain or refusing to acknowledge suffering or clinging to pleasure — invites hope. Sick children talk about suffering because they see the territory clearly, and they know that hope manifests in the midst of pain. Hope doesn't erase suffering; it acknowledges it,...

After the Worst Day Ever

Share Who doesn’t need a book about hope right now? After the Worst Day Ever by Duane R. Bidwell is just that, and well worth a read. While the subtitle — What Sick Kids Know about Sustaining Hope in Chronic Illness — bespeaks a researcher’s specificity, the book is much more than a resource for caregivers of children with chronic illness. It is a reframing of hope that is much needed for those confronting a world ill with pollution and climate change — which is to say, all of us. It is also a book that can help people face suffering — “those w...

Helping Migratory Birds

Share No matter where you live, you can take small actions to help migratory birds. Use migration maps such as the one found at birdcast.info to monitor migration activities in your area.Turn off all unnecessary outdoor lights, or replace them with light that are bird-friendly, such as motion-activated lights or shielded luminaries that control glare.Write letters to city leaders and business owners asking them to join Lights Out.Make your windows safer for birds by placing a small sticker or decal on the outside of the window, covering the win...

A 12-Minute Meditation to Meet Difficult Emotions With Compassion

Adobe Stock | Mary Long Often when we’re struggling with challenging situations or emotions, the things that feel the most supportive aren’t complex techniques, but just simple, down-to-earth practices. This week, teacher and leadership trainer Carley Hauck introduces a practice for working with difficult emotions that’s all about noticing the body and visualizing the support, care, and wisdom to stay present to the right-now experience. In a world that feels increasingly complex and uncertain, Carley’s guidance is like a gentle hand on the bac...

Learning TM (Transcendental Meditation) online in London via Newcastle upon Tyne

Webmaster: Andrea at Dialogue - Copyright @ 2021 Twenty Minutes Meditation - Independent Transcendental Meditation Teacher - TM classes and courses in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Manchester, York, Ringwood, Southampton, Edinburgh, Glasgow and much more. Learn TM online via Zoom.

Why Uncertainty Is Good for Us

Our brains are hardwired to dislike uncertainty.  Whether it was our ancient ancestors depending on unpredictable weather conditions to have enough to eat, or our very modern lives characterized by nonstop change, information overload, and unstable global situations—that deep sense of not-knowing, to our nervous systems, can feel like a threat. It’s understandable that for most of us, uncertainty often brings up feelings of discomfort and anxiety. And of course, unpredictable situations can sometimes pose more than just feelings of discomfort—t...

Someone Just Like You

Share "We have more in common than that which divides us," activist and humanitarian Jo Cox wisely observed. But how can we discover those common threads? That's the quest Someone Just Like You offers in its 32 colorful, buoyant pages. On a page showing 20 kids with names ranging from Dyal to Zahra, readers discover that even if you and others speak different languages and have different names: "On the outside you look different,but your feelings are the same." New York Times bestselling illustrator David Roberts has gone all out to make these ...

Somehow

Share “On a ten-minute walk anywhere — from outside my gate with its broken latch to the loudest block in Brooklyn to Garbage City in Cairo — love abounds and abides, flirts and weeps with us. It is there for the asking, which is the easy part. Our lives’ toughest work is in the receiving. Love presents most obviously in babies and kids being cuddled, yet also as patience with annoying humans we live or work with or are. We feel love upon seeing our favorite neighbors and first responders, we see it in fundraising efforts, peace marches, kinder...

It’s Selfish, It’s Hokey, and I’ll Lose My Edge: 3 Half-Truths About Self-Compassion

I’m a late adopter of a lot of things. It took me two years to get an iPhone, a lot of convincing to wear AirPods (which I still call ear pods despite my son’s cringe), and it took me even longer to drink the “self-compassion” Kool-Aid.  (Which I guess I drank because I wrote a book on how to practice self-compassion daily!) Why such reluctance to embrace the research-backed practice of self-compassion? I believed three things about self-compassion that turned me off. But I’ve since learned, they are really only half-truths. We think that being...

Somehow

Share “Love is evolutionary, survival of the species. Not-love is killing us,” writes Anne Lamott, in one of the more serious moments of her new book. In a time of great divisions between people, come reminders from one our most popular spiritual writers about the fundamentals of love. In classic Anne Lamott style, this comes in sentences bursting with inspiration flashes, such as: “Eighty percent of everything that is true and beautiful can be experienced on any ten-minute walk.” And, “Even in the darkest and most devastating times, love is ne...

About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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