What kind of snack does Buddha eat as he’s watching TV?

Image for post
Image for post
Author Photo

What kind of snack does Buddha eat as he’s watching TV?

I’m trying to tell you a lot about myself while using just a few words. So now you know something about me: I like to use pictures to supplement words.

There’s also the statement below the picture. It may sound a bit silly. But it stops you in your tracks, the way a koan would.

I am very interested in these kinds of things. Not just koans, but ways to open up to new perspectives.

I think of mindfulness as what naturally happens when we disrupt the mindless default mode. …


Image for post
Image for post

“I do weekly To-Do lists,” says Steve, “but I’m not good at the follow-through. It’s as if the person writing the list is a different person from the one who has to do the work.”

If you’ve ever felt this way, I suggest a little exercise. We’re going to pretend, for a moment, that there are actually two people involved — one called Management, and another called Labor. And we’re going to let them have a dialogue.

How to stage a lively inner dialogue

Here’s how we’re going to do this. Get 2 chairs. Have them face each other. One chair will be the chair you sit in when you speak as Management, and the other chair will be the one you sit in when you speak as Labor. …


Image for post
Image for post

The concept of “hierophany “was dear to Mircea Eliade, the scholar of religious experience. Hierophany is the manifestation of the Sacred. There is a paradox to the Sacred: While it transcends the Ordinary, its manifestation is in the Ordinary, where it hides in plain sight.

Now, this may seem a bit abstract. So I will use an example, something that happened a few years ago, the sordid story of Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels.

Trump’s sexual adventures and his lying and bullying are solidly entrenched in the underbelly of the realm of the Ordinary. But he is not just an ordinary man. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Mauro Paillex / Unsplash

Ask Alta ski instructor James Ledyard to tell you something that would radically improve your skiing, and he might actually talk to you about lion tamers. You might have a second take: What’s that got to do with skiing?
By the way, as you read this article, you’ll see it’s not just about skiing: You’re reading a metaphor about life.

It’s not about being fearless

Well, James would say, there’s something to learn about how lion tamers manage fear. On the one hand, they can’t be “fearless.” Otherwise, they’d be dead. The lion is a powerful animal, and you cannot treat it like a big cat. Fear is appropriate; the kind of fear that can also be described as awe. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Inside Edition / YouTube

It started twenty years ago when Rudy Giuliani glamoured up for a date with Donald Trump at a charity dinner. While star-crossed, the two lovebirds had yet so much to accomplish. It had to wait until after retirement.

The time has finally come. The date is said to be set for February 14. How romantic! And Mar-a-Lago is undergoing a major make-over to welcome the lovebirds.

Jerry Falwell Jr will be officiating at the poolside wedding.

Note: Much of the story may be embellished, but the photo is true.


This 38-second video is based on artificially generated photo-realistic images that feature a man’s full lifespan as if taken in stop-motion photography.

The images were generated for a New York Times article published on November 21, 2020, by Kashmir Hill and Jeremy White: Designed to deceive: do these people look real to you?

The “dream” in the video’s title alludes to the deceptive quality of visual information — fake pictures that look real. Most importantly, it evokes the trance-like state in which we go through life — and the many spiritual traditions exhorting us to awaken.

And so?

Image for post
Image for post

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Lotte Jacobi

He would cross the Connecticut River over the covered bridge between Cornish and Windsor. There, he would sit at the diner and write. Or he would drive to Hartland, also in Vermont, to attend the $12 roast beef dinners at the First Congregational Church, among the first to be there, sitting, writing. He would drive to the Dartmouth College library, and there, and write.

In Cornish, the children of his neighbors, the Bournes, would knock at his door, in the winter, to ask permission to sled down the hill in his property, and they would find him writing.

What was he writing about? …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

In my circle of friends, we think of Trump voters as blind to reality and driven by myth. For instance, the idea that COVID is no more harmful than the flu. This is a myth in the derogatory sense of the word: an assumption about reality that is divorced from reality.

Can we legitimately say that polarization has cleaved the country into roughly two halves, one of which is delusional? Is it fair to say that only Trump voters believe in myths, while we are impervious to them?

Myth and human societies

This kind of conclusion flies in the face of what Yuval Harari has to say about myth. His book, Sapiens, is a sweeping overview of our history as a species. He makes the case that myth is the glue that binds us together. Were it not for our ability to “see” the invisible as if it were real, it would not have been possible to harness collective energy and form lasting societies. …


Image for post
Image for post

Sometimes, mindfulness is defined as ‘mind’ observing ‘body’. It is good to remember that this is just a way of speaking. There is no such thing as a disembodied ‘mind.’

We are a ‘whole person’ process, whether we are aware of it. Mindfulness refers to our embodied experience of this ‘whole person’ process.

The words’ body’, ‘mind’ and ‘spirit’ come to us from a long tradition of seeing a fundamental discontinuity: According to it, thoughts, feelings, and spirit are intangible, whereas the body is tangible. But the ‘body’ is not just a bunch of bones, muscles, and organs. A living body is very different from a corpse: It is in a constant process. Think about the visual of a hospital room with monitors showing all kinds of continuously flowing curves. …


Image for post
Image for post

Political conversations tend to bring out activation and polarization. This is not a reason to avoid them. The following provides some suggestions to make them a more satisfying experience.

These suggestions stem from a simple premise. In political discussions, we tend to become focused on arguing and making a point. As a result, we talk at each other instead of having a meaningful conversation. We need to counter this vicious cycle by broadening our focus and engaging our curiosity. To do so, we need to shift our sense of what the goal is.

Instead of defending a position, make it your goal to know more about each other through the discussion.

Here is a simple format for such a discussion. …

About

Serge Prengel

Serge Prengel is a therapist in NYC. He is the editor of the Active Pause & Mindfulness podcast, at http://activepause.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store