Tag Archives: meditation

"One-Moment Meditation" – It Only Takes a Minute

Even if you haven’t been able to meditate before, even if you think you don’t have time, even if you don’t believe in meditation, even if…

This very practical video by Hollyhock presenter Martin Boroson will make you rethink meditation as part of everyday life.

Martin Borosn will lead a “One-Moment Meditation” retreat at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, Sept. 7-10, 2014. Register now and save!

You can't have outer revolution without inner revolution

By Gordon Laird via This Magazine

It’s easy to despair of politics in the 21st century. We seem cursed with high recurrence: on issues like climate change, poverty, and democracy, we experience the same problems, the same arguments, and the same incomplete fixes. Why is it so hard to make change stick?

“You cannot have outer revolution without inner revolution,” explains Kyoto-based Buddhist teacher Doug Duncan. As someone who has taught internationally for the last 30 years, he finds that this dynamic between inner and outer transformation is something people often fail to examine closely.

“We are skilled at manipulating our material world, devising technologies and policies,” he says while conducting a month-long meditation retreat at Clear Sky Meditation & Study Center in the mountains near Cranbrook, B.C. “All good things. But look at the government systems we collectively choose for ourselves: they reflect the mind state.

“And so we have capitalism as the preferred formation as it reflects our inner state: greed, hatred, delusion. We can’t handle enlightened theocracies like old Tibet, nor can we manage anarchy, arguably the highest form [of government] because everyone has to be utterly and totally responsible. We need the average person to realize awareness.”

A Canadian born in Regina, Duncan began his journey to acariya (Pali for “accomplished teacher”) at the age of 24 as a student of Namgyal Rinpoche, Canada’s first incarnate lama as recognized by the 16th Karmapa of Tibet’s Kagyu lineage. Duncan’s teaching bridges worlds, integrating the three major branches of Buddhism— Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajryana—as well as the teachings of western contemplative traditions, psychology, art, and modern science.

Known to many of his students simply as “Sensei Doug,” he describes his approach to teaching as asking questions, not prescribing outcomes. While his ethic is transformation, not politics or public relations, he observes a major imbalance between our inner and outer worlds. “The biggest problem with us these days is that we are materialists; our science is concerned largely with objects, not consciousness,” he says. “Yet objects exist only in relationship, subject to change.

“Ultimately, the rebellion is not against external authority, which may need to happen occasionally. It is rebellion against being subject to our inner states.” In other words, if you want to change things, look closer. Cultivate awareness and interest, observe new patterns, practice generosity. Look closer again. “The spiritual path is in essence not an escape from life but an immersion into life,” Duncan explains. “The fruition of life is to explore, discover, and share. The spiritual search, built on a foundation of bliss, is to investigate.”

Doug-DuncanAchariya Doug Duncan Sensei is a Dharma teacher born in Canada and known for his energetic, insightful, humorous, and practical approach to teaching paths of awakening. He has been teaching Dharma at centres around the world for more than twenty years and is the founding teacher of Dharma Japan and the Clear Sky Meditation & Study Center in British Columbia. His principal teacher was Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche. He has also received teachings from numerous Tibetan masters, including HH the XVIth Karmapa, Kalu Rinpoche, Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and HH the Dalai Lama. He has considerable experience in the Sufi, Taoist, Zen and Western Mystery traditions, along with a strong background in Abhidharma (Buddhist psychology) and Western psychotherapy.

Doug Duncan will be teaching Awakening Within This Lifetime at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, Oct 27 – Nov 1, 2013.

Meditating with the Body: A Course in Somatic Practices to Unlock Your Journey

Video by Dharma Ocean Teachings

“A montage of interviews with Meditating with the Body(R) founder, Reginald A. Ray, teachers Tami Simon and David Iozzi; and participants in a meditation retreat. Filmed during retreat at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado, where the course retreats are held.”

Produced, filmed and edited by Douglas Beechwood.

Additional photography by Corey Kohn, additional videography by Sasha Meyerowitz (via Chariot Videos).

Tami Simon is the founder of Sounds True, a multi-media publisher of spiritual wisdom. She has been meditating for more than 25 years and received intensive training under the direction of Reginald A. Ray, the founder and spiritual director of Dharma Ocean. She is currently a Senior Teacher and Meditation Instructor with Dharma Ocean.

Join Tami Simon for Meditating with the Body August 25-30, at Hollyhock on Cortes Island.

Nature, the Greatest Teacher

Upcoming Hollyhock Presenter, Mark Coleman speaks about nature bringing our attention to the present to foster mindfulness.  Nature truly is the greatest teacher.  Check out the short video below:

Mark’s Hollyhock program, Awake in the Wild, runs August 18 – 23rd, 2013 on Cortes Island.


Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

by Susan Woods via UCSD Center for Mindfulness

Suffering is not personal, but in so many ways we are inclined to feel it in that way.  Of course the feeling of pain and heartache is universal; it’s what connects us and also what can separate us.  Mindfulness meditation practice encourages and supports us in developing a profound understanding about how we relate to pain and gives us choices on how we can respond.  It took me some time and lots of practice to relax into appreciating this.  What I became aware of was the more I could allow myself to show up and pay a kind and steady attention, without denying or pushing anything away or alternatively chasing after something, the steady momentum of mindfully noticing became compelling as an act of generosity.

We don’t often talk too much about acts of generosity when facing suffering; a sense that it is permissible and might even be imperative to be kind when facing the overwhelming; that by cultivating a tender abiding, embodying an intentional and attentive mindful consciousness which supports a friendly and intimate awareness we come to experience our pain, our difficulties in a different way.  We also come to notice that being mindful is dynamic and creates just enough intuitive and emotional space to acknowledge pain and the story around it without needing to react to it so much.  Learning by this measure we come to see directly the simple and powerful presence of kindness and patience, acknowledging that nothing needs fixing, residing in the meaning of being present and in the power of deep noticing and listening.  And so paradoxically we are able to let go more and more sensing what lies behind the narratives of our ego driven world.

It is this awareness, this presence, that nurtures caring which is deeply compassionate; an attentive listening heart which is quiet, calm, loving and knows from experience the storms of suffering, the rages, the hatreds, criticisms, judgments, frustrations, sadness’s and anxieties.  And when these arise, the listening heart opens, quivers, creates space, embraces, bearing witness to all while residing with the movement of breathing.  Breathing in, inhabiting this moment, breathing out, softening and letting go.  This heart has learned the worth of gentleness, has learned the value of an attending presence – a presence that asks for nothing in return, only this moment now.

In our lives and in our teaching of mindfulness, embodying a mindful presence conveys the hope that we may all slowly walk this journey of kindness with a listening heart.


Susan-WoodsSusan Woods, MSW, LICSW, is extensively trained in the clinical application of mindfulness-based approaches, teaches the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy programs and has been awarded MBSR teacher certification by the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.


Mark-LauMark A. Lau PhD, R Psych, is a registered clinical psychologist in private practice at the Vancouver CBT Centre in British Columbia.  He is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia and a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.


 Join Susan and Mark at Hollyhock on Cortes Island for Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Training, July 18-21, 2013.