From the BlogMeet Ron


Dear friends,
Pico Iyer, writing in the NY Times a few years ago, noticed that those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms. 
He writes:
“The future of travel, I’m reliably told, lies in “black-hole resorts,” which charge high prices precisely because you can’t get online in their rooms.”
It seems we some well-heeled folks are jumping off the time-saving device bandwagon.
“The more ways we have to connect, the more of us seem desperate to unplug” observes Iyer.
Some writers these days are paying for “distraction-free” writing software—which cuts off your internet service for pre-set intervals, so you can actually do some writing.
We barely have enough time to see how little time we have.
Buddhism is well known to teach “what we practice will grow.” In other words, if we want to cultivate a busy, anxious mind, we can do this very effectively simply by practicing being busy and anxious. 
Likewise, if we want to cultivate a calm, centered mind, we need to “practice” those mind states, simple as that. 
It doesn’t help that we are living in emotionally chaotic, post-election times. 
Can we just sit still a moment?
You may notice that just as you put your tush to the cush, you immediately feel your mind judging, liking, disliking what this or that person said on the news, or at work.
But our minds can also be like a balance scale. With all the aversions, the jumping to conclusions, the anger, we our mind may feel out of balance, tipped for so long on the side of reactivity.
Our daily sitting practice is a greenhouse of sorts, says Diana Winston. It allows us to nurture the tender roots of peace and calm.
Our marvelous mindfulness meditation allows us to find that place of rest and balance we so desperately need. 
A place that is open to grace.

Here is a poem only the great Pablo Neruda could write.

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve

and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

This is a simple invitation to rest in the beauty of non-doing, if only for a few blessed moments. 

Accept it.
Tom, Katina, and the kids

Special Guest Teacher Next Week — Greg Pai

Gregory Pai has practiced meditation since the mid-seventies in several Buddhist lineages. His teachers include Robert Aitken, Sayadaw U Pandita, Sayadaw U Silananda, Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Sayadaw U Kundala, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. 
He has trained at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has taught meditation at the Hawaii State Hospital, Kahi Mohala, Queens Hospital, Tripler Hospital and at the Center for Alternative Medicine of the University of Hawaii School of Medicine. Greg can be reached at

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