Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The highest form of spiritual practice is
self-observation without judgement.
-Swami Kripalu

It was still dark on Friday morning as I finished packing. Thanks to the generous encouragement of my beloved Batman, I was headed back to Kripalu for a weekend workshop on meditation with Tara Brach. I went a bit early and met my dear friend Frances for lunch. When we headed off to our room to unpack and settle in I discovered that when packing in the dark, I had grabbed a left and right sandal from two different pair! My heart sank. Would I have to wear my hiking boots all weekend? That would not work very well as shoes are not allowed in all the workshop venues and I would be tying and untying all weekend long. Then I realized there really was no problem. These mismatched sandals would work just fine. In fact, it would be a good exercise for mitchy matchy me to just let it go. 

And so the weekend unfolded...we were stunned, and if I am to be honest, a bit put off, to find that the program had 250 attendees. I wondered how that would work. But I overheard a woman remark that she thought it was wonderful so many people wanted to explore meditation. Hello attitude shift! Let the judgement go, Karen...

There were hours and hours of Tara's story telling, guided meditation, small group exercises and deep quiet in a room full of 250 people. By Sunday morning we had all been through a lot together. The work of deep meditation is not easy. But the energy, love and compassion in that room had grown exponentially over those five sessions. It was really remarkable. Hard to describe. But it filled me with hope. Hope that cannot be found in any other way than in deep stillness and with intention and being fully present. Without judgement.

Tara's website is filled with resources. You can find sample meditations there and other lovely inspiration. I invite you to explore all she has to offer. Perhaps as we work to find hope and peace within ourselves, we can bring hope and peace into this world we live in.



  1. letting go...not always easy...but so freeing. tqoe

  2. ha ha...I didn't even notice until you snitched on meditation is... without ceasing

  3. Thank you Karen for your timely comment on my blog regarding meditation and thank you for the link which I will follow up. I used to do yoga many years ago and stilling the mind was very therapeutic for me. I may try and do a spot of meditating each morning before I get to grips with the day ahead. :-)

  4. This is lovely and honest. A perfect time of year to be at Kripalu with a mis-matched pair of Berkies. It seems like such a wonderful exercise.

    I started looking at Tara's website last night and found myself listening to one of her talks until midnight. I'm returning to her sight for some more of the wisdom that is available.

  5. I went to Tara's site, so many things to do and to learn and to think. Thanks

  6. I would so love to have such an experience, Karen. It reminds me of group meditation in the religious order I once belonged to. That communal stillness is so powerful. So glad you shared this, and love the bit about your shoes!!

  7. Guess I'm a little slow. I didn't notice they were mismatched until you mentioned it. I've done the same thing, though.

    I can imagine all that energy in your group. What a wonderful experience it must have been.