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Author: MichaelGreenleaf

Number of entries: 7
Email: [email protected]

Dec 13

Seeing Depression

Filed underDharma Teachings

In this article, Acharya Michael Greenleaf dives fearlessly into the solidity of depression and offers insight into causes, describes what is happening in our minds, and shows how meditation practice can lead to the strength and composure of true tenderness


It’s hard to count on anything. These days even the earth may move under our feet. The weather is unpredictable. Finding true friends is hard. If we stop to notice, everything is changing, which leaves us vulnerable.

We too experience ups and downs. They are hard to pinpoint. What do we really feel? If we wanted to say how we really feel, could we? When we try, the effort seems to fall short. While our experience touches us, it can’t be fully shared. We are alone in that way, which is sad.

A Lonely Feeling

Trungpa Rinpoche calls this experience of aloneness the “genuine heart of sadness.” Aloneness isn’t alienation. It’s a clue. We spend all this time trying to manage life, trying to secure ourselves, trying to maximize. But who are we really? Have we ever really looked?

On the path of meditation, this sad feeling isn’t a fault. We may look for ways to shield ourselves from our vulnerability, but treatments with drugs or therapy wouldn’t help and wouldn’t be the point. In fact, according to Suzuki Roshi, for the practitioner of meditation, the sad and lonely feeling “grows and grows,” until it becomes enlightenment. Continue…

Author Archive

The Cool Realm
The Cool Realm – HIGHLIGHT
7 responses - Posted 01.15.11
Acharya Michael Greenleaf attempts to bring equanimity into the world of teenagers. “Look at you two with the signs on your jackets. You look funny.” My wife, Jeanine, was referring to the logos on our fleece jackets, the ones worn by our oldest granddaughter, Camille and me. ...continue
Salt Minding
Salt Minding – HIGHLIGHT
1 response - Posted 09.17.10
On the Samadhi Cushions blog, Acharya Michael Greenleaf offers a true-to-life metaphor for the way we reach for thoughts. The other day, I had a chat with my friend Amos, a doctor. He told me about a study looking at salt in the diet. Excess ...continue
Confessions of a Householder
Confessions of a Householder – HIGHLIGHT
12 responses - Posted 01.06.10
By Acharya Michael Greenleaf Let’s face it. A house is not Zen. I never really wanted a house. It was my wife’s idea. My ideal scenario was to live in a van. There are many advantages to a van. Maybe it’s a guy thing. For one, who ever heard ...continue
Making Room in Your Meditation Room – HIGHLIGHT
no responses - Posted 12.30.09
The Zen Novice finished his first meal at the monastery. Anxious to begin his journey to enlightenment he asked his Master “Now What?” The Master replied, “Now wash your bowl.” —-Zen Parable By Acharya Michael Greenleaf Michael, Can We Talk? Michael, my dear, we have to talk. No, I didn’t ...continue
The Cool Kids
The Cool Kids – HIGHLIGHT
no responses - Posted 10.24.09
By Acharya Michael Greenleaf Recently, the New York Times published an op-ed piece on a conference for Social and Affective Neuroscientists (or “Neuros”) which took place in New York this past week. According to David Brooks, the writer, “the leading figures at this conference were in their ...continue
Maybe You’d Better Sit Down
Maybe You’d Better Sit Down – HIGHLIGHT
no responses - Posted 09.01.09
By Acharya Michael Greenleaf Scientists in Germany reported Thursday that the often-described sense of lost-hiker déjà vu, of having inadvertently backtracked while wandering in the woods — is real. “People really do walk in circles,” said Jan L. Souman of the Max Planck Institute for ...continue

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