As I say in almost all these answers, feel free to contact me with any specific questions, about these topics or anything else. Thanks!
How can I learn to meditate?
Well, the best I can do is share how I learned about meditation. I first read a book, called Buddhism: Plain and Simple. It was a fine introduction, but I never meditated after I read it.
A bit later I began looking around town for meditation classes. I didn’t realize there were so many different types of meditation, within and outside of Buddhism. I attended a few places and found one that felt right for me, settling on insight meditation, which comes out of the Theravadan tradition. I took a six-week introductory class, and then I really only meditated very infrequently.
I continued to read books and also practiced moments of mindfulness as much as I could, until my kids were older and I could participate more regularly in weekly sits, dharma talks, and retreats. But there is always an opportunity to practice no matter where you are.
There are many insight meditation sanghas (communities) in cities all over the country and world. You can google “insight meditation” and your city name to see what comes up.
You can read my series Practicing Peace, which covers mindfulness practices, self-connection, and how to meditate.
As always, feel free to contact me if you’d like more specific information. I will try to help!
What is cohousing?
Our family moved into a cohousing community in October of 2010, after many years of thinking about the idea and visiting communities in and around our city. (We’re lucky that there were many to choose from!)
Cohousing is a way to live in community. Lots of people think we’ve moved to a commune, but cohousing communities are really like neighborhoods. We own our own homes but share responsibility for the common areas and the common house, a 4000-square-foot building that contains a kitchen and dining room for our optional shared meals, a living room, kids’ play room, guest room, laundry, two bathrooms, and our mail room. Cohousing tries to strike the right balance between private and public space, and personal and shared responsbility. I feel blessed that our community in particular seems quite mature, flexible, and supportive and does not rely on bureacracy or politics to make things happen. I wrote two long posts about our responsibilities and the general atmosphere here and here.
You can also read all my posts about cohousing here.
What is Hakomi?
Hakomi therapy is a mindfulness-based psychotherapy, often called “assisted self-study.” It was created forty years ago by a man named Ron Kurtz, who kept refining the method based on experience until his death in early 2011.
Hakomi is a Hopi word that means “who are you in relation to these many realms” or “how do you relate?” Or even simply, “Who are you?”
The practice of Hakomi is a way of accessing core beliefs — the ways we organize our experience – and bringing them into consciousness through the mindful participation of the client so that one might be able to live more freely.
Fundamental principles of Hakomi include:
- organicity — living systems
- mindfulness — the path of consciousness
- nonviolence — reverence for life
- mind-body holism
- unity — a participatory universe
Or you can read my posts about Hakomi here.
How can I find a Hakomi therapist?
The best places to look are…
Do you have any book recommendations?
I have an Amazon bookstore, which contains only books that I have read. Each book has helped me at certain points of my journey and I’ve grouped them into categories such as Parenting, Unschooling, Buddhism, Kids’ Books, and more.
If you buy from this site, thanks! But I mostly want an easy way for folks to browse and learn about books so I completely understand if you’d rather get the books from the library or support an independent bookseller.
If you’re looking for a recommendation on a certain topic, feel free to contact me.