Looking for a specific title?
This page lists them alphabetically with a brief description. Elsewhere a Table of Contents separates them into four areas. A Topic Index lets you search for a specific topic. Other writings can be found in the sermon archives of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento.
On this page those four areas are tagged as follows:
* Titles preceded by an asterisk (*) have been recently added.
Befriending the Demon (V): An enraged drunk, an aikido student, and an elderly Japanese gentlemen meet on a commuter train in Tokyo.
Booism (V): A whimsically serious look at the relationship between joy and fear and the "boo" in Buddhism.
172 Cognitive Biases (QA): If you think 5 hindrances are a lot of trouble, take a look at the multitude of mind distortions scientists are documenting.
Buddha’s Map sample chapters (Map), beginning with a brief description of the book.
Table of Contents: An annotated table of contents offers an overview of the book.
Intro: A Sweet, Kind Aliveness: Waking up is not easy. But without ease, it’s impossible.
Chp 1. From Stubbornness to Ease : Autobiography of my meditation practice including key elements of the "Easing Awake" or "Metta Vipassana" meditation practice the Buddha taught.
Chp 2. Beginnings: Overview of the Buddha’s approach to meditation and life and beginning meditation instructions.
Chp 5. Thriving in Difficult Times: Moving from surviving to thriving even when times are rough.
Chp 10. Joy: the Fourth Jhana: Joy is the essence of the first jhana or stage of the Buddha’s meditation.
Consciousness: What is It Anyway?(QA) : Consciousness is the way we process information and assign meaning to it. It clarifies or distorts everything we experience. I can be distinguished from awareness and perception.
Cultivating Grace series (TA): Grace is anything we have to enjoy that we don’t (or can’t) earn. But we can learn to be more receptive.
Fierce Acceptance (TA): Accepting who we are, how life is, and the support of a wise community.
Kindness (TA): Given the vastness of time and space and the finiteness of our lives, only kindness makes any sense.
* Confession and Forgiveness (TA): We all do things that fall short of our highest values. Sharing these with a good hearted friend helps reconnect us with life. Forgiveness meditation then has more power. (This talks is also included in the Forgiveness Series.)
* Ease and Irrational Joy (TA): Consider all phenomena to be a dream. Be grateful to everyone. Don’t expect a standing ovation. These are a few ways to cultivate ease and irrational joy.
Forgiveness Collection: (TA): Various aspects of forgiveness.
* Forgiving Ourselves (2003) (TA): Rather than resolving to do better each New Year, we’d do better to forgive ourselves first.
* Forgiving Others (2003) (TA): Forgiving is not the same as forgetting or letting our guard down. But it essential for releasing ourselves from the prison of resentment.
* Forgiving Is Possible (2008) (TA): Considering the power of forgiveness in situations where it seems impossible.
* Forgiving and Reconciliation (2010) (TA): It takes two people working together to reconcile. But it is possible to forgive without the help of other.
* Forgiveness and Luminosity (2011) (TA): Approaching forgiveness from the perspective of finding that soft, luminous core in everyone.
* Forgiving, Patience and Confession (2013) (TA): Confession to a good hearted friend makes forgiveness of ourselves easier. (This talk is also listed under Cultivating Grace.)
Fuzzy-Don’t-Know Mind (QA): How to work with a sluggish mind.
God(s) and Consciousness series: (TA) : The maturity of consciousness shapes our understanding and experience of God, spirit, and what is ultimately most important in life.
"Why Is There Anything?" (TA): To say, "God created it," raises the question of who or what created God? How can we explore these questions in ways that are grounded in our day-to-day reality?
The Widening Circle(TA): Who is included in our circle of caring? Who is "us" and who is "them?" When asking, "What is most ultimately real or most important in life?" do we look for answers inside ourselves, in how we relate to the people and things, or in the external world itself? These questions define a matrix map of different images of God, gods, Spirit, and meaning. All are legitimate.
Spiritual Literacy (TA): The most popular view of God in the West is an infinitely perfect Santa Claus. This represents a case of spiritual arrested development. We can do better.
Stages of Consciousness (TA): Consciousness is the way we interpret and understand our world. It matures in discernable stages with each new stage encompassing and going beyond the ones that preceded it.
Is God Real? (TA): Who is wise enough to answer this question? What do they say?
Summary table, diagram, and reflective questions (TA): Overview of the stages of consciousness and how they relate to different images of gods.
* The Guest House (V): A Rumi poem evocative of relaxing into difficulties rather than fighting them.
* Individual and Universal Metta (QA): When it’s helpful to send out metta in all directions, when it’s helpful to send it to a spiritual friend, and why.
* Is Metta Less Peaceful (QA): In the beginning, the metta practice may feel less peaceful but in the long run it is more stable.
Jackie’s Way-Cool Glasses (V): Children’s story about hi tech glasses that give lots of information and leave us a little blind.
Josie and the Turkey (V): A mean stupid bird turned out to be courageous and caring.
* The Lake (V): A poem evocative of aspects of the eighth jhana.
Meaning of Life (QA): Life has no ultimate meaning. It just is.
Naturally Deluded (QA): "Cankers, "effluence," "pollutants," and "taints" are not to be feared or defeated.
Nested Dolls and Depth Meditation (QA): Seeing Dependent Origination as a set of nested dolls makes it a powerful tool in meditation.
Nuisances (TA): Looking beyond the hindrances to subtle tendencies that come with being human.
Object of Meditation (QA): Awareness itself is the focus of Easing Awake meditation.
Recipe for a Human (V): A whimsically serious look at how essential fear is to human nature.
Selflessness series (TA): Exploration of the experience of selflessness.
Shadows in the Mirror (TA): The experience of selflessness often arises spontaneously.
Dissolving (TA): At the higher end of meditation practice, self gradually fades.
* Guidance (TA): Using our relational sensitivities to listen deeply to life.
* Channeling (TA): There are ways we can know things that have nothing to do with the mind or the senses. Figuring out why this works is less important than finding a balanced way to work with it to cultivate insight.
* Beyond Reason (TA): The apophatic is was a spiritual practice that makes Zen koans seem simplistic. It as popular in Europe for a 1000 years and helped people experience reality beyond the limitations of intellectual reasoning.
Taking Refuge (TA): A discussion of refuge in general and the three Buddhist refuges in particular.
Three Refuges (QA): A quick explanation of the three refuges.
* Smiling (QA): Smiling is a surprisingly powerful support for meditation.
Three Winged Bird (V): A hawk captures a pigeon.
* Turning Toward: Four Ennobling Truths (TA): The Four Ennobling Truths encourage us to turn toward whatever life brings, soften any tension we experience, realize that the deep peace come from releasing desire rather than satisfying it, and cultivating a path that helps us experience these for ourselves.
Two Snakes and a Butterfly (V): Snakes make love and a butterfly dies. What we have in common with them is far greater than our difference. We’re part of it all.
* What is Meditation? series (TA): A few articles giving a broad overview of this meditation and the beginning instructions.
* Kindness and Wisdom (TA): The Buddha’s meditation rests on the healing power of pure awareness. This generates love, kindness, and wisdom.
* Inner Glow (TA): The Buddha’s meditation cultivates an mind-heart like a glowing light rather than a focused beam. We cannot control the mind and observe it at the same time.
Beginnings Instructions: Overview of the Buddha’s approach to meditation and life and beginning meditation instructions.
Wise Acceptance (TA): Some acceptance is wise, other acceptance is foolish. The "seven Rs" help separate them."