Author Archives: Chris Towery

May 12-18

“The search, or journey, to become something other than what you are is completely conceptual, merely an idea. The seeker will discover that he is what he seeks, and what he seeks is the source of the inquiry.”

-Jean Klein

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What does the quote mean when it says, “the search… to become something other than what you are is completely conceptual”?

May 5-11

“The best way to deal with excessive thinking is to just listen to it, to listen to the mind. Listening is much more effective than trying to stop thought or cut it off.” -Ajahn Amaro

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Why is trying to stop thinking less effective than just listening to your thoughts? How might this “passive” strategy apply to other areas of your life/practice?

April 21-27

“At its best, Zen leads us out of the hell of self-obsession, showing us what we took to be the self was just a mirage. At its less than best, Zen can devolve into a mish-mash of pop psychology, self-help, and New Age catchphrases. It can also devolve away from authentic experience, real discovery, and actualization into a nightmare of conceptualized practice—what the masters called ‘dead Zen’—which is Zen discussed, even ‘understood’ in its principles, but not actually lived.” -Henry Shukman


This Week’s Discussion Topic
Provide real-life examples of both sides of Zen described in tonight’s quote: “Zen at its best” vs. “Zen at its less than best.” Comparing those examples, what makes one version true and the other less than true?

April 21-27

“The search is always in the wrong direction, so all that you consider very profound, all that you consider sacred, is a contamination on your consciousness. You may not like the word ‘contamination,’ but all that you consider sacred, holy, and profound is a contamination.”
-U.G. Krishnamurti


This Week’s Discussion Topic
In tonight’s quote, what does “contamination on your consciousness” mean? In other words, how might concepts, such as “sacred,” “holy,” and “profound” affect your perception of reality?

April 14-20

“Meditation is about seeing your freedom clearly. You are already free in this very moment. It is only the thought, the belief that you are not free that binds you, leading to suffering and seeking. See that consciousness is freedom itself.”

–Francis Lucille

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Compare tonight’s quote to common Buddhist adage, “You are already enlightened, but just don’t see it.” How do thoughts and beliefs fit into these two perspectives?

April 7-13

“Wisdom has to do with seeing clearly, seeing things as they are, that is, coming to terms with the way things are. In fact, ‘perfect seeing’ is one translation of vipassana.”

-Larry Rosenberg

This Week’s Discussion Topic
In tonight’s quote, what are the phrases “seeing things as they are” and “coming to terms with the way things are” actually taking about? And how do those two intertwined concepts relate to your practice?

April 1-6

“In order to learn to be truly content here and now, you have to practice being truly content here and now—and that means giving up any notion that there’s anything better waiting just around the corner.”

-Brad Warner

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Related to tonight’s quote, if you suddenly knew for certain that your life was never going to get any better than it is now, how would you deal with that?

March 24-30

“A stage is reached when you stop believing that you are living, but instead have the deep conviction that you are being lived—that whatever you’re doing, you’re not doing but being compelled to do.”

-Sri Nisargadatta

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Related to tonight’s quote, have you ever had the experience of taking an action (even just saying something out loud) without first thinking, planning, or intending to do that thing? Discuss examples from your life, and then discuss how and/or why those things might have happened in that manner.

March 17-23

“It doesn’t matter what is happening in our experience. What matters is how we are relating to our experience.”

-Tara Brach

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Based on tonight’s quote, why is it that how we relate to our experience matters, but the content of our experience does not?

March 10-16

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

-Philip K. Dick

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What implications does tonight’s quote have for the concepts of “reality” and “belief”? And what about for your practice?