Looking for the Light at the End of the 2020 Tunnel

By Sarah Chauncey | December 30, 2020

In my 30s, I began making commitments instead of resolutions, because I could see that making a “resolution” was setting myself up to fail (and therefore, feel bad about myself). Then I began setting intentions. That worked a bit better, though I quickly learned that I can set all the intentions I want, but life might have other plans. A few years ago, I stumbled across a post about someone choosing a guiding word for the year, and that really resonated with me…

There is Only One Teaching (Eckhart Tolle essay)

By Sarah Chauncey | January 19, 2016

In 2013, Eckhart Tolle’s website put out a call for essays about how his teachings. I spent the next year writing and revising this essay, which was published on his site in January 2016. The page no longer exists, so I decided to share it here.

Why I Stopped Searching for Enlightenment

By Sarah Chauncey | November 7, 2015

In the summer of 2013, when I was in the midst of two years of financial hardship, someone asked me: “If you could ask for one wish, and know it would come true, what would it be?” My immediate answer was “Enlightenment.” The questioner was surprised I didn’t say money, but from the times I’ve…

When Thoughts Become Torture

By Sarah Chauncey | May 10, 2015

If you’ve never had an intrusive thought, it’s hard to imagine. These are thoughts that appear, unbidden and undesired, and that (in my experience) are immune to the techniques I usually use to stop thinking. I guess the best way to describe it is the example of “Don’t think about a pink elephant.”

Everyone Thinks They’re Right

By Sarah Chauncey | February 28, 2015

This is a topic I’ve been percolating for a long time, and it comes from a teaching by Tara Brach in which she says, “The world is divided into people who think they’re right.” Nothing illustrates this better than our collective reaction to The Dress. It’s the perfect example that shows people have not only radically different perceptions but different *realities*…

Finding Calm Through Fierce Presence

By Sarah Chauncey | February 21, 2015

When I was really having a hard time financially–when I didn’t have money for soap–I realized that, in order to stop the mind from freaking out (and therefore making me feel terrible), I had to be fiercely present. I’m not sure if that’s my phrase or not, but I like it…

Getting from Resistance to Acceptance

By Sarah Chauncey | February 8, 2015

Resistance, the opposite of acceptance, is a blockage of energy. Think about how we experience tension, anger and worry on a physical level: the stomach feels like it’s in knots; our throats clench; there’s a heaviness in the chest. All of those are blocked energy. Often, we don’t even realize we’re resisting. Our minds believe that whatever negativity we’re feeling will make a difference, the same way we think that pressing an elevator button numerous times will make it come faster.

Accepting This Moment

By Sarah Chauncey | February 7, 2015

If I could have a superpower, I would choose acceptance. Whether you call it surrender, alignment, The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle), “loving what is” (Byron Katie), Radical Acceptance (Tara Brach), non-resistance or getting in the Vortex (Abraham-Hicks), all the teachings I’ve encountered point to the same bedrock principle: Surrender to what exists in this moment, exactly as it is.