Separating Facts from Stories

By Sarah Chauncey | March 5, 2017

We humans are story-making machines. Yet our minds don’t limit story-making to those times when it’s helpful for us. We all tell ourselves and others stories all the time. Often, those stories create pain—and they’re not rooted in fact.

The Benefits of Inner and Outer Silence

By Sarah Chauncey | February 7, 2017

I wrote this post more than three years ago, long before COVID-19. Today, many people are dealing with silence and solitude on a level they never expected (or wanted). I’m feeling powerless to help, so I’m sharing my experiences in dealing with solitude and uncertainty.

Learning to Observe Thoughts

By Sarah Chauncey | January 25, 2017

One of the foundations of inner peace for me is realizing that I am not my thoughts. In order to do that, though—and this is pretty much the core of everything I practice and write about—I had to learn to observe my thoughts, to recognize that the thoughts exist on their own plane, and that thoughts weren’t…

An Open Letter to Those Going off Medication

By Sarah Chauncey | May 19, 2016

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” —Anaïs Nin Recently, I’ve been seeing more and more stories / posts / tweets by people in the process of withdrawing from medication. These have brought up both a swell of compassion and a…

Music as a Teaching

By Sarah Chauncey | February 18, 2016

I love music—who doesn’t?—yet it had never occurred to me that music itself could be a teaching, that it could bring people to the place, the experience, that spiritual teachers’ words point to, the transcendence that’s sometimes found in meditation (and often isn’t). But that’s exactly what one song did.  As Martin Mull famously said, writing about…

Mindfulness and the MRI

By Sarah Chauncey | February 5, 2016

Note: A friend expressed concern and mentioned that, in the U.S., people only have MRIs if something is seriously wrong. In Canada, MRI is sometimes used in place of other screening technologies; this was just a checkup. Ok, I admit, this is a bit of a departure from the whole nature and walking thing. Bear with…

How to Become Present Right Now

By Sarah Chauncey | January 16, 2015

This is one of the best techniques I’ve found to bring me into the moment (or help me fall asleep). Here it is: Count your breaths (inhale/exhale) from one to four. Then start over again at one. Simple, right? Just try it. It’s amazing how often I’ll get to “16, 17…” without even realizing it.…