Leaning into Fear and Uncertainty

By Sarah Chauncey | June 12, 2017

Renting is a good lesson in stewardship: Nothing is truly ours; we just have responsibility for things for a little while.

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…

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…

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…

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…

Becoming Present Through Sensations

By Sarah Chauncey | January 22, 2015

My mind, when left to its own devices, tends to cause me more pain than joy. It’s a great tool, effective for analyzing data or strategizing, but it has the capacity to bully me, too. The creativity that’s so useful professionally can also create wild stories and vivid dramas that have no root in reality,…

Time Doesn’t Exist

By Sarah Chauncey | January 5, 2015

Imagine the Earth devoid of human life, inhabited only by plants and animals. Would it still have a past and a future? Could we still speak of time in any meaningful way? The question “What time is it?” or “What’s the date today?” – if anybody were there to ask it – would be quite…