Posted in videos

Introduction to Zen Meditation (video)

This is a talk I gave at Midcontinent Public Library. This was done virtually without a live audience.
I am going to do an in person class with Midcontinent at some time in the future. They have a lot of great educational videos on their YouTube Channel and I’ll post the link below. You should check them out.

Midcontinent Public Library’s Youtube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MCPLMO/videos

Posted in books

New Book: Sharpen Your Mind!

My new book, Sharpen Your Mind, is now available for purchase. You can click here to order your copy.

Are ancient teachings meaningful to our modern lives? Can regular people like you and me get something out of studying and practicing a 2600 year old spiritual tradition? In this collection Daniel answers these questions and more. This is about meditation practice for the real world. This is about applying ancient teachings to our lives and finding new meanings.

Posted in meditation, mindfulness

Mistakes

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ve done many things that have harmed myself and also may things that have harmed others. That’s a really difficult thing for anyone to wrestle with. But when we start a mindfulness practice, when we start seeing ourselves clearly, then we see the good and the bad.

Ram Dass said, “You can no longer deceive yourselves as sincerely as you did before.”

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’m sorry to anyone that I’ve ever harmed. I spent a lot of my life being a very negative and a very selfish person. That’s a hard thing to admit, but it’s the truth. And I believe in being honest with you.


I carry a fair bit of emotional baggage around the deaths of my parents. It impacted me deeply (as it would anyone) I’ve always thought I was lucky that I didn’t fall into drug addiction or some self destructive impulse. But what I did fall into was….not realizing my potential. I’m really only now realizing what a mess I made of my 20s and 30s. That’s not an excuse for any of the mistakes I’ve made, but it definitely had a big role in shaping who I am. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if you had known me a few years ago you’d be thinking “Why would anyone take advice from him on anything?”

I was the most negative person around it took many many years of meditation practice to change that.

We need to practice kindness but we also need to remember to give ourselves kindness too. We have to reflect on our baggage and see what we really need to put down.

That’s why our meditation practice is so important. We need to learn to put down our baggage so we can live more fully. We need to learn to see things clearly so we can make the best decisions for ourselves. And we sure as hell need to cultivate compassion. It’s in short supply in the world today.

We don’t meditate to be good at meditating. We meditate because it helps us in our day-to-day lives. It’s also only one tool in our arsenal. We need to eat vegetables, spend some time outdoors, relax, and tell our friends that we love them. All of these things help us unleash our full potential.

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Want to practice meditation with me?

I’m teaching a class the first three Sundays in October. It’s not too late to sign up.


Introduction to Zen Mind:

https://www.floweringlotusmeditation.org/event-details/introduction-to-zen-mind-a-mini-course-in-three-sessions-with-beth-herzig-and-daniel-scharpenburg

Posted in koans, podcast

Wild Fox Koan (podcast)

Daniel and Alicia talk about Baizhang and the Wild Fox.  I invited my soon-to-be wife Alicia Marley onto the podcast again to talk about the second koan from the Gateless Barrier Collection. This is an odd koan with some magical things going on and the lesson might be a little hard to find.  Our conversation ended up taking us pretty far afield from talking about the koan and we ended up asking questions like “is chanting important?” and “Can meditation make you a better criminal?”

if you want to support this podcast by making a donation you can do so by clicking here: paypal.me/danielscharpenburg 

Spotify

Apple

Google

Anchor

 

Posted in meditation

A Calm and Even Mind in the Pandemic

The world has stopped.

Well, it hasn’t really. But a whole lot of things have. My kids are out of school for the year. This year school ends at Spring Break. I’m not sad about this time at home with them, but I’m nervous I’ll go back to work before summer.

I’m working from home, and I’m one of the lucky ones. Some people are having to go to work during an outbreak. Other people have lost their jobs.  

It’s a really scary time.

But the worst thing to me is probably the uncertainty. We don’t know when this lockdown will end.

I’ve tried to encourage myself by encouraging others, so I’ve been doing videos every day on my Facebook page (facebook.com/dscharpy). I’m teaching from a text called “The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva.” I haven’t had the opportunity to teach a class on Buddhism in a long time and this is sort of scratching that itch for me, although I’d like the chance to do an in-person version and I’m hoping an opportunity like that appears.

Anyway,

There’s a virtue we talk about in Buddhism called Equanimity. It’s learning to face the storms of life with a calm and even mind. It can be a tremendously difficult thing to cultivate and it’s an area where our meditation practice helps us a great deal.

Equanimity is what helps us when everything is going wrong. Equanimity is what stops us from falling apart in an outbreak, when we feel trapped at home. Bad things come and go in life. There are little disasters and big disasters and life seems full of them. Equanimity is what gives us the ability to say, “Right now it’s like this, what can I do to make it better?” instead of always saying, “Why is this happening to me?”

When people talk about the benefits of meditation practice, they often focusing on attention, or clarity. Equanimity sometimes gets left out. But it’s so important and so needed. The truth is that when we’re better at paying attention, when we’re mindful, when we see the world around us clearly, not taking things so hard comes naturally. We learn how to grow that space between stimulus and response so we can hold the question, “What can I do right now?”

When we feel like we’re going to fall apart, we really need the space for that question.

We’re faced with a disaster right now. I told my kids to keep journals because they’re living through a big historical event and the won’t really understand the implications until later. This outbreak is big and there will be consequences for many years to come.

Returning to stillness is our hope for weathering this storm. If you have a meditation practice, don’t let the disruption to your routine make you stop. And if you don’t have one, it’s a good time to start.

We need more mindful people right now.

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Visit my YouTube Channel to hear  Talks!

If you’d like to support my work, please consider making a donation.

And go check out my Podcast The Kansas City Meditation Podcast

 

Posted in podcast

Too Busy to Meditate (podcast)

I recorded this podcast to address questions people sometimes ask about meditation.

Click here:

https://anchor.fm/daniel-scharpenburg/episodes/What-If-Im-Too-Busy-to-Meditate-ealhro

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Visit my YouTube Channel to hear  Talks!

If you’d like to support my work, please consider making a donation.

And go check out my Podcast The Kansas City Meditation Podcast

 

 

Posted in podcast, videos

Signs of Spiritual Maturity (podcast + video)

I recorded two talks on the same subject, Spiritual Maturity.

You can get the podcast here:

Signs of Spiritual Maturity

and watch the video here:

 

This talk is based on a passage from “A Path With Heart” by Jack Kornfield, which you can buy here:

A Path with Heart

 

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Visit my YouTube Channel to hear  Talks!

If you’d like to support my work, please consider making a donation.

And go check out my Podcast The Kansas City Meditation Podcast

 

Posted in videos

I Don’t Have Time to Meditate (video)

Here I wanted to answer a question that a lot of people seem to ask.

What if I don’t have time to meditate?

 

 

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Visit my YouTube Channel to hear  Talks!

If you’d like to support my work, please consider making a donation.

And go check out my Podcast The Kansas City Meditation Podcast

UPCOMING EVENTS:

February 29th 2020, 2pm:

Saturday Sages Workshop

Meditation and Talk “Meditation for Everyone”

@ Aquarius KC

3936 Broadway. Kansas City, MO

Posted in events

Monday Meditation is Ending

I’ve been doing Monday Meditation at Ubuntu Village for 7 months.

That is coming to an end. This is not an easy thing for me to do. I love leading meditation practice and giving talks. And I have some regulars now, so I definitely feel like I’m letting people down.

The truth is that for a donation-based group to cover the cost of the space, I would need a dozen people or more to come every week and that is not happening. I have worked hard to generate interest in what I’m doing and it just hasn’t worked out. I’ve tried a few different things and I’m not giving up lightly. This is very hard for me and I am emotional about it.

 

There could be plenty of reasons for why it’s not working.

 

One possibility is the day. Monday might be the one day of the week when people just want to leave work and go home and not go out again. Because it’s Monday. Maybe it’s easier to make excuses on Monday.

Another possibility is that most of the people I’m reaching are already getting all their meditation needs met. There are lots of places to go for meditation in Kansas City, so it’s possible that there are already too many options and no way for a new group to get footing.

And ME. Maybe people just have not become inspired to come sit with me.

 

I would experiment with switching it to another day to see what happens if I could. I think a Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening group would have a lot of potential.

But I can’t switch the day.

The space isn’t available any other day or time, so that’s the end of that.

So what’s next?

I am still interested in teaching. I would love to have another weekly group, but I think I’m not going to pay for the opportunity to teach again. I’m looking for opportunities that I don’t have to pay for. I always want to be donation-based and that means my costs need to be really low. I’d rather not have a meditation group than have one that charges at the door. I have nothing against people that do that, but that’s not me.

 

If you know a place I can go give talks at that won’t make me pay for it, let me know. I’ll still be around doing events when and where I can. It’s just not going to be every week for the foreseeable future.

I love what I’ve been doing and I truly hope other opportunities appear.

To be honest, I don’t know how anyone succeeds at this.

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Upcoming events

February 29th 2020, 2pm:

Saturday Sages Workshop

Meditation and Talk “Meditation for Everyone”

@ Aquarius KC

3936 Broadway. Kansas City, MO