Q and A: Is Meditation Hard? (video)

I answered these questions:
Is Meditation Hard?
Why Don’t You Come Teach Meditation in my Church?
Do I Need “Official Teacher Training”?
Is Meditation Religious?

Do you have questions? Let me know!



Want to come meditate with me? I’m at Ubuntu Village Monday nights at 7pm. Meditation Practice, Support, and Encouragement. 4327 Troost, Kansas City, MO.

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


Interview with Sergio Moreno (podcast)

Sergio Moreno is a Buddhist and a Chaplain in Kansas City. We talked about his career in spiritual wellness and his life as a Buddhist influence each other. We also talked about Right Livelihood and being present for people that really need it. It was a great interview and I’m thankful he was generous with his time. This was recorded on 10/20/19.

Click below to listen:

Sergio Moreno: Buddhist Chaplain




Want to come meditate with me? I’m at HDKC Monday nights at 7pm. Meditation Practice, Support, and Encouragement. 4327 Troost, Kansas City, MO.

Visit my YouTube Channel to hear Dharma Talks!

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

And go check out my Podcast Scharpening the Mind

Is That Weird?

I think I was raised in a different way from most people in America.

When I was a kid we never talked about religion or politics in our house.

We went to church once in a while, but never with any regularity. And I have no idea how my parents voted, or even if they did.

A lot of the people I know weren’t raised that way at all. In a lot of cases people are raised with two religious faiths. Faith in God and faith in political party. In many families these things are talked about every day. Sometimes I actually wonder which is more important to people.

I don’t want to denigrate anyone for raising their kids the way they want to. I think we’re all trying our best.

But I can say I’m glad my parents raised me that way. I think it really helped me see the world in a unique way.

I don’t know if they did it on purpose. I don’t know if they didn’t care much about religion or politics and so it just never came up. I don’t know if they were waiting until I was old enough to talk about those things.

I don’t know if it’s related to the fact that by the time I was old enough to vote in a Presidential election they were dead. Maybe they would have suggested I vote a certain way in the 2000 election. I’ll never know.

I could find out, of course. I could ask my brother who is eight years older than me. Or I have relatives I could ask. But I like not knowing. I don’t sit around wondering, “how did my parents vote?” I just sit around thinking, “I’m glad they never told me.”

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person who grew up this way. I do think it’s rare. Tell me your story in the comments.

Am I a Religious Person?

I identify as a Buddhist. I attend a Buddhist Temple and actually teach others. I meditate every day. I also read something about Buddhism every day and often I write about it too. My Buddhist name means Dharma Zeal and it seems pretty accurate. If it were a hobby, I would say it’s my only serious one. It’s a path of spiritual awakening that involves the cultivation of mindfulness, insight, and compassion. It’s my way of life and it influences how I interact with the world often.

But is it my religion? I’ve heard it said that religion is having someone else’s spiritual experience and spirituality is having your own. It’s certainly true that some Buddhists venerate the Buddha or other teachers to such a high degree that they are just having the Buddha’s experience and not their own. I don’t do that. The Buddha warned us against doing that. He said, “Don’t worship me,” and right after his death, people started doing it.

I really don’t think the Dharma of the Buddha is a religion. At least not as I practice it.

I don’t really think it’s a philosophy either. It’s a lot more about what you do than what you think.

The Dharma Teacher Stephen Batchelor described Buddhism as “an evolving culture of spiritual awakening”. I like that definition a lot. In the West we tend to think of religion in really narrow terms that most of the ‘religions’ of the east don’t fit into very well.

To me, the word ‘religion’ conjures connotations of dogma and authority. I don’t think either of those things are helpful on the spiritual path. I don’t believe in God. Belief or lack thereof in a deity is not considered an important thing in the path of Buddhism.

Maybe I am a spiritual person?

I think we’ve all heard people say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” I’ve always thought that was a little weird, but it’s probably relatively accurate.

I believe in spiritual awakening. If I have a religion, maybe spiritual awakening is what it should be called.

The Way of the Bodhisattva is the path I’ve chosen to walk, but I think it’s important to note that many people throughout history have probably realized their true nature without being Buddhist. That’s kind of part of it being our true nature.

Fundamentally, I don’t think Enlightenment, Buddha nature, Liberation, Self-Realization, becoming one with the Tao, Nirvana, etc are really the different things. They’re just labels.

I said Buddhism is a path of spiritual cultivation and gradual attainment. I do believe that. Several other religions are paths of spiritual cultivation as well. Only in the west does religion exist without spiritual cultivation.

Paths of spiritual cultivation are important. They are useful and helpful and wonderful.

But in the end they’re all just fingers pointing at the moon.