I am offering a Mindfulness Practice Group beginning September 16th 2020 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm every Wednesday night. I would love to see you there.
Here is the Zoom link and the announcement:
NEW – Mindfulness & Meditation Practice Group (online, Zoom gathering)
Starting 16 September 2020
Led by Keith Mesecher. Every Wednesday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Mindfulness is the practice of living our lives deeply. It is the art of living as joyfully and happily as possible and dealing with life’s difficulties as skillfully as possible. Meditation is a key practice for mastering this art of living. In the practice we cultivate mindfulness, loving kindness, compassion and a capacity to savor life while being a source of wellbeing for those around us and for our world. This group is open to people new to mindfulness, as well as experienced practitioners. Please arrive a few minutes early so you can settle in and not disturb the flow by arriving after we have begun.
Keith has been meditating for more than 50 years and has been a mindfulness practitioner in Zen master/peace activist/poet/scholar Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition for 11 years, being ordained into his order in 2013.
I have a couple 2-session classes coming up over the next couple weeks at Oasis:
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION - A Gentle Encounter with Reality, July 13 and July 15
MINDFULNESS – Enlightenment Is Possible, July 27 & July 29
It would be wonderful to see you there.
The Art of Living: Mindfulness Essentials - A new series at PDG Health & Wellness Center
Friday, 21 June 2019, the Summer Solstice, begins a new series,
The Art of Living: Mindfulness Essentials, practices for living deeply and generating wellbeing for yourself and those around you.
The sessions take place from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. in the village of La Jolla at:
PDG Health and Wellness Center
909 Prospect St, Suite 290B
La Jolla, CA 92037.
See the link below to reserve a space for yourself and for details.
I would love to see you there.
Paul Gamache and I have developed a 6 session series called Mindfulness - The Art of Living based on Thich Nhat Hanh's book, The Art of Living. It starts on January the 11th and runs for 6 consecutive Friday evenings from 7-9:00 pm at his Acupuncture clinic in the village of La Jolla. It is free and everyone is welcome. It is limited to 25 people. The book is the fruit of 70+ years of teaching by the greatest teacher I have ever known. Mindfulness practice has been summed up by 5 words: Stop; Calm; Rest; Heal; and Transform. We will use the practice to accomplish all of these. The goal of mindfulness practice is the deepest insight into the nature of ourselves and our world of which human beings are capable. It is insight that resides in our whole being. It is deeper than words, thoughts and ideas. This book contains the crème de la crème of mindfulness teachings. They are powerful and skillful tools and we we use to transform ourselves, individually and collectively. I intend this to be a seed destined to grow into a community that is part of a movement to heal and transform us individually, as a practice community, as citizens, as humanity, and ultimately, as the whole earth community. I think we need a community to practice with for our own sake, and the world needs the power that only a community, and communities of communities, can generate.
For more information Paul's clinic's Facebook post is:
To get more information and sign up go to:
We intend to video the sessions and if you want to be notified about the postings and other opportunities for learning and practicing join my mailing list using the link at the bottom of this page.
Meanwhile, smile, relax, enjoy the wonder of your breath, your body, your feelings, your imagination, thoughts, memories, dreams, and your amazing consciousness, which is capable of knowing the wholeness of reality in the present moment, and taking in the exquisite detail emerging into your consciousness every moment.
18 November 2018
I was just reading Ray Kurzweil’s book, How to Create a Mind. He was talking about how the two hemispheres of our brain are actually two brains, with their own perceptions of the world. He said, to some extent, they independently govern the two sides of our bodies, as well as certain specialized tasks like language and spatial orientation. It brings up the question for me, is there one mind, even if there are two brains, or perhaps many brains inside of us? I think the fundamental idea of spiritual practices, mindfulness practices, is that there is one mind which can be strengthened, like a muscle, with practice. We can cultivate this one mind with mindfulness practices which deepen to concentration and generate insight. The insight can then get stored in the brain as habit patterns. But what I want to keep coming back to is this idea, and this experience, of one mind. When mindfulness deepens into concentration we act as one concentrated being, with 100% of ourselves applied to whatever we are doing and experiencing in the present moment, whether it’s remembering a past event, threading a needle, writing a sentence, breathing or smiling.
One mind is the ultimate accomplishment. It means it is clear to us that we are not a mess, that we are not scattered about, half lost, and largely forgotten. All the ways we seem to be distracted and divided can suddenly vanish as we become one concentrated mind. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about leaking. We are like a vessel that is leaking, our energy dissipating from the container which is our mind. The goal of practice is to cease leaking and to allow our energy to be one energy, one whole being, one unified experience. I think of Paul McCartney singing, “I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering, where it will go.”
The great goal of spiritual practice is radical concentration and radical openness. It’s not hard to do but it takes giving oneself to the task of being fully present. I activate this capacity for concentration, for being here now, for beaming into the present moment, and by focusing inwards I end up projecting outwards a deep attention that takes in the world in a deep and rich way. This is a great and surprising result of the practice of giving attention to myself. By turning my attention to myself, to the center of my experience, I end up being acutely aware of the world. It feels as if the vail between myself and the world is lifted and we are intimately one. I feel suddenly transparent. There is no barrier between me and the world, between anything and anything else, and between anything and the whole. I think to evoke and maintain this state of being is what spiritual practice, also called mindfulness, is all about.
It is relatively easy for me to evoke this mode of consciousness while sitting in meditation or sitting here writing and thinking about nothing else. And I know that to do this, however I can, and to sustain this mode of experience as long as possible, reshapes my brain so that this mode of being becomes a new habit. Modern neuroscience has discovered this and has a phrase for it, “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brains actually form new connections which make permanent patterns out of our mental activities and these patterns become new habits. A new normal is created. I know from my experience that the quality of my whole day is improved by my morning meditation. I also know that it is very easy to fall back into stressful patterns during the activities I am engaged in during the day. This brings up the question, how do we maintain this mode of living during all of our activities?
One way is to keep reminding ourselves to breathe mindfully during all activities. Even in the midst of a conversation we can remember to breathe mindfully, and it changes everything. No one but ourselves would notice but suddenly we are not tense about the conversation or when it will end and we can bet back to what we have been interrupted in the middle of. Suddenly we are savoring the present moment and the conversation we are engaged with. We relax and settle into the moment and the interesting activity of conversation.
Another way is reminding ourselves to do whatever we are doing for the sake of doing it, not trying to get it done as fast as possible but with our whole selves committed to making the most of it. At Deer Park Monastery, where I have spent a lot of time over the last decade, we are invited to participate in working meditation. We are reminded that working, or any activity, is a meditation, if we attend to it with deep attention and a relaxed, engaged mode of being.
The goal and the practice are one and the same. The practice is to live our lives mindfully, every moment of every day, to thereby have the richest possible experience and evoke our best self.
Amazing Ted Talk On Stress
Good Morning Dear F.riends,
I just heard what I think is an amazing Ted talk about stress that I thought you might benefit from. I hope I do.
Welcome to my blog. I am a lifelong spiritual seeker and practitioner. I offer mindfulness training both online and in person. I am ordained in the Zen Buddhist lineage of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and have conducted classes in San Diego for over 20 years. When not teaching or meditating I work as a socially responsible investment
advisor, play music, and enjoy traveling with my wife and friends.