Is this the same world?

We have to write this blog post somewhat frequently because we lose our grip on "real" vs. "not real" and--as importantly--why it matters. Sorry if you have read this type of thing before. This processing feels useful. We keep getting confused about what "real" really means. When we have a dream, as we did last … Continue reading Is this the same world?

No compromise.

Have you read _Nonviolent Communication_ by Marshall Rosenberg? The concept of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is not at all transparent. The reason NVC works as a mediation tool is because there is no compromise required: everyone gets their needs met. No one has to give up what they want because, when human beings truly listen to … Continue reading No compromise.

If you’re stressed about outcomes

You’re not doing it wrong. It takes practice. When you find yourself in the same thoughts, circling the same carcass like a Turkey Vulture, look at the carcass—study it. What can you call that pile of roadkill? If you're worry is, "Will I succeed or fail?", that sounds like "attachment to outcomes.” Outcomes are what … Continue reading If you’re stressed about outcomes

What is the “Middle Way”?

Seeking pleasure ignores whatever is happening now. If we do experience pleasure, we try to cling to it. It ends anyway, and then we mourn it. Avoiding pain ignores whatever is happening now, especially when it's pain. Avoiding what is actually happening causes suffering because we want pleasure and have its opposite. We crave pleasure. … Continue reading What is the “Middle Way”?

Practice, patience, and repetition

3-day weekends are hard for us. Lots of time around other people. We and our children are much less effective at night: decision-making poorer, emotional brain overwhelms rational brain. Consequently, at night, little problems seem bigger. For us, that often leads to nightmares, and then we wake up disoriented. We finally have some alone time, … Continue reading Practice, patience, and repetition

The practice is to be human

We injured ourselves again via inattention. Walked home from mental health therapy without being grounded in our body. A child operating a heavy machine. Twist. Foot ligaments damaged again. This is our most common injury: twisting foot ligaments. Two years ago we injured the left foot at least 5 times. We strengthened both feet's ligaments … Continue reading The practice is to be human

Reflections on Consciousness

We're studying consciousness and trying to notice our states of being as they arise (someday we might notice when they pass, too). Paying some attention to how our emotions and sensations affect our particular moment-to-moment consciousness has yielded some strange mind thoughts, too. For instance, why does the name of every Canadian city with a … Continue reading Reflections on Consciousness

Please don’t kill wolves

If control over gray wolves (aka timber wolves) is returned to the states that don't currently control them--namely, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin--these states can implement trophy hunting of wolves. Please don't kill wolves. They have delicate social structures so that killing an alpha is like killing the sole income-provider of a large family. The family will … Continue reading Please don’t kill wolves

It Starts in Darkness

Want to make the biggest difference in the universe starting today? Follow Salty’s take on limiting suffering, and start with yourself. We will keep trying the practice.

Salty Dharma

Everything rots. This is the sunny insight that starts us off on the Path.

Ya don’t have to start there, but it helps. It keeps us focused and motivated. It also keeps us from being surprised by the sudden calamities we come across in life.

This was the insight that kept me away from Buddhism when I first stumbled on it. I wasn’t ready to hear such pessimistic shit at the time. Then, well, the next five years were hell, and it started to make more sense.

There’s nothing sacred here. Circumstances provide us with everything, and then take it all away—including our bodies and minds. When we toss self-interest and self-concepts into that merry-go-round, the cosmos seems like an unfathomably cruel place.

We lose our youth, our health, our vitality; we lose our friends, loved ones, and possessions. A few months ago, I noticed hair growing out of my…

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Your hobby or your life?

[This blog may use we/us and I/me pronouns interchangeably] We used to write fiction for fun. We wrote a humorous novel. It took us, like, twelve years to finish it. Maybe longer. We worked diligently on it for the last five or six years. It was among our primary hobbies and consumed many a weekend. … Continue reading Your hobby or your life?

Poetry Art: smash and assemble (with instructions)

A shaking leg A quivering voice These are Sure signs Of bravery Below are the steps to make this project, followed by a short video link that documents its creation: 1. Wrote an original poem in permanent marker on a ceramic salad plate 2. Put the plate in a gallon-size zipper bag 3. Dropped the … Continue reading Poetry Art: smash and assemble (with instructions)

Go big or go home? Or make little changes?

Small changes can add up. For example, say you want to have more money (ideally to pay down debt, save for retirement, or go on a vacation). If you switched to a cash-back credit card, brought home lunch and beverage to work/school every day or every other day, and  made a few other tweaks, the … Continue reading Go big or go home? Or make little changes?

Practice coping skills when you’re calm

One of the primary difficulties with incorporating new coping skills is that when you need them, you are in crisis, which often means you don't know that you need them or can't remember them! This is why it is important to practice coping skills when you're not in crisis. The barrier to practicing when you're … Continue reading Practice coping skills when you’re calm

Not everything needs fixing

I am practicing the noticing and naming of (1) my body sensations (throbs, tingles, rumbles, hot/cold, etc.) and (2) my feelings (anxious, excited, masterful, etc.). I am practicing naming them because somehow I missed this body of information (pun intended) when I was growing up. Until recently, I could name mostly feelings of fear, dread, … Continue reading Not everything needs fixing

Breaking social expectations that violate your values

Note: This blog's author often uses plural pronouns for self-reference. Most of what dictates how we are supposed to act (in public, at school, at work, etc.) is made up by people. We're not saying there is a committee actively making social norms for others to follow, though Ms. Manners and other champions of etiquette … Continue reading Breaking social expectations that violate your values

What are you doing? Why “Not pooping” is an insufficient response

When we were little and acted contrary to someone's expectations, we were usually chided with, "Don't ____." Don't hit. Don't swear. Don't drink grape juice in the living room. As adults, when we're trying to change a habit or practice, we often default to the same thinking: Don't judge. Don't yell. Don't eat that. We … Continue reading What are you doing? Why “Not pooping” is an insufficient response