Note from Kenneth: I will be on Terry Patten’s Beyond Awakening podcast show on Sunday, September 8th at 10am Pacific. (Also available for download after the interview.) Our theme is “Awakening is Possible, But So What? A Pragmatic Approach to Intersubjective Awakening.” Terry and I will talk about my assertion that awakening is possible and a realistic goal for almost everyone, and then ask “so what?” How does awakening individually (and intersubjectively!) benefit society and the world? And how does this relate to the presenting question of Beyond Awakening: “How can higher consciousness enable human beings to rise to meet the unique challenges of our world in crisis?” Join us for the live discussion if you can; we’ll open it up for Q & A at about the one hour mark. http://beyondawakeningseries.com/blog/general/k-folk-9-13/Read More
I have been accused of “watering down the dharma.” By defining an arahat (also arhat and arahant) as someone who has “gotten off the ride” and can see experience as process, as opposed to a cartoon saint, I have ruffled more than a few feathers. Here are some questions, along with my responses:Read More
In a recent WIRED Magazine article about meditation in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Noah Shachtman writes that some tech folks consider meditation a productivity tool. If you’ve read the article, you might even have come away with the impression that I share that view. I don’t.Read More
Kenneth talks with Nadav Spiegelman about the “developmental window.” Recorded on 26January2013. Developmental Window for Contemplative Fitness brainstorm 26JAN2013Read More
Drawing from Buddhism, neuroscience, and personal experience, Kenneth explains that enlightenment is a natural aspect of human development that is available to everyone.
Join us this year for the Buddhist Geeks Conference, August 16th – 18th, 2013 in Boulder, Colorado.
Click here for more information and to register: http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/conferenceRead More
As long as meditation is defined as sitting silent and alone, it’s not going to catch on. We are human primates. We are social in our very bones. Isolation is punishment. Silence is dull.
Here is another definition: meditation is the bringing of attention to experience, and training in meditation is training in attention. By this definition, neither isolation nor silence are required; we can train together, and that is good, because together is what we were born for.Read More
In a world where everyone is connected, there isn’t enough connection. You can ride your Facebook feed all day long and still go to bed feeling lonely and isolated. Even in-the-flesh face time with friends and family can leave us wanting, each of us caught up in our own internal drama, talking at each other about our stories, never truly sharing our experience or feeling completely understood. We need a way to feel more connected.
Social noting offers a window into another human’s moment-by-moment experience, sharing and receiving in a profoundly intimate but non-threatening way. Social noting builds on an ancient Buddhist mindfulness (satipatthana) technique, making it interactive. Two (or more) people can call out their experience together, back and forth, ping pong style (or around a circle), using simple, one-word labels for experience as it arises. “Seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, thinking, fear, joy, loneliness, love, anger, connection, itching, tingling, burning, pressure, lightness, heaviness, anxiety, hope”… all of these experiences can be shared with another human being as they occur, two people becoming one, simultaneously witnessing and normalizing each others’ experience. Social noting is the closest thing we have to Mr. Spock’s Vulcan mind meld from the original Star Trek television show. But social noting doesn’t feel kooky or even invasive; it just feels great.Read More
[2/27/13 11:07:29 AM] Nadav Spiegelman: we’re introducing the concept of the 3 speed transmission. What it is, how it came about, how it’s used.
Kenneth Folk: OK, let’s talk about how it came up in the first place.
After my first spiritual opening in 1982, I read a bunch of Zen books about how enlightenment is some nebulous wisdom that zen masters have. It was never clear to me how I could duplicate that in my own life. “Nowhere to go, nothing to get.” That sort of thing. This is surprisingly disempowering to a westerner who does not have access to traditional Chinese/Japanese culture and who grew up with the understanding that if you want to learn something, you go through a fairly straightforward process of education.
So, I didn’t know where to go with that other than to read books about Zen and sit for 30 minutes a day counting my breath 1-10. I could feel progress in my meditation practice throughout this time, but I had the distinct feeling that I was missing something and that my practice was remarkably inefficient. I never felt called to put on a black robe and join a Zen center, so I was on my own.Read More
One way to model spiritual development is by comparing it to a computer hard drive. A hard drive is a device for storing information in a digital magnetic format. The first hard drive was introduced by IBM in 1956. It was as big as a washing machine. Since then, hard drives have gotten much smaller, but still use the same basic design: a spinning platter that contains information and a moving head that reads and writes information to the disk. Think of a record player.Read More
Kenneth guides a student to the happiness that does not depend on conditions. Embracing failure as the ideal condition for progress. (Guided meditation. Mostly audio only, with some video toward the beginning of the talk.)Read More