Daily Practice

I want to share with you the details of my daily practice. These practices nourish me year after year and continue to be the source of my health and well-being.

After I awaken, I log on to Insight Timer and begin my morning practice. I often listen to guided meditations to help me become centered and come into the presence of being awake. Sometimes I just listen to Tibetan bowls or other meditations involving binaural beats or other instruments. Once in a while, if I wake up especially early, I’ll listen to a dharma talk. These meditations can range from 10 to 90 minutes.


After washing and brushing my teeth, I do a kind of mindful movements called Psychocalisthenics. This a series of exercises designed to directly increase my vital energy, tone my body and give me a sense of physical stability. Some of the exercises are similar to yoga. The exercises begin with three integration breaths which combine breath with movement. The exercises are coordinated with my breathing and each is finished with an integration breath. Between the standing exercises and the floor exercised I do the “zero pose.” I lie face down on the ground with my hands on top of each other and my forehead on my hands.

After the touchings of the earth (below), I complete the floor exercises and stand up to do the final exercises of the “pendulum” and three integration breaths. I am ready for the “24 brand new hours that are before me.”

Collection of Buddhas adjacent to my office.

Touching the Earth

In the zero pose, I do four touchings of the earth. The first touching is for the three jewels: the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha using these phrases:

I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life.
I take refuge in the dharma, the path of understanding and love.
I take refuge in the sangha, the community that lives in mindfulness and awareness.

The second touching is for my family, consisting of my wife, my three children, their spouses and my granddaughter.

The third touching is for my root teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh, Swami Rama, Swami Veda Bharati, Father Eli, Helen Palmer, Gabrielle Roth and Anna Halprin. Of course I have had other teachers, and each of these has made a significant change in my life. I am eternally grateful for all my teachers.

The final touching of the earth is for my land ancestors and countless other people including my parents and family of origin who made it possible for me to live at this place at this time.

Buddha on the Path

This Buddha is on my favorite walking path in Larkspur, CA.

Walking Meditation

When I was younger, I had a job that allowed me to work from home most of the time. On those days, I used to play mindful tennis for an hour and a half in the afternoon. Now, I am somewhat retired, and can’t play tennis any more so I have taken on the practice of walking meditation. These last from 20 minutes to an hour and a half and I have learned to enjoy them almost as much as playing tennis.

Evening Practice

During the rest of the day and into the evening, I take frequent mini mindfulness breaks. These consist of words of wisdom that come through my email.

After a mindful day, I get into bed and do my evening meditation. I become aware of my space and then do a gratitude practice. Scanning my day backwards, I find at least three things that I am grateful for by replaying in my mind how the event occurred. Common events include time with my family, reliving the walking meditation and dharma talks and meditation groups I join online. I usually fall asleep very easily after this practice.

What is YOUR daily practice like?


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