Compassion for Inconvenient Feelings

May 16, 2015

by Lea Seigen Shinraku

Recently, I met a little dog named Cookie who reminded me of how easy it can be to misunderstand inconvenient feelings, as well as how hard it can be to have compassion for them. Read the rest of this entry…


Self-Compassion and Self-Forgiveness

Apr 17, 2015

by Lea Seigen Shinraku

I was at Austin Zen Center recently, attending a ceremony for my teacher, who was installed as the Center’s first abbot. As part of the ceremony, my teacher made five statements to summarize his teaching. The one that stuck with me most was this: whatever you find in yourself, acknowledge it, accept it, and forgive. This statement aligns very closely with the three aspects of self-compassion: awareness, a sense of common humanity, and kindness. It also sounds like a recipe for making amends with oneself, and I wanted to share it with you. Read the rest of this entry…

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Self-Compassion for “Unforced Errors”

Mar 15, 2015

by Lea Seigen Shinraku

If you’re human, you’ve probably made an unforced error. An unforced error is a sports term that refers to a missed shot or lost point (as in tennis or volleyball) that’s entirely a result of the player’s own error and not because of the opponent’s skill or effort. In other words, it’s the shot you “should” have made. You’ve made shots like that hundreds, maybe thousands of times, yet for some reason, you missed it this time.  Read the rest of this entry…


Self-Compassion and Shame

Feb 12, 2015

by Lea Seigen Shinraku

In my groups and workshops, people often ask about shame: where it comes from and how to cope with it. I recently attended a self-compassion training with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, and I found their teachings on shame to be insightful and helpful.  Read the rest of this entry…