LETTER FROM SUSAN

Michael HoffmanLove Issues, Meditation, Self-ImprovementLeave a Comment

April 1, 2015 Dear Sober Buddha, I've thought about learning to meditate since I saw the 60 Minutes TV story on mindfulness with Anderson Cooper last month. Maybe it can solve my relationship problems. I'm almost 50 years old, divorced twice and I haven't been single since age 15. My father died when I was six years old, and my mother remarried an abusive alcoholic who constantly criticized and punished me. I had two pregnancies in my teens, then married my high school boyfriend. I divorced him 20 years later, because he was narcissistic and not too bright. Then I ... Read More

THE CIRCUS MONKEY – A FABLE ABOUT THE MIRACLE OF COMMITMENT

Michael HoffmanLove Issues1 Comment

A fable is a short tale that delivers a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters. The Circus Monkey teaches us the value of staying committed to something we really want, even when other people and situations conspire to make us give up. Sometimes we hit rough spots in meditation and are tempted to give it up in favor of a quicker fix, but if we sit through our discomfort mindfully, we find that it always passes and that pleasant experience of equanimity returns. Enjoy this fable. See what you think all the characters and situations represent. ... Read More

THE SMILING SAINT

Michael HoffmanPersonal Growth, Self-Improvement, SpiritualityLeave a Comment

The legendary Tibetan saint Milarepa could bring peace and happiness to anybody. He could look right through people’s bravado, bluster and bloviation and read the stories in their hearts. He lived in a cave way up in the Himalayas where he meditated and studied ancient texts about secrets in the human heart. Angry, hurt and sad, people from all corners of the world sought Milarepa’s help. He welcomed those brave souls who made the hard trek up the steep cold mountain trails to sit with him beside a warm fireplace and talk about their problems. Many lesser saints told bitter, ... Read More

WHAT DOES MY SYMPTOM WANT? – PART I

Michael HoffmanAnxiety, DepressionLeave a Comment

Is it always necessary to run to therapy when you’re stuck in a depressive episode? Super-heavy thoughts and feelings can look like clinical depression, but they can also be the key to mental alchemy and new meaning to your life.  It’s true - depressive episodes often mask existential and spiritual breakthroughs. When depression and anxiety overwhelm you, look your shadow in the eye. Look deeper inside than you ever thought possible. Then just ask this healing powerful question....WHAT DOES MY SYMPTOM WANT?[D]epressive episodes often mask existential and spiritual breakthroughsMichael Hoffman, Sober Buddha Counseling Depression happens when your conscious mind (ego) feels ... Read More

HOW MANY THERAPIES ARE THERE?

Michael HoffmanSelf-Improvement, TherapyLeave a Comment

You can take your pick from ancient pagan rituals designed to appeal to the gods to modern electroencephalographic machinery (yes, there is a gadget that shoots magnetic impulses into your brain!).  A heavily researched list would be too long and too impractical to write or read.  You probably just want to know what’s most available to you here and now. FACT:  There is no relationship between insurance coverage and therapeutic effectiveness. FACT:  The modern word therapy comes from Latin meaning “to tend to and care for the soul."  Just remember that next time some therapist insists that you have to ... Read More

BE MINDFUL OF THE BOGUS LOVE SYNDROME – Part 2

Michael HoffmanAddiction, Love IssuesLeave a Comment

When you believe you have a stable relationship because intimate interaction with someone is lighting your fire, you’re often completely unconscious of the facts. Here’s how Bogus Love Syndrome (BLS) operates psychologically. In any relationship, all you really know for sure is how you think and feel. You have absolutely no control over how the other person feels or behaves. Your alleged partner, the pretender, probably perceives the relationship in a completely different way. You persist in projecting positive qualities onto the pretender that he/she doesn’t really possess. These projections are nothing but thoughts; not tangible realities. Meanwhile, the pretender ... Read More

BE MINDFUL OF THE BOGUS LOVE SYNDROME (BLS) – Part 1

Michael HoffmanAddiction, Love IssuesLeave a Comment

Most of us have suffered the agony and embarrassment of getting dumped in a one-way romance. We hate to admit that while we adored these people, they are just pretending to love us. The bogus love they put on display was nothing more than a pathological syndrome built of many misanthropic, narcissistic and dishonest games. Don’t volunteer to be victimized by the delusional, romantic, oxytocin unconsciousness of the Bogus Love Syndrome. Pay precise, mindful attention to every little thing the pretender does and doesn’t do, what the pretender says and doesn’t say. Notice how the pretender’s behavior makes you think ... Read More

BECOME CONSCIOUS…OR THIS HAPPENS

Michael HoffmanConsciousness, MindfulnessLeave a Comment

I wanted to feel safe, but I was afraid. I wanted to be big, but I was small. I wanted to be strong, but I was weak. I wanted to heal, but I killed. I wanted to be soft, but I grew hard. I wanted to be compassionate, but I was critical. I wanted to be normal, but I was odd. I wanted acceptance, but I got rejection. I wanted forgiveness, but I got punished. I wanted to be heard, but nobody listened. I wanted be acknowledged, but I was ignored. I wanted to be loved, but I was abandoned. ... Read More

EMERGENCY MEDITATION

Michael HoffmanAnxiety, Meditation, MindfulnessLeave a Comment

Learn two emergency meditation techniques that will help you deal with tough, anxious situations – and you don't have to be sitting on your meditation cushion to use them!Maybe vipassana mindfulness meditation teachers don’t explain this correctly to newcomers, but you’re supposed to learn to be mindful 100% of the time. Sometimes the relief you get from early meditation experience is so pleasant that you think that it will only happen when you are doing your formal meditation practice. Not true! If you meditate consistently, you will start feeling that calm state of mind and body at other times. When ... Read More

BEST PRACTICE TIPS FOR BEGINNING MEDITATORS

Michael HoffmanMeditationLeave a Comment

Learn the most important tips for getting the most out of your Sober Buddha vipassana meditation practice. Don't forget -- you'll benefit in exact proportion to how consistently you practice!Adding a vipassana meditation practice can change your life forever. You’ll un-stress, learn to concentrate, handle problems more easily and generally be much happier, more productive person. For Sober Buddha Counseling students, here are important tips for getting the most out of your practice. Remember, you will benefit in exact proportion to how consistently you practice. 1. Meditate 20 minutes a day to start. When you are comfortable, go to 30 ... Read More