This site is dedicated to the art of meditation. I’m a writer and Buddhist meditation teacher as well as a minister and psychotherapist.
On this site you’ll find my general understanding of the Buddha’s approach to life and spiritual practice and where the phrase “easing awake” comes from.
You’ll also find a wide variety of resources on Buddhism and meditation.
I hope you find the site helpful as well as entertaining.
Sifting through the earliest records of the Buddha's talks (as compared to later commentators), we find a simple, elegant, and powerful practice. When he died, his teaching became an “ism”, Buddhism. As it spread into other countries, cultures, and eras his teachings or “map” was copied and re-copied. Shortcuts, bypasses, scenic tours, and alternate destinations were added and deleted. Compared to the versions of his teachings most widely known, his original meditation emphasized:
- Tranquility: an open, receptive awareness favored over highly focused, one-pointed concentration
- Simplicity: loving kindness, serenity and insight all tightly integrated rather than treated as separate practices
- Stages: the practice matures through stages, each of which builds upon and goes beyond earlier stages (or “jhana”)
- Ease: relaxing as more important than striving
This website is dedicated to this approach to meditation and daily living. I call it “easing awake.”
I’ve written about this practice in various ways.
- Buddha’s Map
available in paperback and Kindle, this book gives the most complete description of the practice, and stories and experiences to make those elements accessible. You can read several chapters on this site and follow links to purchase the book.
- Meditator's Field Guide –
available in paperback, this book explores the inner landscape, with an emphasis on insights which both touch us deeply and fade away quickly. You can read several chapters on this site and find links to purchase the book.
- Befriending the Mind –
A natural kindness and intelligence imbue the mind-heart. It can easily be obscured. Our job is to discover that clarity and wisdom. It takes effort and discipline. But wise effort is about revealing rather than ruling. Awakening begins with befriending the mind.
- Resting in the Waves –
The world around us is in flux. Perceptions, thoughts, moods, and awareness arise, flow, shift, and dissipate. No two days are the same. No two moments are identical. Contentment and wisdom are neither passive nor reactive. They are responsive as we rest in the waves around us and within us.
- Presence –
Presence is not a thing we can perceive. It is the space within which things can be known: The field of awareness which makes knowing possible.This books is about the confluence of ancient Buddhist understands with emerging neuroscience and how this odd couple can deepen our meditation and understanding of life.
- Deepening –
Deepening points to the spaciousness out of which the best of psychotherapy and contemplation emerge. This deeply practical 55-page overview is for seekers and guides alike.
- Circling Home
– A collection of talks I delivered to liberal-progressive Unitarian Universalist congregations my years in the ministry.
Other writings augment and expand these books. They include:
You can select these from the menu, Table of Contents, Listing of Titles, or Index of Topics.
See the "Blog" Menu or click here to see the listing in the Table of Contents.
A few books, links, a glossary, mentoring, and ways to contact me.
About Doug Kraft
A short bio about me (Doug Kraft).
A few hints as to how to (deepen) meditation and how this website might help you at various stages of practice.