Some of the landmarks you will encounter on the meditative path.

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

For a long time, mediation was something I did without giving much thought to what I was doing or why I was doing it. I never thought about if I was getting anywhere with my meditation practice.

It was mediation, after all, you’re not supposed to be getting anywhere right?

It wasn’t until a few years ago, that I started giving any serious thought to what I was doing.

Earlier this year, I started using Sam Harris’ Waking Up meditation app. The other day, I listened to a talk about making progress in meditation. The talk that Mr. …


How to learn a scripting language without being a programmer.

Up until recently, you could have a good career in technology without knowing any scripting languages. Not a great career, but a good one. Now, with the rise of cloud computing and serverless architecture, it’s imperative to know one if not two scripting languages.

Everything is moving back to the command line and API for even the most basic tasks. This doesn’t mean you have to master them, but you should know enough to automate simple tasks.

When I started in technology, learning PowerShell was how I stood out above my peers. This allowed me to pivot into IT security…


On stopping the hamster wheel and giving your life more space.

Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

“The truth is that most of us are playing a game that can’t be won. We are hamsters thinking that we can break out of this cage if we just run fast enough on this wheel. This is the futility of desiring that instead of loving THIS. And that, as Buddha’s Second Noble Truth reveals, is the root of all suffering.” Micheal Gungor

Anyone who’s owned a hamster, knows they aren’t running to break out of the cage. They can get out of that cage any damn time they want.

When I was a kid, my parents bought me a…


Two questions to ask about your meditation practice

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Why do I practice meditation?

This question is good to come back to, now and then. Not just with meditation, but with any spiritual practice you’re doing. Why am I on this path to begin with.

It’s beneficial to my mental health. I seem calmer when I’m meditating regularly. I feel like I’m a better person for my family and the people around me.

There’s a mental quality that develops through meditation. I gain a better understanding of who I am and how my mind works. I like exploring that part of myself. After all, conscientiousness is all we have…


Cultivating a sense of awe in the ordinary things of life

Photo by Justin Peterson on Unsplash

I love going outside.

I love taking the kids out for a hike on a sunny day or going by myself. I love overcast days because, for some reason, the colors pop. The greens of the grass and leaves fade to the background leaving violets and reds jumping to the foreground.

Nature gives me a feeling of wonder and amazement that’s hard to get anywhere else. It’s difficult not to get a sense of awe at how we’re all connected in this grand system.

I’ve had people tell me studying evolution and science deadens that sense of awe.

After leaving…


Using music to reconnect with my spiritual self.

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

Some of my earliest memories were of hearing the organ thunder through the cathedral. I remember feeling the vibrations running through my body.

As I grew up, some of my favorite times during the summers were singing around the campfire at church youth camps.

As my faith changed, and I confronted the truths that challenged me towards the end of my church life. I found many of the old hymns I used to love singing didn’t hold the same meaning.

I recall at the last service I attended, listening to everyone else singing and thinking, “Really? …


The spiritual path is full of peaks and valleys.

A woman with long red and a grey coat, balances on railroad tracks. Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
A woman with long red and a grey coat, balances on railroad tracks. Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

I’ve practiced meditation for several years, and there are still times when I feel unbalanced. There are still times when I feel like I’m not enough or I’m failing at life. Part of this is because of anxiety, and part of this is because I’m human.

There is a quote from the book Zen Questions: Zazen, Dogen and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry that says:

“…our practice is constantly losing our balance against a background of perfect balance. That is what re-pose is about, to lose our balance constantly — and return to some upright, dignified posture.”

There is a…


Not as much as you think.

Woman crouching in the street smiling at a child wearing a grey hooded coat. Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash
Woman crouching in the street smiling at a child wearing a grey hooded coat. Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash
Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

Am I messing up my kids?

As a parent, this question echoes in my mind. Usually, after I’m at my wit’s end, having lost all my spoons with a situation.

I imagine most parents face this question from time to time. It’s hard not to.

Even though there are a lot of books on parenting. There are no books on how to parent your kids.

We are all winging it. We may go in with a general plan, but for everyday situations, we have no idea what’s going to happen or how we’re going to handle every situation.

Here are…


How to prioritize with anxiety

A grey mole, with an angry old man face, sitting on dirt. Photo by ahmad kanbar on Unsplash
A grey mole, with an angry old man face, sitting on dirt. Photo by ahmad kanbar on Unsplash
Photo by ahmad kanbar on Unsplash

A problem with living with anxiety is prioritizing. My brain constantly reminds me of the growing list of projects and appointments. The advice to start with the most important ones often fails.

To my brain, they are all important. Except for the projects I’ve started. Then the projects I’m not working on are important. Why am I wasting my time with this one, my brain asks.

This is what makes anxiety crippling.

It’s like a game of whack-a-mole where moles jump up and scream in my brain at random times day and night.

Despite this, I have a strategy that…


What the Maple Leaf Rag taught me about learning new skills

Photo by Lorenzo Spoleti on Unsplash

Introduction

I graduated high school in the Spring of 2001. In the fall of that year, I started my first semester, as a music student, at a local University. My parents had an upright player piano in the living room.

When a scroll was placed in the front, the piano jumped to life playing the music indicated by holes in the paper. The keys depressed as if an invisible pianist sat at the bench. Otherwise, it was a regular piano that anyone could sit down and play.

The University required first-year music students to take piano. Knowing this, I decided…

Marcus Falcore

Writer and reader of short fiction and essays.

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