Author: Brent R. Oliver

My 32-Day Meditation Streak: How it Happened & Why I Broke It

  By Brent R. Oliver I just spent 32 days being the most bad ass meditator in my area code. For a whisker over one month, I sat every day, sometimes twice a day. My concentration muscles started to bulge under my skull. My clarity was as sharp as a young bald eagle’s. My equanimity spread and deepened like sweet water behind a goddamn dam. I was a superstar of sitting, a perfectly sane madman of meditation, an institution of insight. Then I quit for a couple of days. Here’s how it all went down. Meditation has never become...

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The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers by Scott Edelstein {Book Review}

By Brent R. Oliver Scott Edelstein has done a great service for anyone interested in studying with a spiritual teacher or becoming part of a spiritual community. I’m generally disdainful of the term “spiritual,” or at the very least confused by it. Too often people seem to separate the “regular” parts of life, such as work, family and washing the car, from what they consider the “spiritual” aspects—which are, I dunno…prayer and meditation and talking about the Dalai Lama, I guess. But let’s leave that aside for a moment. Despite my strong feelings that the spiritual and material aspects...

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A Dharma Anarchist Goes to Summer Buddha Camp. {Strong Language}

  By Brent R. Oliver   When I was 23, I discovered Buddhism and it pulled my stupid ass out of the fire. My life was utterly pointless and I was edging toward the precipice, ready to jump. Buddhist philosophy instantly made sense and soothed all the existential angst I’d been working on so hard since age 14. It just clicked, you know? The real world suddenly came into focus. A few years later, I stumbled across my local Shambhala center. Holy shit! I didn’t know they had Buddhism in my town, so I joined up. At the time,...

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Mindfulness May be a Buzzword, But it Works if You Find the Right Dosage.

  By Brent R. Oliver Mindfulness is everything and everywhere. It’s bigger than the new black. It’s heathier than Paleo. It’s better for you than yoga and Cross Fit and cupping. It’s more widespread than STDs and twice as contagious. Before reading this article, I bet you’ve already encountered the word “mindfulness” today, whether online, in a magazine or from the bubbly vegan microwaving something suspicious in the office breakroom. Of course, if you’re reading The Tattooed Buddha, you may be into that sort of shit so perhaps my imaginary stats are skewed. Either way, mindfulness has become one...

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I’m a Writer, I’m Buddhist & This is Why That is Terrifying.

  By Brent R. Oliver   Writing has always been a bitch for me. It’s painstakingly arduous and, even after decades of practice, thoughtful reflection, and reams of crumpled-up paper, I still come up with phrases like “painstakingly arduous.” What is wrong with me? I’m a writer, that’s what, and this shit is hard. Awhile back, I saw a quote that Ty Phillips, co-founder of this here bad-ass website, posted on his Facebook page. Despite never having met, he and I are fantastic digital buddies and I happened to see the quote, which went through me like a bullet....

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Buddhism For Dudes