Posts by Catharine Clarenbach

Catharine Clarenbach’s passion for the spiritual life began in early childhood and has never stopped evolving. She swims streams of seekers and learners, more than in any particular religious institution. Click The Way of the River to find out more about Catharine’s take on accessing our Deepest, Wisest Selves through writing, classes, meditations, and one-on-one accompaniment.

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Doing What’s Good for Us: What We Need Beyond Discipline

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~Annie Dillard

When I first engaged spiritual practice, I tried to meditate while counting breaths. “I can’t do this!” I lamented, “It’s too hard.” The green satiny cushion filled with buckwheat chaff felt hard and unforgiving.

My legs ached. I kept checking my watch. My mind ached.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The watch taunted me, and I did not feel the least bit edified by the experience.

But every few moon phases, I’d try again: half an hour of hellacious discomfort, of shifting in my chair or—if I …