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Mindful Sex: Orgasm Anxiety Be Gone!

by Jessica Graham faked every orgasm I ever had with my first boyfriend. I was 14 and eager to please. I wasn’t quite as convincing as Meg Ryan’s famous scene in When Harry Met Sally, but looking back I’m pretty sure that he didn’t care either way. I don’t think he actually liked vaginas. When that relationship ended I was …

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Mindful Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out

by Jessica Graham When I was fourteen I decided it was high time to lose my virginity. So I did. It happened in the backseat of a hot rod car— I think it was a green Chevelle—with an eighteen-year-old with tattoos and a ponytail. I kept my turquoise All-Star high tops on the whole time. I was high and don’t …

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Loving Lovingkindness

by Jessica Graham I’ve recently become of big fan of lovingkindness meditation, or as Shinzen Young calls it, “Focus on Positive.” From the beginning of my practice I have been pretty hard-core about going into the most challenging material and deconstructing it using mindfulness. This technique has served me well; I have been able to quickly break through old patterns …

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Dying with Dad, Part 6

By Jessica Graham In this series, I have been exploring my relationship with my dad and the experience of caring for him in his final months. It’s been an amazing process of revisiting that time and sharing the stories with others. I’ve received moving emails and phone calls from people who are going though a similar time in their lives. …

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Listening to the Body

by Jessica Graham “In these bodies we will live. In these bodies we will die” – Mumford & Sons Today is the first day of my Holiday vacation and I plan to spend it at Huntington Botanical Gardens with my boyfriend. My body loves being surrounded nature and open space. My mind also deeply enjoys the setting. There are not …

Dying with Dad, Part 5

By Jessica Graham Last month my dad would have been 55 years old. With his birthday coming up I thought it was high time I got back to my Dying with Dad series. It’s been challenging to write about my dad’s death and relationship with him. It such a personal thing to throw out into the online world, even though …

Slowing Down

by Jessica Graham For a long time I’ve been a person that is always on the go. It’s been this way since I was a kid. Even then, I constantly needed something to do and was devastated when I had free time. As an adult I’ve always have a few jobs, several creative pursuits, multiple social commitments, and in the …

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Yearning

by Jessica Graham There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you? -Rumi A few times a year I experience a special kind of suffering. It’s the “What should I do with my life? / Will I ever get what I want? …

Teaching Mindfulness

By Jessica Graham I’ve recently had the wonderful experience of a student of mine beginning to teach. He has a very unique and compelling voice to share with his students. Watching him grow into himself as a person and a teacher has been such a gift. He now leads my group when I can’t be there. I hope that he …

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Broken Heart/Open Heart

By Jessica Graham   “Like someone is trying to slice my sternum open from the inside of my body.”   “Like prickly pins in my stomach.”   “It feels like a hollowness of air in your heart and chest, in a place that should be filled with fluid.”   “Very, very heavy, exhausting.”   “Feels like labor contractions in the …

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Practicing Non-Buddhist

By Jessica Graham The seven-day retreat had just ended and I was sitting with my boyfriend and a small group of fellow meditators. We were eating lunch and speaking our first words since coming out of silence. In an attempt to start a little friendly conversation, one woman asked if we would all go around the table and share a …

Dying with Dad, Part 4

by Jessica Graham In self-help books, recovery programs, and spiritual communities there is a lot of talk about “letting go.” We are all urged to let go. But what does letting go really mean? The experience of being with my father’s dying forced me to cope with this question, and my meditation practice helped me enormously. Letting go means being …

Eating Mindfully

When I quit drinking,  I acquired a sweet tooth. For the first time in my life I started eating until I was painfully full. I very unconsciously tore though whole pizzas and third helpings of ice cream. Clearly I was coping with the loss of alcohol by overeating, and for a while that was okay. It was better than a …