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I'm Old-fashioned

March 18, 2017
“That’s ok, we’ll find it online” were the words I heard as they left. Sometimes I wonder if a world without stores is in our future. As a kid, I used to tag along with my dad to record stores, observing him as he chose LP’s for his collection. I went on to work at Tower Records on 82nd Avenue and became the music buyer for Jazz and World. It was a source of pride that customers would come ...

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In The Trenches

March 12, 2017
 
There’s no denying it, it’s been a long hard winter. It’s been particularly hard on brick & mortar retail and Karuna is no exception. As Karuna learns how to walk at one and a half years, there are times when I am certain that if I let go of baby Karuna’s hand, it will no doubt falter. Neverthless, Karuna persists.
 
This week has been particularly dicey with a number of financial ...

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Weather

March 9, 2017
Weather is one of the most compelling images used in the instruction of meditation. In Portland, we were hit with a very long, hard winter, with one ice storm after the next, loads of rain and temperatures not rising above 50 degrees for months on end. This is not what we expect in Portland, which is, for the most part, a very temperate climate. Sometimes when we meditate, we also experience the unexpected. Who knew ...

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Feeding The Right Wolf

January 16, 2017

I love my job! I had the most amazing experience today. A guy that I met on an online dating site and went out with a few times stopped by the store. I hadn't seen him in about 6 months. He told me that he had recently had some experiences that put him on a search for answers. He thought meditation might be a good addition to the support groups he was attending and lifestyle changes he was trying to make. I had been ...

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The Beauty of Community

November 9, 2015
The word “sangha” comes from Pali- the language used at the time of the Buddha. Sangha means community and was generally used to describe the order of ordained monastics. These days it is widely used in the West to refer to any sort of Buddhist community.
 
One morning a woman named Terry came by Karuna. She had been travelling from San Francisco to visit a friend in the Portland area. We got to talking ...

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Meditation ~ A Family Affair

October 14, 2015
There is never a time too early to get kids involved in a contemplative way of life. If I look back at my life, I’m amazed at how influential growing up in such an environment was. I received meditation instruction when I was 10 years old but before that I would sit with my mom a little bit here and there. While I probably didn’t know it consciously at the time, I remember feeling good sitting quietly. It ...

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A Brick & Mortar Location In The Internet Age

September 12, 2015
 
It's so interesting to be selling from a storefront in a time when many people are buying online. For me, specialty stores have always been a place of wonder, where someone has put their creative mind to the task of collecting carefully selected items to entice the senses of all who wandered inside.
 
Karuna is one such specialty store where meditators can experiment with different shapes and sizes of a cushion ...

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A Day In The Life of Karuna (or maybe a week or two...)

August 14, 2015
Google says that 734 saw Karuna on it’s site this month and five people asked for directions. That's a lot of people seeking a comfortable meditation seat. May Karuna be helpful in this search and may it bring benefit!
 
Everytime the DHL delivery guy comes into the store he seems to really be happy to be here. Yesterday he looked around and said, "You have a very calm existence. Everyone should do this.”
 
Meet ...

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Many Paths to Meditation and the Reed College connection

June 26, 2015
One observation that I've made since opening Karuna (just seven weeks ago!) is that meditators come from diverse backgrounds. Or perhaps I should say people who want to sit comfortably on the ground are not just Buddhist! I've been meeting people from all walks of life, from Sikkh to Quaker, from Zen to Theravada, from Vippasana to a ton of unaffiliated folks who are simply exploring ways to balance their lives.
 
I've ...

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Sidewalk signs and leaky air conditioners

June 12, 2015
As Karuna enters it's fifth week and euphoria turns to the nitty gritty of daily life, I remain loving my new job and continue to be amazed by the wonderful (and sometimes challenging) surprises and lessons that arise. One Saturday as a family browsed the store, I suddenly heard a gasp and what sounded like a water fixture. I turned to see water pouring from the ceiling tile. I grabbed the nearest plant to catch it and ...

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Karuna - A Boutique for the Mindfully-Minded

June 3, 2015
I opened Karuna on Tuesday, June 2nd. There was a light rain and I realized that I hadn't gotten a door mat yet. Fortunately, Karuna is directly across the street from one of the best hardware stores in the city, True Value. One of the nicest things about True Value from my perspective is it's extensive garden and numerous red leafed trees. I often end up gazing outside at that beautiful landscape when I need a ...

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