RSS 2.0   Atom


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 or bench. They ask themselves, “Do I like a curved bench or is a flat one just fine?” “Do I fancy a kapok or wool zafu or does the conforming nature of buckwheat more meet my needs?” This can all be explored on the carpeted floors of Karuna.


It has been so delightful to enter the realm of adults after over 10 years being a nanny. I wasn’t sure if I could actually deal with grownups anymore after having been the wonder world of children for so long. Not so! The people who come to Karuna have been so lovely.


Here are some of the folks who came in recently:


  • Ben, a second generation meditator, came in and expressed his support of Karuna (even though he, of course, already had a cushion)


  • Clair bought a bean shaped zafu cushion for and her husband on their anniversary. I wonder when they’re going to get tired of sharing?


  • Andrew saw my sign “Contemplative Living” as he was driving by on Hawthorne and knew exactly what kind of shop it was. He had lived at various retreat centers and already had a gomden. He said his knees had been killing him as he meditated this morning and that he desperately needed a zabuton.


  • Doreen bought herself a zafu and zabuton for her 50th birthday.


  • Mary and her husband were visiting from New York City. After browsing the store they confessed that they were long time students of Insight Meditation and said they would encourage their daughter, who is a yoga practitioner, to come by the store.


  • A badly burned man came in the store looking for a bench. He has been meditating with Noah Levine’s Dharma Punx Group. I became acutely aware of my habitual responses of fear around his disfigurement and at the same time struck by his tremendous self-respect and dignity.


Sometimes I send documents to Kinko’s if I want a high quality print. This time I got so busy that I wasn’t able to pick it up for a whole week. When I got there they were having a hard time finding it so they reprinted it. As I was getting ready to leave a young woman who worked there told me that she had printed out the first copy and that she just wanted to let me know that she thought it was “super awesome.” I couldn’t have said it better. The super awesome thing that she was referring to is the flyer I had printed about Peace in Schools, a Portland non-profit organization that launched the first for-credit high school mindfulness course in the United States. Karuna is having a gathering to learn more about this organization and the life changing impact mindfulness education has on teens. There is a growing movement to make mindfulness a recognized and valued discipline in public education and Karuna celebrates this on Tuesday, October 6th! AND 10% of all purchases made during this event will be donated to the Peace in Schools non-profit organization, which brings mindfulness meditation to teens. Find out more at and at


Natural Awakenings Magazine awards local businesses every year by popular vote. I would be very grateful if you were to vote Karuna Contemplative Living for Best New Business You can do so HERE:

Or come into Karuna and pick up a ballot! Remember, you must vote in at least 5 categories for the vote to be accepted.


Return to Blog Main Page