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Available in Paperback ($24) and Kindle ($5.50).

This meditation field guide explores our inner landscape, particularly insights that touch us to the core but slide away like slippery fish. Sitting in meditation or hiking through mountains, we suddenly see life differently. Moments later the vision fades like a dream. We remember there was something important but can’t recall what it was. Many meditators have potentially life-changing revelations that their minds have difficulty absorbing.

This book is a collection of reflections on common liberating insights that are easily forgotten. It’s a field guide for meditators on the path, embedding ageless teachings in stories and images to bring them to life so they will stick and continue to inspire us.

"I have known Doug for many years now. He has a high-curiosity mind which has helped him dissect and digest much of the spiritual and psychological terrain. What I enjoy particularly is his ability to dive into Buddhist practice and bring his own unique style and understanding to these classical teachings and practices. His many years as a Unitarian minister and as a well-trained psychotherapist makes his view wide as well as deep. I very much respect his views on these teachings."

John Travis , Senior Dharma Teacher,
Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Below is the Table of Contents for all 57 reflections. They are divided into five groups as explained here. Some of the items are active links that allow you to read that reflection on line or to download a pdf.

Also see Buddha’s Map, Beginning the Journey, Kindness and Wisdom Practice, Befriending the Mind, Resting in the waves, Presence, and Deepening.



How to Use This Field Guide



Slippery Fish

How Buddhism Entered the World


I. Finding a Compass

1. Three Essential Practices

2. Resilience

3. Rest in the Waves

4. Nothing Is Difficult, Some Things Take Time

5. A Vote for Kindness: No Unchanging Self

6. It’s Not Personal

7. Contentment Without a Purpose or Secret Mission

8. Take Care of Awareness and It Will Take Care of You

9. Hissing and Purring

10. Wise View Is No Opinion

11. Six Questions


II. Getting Our Selves Out of the Way

12. Selflessness Grows out of Self Care

13. Awareness Meters

14. Freeing the Cows: Observing, not Controlling

15. Unhealthy Desire vs. Healthy Wisdom

16. Self-Torture 101

17. We Get What We Put Our Energy Into

18. Feelings Aren’t Thoughts

19. Deliberate Ignorance

20. Don’t Scapegoat Distractions

21. Meditation Is About the Mind, Not the Object

22. Attitude of Mind Is Key, Content Is Irrelevant

23. Don’t Stand up in the Hammock

24. The Trap of Getting Free

25. Alfred Hitchcock Moments

26. Hindrances Like the Back Door

27. Kindness Toward Tension

28. Hindrances As Invitation-Only Guests

29. Crossed Intentions

30. Covert Intentions and Self

31. Recognizing Two Species of Intentions

32. Uprooting Hidden Intentions

33. Hindrances Want to Retire

34. The Six Rs Are Self-Correcting

35. Six Rs Tune-Up

36. Goodness and Meanness

37. Gifts and Vulnerabilities

38. All Techniques Fail


III. Glowing Like a Candle

39. Candles and Flashlights

40. Attunement, Not Attainment

41. Whatever Arises in the Mind Is Not a Problem

42. Mistakes As Teachers

43. The Earworm’s Gift

44. Wisdom and Knowing Many Things at Once

45. Natural Multiprocessing

46. Awareness Is Magic

47. Clarity and Acceptance

48. It’s Only Pain


IV. Cleaning Up Our Act

49. Engaging Precepts Mindfully

50. Wise Acceptance and the Six Rs


V. Expanding Infinitely

51. Self as Process

52. The Evolving Self

53. Stages of Consciousness

54. Consciousness and Selfing

55. We’re Not So Different

56. We’re Not in the Driver’s Seat

57. I Rest in Emptiness



A. The Six Rs and Five Ss Overview

B. Forgiveness Meditation

C. Refuges

D. Precepts

E. Aspirations

F. The 3-4-6-8-11-12-16-Fold Path

G. Awareness, Consciousness, and Enlightenment

H. Glossary

I. Resources

J. List of Gathas