Michele Clark

The Mediocre Meditator Turns toward Fear and Includes a Lesson in the History of Psychology

When I was coming up, professionally, in the middle of the 1970s, my colleagues and I at The Women’s Mental Health Collective in Somerville, Massachusetts had this idea (or maybe we didn’t have this idea ourselves but rather there was an idea around, part of the zeitgeist, the cultural atmosphere). The idea was that in […]

The Mediocre Meditator Shares (with permission) Stories From Mother and Daughter Goddard Students

Leslie Whitcomb, a graduate student in the Counseling and Psychology Program, sent me this story about her daughter Thora’s meditation practice.  Leslie is the mother of eight children and is currently doing her counseling internship in a community mental health clinic, where she has already been asked by two different staff to apply for a […]

The Mediocre Meditator Tries To Disappear Into Her Suffering

Some of the meditation teachers I admire write or say things I have never heard before. Often these sentences simmer a long time on the back burner of my mind before I understand what they mean either in the abstract or to me. In his book Ending The Pursuit of Happiness  Barry Magid, the New York […]

The Mediocre Meditator: A Tale of Two Experiences

A friend and I went to a Meditation Workshop for Beginners. This was some time ago.  The workshop started at ten in the morning and ended at four. It consisted of  alternating periods of sitting or walking meditation, and then talks by the guiding teacher, followed by questions and answers. On the long drive home […]

The Mediocre Meditator Deconstructs An Early Morning Moment Using Buddhist Psychology and Other Points of View

What can I say?  Every morning that I loll in bed past six a.m., which is to say most mornings, I am condemned. By whom?  Myself, of course. The judge within. This is how it goes: I’ve slept well. Outside the birds are trilling their light morning tunes.  Cotton sheets rub against my skin. It […]

Women in Psychology Make History

Others have cleared our path, whether we know it or not and often we don’t.  On sexual abuse within the family, a twenty-ish student of mine recently breezed through the history of psychology by noting the following: ” . . . with the dismantling of Freud’s dominance, most American mental health professionals eventually became aware […]

The Mediocre Meditator: Brain Science and Procrastination

Faced with writing what seemed like an endless number of papers when I was in graduate school many years ago, I stumbled across a method for overcoming procrastination.  Much more recently, in the November-December 2013 issue of The Psychotherapy Networker I came across an article that grounded my method in physiology. Eureka! I cried. (Well, […]

The Mediocre Meditator Says: The Word for 2014 Will Be Neuroplasticity

If mindfulness was last year’s most popular phrase in psychology and self-help, this year’s word is bound to be neuroplasticity.  Neuroplasticity means that the brain and nervous system can change.  Of course psychotherapists have always believed this, else what have we been doing all these years.  Meditation teachers have known this, as have experienced members […]

The Mediocre Meditator #7: One Day or One Moment at a Time is Easier Said than Done

I have learned a lot from AA, although I am not an alcoholic.  When my mind is twittering about what I need to do tomorrow and what so and so said earlier today, whether I canget it all done, and what did she mean when she said x or y and did I handle it […]

The Mediocre Meditator Wonders Whether Meditation is for Everybody

And she answers: Probably not. Meditation is only one way to find stillness within. My husband sings in two choirs.  A good friend walks in the woods. Well, I walk in the woods. I even like walking in the woods.  But walking in the woods doesn’t make me quiet. I feel refreshed, usually, and ready […]