Alexandra Gross

I have been interested in Buddhism since high school, but it's only recently that I've begun to understand how directly I can apply these ideas towards a fuller experience and appreciation of all aspects of my life. Two classes I took through DRBU, one on Buddhism and post-modernity, and one on the Buddhist unconscious, helped me make these connections. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and am currently working as a writer and researcher with the National Registry of Exonerations.

Mental Habits and the Criminal Justice System

The Mind  |  The Scene   |   Alexandra Gross  |   December 13, 2012, 5:00 pm

… we are born with particular mental tendencies … and over time, certain tendencies are repeatedly reinforced, creating ever-deeper tracks for our minds to follow. When the Buddha taught about the human mind, he put forth an idea that has been developed independently by psychologists and neuroscientists in more recent years: that we mainly interpret [...]
[Admin note: We’re very happy that Alexandra’s piece has been published on Huffington Post. Here is the repost in its entirety.] Last spring, my friend Paris Carriger was diagnosed with liver disease and told he had just a few months to live. His voice from the hospital was weak but calm. “This isn’t the first [...]

Solitude vs. Loneliness

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Alexandra Gross  |   July 3, 2012, 5:00 pm

In a recent post, Patience and Solitude, James wrote about what it has been like to give up so much of his previous existence in order to live a simpler, more solitary life at CTTB.  I was struck by his observations about the challenge of loneliness; it got me thinking about the differences between loneliness [...]
When I received an email a couple of weeks ago announcing an upcoming 1-day meditation retreat with Dharma Master Heng Chih, I felt a strange rush of excitement – a question forming in my mind, and almost immediately, an answer.  Should I do this? I am going to do this.  I was a little surprised at myself.... [...]

Idealism Returns –Let’s Invite it to Stay

The Scene   |   Alexandra Gross  |   November 22, 2011, 4:00 pm

On a beautiful Saturday last month, I went down to San Francisco’s Ocean beach to join a thousand other people in spelling out “TAX THE 1%” with our bodies in the sand, while a helicopter flew overhead and took pictures. Several local news stations ran stories on the demonstration, and everyone who was involved was [...]

Buddha Meets the Parents

The Tribe   |   Alexandra Gross  |   October 13, 2011, 4:00 pm

I was raised without religion. My parents are rational, intellectual, and basically atheist – one comes from a vaguely Christian family, the other from a slightly Jewish one, and they never really made anything of it. They are both professors; they don’t believe, they think. So I had to wonder what they would make of [...]
…we are deeply driven by biological impulses and genetic predispositions, heavily programmed…. But …it is possible to learn how to better understand and direct our own minds, and to overcome some of our programming. After reading an earlier post in which I wondered what my subconscious might be doing behind my back, a friend sent [...]

Which Direction Is Up?

The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Alexandra Gross  |   July 15, 2011, 4:31 pm

I recently turned thirty, and to celebrate, I spent a long weekend in a cabin in the woods with a group of my closest friends. Out of the ten of us that were there, none are married: one is engaged, another is in a serious relationship, and the rest are basically single.  In other areas, [...]