The Easier Softer Way is the proud creation of Matthew Sockolov and Elizabeth Key-Comis. From daily inspirational emails and guided meditations to handmade malas and jewelry, TESW offers something for everybody. Our goal is to encourage each member of our community to find a way to practice mindfulness in his or her life. The Buddhist teachings have transformed our lives, brought us together with each other, and brought us together with many amazing friends along the way. We hope to share this with you, and always provide ways for you to grow. Through personal stories, informative posts, personal meditation coaching, and much more, we offer The Easier Softer Way to you as the result of our love for the Buddhist path.
We also investigate the spiritual path in recovery. Whether you’re personally in recovery from an affliction or you know somebody in recovery, we hope to bring some new practices to the recovery world. Spoken from personal experience and love of recovery, TESW’s recovery-related material focuses on the intersection of the Twelve Steps and Buddhism, and the Buddhist path to recovery known as Refuge Recovery.
The Easier Softer Way Meditation was founded in March of 2011 as a small recovery and Buddhism blog. Matthew wanted to share his experience with his personal recovery. Working as an SEO specialist in Los Angeles, Matthew used The Easier Softer Way as his guinea pig to hone his online marketing skills. In late 2013, Matthew left his job to give more time to The Easier Softer Way. What began as a personal WordPress blog evolved to include guest authors, a shop of handmade jewelry, and an online community of seekers.
Buddhism was first introduced into Matthew’s life when he was only 14. His parents gave him Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Miracle of Mindfulness. Matthew was immediately taken by the ideas he read about, but it took some time before he investigated Buddhism for himself. After years of reading Buddhist literature, Matthew developed a meditation practice for himself. Struggling with addiction for some time, Matthew got sober in May of 2010. Since then, he has worked in treatment centers and sober living, bringing his personal practice along.
Matthew studies at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society in Los Angeles, Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre. He goes on silent retreat every year, often at Spirit Rock, Joshua Tree, with S.N. Goenka, at Metta Forest, and at Deer Park Monastery. He currently is in Spirit Rock’s training program, Community Dharma Leader 5. His mentoring teacher is Noah Levine. He also studies with Thanissaro Bhikkhu at Wat Metta and with various teachers at Against the Stream and Spirit Rock. Matthew has cohosted the Dharma Den group at Against the Stream for two years, and helps facilitate the weekly teen group. Matthew has been leading groups in Los Angeles since 2013. He leads meditation groups at Against the Stream, local sober livings and treatment centers, and online. His work days are filled with writing for TESW, one-on-one meditation coaching, and keeping all the technical issues under control. In his free time, he may be found at the beach, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, or seeing his favorite punk bands.
Elizabeth Key-Comis was first introduced to meditation while getting sober. By advice of a close friend, she went to her local meditation center to check it out. Although she had some aversion to the practice at first, she developed a deep love for the dhamma. Since then, Elizabeth has developed a daily practice with the help of her teacher JoAnna Harper. Elizabeth dove into her sangha, being awarded with the Volunteer of the Month from Against the Stream, hosting Dharma Den with Matthew and supporting various daylongs. Elizabeth has grown to become a guiding member of the Refuge Recovery sangha, supporting many women across the country in their investigation of the Buddhist approach to recovery.
Elizabeth studies psychology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is a research assistant with Dr. Nora Murphy, studying nonverbal behavior. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a nationally recognized top honors society. Elizabeth regularly goes on silent retreat with Noah Levine at Joshua Tree and with various teachers at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She has been host of one of the first Refuge Recovery meetings, brings Refuge Recovery into local treatment centers, and is passionate about the Buddhist teachings being a path to recovery. Elizabeth helps run TESW’s social media accounts and keep everything running. She has really cultivated her creative side as she designs beautiful handmade jewelry, makes unique wood burnings, and helps design the promotional material for TESW.
If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to contact us!