I came across this still proverbial Tibetan saying in my pre-meditation reading the other day that I wanted to share with you: “Seeking happiness outside is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north.” In short, our happiness must be found within ourselves and not in events, goods, or even among those we love, for life often doesn’t reciprocate what we want, love, or … Continue reading Happiness: What it is and How to Find It
Mindfulness is everywhere these days. I was at our local Kroger store yesterday, sampling its magazine section and, sure enough, there were two mindfulness magazines. Go to Whole Foods, it’s the same. Mindfulness has taken off in the medical community as well, where it’s become increasingly a centerpiece in psychological therapy, helping patients cope with stress, anxiety and depression. (For a sample listing of leading … Continue reading Open the door and come right in….
I continue to read Shinzen Young (The Science of Enlightenment), and always with the thrill of discovery. No one, and I mean no one, has opened up the insides of mindfulness meditation more for me. You know you’re keeping good company with a book you can’t stop scribbling in with notes and highlighting. Later, I become this grasshopper–or better–a frog leaping pages, landing on passages, … Continue reading Leap Frogging
It’s funny how your mind takes vast jumps, transcending time and space, hurling you into the past or thrusting you into the future. It’s happening to me now. I remember sitting in my sixth grade class in Florida, fascinated with my teacher’s story of Ponce de Leon’s search for the fountain of youth, motivating him to travel to a new place, which he called Florida. … Continue reading Live Longer Now
We dream–it is good we are dreaming– It would hurt us–were we awake. Emily Dickinson Freud in his London office (1939) Do you dream a lot? I know I do. Incessantly. I dream more now that I’ve gotten older, abetted by having to get up in the nights at this juncture. Should I care about dreams? Do they have meaning? Can they help us? Perhaps … Continue reading Dream Rummaging
Bob Marley’s hit song “Everythings Gonna Be Alright,” delivered with hypnotic reggae beat, buoys our spirits when we travel troubled waters: Don’t worry about a thing Cause every little thing gonna be all right. Don’t you just wish it could be so in what poet W. H. Auden famously dubbed “the age of anxiety”? Let me count some of the worries that trouble many, including … Continue reading When Worrying Helps
Have you ever found yourself so angry, say in an argument, that you’ve yelled, or said mean things, or left the room, or slammed a door, only to feel ashamed later? Have you ever panicked, ready to pull your hair out, because your fear seemed overwhelming, demanding a quick fix that seemed elusive? Perhaps it was in getting bad news such as being fired, or … Continue reading You Aren’t Who You Think You Are!
Those of you familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator will recall that its end letter comes down to either a P or a J, denoting perception vs judgment modalities. P types can tolerate, if not thrive on, open-ended movies. Conversely, J’s like their movies to end with all the pieces in place. As essentially an everyday existentialist, I’ve always found bonafide certainty elusive. Thus, I … Continue reading On living with ambiguity
As a college freshman, there was one essay we had to read in composition class that made an indelible impression on me that lingers still: George Orwell’s “Hanging,” with its vivid irony in observing the curious behavior of an about to be executed criminal in Burma, where Orwell had served in the British imperial police for six years years. The narrator takes no part, except … Continue reading Dodging puddles: Things we avoid
Nearly always I come upon new reads, not through lists but, unexpectedly, in the marketplace of life. I like it this way–the surprise of it, the joy of discovery, the smack of fate rather than coincidence, like the chance finding of a new friend or bumping into wise counsel, unanticipated, in a corner; its aftermath of empowering, the mystery and the beauty of it. It … Continue reading Mindfulness and the recovery of compassion, empathy and joy