Receive Generosity

Do you accept the gift? The Practice: Receive generosity. Why?Life gives to each one of us in so many ways.For starters, there’s the bounty of the senses – including chocolate chip cookies, jasmine, sunsets, wind singing through pine trees, and just getting your back scratched.What does life give you?Consider the kindness of friends and family, made more tangible during a holiday season, but of course continuing throughout the year.Or the giving of the people whose hard wor … [Read more...]

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

What's the most important thing? The Practice: Keep your eyes on the prize. Why?Have you heard this saying?The most important thing is to remember the most important thing.What are the most important things to you? In your life as a whole? During a particular interaction with someone? Right this minute?The most important things often get pushed to the sidelines. Urgent crowds out important. Modern life is full of distracting clamor, from text messages and emails to window … [Read more...]

Give No One Cause to Fear You

Give No One Cause to Fear You - Just One Thing

What puts people at ease? The Practice: Give no one cause to fear you. Why?We evolved to be afraid.The ancient ancestors that were casual and blithely hopeful, underestimating the risks around them - predators, loss of food, aggression from others of their kind - did not pass on their genes. But the ones that were nervous were very successful - and we are their great-grandchildren, sitting atop the food chain.Consequently, multiple hair-trigger systems in your brain continually … [Read more...]

See the Good in Others

What do you notice in people? The Practice: See the good in others. Why?Many interactions these days have a kind of bumper-car quality to them. At work, at home, on the telephone, via email: we sort of bounce off of each other while we exchange information, smile or frown, and move on. How often do we actually take the extra few seconds to get a sense of what's inside other people - especially their good qualities?In fact, because of what scientists call the brain's "negativity bias" … [Read more...]

Stay Right When You’re Wronged

What happens after you're mistreated? The Practice: Stay right when you're wronged. Why?It's easy to treat people well when they treat you well. The real test is when they treat you badly.Think of times you've been truly wronged, in small ways or big ones. Maybe someone stole something , turned others against you, broke an agreement, cheated on you, or spoke unfairly or abusively.When things like these happen, I feel mad, hurt, startled, wounded, sad. Naturally it arises to want … [Read more...]

Wake Up ! Tour : Mindfulness for Young People ( 17 – 35)

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SAN FRANCISCO — Mindfulness: have you heard the word?It's a vital way of learning how to understand, accept, and realize our mind's true nature. It's about being fully alive in the present moment (the only moment ever available for us to be alive). To be honest, being in the present is also about learning to return to the present : our bodies are in the present, but our untamed mind can wander in 1,000 directions. (You've noticed?) Yet all you need to enjoy mindfulness isa pause a s … [Read more...]

Hug the Monkey

Longing for love? The Practice: Hug the monkey. Why?Your brain evolved in three stages (to simplify a complex process):Reptile - Brainstem, focused on avoiding harm Mammal - Limbic system, focused on approaching rewards Primate - Cortex, focused on attaching to "us"The first JOT in this series - pet the lizard - was about how to soothe the most ancient structures of the brain, the ones that manage the first emotion of all: fear. The next one - feed the mouse - addressed how … [Read more...]


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