Step Into the Clouds

Juggling bricks? The Practice: Step into the cloud. Why?I had a lightbulb moment recently: I was feeling stressed about all the stuff I had to do (you probably know the feeling). After this went on for a while, I stepped back and kind of watched my mind, and could see that I was thinking of these various tasks as things, like big rocks that were rolling down a hill toward me and which needed to be handled, lifted, moved, fended off, or broken into pebbles. As soon as I dealt with one … [Read more...]

Hold Wants Lightly

What do you want? The Practice: Hold wants lightly. Why?Getting caught up in wanting - wanting both to get what's pleasant and to avoid what's unpleasant - is a major source of suffering and harm for oneself and others.First, a lot of what we want to get comes with a big price tag - such as that second cupcake, constant stimulation via TV and websites, lashing out in anger, intoxication, over-working, or manipulating others to get approval or love. On a larger scale, the … [Read more...]

Lower the Pressure

Is it truly urgent? The Practice: Lower the pressure. Why?Things come at us with so much urgency and demand these days. Phones ring, texts buzz, emails pile up, new balls have to be juggled, work days lengthen and move into evenings and weekends, traffic gets denser, financial demands feel like a knife at the neck, ads and news clamor for attention, push push push PUSH.On top of these external pressures, we deal with internal ones as well. These include all the inner "shoulds," … [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...]

Ask Questions

What are you learning? The Practice: Ask questions. Why?My dad grew up on a ranch in North Dakota. He has a saying from his childhood - you may have heard it elsewhere - that's: "You learn more by listening than by talking."Sure, we often gain by thinking out loud, including discovering our truth by speaking it. But on the whole, listening brings lots more valuable information than talking does.Nonetheless, many people are not the greatest listeners. (You've probably noticed this … [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...]


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