A Meditation on Gratitude

Set aside a quiet time during which you can reflect on some of the many things you could be thankful for. As a starting point, you might read the passage below to yourself or out loud, adapting it to your situation as you like. There really is so much to be thankful for. I am

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A Caring, Joyful Heart

As you probably know, compassion and lovingkindness are central elements of Buddhism. They arise naturally in response to one of those three fundamental characteristics of existence: interdependence/not-self/emptiness. They are also a beautiful path of spiritual practice. And they just feel good: “Through compassion one is free from lethargy and depression.” (Acariya Dhammapala) Interestingly, a scientifically

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Mind Changing Brain Changing Mind

The knowledge of neuroscience has doubled in the last twenty years. It will probably double again in the next twenty years. I think that neuropsychology is, broadly, about where biology was a hundred years after the invention of the microscope: around 1725. In contrast, Buddhism is a twenty-five-hundred-year-old tradition. You don’t need an EEG or

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7 Facts About the Brain That Incline the Mind to Joy

#1 The mind and the brain are mainly (and perhaps entirely) a single unified system. Almost every – and perhaps every – subjective state is correlated with an objective, material brain state. Other than a transcendental factor – call it God, Spirit, Energy, or by whatever name – by definition, what else could be going

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The Power of Intention

Every day, think as you wake up: Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive, I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. ~The Dalai Lama To make the most of your life, to nourish the causes of happiness for yourself and others, it takes strength, clear

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Questions About Self-Awareness

“How does being-awareness relate to our underlying animal nature?” “Is remorse a good thing?” “Is the “Self” real? What’s the nature of the sense of being that remains when parts of the psyche fall away?” These questions about self-awareness are just a sampling of those I have received from people like you. They cover the

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Key Scientifc Papers

The Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom website houses a growing body of information related to brain science, relationships, well-being, contemplative practice, and related topics. There are well over 100 key scientific papers on the site and I wanted to share a few of my favorites: Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness Cultivating Positive

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How to Hardwire Your Brain for Happiness

We can outwit our brain’s negative circuitry and tilt ourselves toward the good in life. The inner strengths we all need to cope with life and enjoy it – strengths like resilience, positive emotions, confidence, and feeling loved – are based on underlying neural structures. Most inner strengths come from positive experiences. But to help

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Creating Lasting Happiness in the New Year

The old-fashioned saying that “practice makes perfect” is true for one’s well-being and relationships. Picking just one thing to think about or do in your mind each day helps make the practice easier. Keep it simple. But stick with it. For example, drawing on a few practices in my book, Just One Thing: •  Notice

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12 Good Things

Keeping with tradition, each year I offer a list of  Twelve Good Things. I’ve paired each good thing with a fundamental inner strength: Learning, Mindfulness, Love, Resilience, Contentment, Integrity, Self-Worth, Courage, Social Intelligence, Motivation, Wisdom, and Peace. 1: Learning – Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence tells you how to

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