Right Intention

Of course, the first question regarding intention is, for what? All the great wisdom traditions of the world, and all the great moral philosophers, have grappled with this question. What should we want? There are many ways to approach this question. Some try to answer it in terms of discerning the will or desires of

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Developing a “Buddha Brain” Through Gratitude

What role does gratitude play in developing a “buddha brain” and why? A ”buddha brain” is one that knows how to be deeply happy, loving, and wise. We develop ourselves in this way by cultivating wholesome qualities and uprooting unwholesome ones. In a sense, we plant flowers and pull weeds in the garden of the

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Do Freely

What are you doing? The Practice: Do freely. Why? Most people spend most minutes of most days doing one thing after another. I sure do. Typing these words is a kind of doing, as is driving to work, making dinner, brushing one’s teeth, or putting the kids to bed. For all the “labor-saving” devices of

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Wholesome Intentions – The Neurology of Intention

Our intentions arise in the brain, are represented in the brain, and are pursued in the brain. Where else? Therefore, a basic understanding of how intentions work in the brain – and thus in your mind – is a very useful thing to have. The Executive Functions The brain is like a committee, with many

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How to Change Your Brain

In this video, I explain how mindfulness meditation can strengthen our brains and help us focus our attention. This video was taken at the Greater Good Science Center in UC Berkeley as part of the Science of a Meaningful Life Series.
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Wholesome Intentions – Introduction

These statements about reality, about the way things really are, are central to Buddhism, and you can test them for yourself: Everything happens because of preceding causes. Everything, both inside our minds and outside in the world. Those causes lead to results that are either beneficial or harmful, for ourselves and others. Causes originate within

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Free Hardwiring Happiness Reading Guide Now Available!

I’ve created a reading guide for my book, Hardwiring Happiness, to take you through the concepts and details of each chapter, offering more opportunities to practice, reflect and apply the teachings to your every day life. The reading guide is a helpful resource for individuals or reading groups, and you can view and download it

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Key Points of Awareness – Part II

Visit Part I of this blog post here. Concentration Concentration has two central factors: applying attention to an object and sustaining it there, like an ice skater plants her foot (applying) and then glides along (sustaining). When you practice formal concentration, keep returning attention to the object (e.g., breath, sensation, emotion, memory of your mother),

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Taking in the Good

Today we don’t gather our own food, fight off wild animals, or live in caves. And yet we’re equipped with stone-aged brains. With practice, however, we can change our brains, and our lives, for the better.
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Developing An Inner Protector

How do I develop an inner protector? Not being able to find an inner protector is a real fact of the inner of world of many people. Developing one is a matter of committed practice toward one’s own well-being, which will gradually change the brain. Some steps along the way: Look for little natural moments

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