Lower Your Stress

Can you take a moment? The Practice: Lower your stress Why? [Note: This JOT is adapted from Mother Nurture - a book written for mothers - focusing on typical situations that are experienced by many, though not all, mothers during the years before their children enter grade school. These are most commonly the years when

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Water Your Fruit Tree

What would bear lots of fruit? The Practice: Water your fruit tree. Why? My wife and kids tease me that the title of this practice is corny – and it is. Still, I like it. If you don’t nourish the things that nourish you, they wither away like a plant in dry stony ground. I’m

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Accept It

What are you resisting? The Practice: Accept it. Why? As general categories that each include a number of specific methods, my Top 5 practices (all tied for first place) are: * Be mindful * Love * Take in the good * Go green * Open out So far, I’ve written about the first four of

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Enjoy Four Kinds of Peace

What’s your sense of peace? The Practice: Enjoy four kinds of peace. Why? “Peace” can sound merely sentimental or clichéd (“visualize whirled peas”). But deep down, it’s what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest happiness is peace. Not a peace inside that ignores pain in oneself or others, or is acquired [...] [Read more...]

Enjoy Four Kinds of Peace

“Peace” can sound merely sentimental or clichéd (“visualize whirled peas”). But deep down, it’s what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest happiness is peace.

Not a peace inside that ignores pain in oneself or others, or is acquired by shutting down. This is a durable peace, a peace you can come home to even if it’s been covered over by fear, frustration, or heartache.

When you’re at peace – when you are engaged with life while also feeling relatively relaxed, calm, and safe – you are protected from stress, your immune system grows stronger, and you become more resilient. Your outlook brightens and you see more opportunities. In relationships, feeling at peace prevents overreactions, increases the odds of being treated well by others, and supports you in being clear and direct when you need to be.

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Relax, You’re Going to be Criticized

What are you bracing against? The Practice: Relax, you’re going to be criticized. Why? The title of this practice is a little tongue-in-cheek. What I mean is, most of us – me included – spend time worrying about criticism: past, present, and even future. Yes, try hard, keep agreements, “don’t be evil,” etc. But sooner [...] [Read more...]

Recognize Suffering in Others

Where Does It Hurt? The Practice: Recognize suffering in others. Why? We’re usually aware of our own suffering, which – broadly defined – includes the whole range of physical and mental discomfort, from mild headache or anxiety to the agony of bone cancer or the anguish of losing a child. (Certainly, there is more to [...] [Read more...]

The Evolution of Compassion: From Gene to Meme

Session Highlights:

• An in-depth conversation with Dr. Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life
• The ways we are sociable primates
• The universals of compassion across cultures [Read more...]

Cultivate Goodwill

Do people ever make you mad? The Practice: Cultivate goodwill. Why? As the most social and loving species on the planet, we have the wonderful ability and inclination to connect with others, be empathic, cooperate, care, and love. On the other hand, we also have the capacity and inclination to be fearfully aggressive toward any [...] [Read more...]

Cultivating a Forgiving Heart

Session Highlights:

• An in-depth conversation with Dr. Tara Brach, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha
• Practices for strengthening and expressing compassion and kindness
• Dealing with hard issues in relationships [Read more...]


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