Tune Into Others

What Are They Feeling? The Practice: Tune into others. Why? Imagine a world in which people interacted with each other like ants or fish. Imagine a day at work like this, or in your family, aware of the surface behavior of the people around you but oblivious to their inner life while they remain unmoved

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See the Person Behind the Eyes

Even though it’s scary, everyone longs to be seen, to be known. To have your hopes and fears acknowledged – the ones behind a polite smile or a frown of frustration. To have your true caring seen, as well as your positive intentions and natural goodness.

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Wake Up To Good News

Are you exaggerating sticks while downplaying carrots? The Practice: Wake up to good news. Why? “Tell the truth.” It’s the foundation of science, ethics, and relationships. But we have a brain that evolved to tell lies to help us survive. As I’ve written before, over several hundred million years our ancestors: * Had to avoid

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Speak Truly

What’s in your heart to say? The Practice: Speak truly. Why? It’s been said that the most powerful tool for physical health is a fork (or spoon), since the choices you make with it determine the good or bad things you put into your body. In the same way, perhaps the most powerful tool for

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Giving Is the Most Natural Thing in the World

We spend a lot of time giving to others. It’s the most natural thing in the world. Most giving is small, in passing, hardly noticed, the breath and wallpaper of life. It’s not hard to overlook. And with all the attention paid in the media to images and words of destruction and horrible mistreatment, it

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The Realm of Giving and Generosity

The specific meaning of “dana” is giving, which is related to the quality of “caga” (in Pali), or generosity. The one involves doing, while the other involves being. While this distinction is useful in its comprehensiveness, in actuality generosity and giving, being and doing, are intertwined and inextricable. Being is itself a kind of doing,

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Giving is Good

Giving – known as “dana” in Pali, the language in which the teachings of the Buddha were first written down – is the first of the ten “paramis” or perfections of a Bodhisattva, a highly Awakened person who postpones his or her ultimate enlightenment to bring all beings to liberation. The other nine paramis (with

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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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Give Them What They Want

What’s up with these people? The Practice: Give them what they want. Why? Research shows that relationships are built from interactions, and interactions are built from moments. A critical moment in an interaction is when one person wants something from the other one. (“Wants” include wishes, needs, desires, hopes, and longings.) The want could be [Read more…]

Be Helpful

What can I do? The Practice: Be helpful. Why? I’m doing a series on my personal top five practices (all tied for first place), and have so far named three: meditate (including mindfulness, self-awareness, and, if you like, prayer), take in the good, and bless (including compassion, generosity, and love). I saw one way to […] [Read more…]


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