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…]

Come to Center

To what is your mind given? The Practice: Come to center. Why? I’m old enough to remember a time when people usually answered “good” when you asked them the standard, “How are you?” (often said “harya?”). These days the answer is commonly “busy.” In the last few months I’ve been very busy myself and starting […] [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…]

How the Mind Changes the Brain

The Compassionate Brain A FREE eight-part video series, hosted by Dr. Rick Hanson, that explores effective ways to change your brain and heart and life. (Watch or listen to the entire series by registering at Session 1: How the Mind Changes the Brain Session Highlights: An in-depth conversation with Dr. Richie Davidson, professor of psychology […] [Read more…]

Try a Softer Tone

How do you talk to people? The Practice: Try a softer tone. Why? When our kids were little, I’d come home from work wanting some peace after the daily roller-coaster and often walk into a living room full of stuff – toy trucks, tennis shoes, bags of chips, etc. Irritated, the first words out of […] [Read more…]


Can you come home to yourself? The Practice: Meditate. Why? Meditation is to the mind what aerobic exercise is to the body. Like exercise, there are many good ways to do it and you can find the one that suits you best. Studies have shown that regular meditation promotes mindfulness (sustained observing awareness), whose benefits […] [Read more…]