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...]

Transform Ill Will

Do you bear a grudge? The Practice: Transform Ill Will. Why? Goodwill and ill will are about intention: the will is for good or ill. These intentions are expressed through action and inaction, word and deed, and-especially-thoughts. How do you feel when you sense another person taking potshots at you in her mind? What does [...] [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...]

Make Good Bargains

Is it worth it? The Practice: Make good bargains. Why? Life is full of tradeoffs between benefits and costs. Sometimes, the benefits are worth the costs. For example, the rewards of going for a run – getting out in fresh air, improving health, etc. – are, for me at least, worth the costs of losing [...] [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...]

Bless

Wishing well? The Practice: Bless. Why? Lately, I’ve been wondering what would be on my personal list of top five practices (all tied for first place). You might ask yourself the same question, knowing that you can cluster related practices under a single umbrella, your list may differ from mine, and your practices may change [...] [Read more...]

Bless

Wishing well? The Practice: Bless. Why? Lately, I’ve been wondering what would be on my personal list of top five practices (all tied for first place). You might ask yourself the same question, knowing that you can cluster related practices under a single umbrella, your list may differ from mine, and your practices may change [...] [Read more...]

Receive Faces

What do their faces say to you? The Practice: Receive faces. Why? As our ancestors evolved over millions of years in small bands, continually interacting and working with each other, it was vitally important to communicate in hundreds of ways each day. They shared information about external “carrots” and “sticks,” and about their internal experience [...] [Read more...]

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 [...] [Read more...]

Feel Already Full

Is there enough? The Practice: Feel already full. Why? One slice of the pie of life feels relaxed and contented. And then there is that other slice, in which we feel driven and stressed. Trying to get pleasures, avoid pains, pile up accomplishments and… [Read more...]


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