Be Friendly

Friendliness takes a stand that is almost subversive these days: that the world has more opportunities than threats and that most people want the best for others. [Read more...]

Say Thanks

Each Thanksgiving holiday, we are reminded to be thankful. When times are tough, finding reasons to be thankful may be challenging or even seem inappropriate or impossible. This year, before we sit around the dinner table, let’s think about the myriad benefits to saying thanks, and how to truly savor the opportunity, no matter what. [Read More...]

Have Compassion

Compassion is natural; you don’t have to force it – moments of compassion come in the flow of life. Try to open to compassion – including all beings, omitting none. [Read more...]

Relax, You’ve Arrived

Are we there yet? The Practice Relax, you’ve arrived. Why? We spend so much of our time trying to get somewhere. Part of this comes from our biological nature. To survive, animals – including us – have to be goal-directed, leaning into the future. It’s certainly healthy to pursue wholesome aims, like paying the rent [Read More...]

Keep Hope Not Fear Alive

This recent series of posts has used the example of Stephen Colbert’s satirical “March to Keep Fear Alive” as a timely illustration of a larger point: humans evolved to be fearful — a major feature of the brain’s negativity bias that helped our ancestors pass on their genes. Consequently, as much research has shown, we’re [Read More...]

Confronting the Negativity Bias

My previous post used the example of Stephen Colbert’s satirical “March to Keep Fear Alive” as a timely illustration of a larger point: humans evolved to be fearful — since that helped keep our ancestors alive — so we are very vulnerable to being frightened and even intimidated by threats, both real ones and “paper [Read More...]

Balancing Joining and Separating

There is a natural balance within us all between the desire for joining and the desire for separation, between the desire for closeness and the desire for distance. These two great themes – joining and separation – are central to human life. Almost everyone wants both of them, to varying degrees. [Read more...]

You Can Feel Safer

Feeling safer is a tricky subject, with complications that can be both personal and political. [Read more...]

21 Ways To Turn Ill Will to Good Will

It’s important to get a handle on “ill will” – irritated, resentful, and angry feelings and intentions toward others. While it may seem justified in the moment, ill will harms you probably more than it harms others. In another metaphor, having ill will toward others is like throwing hot coals with bare hands: both people get burned. [Read more...]

How Did Humans Become Empathic?

Empathy is unusual in the animal kingdom. So empathy must have had some major survival benefits for it to have evolved. [Read more...]


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