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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


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