Friday, April 14, 2017

The Power of Community in Times of Tragedy

I was recently affected by a tragic act of violence that took the lives of two people I knew. We seem to hear about these kinds of incidents so often these days in America. But it’s different when the tragedy strikes close to home, and deeply impacts your own community.

The aftermath of this event, and the many moments of individual and collective grieving I’ve experienced and shared with others, have made me think a lot about the meaning of community, and the role of community in providing safety and comfort and space for healing from grief and trauma.

As a writer, I always like to look at the etymology of words, their linguistic roots. Knowing the origins of a word sometimes helps me tease out hidden layers of meaning. The word “community” comes from the Latin communitas, and it’s related to our English word “common”—as in “the things we have in common,” the things we share, the things that collectively give us a sense of meaning. Things like family, and friendship.

Many people in my community are experiencing grief and trauma. Some feel intense sadness and grief over losing people who were dear to them. Others are not only grieving, but are also traumatized by the violence they witnessed.

There are no magic words that anyone can say to make this kind of pain go away. What I can say for sure, from my own experience, is that recovery from grief and trauma can’t be done alone; it takes community. And it can’t be rushed; it takes time, and patience with ourselves and with each other.

Life doesn’t come with any instruction manual for what to do when situations of intense grief or trauma arise. But I think this theme of community shows us the way to at least begin moving forward. None of us can go through these things alone. We need each other. These are the times when the power of family, friends, and community are perhaps felt most powerfully, as we provide space to hold each other’s grief, to honor each other’s pain.

The other element that’s essential for healing from grief and trauma is time. Grief hurts, so it’s natural to want quick resolution. But grief moves at its own glacial pace, and it ebbs and flows like the tides. There are days when it feels manageable, and then days when it feels overwhelming. One of the most difficult things about grief is that we have to let it unfold in its own time. Life will begin to return to some semblance of normal in its own time, as we do the work of healing. The pain of grief and trauma, which is so sharp at first, lessens with time. It may never completely go away; nobody can promise you that it will. But it gets better, with time. Only with time.

And during the long process of healing, we can support one another just through our presence and our friendship, through recognizing and honoring each other’s vulnerability.

The famous Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh was forced to flee from his home country of Vietnam during the conflicts there. He was nominated in 1967 for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his noble efforts at peacemaking. On the experience of fleeing his country, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:

“When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.”

I was reminded of that message again when I walked into Whole Foods recently and stumbled upon a greeting card with the following message:

“Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

No one who experiences grief and trauma has asked for its noise and trouble. It came uninvited. And make no mistake, recovering from it is hard work. But it is possible, I believe, to be in the midst of grief and trauma and still be calm in your heart. And if you can share that calm heart with even one other person, then you strengthen the bonds of community and you help the community to heal.

If I could pull one lesson from the fire of tragedy and grief, it would be this: Be here now, fully. Live your life. Love everyone as much as you can, and set aside petty differences. Make your life meaningful, and don’t take even one moment of it for granted. In the next moment, you might be gone. Celebrate life while it is here, take good care of yourself, and honor each other.

The prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy said it best:

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”


If you are in NYC in July, I'll be teaching two workshops at The Interdependence Project on Saturday July 15th and Sunday July 16th: "Breathing 2.0" and "Buddhism and Yoga: Exploring the Mystery of Being." Click on the links for workshop descriptions and registration.

My yoga + meditation retreat with Adrian Molina to Cartagena, Colombia on Labor Day Weekend is nearly sold out. Only two rooms remain open. Get more info and register here.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Audio: Standing Meditation

We typically think of meditation as sitting. But we can also meditate lying down, walking, or standing. In this 27-minute guided meditation, practice mindfulness of body and awareness of the present moment in a standing posture.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tilopa's "Six Words of Advice"


Tilopa’s “Six Words of Advice” is a timeless, evergreen meditation instruction that you can apply whether you’re a beginning meditator or you’ve been at your practice for decades. Deceptively simple on its surface, you could explore the profound depths of this instruction for the rest of your life and never really be done with it.

Tilopa lived in India in the 11th century CE, and is regarded as one of the forefathers of the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, which survives today mainly in the form of Tibetan Buddhism. Tilopa’s best-known student was Naropa; Naropa’s best-known student was Marpa the Translator, who brought the Vajrayana Buddhist teachings from India to Tibet; and Marpa’s best-known student was Milarepa, one of Tibet’s most legendary yogi-saints.

Tilopa’s “Six Words of Advice” were presumably written down in Sanskrit and translated to Tibetan at some point; but the Sanskrit source in India has been lost, and only the Tibetan text remains.

The title for this instruction in Tibetan is “Six Nails of Key Points,” which hearkens to the English expression about “hitting the nail on the head” with a statement that goes right to the point. Literally only six words long in Tibetan, an English translation of the text requires a few more words to bring it to life.

Ken McLeod has translated the text in two ways: a version that’s as concise and literal as possible, and a version that’s slightly more elaborate but does a better job of unpacking the meaning embedded in those six Tibetan words.

First, the concise and literal version:

Don’t recall.
Don’t imagine.
Don’t think.
Don’t examine.
Don’t control.

There's something wonderful about the no-nonsense quality of that translation, and yet, as a meditation instruction, it's something of a blunt instrument. So here is McLeod’s more elaborate translation:

Let go of what has passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t try to make anything happen.
Relax, right now, and rest.

The original “six words” have now swollen into a whole verse, but in doing so they become more relatable. The six lines of this verse deconstruct the fundamental patterns in the mind that block clear and open meditation. Let’s unpack the meaning of each line, one at a time.

“Let go of what has passed.”
When you arrive on your meditation seat, you come dragging behind you all sorts of stuff from your past, a trail of mental debris and dirt that hovers around you like the cloud of stink that follows Pig Pen everywhere he goes. In meditation, you can observe in real time how this cloud of stuff from the past kicks up and obscures your view of the present moment. You sit down to meditate and before long you find yourself remembering your bedroom in your childhood home, or thinking about your ex-lover and what an angel or jerk he or she was or is, or replaying the entire videotape in your mind of that annoying meeting that happened at the office yesterday and thinking what you *should* have said to your coworker instead of what you actually did say. The past haunts your mind in a million different ways—and it haunts your body, too, in the form of restlessness, fidgeting, and various kinds of tension (chronic or acute) that you carry with you wherever you go, including your meditation. Being truly present requires you to acknowledge your particular ways and patterns of holding on to the past, and to practice letting them go—over and over and over.

“Let go of what may come.”
This is the flip side of the previous line. When you’re not rehashing or trying to hold on to something from the past, you find your mind drifting into the future—anticipating things that haven’t happened yet, cooking up hopeful and fearful scenarios about what may or may not come to pass, worrying and daydreaming and planning and scheming about what you could get or say or do in order to secure a certain desired outcome at some future moment. Or maybe it’s something as dull and monotonous as wondering how much time is left in your meditation session, anticipating the ring of the bell that will signal when it’s time to get up, and thinking about what’s for lunch. Again, when you notice your mind drifting into thoughts of the future, and when you notice your body tensing up in anticipation of things that haven’t happened yet, gently let it go and come back to being present.

“Let go of what is happening now.”
When you let go of the past and the future, you find yourself very simply abiding in the present. Perhaps the feeling of being present only lasts for a moment before your habits regain control and you drift away again. Or, perhaps without noticing it, you start to drift into some kind of mental commentary on the present moment, telling yourself, “Wait, my arm itches. Okay, that’s better. Now I’ve got it. Now I’m really present. I’m calm and relaxed. My mind is quiet.” Well, obviously, no it isn’t. You’re sitting there lost in judgments and talking to yourself about the present moment instead of just experiencing it. The short translation of this line is simply, “Don’t think.” But telling someone not to think is a tall order, and sometimes you end up thinking about how bad you are at not thinking. You can’t really will the mind to stop thinking, or silence it through brute force. Milarepa said, “The mind’s impulse to sudden thought cannot be stopped by hundreds with spears,” meaning that even if you were menaced by hundreds of warriors standing around you and threatening to jab you with their spears if you allowed your mind to think, you still couldn’t stop it. Thinking happens.

As McLeod’s longer translation of this line suggests, it’s less about stopping thoughts and more about letting go of what’s happening now, including thoughts. The mind’s tendency is to try to take hold of what is happening now, grasp it tightly, to own it and say “This is what I’m experiencing” and make a big deal out of it. But clutching at the present moment is like clutching at water in your fist: the more tightly you grasp, the more the water escapes your grasp. The present moment is always unfolding, always flowing, always changing, and it can’t be pinned down because it’s not an object; it’s an infinitely unfolding process. Whatever arises within the space of the present moment, notice it, and let it come and go. The wave of the present moment is always cresting, rising up from the past and dissolving into the future, and you are balanced right there at the edge, surfing the wave. But you can’t hold on to a wave, or change it in any way. Ride it while you can, let it dissolve, and then ride the next one, and the next one. No big deal.

“Don’t try to figure anything out.”
As you sit there in meditation, notice the little voice in the back of your mind quietly analyzing and murmuring about your experience. “Am I doing this right? What is my breath supposed to feel like? Is my posture okay? When I’m in the present moment, how is it supposed to feel? Is this it? Aha, I think I had it there for a moment.” The short translation of this line is telling: “Don’t examine.” Look at your mind’s tendency to always be examining your experience, analyzing it, questioning it, doubting it. Now drop that, and see what your experience actually feels like without the additional responsibility of trying to figure anything out. Can you just be with it, and at the same time leave it alone?

“Don’t try to make anything happen.”
You might sit down to meditate with big ideas and plans about how it's supposed to go, what sort of blissful and enlightened state you’re supposed to attain. But your beautiful plans always seem to be falling apart, and you’re always scrambling to pick up the pieces and recreate the idea you have in your mind of what’s “supposed” to be happening. It’s a project-management mentality. The thing is, you can’t project-manage your way through meditation. You can’t force your mind into stillness and silence and presence, because those aren’t states that can be created through effort. Those are the natural qualities of awareness, which you settle into when you stop being a control freak and stop agitating yourself with your mind’s habitual patterns. Imagine a glass of water with some dirt in it; if you keep stirring the water, the dirt always obscures the water’s natural clarity. But if you just leave it alone for a while, the dirt settles to the bottom of the glass and the water’s natural clarity is revealed. The more you “try” to make the water clear, the muddier it will become. You can’t create clarity; but you can stop obscuring it, stop interfering with it. It’s a matter of getting out of your own way. Stop trying to make something happen. Let everything be.

“Relax, right now, and rest.”
This final line is Tilopa’s instruction in a nutshell, and sums up the other five lines. You’re letting go of the past and the future and fully arriving in the present moment; letting go of the mind’s tendency to think about the present moment, comment upon it, analyze it, project-manage it; letting go of any effort to control your experience or make it conform to some ideal you have in your mind of what should be happening. Okay, now what are you supposed to do? *Nothing.* Let go and relax in a state of non-doing, a state of just being: being aware, hovering right now and right now and right now on the edge of that ever-cresting wave of the present moment, and allowing your body and mind to rest.

Rest is the simplest thing in the world, really. Yet human beings are so absurdly complicated that we have to re-learn to find a natural state of rest and settle into it because we have such strong habitual patterns of restlessness. Our minds and our nervous systems are chronically overstimulated, riddled with tension and hangups and things we’ve convinced ourselves we’re supposed to be doing. So most of us actually find it quite challenging to just come into a state of rest and stay there.

Tilopa’s “Six Words of Advice” help us dismantle, one by one, the mind’s major patterns of restlessness, and arrive back at the original state of simple, clear awareness that became clouded over somewhere along the way.

Enjoy your practice.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Second Time We Discovered Fire

In this darkest season we hang lights to carry on an ancient tradition, to remind ourselves of something our ancestors felt was important. But we have forgotten what their symbols were pointing to.

The light in me recognizes the light in you. That is the meaning of "Namaste." The light that looks out through my eyes and illumines the world in front of me is the same that looks out through your eyes and illumines the world in front of you.

There are not two different kinds of light. There is just light, refracted through different prisms shaped like people and animals and plants and rocks and oceans and planets and stars. It is the light of the divine itself, which takes countless names and forms but cannot be grasped through any of them.

Your human eyes were made to see but a fraction of the spectrum of light, most of which is masked from you, hidden in plain sight. The invisible infrared lies before you at this very moment, seen perhaps by other creatures gifted with different eyes but never by yours. "You may not look directly at my face," Moses was told by the pillar of cloud. "For no man may see me and live."

Light can shine or it can blind. It is a candle flame and it is a laser beam that cuts through rocks and diamonds. Light is a warm glow and it is a cosmic explosion and it is the unholy force unleashed when atoms are broken by human hands. Light is the sun, friendly to you only because you are shielded from its full power; the same sun would burn the flesh from your bones and turn your bones to dust, returning you to the state from whence you came. We are all stardust, after all. The very earth on which we walk is only borrowed temporarily from that nuclear ball of fire and light, and will one day be returned.

As theologian Teilhard de Chardin said, we live "steeped in divinity's burning layers." The holy fire in the burning bush is what we are made of.

And we are darkness too, of course. All that we cannot see or do not want to see. All that is hidden from us because the light does not reach into its depths. All that we do not know about ourselves; all that we do not want to know. The universe is made mostly of dark matter, and scientists do not yet even know what dark matter is; its existence is only hypothesized because it cannot be seen with our eyes or instruments. The darkness holds us in its infinite embrace.

And yet there is light. The whole universe is decked with points of light ornamenting the vast reaches of darkness, like a great tree. Each ornament a cluster of galaxies made of trillions of stars, each star creating worlds around it. And each illuminated world potentially crawling with beings like you and me: beings crafted from light and darkness. Beings lost in their minds and unaware that they are but the light looking out through their own eyes, which is the same light looking out through yours and mine.

The light in me cannot recognize the light in you until I recognize it first in myself. When I know the light and the darkness of which I am made, I will know that it is the same light and darkness of which you and all things are made, and that we live together in a fragile and temporary world of stardust where every invisible atom was bonded together with so much power that it could level an entire city if its nuclear bonds were broken. Look at how intelligent we are! We have mastered atomic energy, and unlocked the awesome destructive power hidden within matter. Look at how stupid and lost we are! We have forgotten how to love one another, and what all of this creation is for.

“Someday,” said de Chardin, “after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

Come, friend. There is something important for us here. Let us hang lights together and try to think of what our ancestors wanted us to remember.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Meditation in Times of Chaos

When he was fleeing his home country of Vietnam, the Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh had a direct revelation of the real power of meditation practice.

“When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost,” he said. “But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.”

Showing the way for everyone to survive. It’s a rather dire way of painting the picture, but it feels timely. Because the times feel rather dire and chaotic. Do they not?

A lot of people approach meditation as a self-improvement project. Meditation’s going to make me feel better, make me more focused, make me more productive, make me more happy, make me less crazy, make me more chill. Me, me, me.

But look around you. The world is on fire. People are hurting. They are freaking out. Have you noticed? Maybe you see it from a distance: things that are happening in the news, rifts that are opening up in the fabric of society. Maybe you feel it closer to home, in your circle of friends and loved ones: the ways they are being challenged, and the ways they are falling down and getting back up again. Maybe you feel it in yourself: the growing sense of malaise that gnaws from the inside, and occasionally erupts into full-blown panic.

“As individuals, we feel helpless, despairing,” Thich Nhat Hanh wrote. “The situation is so dangerous, injustice is so widespread, the danger is close. In this kind of a situation, if we panic, things will only become worse. We need to remain calm, to see clearly. Meditation is to be aware, and to try to help.”

That puts your personal meditation practice in a rather different light, doesn’t it? It’s not really about you. It’s about your whole world, and all the people in it, and the way your presence helps them. Sure, maybe it helps you become more chill, more focused, more productive, more blissful, more calm and centered. But what do you do with all that calmness and centeredness? What is it for?

It’s to be aware, and to try to help. The real benefits of your meditation practice will only become apparent to you when you find yourself in the role of offering them to others.

A few weeks ago one of my friends went through brain surgery to remove a large tumor. Before his diagnosis, he was never really into things like meditation, but being diagnosed with a brain tumor and undergoing radical surgery has a way of shifting your perspective on a lot of things in life. My friend began to ask for guided meditations and breathing techniques to help calm his fear. I don’t mean garden-variety anxiety, I mean real existential fear: the bone-chilling, “Will I survive?” kind of fear. But he knew that if he panicked, it would only make the situation worse.

And so he began to meditate, and at the hospital he restricted his visitors to friends who could bring that kind of calm and centered energy into the room—people who could help him find his way calmly through the most difficult situation he had ever faced, one challenging moment at a time. We were there when he woke up from the surgery, doing what we could to hold the space around him.

My friend is now back on his feet, and I’m happy to report that he’s still meditating regularly. And we are closer now than before, as people tend to be after they’ve gone through something very difficult together.

And that feels like where we all are right now. I don’t mean my friend, but you, me, all of us. We are all going through something very difficult together. And let’s acknowledge, to be fair, that it’s more difficult for some than for others; some need help more urgently than others. And there are no credible reasons to believe that it’s all magically going to get easier any time soon. It might get even more difficult before it gets easier. Those of us who are in a position to help, whatever that means in our particular case, should do what we can.

What I’m describing is in no way theoretical. I’m talking about matters of life and death, and how the effects of meditation play a very concrete role in helping us navigate through the most challenging situations.

“Humankind has become a very dangerous species,” says Thich Nhat Hanh. “We need people who can sit still and be able to smile, who can walk peacefully. We need people like that in order to save us. Mahayana Buddhism says that you are that person, that each of you is that person.”

It would be easy for someone to come along and say, “All this Buddhist crap about sitting still and smiling and being peaceful! It’s like fiddling while Rome burns. We need everyone to panic, and scream, and freak out! We need action!” But that would be a misreading of Thich Nhat Hanh’s words. If you know anything about his history of peace activism, you know that Thich Nhat Hanh has been no stranger to action throughout his life. His practice was never disengaged from the world. Quite the opposite.

Action is necessary. Storms need to be navigated safely. Pirates need to be dealt with. Injustices need to be addressed. Brain tumors need to be removed through surgery. Meditation by itself will never fix any of these problems. But all these things become so much more challenging when we freak out. Action can be taken more skillfully when it comes from a place of clear seeing. And I know from personal experience that it’s much harder for me to see clearly when I’m in panic mode.

As I look towards 2017, I’m recommitting to my own daily meditation practice—not because of what I think I’m going to get from it, or how it’s going to help me feel better, or even how I think it’s going to help me become spiritually liberated (whatever that really means). No, I’m recommitting to it because I know there are more storms brewing, and more pirates gathering, and more difficult situations ahead for all of us, and it will be more necessary than ever for me to keep showing up and helping people see the way to survive.

I hope you will join me in recommitting to your own practice, and know that its benefits will extend far beyond your little yoga mat or meditation cushion. The world is on fire. We need people like you to save us.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Chips and Salsa" Meditation

In a recent Facebook post, my friend and fellow writer and meditation teacher Ethan Nichtern pointed out a popular trend these days depicting meditation as being all about relaxing. He even noted an ad that popped up in his feed calling meditation “like a super-charged power nap.” A meditation studio in my area often describes meditation as a form of “chilling.”

I encounter this idea often in my own work as a meditation teacher. Students come to classes very high-strung, their bodies full of chronic tension and their minds racing with thoughts, and they want to learn to relax. I applaud their efforts, and I help them as best I can. This work is important and beneficial for a variety of reasons. Relaxing generally makes people happier, and happier people on principle make for a better world. Relaxation down-regulates the nervous system and helps people better manage stress; it supports better decision-making, and even helps people cope better with painful situations in life, like job stress or being ill or going through a divorce or losing a loved one.

So relaxing, in and of itself, is fantastic. But it’s fantastic in the same way that chips and salsa are fantastic at the beginning of a nice Mexican meal. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking chips and salsa—they are amazing! But chips and salsa are an appetizer, not a main course. If you keep showing up to the restaurant and you always order chips and salsa and then you dash, your experience of Mexican food is rather limited.

Relaxation is awesome and useful, even essential to meditation, but it's not the whole enchilada. In my experience, relaxation is like a key that unlocks the practice of meditation; what you do with that practice once you've unlocked it is the important thing. Eventually, once you’ve practiced using it enough, you might become less curious about the key, and more curious about what’s on the other side of the door it unlocks.

A Tibetan teacher once said: "Little relaxation, little meditation. Middling relaxation, middling meditation. Great relaxation, great meditation." So the more you can relax, the deeper into your meditation practice you can go. And the deeper into your practice you go, the more you can wake up to your true nature and to the reality of the world around you and all the ways the world needs your help. That’s where I think the real value of meditation reveals itself.

In extended workshops, where I’m able to offer more explanation and guide students to a deeper meditative experience than is possible in a typical meditation class, I often speak about “three levels” of meditation. What I call Level One is what Tibetan Buddhist students refer to as shamatha meditation, with some specific relaxation-inducing breathing techniques borrowed from my training as a yoga teacher. Level One has two main components: relaxation and attention.

So it all starts with relaxation—it really does. Just like a Mexican meal might start with chips and salsa. But once you learn to relax, that’s when meditation gets really interesting. If chips and salsa are all you’re interested in, no problem. No judgments here. I’m a big fan of chips and salsa, and relaxation is the bomb. (But before you go, I just want to mention that there’s also a whole buffet of enchiladas, tacos, burritos, empanadas, and tostadas available....)

For the student who is committed to waking up, there are other levels of meditation waiting to be explored. But you have to have the appetite for them, and it helps to have someone to guide you through them. The menu in this restaurant is a strange one, with specials that change daily; it requires some interpretation and perhaps recommendations that are tailored for you.

It’s also possible to go to the other extreme, and turn your pursuit of meditation into a tasting menu. A small plate of this technique, a few bites of that one—and before you know it, you’ve got meditative indigestion. In culinary pursuits and in meditative ones, it’s helpful to have a solid grounding in one tradition, to know which practices lend themselves to a type of “fusion cuisine” and which ones don’t—when to mix it up, and when to stick with chips and salsa.

These are lessons that only come with time, and patience, and proper guidance, and getting your hands dirty in the kitchen of your own practice.


Dennis Hunter is a meditation teacher and author of You Are Buddha (2014) and the forthcoming The Four Reminders (2017). Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Monday, October 31, 2016

"Moonlight" Is the Year's Most Human Film

I don't write film reviews very often. A film has to be strong enough to haunt my imagination, and compel me to speak about it. The last time I reviewed a film was over two years ago, for Richard Linklater's Boyhood. Ironically, that film has certain themes in common with the film I reviewed today at The Huffington Post. Here's an excerpt from my review:

"Moonlight" is a contemplative masterpiece of filmmaking, and a profound and subtle meditation on the fragile construction of masculinity. It’s a shattering tour through the aching vulnerability of boyhood, and the glowing embers of boyhood that continue to smolder inside the cooler pretensions of manhood. It explores how we piece together a makeshift identity for ourselves from the alternating threads of trauma and tenderness with which adults and other children pierce our hearts as we grow. And it turns a fierce, compassionate light on the ways that we boys and men armor ourselves against the emotional and physical violence of homophobia, and how the armor we grow to protect ourselves becomes a hardened shell in which we live out the rest of our lives, seemingly protected but actually trapped inside our protection.

Click here to read the rest of my review at HuffPo.

Go see "Moonlight." It's in limited release this week, and opens nationwide next week. And while you're at it, come follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. See you around!

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Trance of Negativity

The Buddha taught that our thoughts create our reality. When we get trapped in the trance of negativity, it can destroy personal relationships, careers, companies, even entire societies.

This talk looks at how we get stuck in the trance of negativity and how we can break free, and how shifting our thought patterns can improve emotional intelligence in everyday life, relationships, work, and even political discourse. Recorded on Facebook Live, October 27, 2016.

If you subscribe to One Human Journey by email, you may not see the video preview in your email client. Click here to watch.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Emotional Intelligence and the U.S. Election

Just two hours before the third Presidential debate, I published this article at The Huffington Post. My article looks at the important role played by emotional intelligence (and the lack thereof) in our national political discourse.

After all, as a nation, we are all sort of married to each other in this great social experiment we call the United States. And our marriage is not going well at the moment. Many of the problems we see in our current state of the union can be attributed to a shocking lack of emotional intelligence and maturity.

Click here to read the article at HuffPo. Comments are welcome.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Intuition: Navigating Life and the Spiritual Path by Trusting Your Innate Wisdom

Intuition is one of our most powerful ways of knowing, but it remains mysterious and somewhat devalued in our culture, and many of us are out of touch with this innate form of wisdom. What to do?

This talk was recorded on Facebook Live on October 13, 2016.

If you're on Facebook, you can also watch the video and follow my new page there.