• The Beauty of Life: Amazing HD Video

    The brain reacts to and responds to whatever you present to it, whatever, in essence, you “feed” it. Showing the brain moving, beautiful images and really absorbing them in the moment is actually good for your brain. As Dr. Rick Hanson and others have explained, it takes more than simply thinking positively–we must “dwell” in positive experiences for the brain to really internalize positive moment and convert them into enhanced neural networks of happiness. That’s because our brains developed an innate tendency to help ensure our ancestors’ survival by focusing on the negative, or what’s referred as the brain’s “negative bias.” If you think about

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  • Daily Grateful: Sweet, Silly Sophie will make you Smile

    March 18, 2014 Sophie the dog is one of the sweetest, silliest dogs you’ll ever see. Just try not to smile at this one. 🙂

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  • Daily Grateful: Don’t Just Do Something…

    February 26, 2014 No Zabuton or Zafu required, just a space, a chair or a pillow for your bum, and…you. You can use a guided meditation to focus on, or just be there, with your thoughts, allowing them to come and go, focusing only on your breathing, the ambient sounds around you, or bodily sensations. Sometimes amazing things happen, sometimes nothing happens, sometimes you feel pain or discomfort or have a hard time dealing with your torrent of thoughts. Any and all of these sensations are fine. All are equal and all can be perceived without fear, attachment, or judgment. Wiring

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  • Daily Grateful: It’s a Beautiful Day

    February 14, 2014 Something to remember, regardless of whether you like the weather…! 😉

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  • Daily Grateful – Happy

    January 14, 2014 This will make you smile. It might even make you happy for a few moments! 🙂 Turn it up and make some room. (to my best friends: you make me happy…)

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  • Daily Grateful: Zoe the Running Dog!

    January 5, 2014 Yesterday’s DG was a bit of a downer. I admit that it was borne of some less than positive feelings–! Today, I make an effort to make up for that. This was taken on our road with our dog Zoe. Wouldn’t it be great to experience moments of bliss akin to this? 🙂

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  • Daily Grateful: The Gift

    January 1, 2014 A wonderful friend of mine is a carpenter, a craftsman, and an artisan and he has built something interesting that I doubt anyone else you know has built. He’s built his own casket. Now, he’s a young man of 74 or so, spry, adept, and intelligent, (see video below) and one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. He has a variety phrases carved into this final resting place he’s built for himself, and one of my favorites is “Every day is a gift.” I took that thought to the next level. Here’s to a happy,

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  • Dharma Punk: How One Angry Young Man’s “Rock Bottom” Journey Turned into a Mindfulness Movement

    For many (most?) people, the pain of existence requires some form of escape: for some, it’s food, for others, drugs or alcohol; for still others, it’s obsessive work or other obsessive behaviors and actions. But for all, these are attempts at escaping something that cannot be escaped–only accepted and “observed” as conditions of the world. For many, hitting “rock” bottom is the reason for changing, for attempting to improve themselves and trying something different. That was the case for me, and it was, as I found out, the case for a group of punks in California some years back. One

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  • A Thoughtful Argument for Mindfulness

    No Two Journeys are Alike, but We are all on the same Path When you stop and think about it, we have this moment, and then the next, and the next, but it’s inevitable that at some point, we will run out moments in this corporeal state. I remember reading Carlos Castaneda as a young man about the importance of living in the moment and the fact that death “is the only wise adviser that we have.” His was the argument for embracing all moments and that each day should be treated as one’s last, because it very well might

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  • Daily Grateful: Some thoughts for the New Year Ahead…

    December 26, 2013 Looking ahead to 2014 Today, my parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary (Happy Anniversary Mother and Dad!) :). Some of the things they taught me include thinking about others, empathy, kindness, caring, laughing (a lot), the importance of smiling, giving, and caring. I learned the importance of sitting outside at 2 am with everyone on lawn chairs watching a meteor shower and seeing who could spot the most shooting stars. I remember the joy from the smallest things–a new album that you saved up for, unwrapped and listened to (over and over, much to my parents’

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  • Anxiety, Survival, and Wellness

    Anxiety and Survival: Genetically Complementary As it turns out, much of the negativity that humans experience–fear, anxiety, stress response–all are a a natural development in the brain. It’s all a survival mechanism that developed over millennia to “protect” us. But today, we don’t need to escape lions (for the most part) or tribes (for the most part), but the brain doesn’t know that–or much care. If there’s a threat, real or imagined (and most fears for the modern human are often imagined), the brain swings into action to “save the day.” And for the most unlucky people, it can wind

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  • Daily Grateful: Letting Go

    December 23, 2013 Western Medicine Acknowledges the Importance of Letting Go. The importance of letting go isn’t just an Buddhist belief or core tenet, it’s also increasingly understood in the west as critical to well being. Even the Mayo Clinic devotes an entire page to letting go of resentment and anger–feelings and emotions that serve no purpose other than to keep us in a negative feedback loop. They summarize it as lack of forgiveness: If you’re unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped

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  • Daily Grateful: Capturing Beautiful Moments of those who Experience too Few of Them

    December 16, 2013 What happens when you take 20 cancer patients whose thoughts are continuously consumed with their illness and give them a makeover? The results are very moving beautiful moments. This comes to us from the France-based mimi foundation (they accept donations, as well including PayPal). 🙂 Although I have no proof, per se, people who are chronically ill are probably being held hostage, at least in part, by the “freezing” component of the fight/flight/freeze response. The freezing part of this survival mechanism can turn ordinarily vibrant, engaged, and vibrant individuals into walking zombies when it constant stress causes

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  • Mindful Re-Minders: A Personal Note

    The one underlying theme I’ve read and noticed across all people engaged in the practice of mindfulness is that it’s not a “state” that one arrives at. It’s an ongoing back and forth; the more modern parts of our brain are built for a good reason–think about what lies ahead and think about how to learn about the past. This is useful until…it’s not. Even the most experienced practitioners work hard to maintain thoughtful mindfulness and catch themselves being “hooked” (as Pema Chödrön might say) into old/unproductive patterns of behavior. Converting an Annoyed/Annoying Bad Mood… Yesterday I’d had a bit of

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  • Mindfulness at Work: Ram Dass and Pema Chödrön

    Earlier today I was reading through Ram Dass’ blog (from a 1989 article) and a recent piece by Pema Chödrön and they both wrote about ideas regarding the workplace that spoke directly to me. I thought I would post snippets and discuss them a little in the context of mindfulness, acceptance, and letting go of old patterns in the workplace. If somebody is a problem for you, it’s not that they should change, it’s that you need to change. If they’re a problem for themselves that’s their karma, if they’re causing you trouble that’s your problem on yourself. So, in

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