Rediscovering a Zest for Life

This year, I set out to do at least one “microadventure” each month.  Something to break up the usual routine. Something that introduces a level of discomfort or risk and helps me see the world differently. It does not have to be big or grand, dangerous or far from home.…

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Enlightenment and Connection

Many of you know I host various philosophy and well-being discussions groups each month throughout the Raleigh-Durham area.  You can find us here. At our lunch meeting last week, we had a wide-ranging and robust discussion on enlightenment, presence, and the relationship between sacred experience and the connections between people.…

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Successful Change with Dumbo’s Feather

In the 1941 movie, Dumbo, a little elephant with big ears could fly. However, he only believed it was possible when he held a magic feather in his trunk. The feather was his source of confidence and comfort. It provided a secure touchpoint and reminded him of what was possible.…

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Communities of the Heart

One day each month, I lead a well-being discussion over lunch in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  (Details can be found here) The talks are part philosophy, part psychology. There is a tentative spirituality that often creeps in, and is always welcomed. But at their core, the dialogues are human,…

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Absence and Return

For several years, I have been loosely involved with an online Buddhist community. About a year ago, I began to get more active and made some commitments to the group. I was going to meditate more. I would be more mindful in my eating. One night each week, I would…

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Presence and Immediacy

It all started with an encounter. After a morning of ‘religious enthusiasm’, Martin Buber was visited by a young man. Buber was friendly and attentive, but says he was not there fully in spirit. Later, the philosopher and theologian discovered that the young man had been wrestling with something. He…

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The Gratitude Diet: Savoring and Losing Weight

The most popular New Year’s resolution each year is to lose weight. We step on the scale, cringe and commit to spinach salads and Zumba classes.  All throughout January, the gyms are packed.  We pass on the pasta and choose celery sticks. But sometime in late February, the elliptical machine…

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Hugging the Horse’s Head

In January 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche went insane. Armed with metaphor, irony and aphorism, the German philosopher carved his influence deep into 20th century culture, criticism, literature and psychology.  Freud, Mann, Yeats, Richard Strauss and countless other artists and thinkers were shaped by the “first Immoralist”.  In popular culture, Nietzsche was…

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Resilience, Growth & Kintsukuroi

Resilience. Grit. Sisu. Post traumatic growth.  Different researchers emphasize the subtle distinctions within the larger truth that more often than not, we are better than we think we are. We are stronger, more adaptive. When things go wrong, most people, most of the time, do not dry up, crumble and…

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