Learning to Give, Learning to Dance

For my wife’s family, life is filled with dance. Every New Year’s and Christmas, each cumpleaños and quinceanera, everyone would laugh and yell, cry and dance. And in the culture of her family, when the music is playing, it is the duty of the man to ensure that no woman…

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Sharks and Stoics

One day my wife and daughters were at the beach enjoying cups of ice cream and sun and walking out on the pier. My youngest looked over the rail, and bursting with joy, shouted, “How cool! A shark!” Her excitement was absolute and unrestrained. My older daughter, turned and glanced…

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Back to the Cave Again

In the Republic, Plato gives us his “allegory of the cave”. Prisoners who are chained to their spots underground see only images flickering on the wall. They have no other reality. They are shown shadows of puppets without dimensions, without substance. Our poor little creatures know nothing else of life.…

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Is This Forgiveness?

Jack Kornfield tells stories of forgiveness, heroic and true. Of Buddhist nuns brutally imprisoned for saying their prayers, afraid only that they would lose their compassion for their captors. Or of the mother who welcomed the killer of her child into her home, and nurtured him and made him kind. They…

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MicroAdventures – on the Radio

Special thanks to Matt Townsend for having me his show to discuss microadventures and rediscovering a zest for life!  You can listen here. And in case you missed my original article, on Rediscovering a Zest for Life, you can find it here. Keep being good for the world. Please share with…

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Sitting in the Rain

Every two weeks I lead a pre-dawn meditation group in public rose garden. This morning, waking up at 5:15 to rain and a cold front that had crept in, I didn’t expect anyone else to join me. But I thought I would head over anyway. There is a pavilion under…

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Beginner’s Mind: The Zen of Work

Zen Buddhists talk of the “beginner’s mind” – that presence and openness that allows us to remain original and fresh, where there is no thought of achievement or thought of self. If you can keep your mind receptive and empty, like a beginner, it will always be ready and open…

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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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Seeking to Make Things Difficult

With every advance, every step forward, we also walk from something.  Technological innovations really have brought us so much that makes our lives measurably better in so many ways. But unless we remain vigilant and active, we also lose something; something essential about being human. When faced the earlier inconveniences…

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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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