Just One Thing

Are you full to the rim? The Practice: Empty the cup. Why? Once upon a time, a scholar came to visit a saint. After the scholar had been orating and propounding for a while, the saint proposed some tea. She slowly filled the scholar's cup: gradually the tea rose...

Enjoy the Good That Lasts What doesn’t rust? The Practice Enjoy the good that lasts. Why So many things change. Leaves fall, friends move away, children leave home. My dad died a year ago, and my mom about ten years before that. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting...

Love What’s Real What can you count on? The Practice Love what’s real. Why Because this practice could seem so abstract or so obvious that it’s not worth doing, I am going to take longer than usual to explain why it’s so important. As I grew up, my family and schools...

What matters most to you? The Practice: Remember the big things. Why? In every life, reminders arrive about what's really important. I've recently received one myself, in a form that's already come to countless people and will come to countless more: news of a potentially serious health problem. My semi-annual...

Are we there yet? The Practice: Relax, you've arrived. Why? We spend so much of our time trying to get somewhere. Part of this comes from our biological nature. To survive, animals - including us - have to be goal-directed, leaning into the future. It's certainly healthy to pursue wholesome...

Busy, busy? The Practice: Rest. Why? This practice is definitely a case of teaching what you need to learn: I've been working through a big bucket of tasks lately with little chance to rest. (I console myself with knowing that the bucket is emptying a lot...

Beware Anger Have you been wronged? The Practice Beware anger. Why Anger is tricky. On the one hand, anger – feeling annoyed, irritated, resentful, fed up, mad, outraged, or enraged – alerts us to real threats, real injuries, and real wrongs that need correcting, and it energizes and fuels us...

What’s the spark and what’s the fuel? Welcome joy. Positive emotions – such as feelings of gratitude, love, and confidence – strengthen the immune system, protect the heart against loss and trauma, build relationships, increase resilience...