Just One Thing

Could it crack? The Practice: Embrace fragility. Why? The truth of anything is like a mosaic with many tiles, many parts. One part of the truth of things is that they are robust and enduring, whether it's El Capitan in Yosemite or the love of a child for her...

Do You Care? The Practice: Have compassion. Why? Compassion is essentially the wish that beings not suffer - from subtle physical and emotional discomfort to agony and anguish - combined with feelings of sympathetic concern. You could have compassion for an individual (a friend in the hospital, a co-worker...

Friend or Foe? The Practice: Be friendly. Why? Friendliness is a down-to-earth approach to others that is welcoming and positive. Think about a time when someone was friendly to you - maybe drawing you into a gathering, saying hello on the sidewalk, or smiling from across the room. How did...

Who do you argue with? The Practice Don't quarrel. Why It's one thing to stick up for yourself and others. But it's a different matter to get caught up in wrangles, contentiousness, squabbles . . . in a word: quarrels. Similarly, it's one thing to disagree with someone, even...

What puts people at ease? The Practice Give no one cause to fear you. Why We evolved to be afraid. The ancient ancestors that were casual and blithely hopeful, underestimating the risks around them - predators, loss of food, aggression from others of their kind - did not pass...

Where does it hurt? The practice: Recognize suffering in others. We're usually aware of our own suffering, but seeing the suffering in others: that's not so common. All the news and pictures of disaster, murder, and grief that bombard us each day...

The tree or the forest? See the big picture. The vast majority of human acts each day are constructive: making meals, tending to children, saying hello, restraining anger, completing tasks, planting seeds, teaching, healing, nurturing, cooperating ...

What does your heart say? Choose to love. Love is more about us being loving than about other people being lovable. In fact, choosing to love is twice loving: it's a loving act to call up the intention to love, plus there is the love...

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