Just One Thing

Is it truly urgent? The Practice: Lower the pressure. Why? Things come at us with so much urgency and demand these days. Phones ring, texts buzz, emails pile up, new balls have to be juggled, work days lengthen and move into evenings and weekends, traffic gets...

What are your intentions toward others? The Practice: Be benevolent. Why? Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself. This goodwill is present in warmth, friendliness, compassion, ordinary decency, fair play, kindness, altruism, generosity, and love. The benevolent heart leans toward...

What is living you? The Practice: Give over to good. Why? In every moment, you and I and everyone and everything else – from quantum foam to fleeting thoughts, intimate relationships, rainforest ecosystems, and the stars themselves – are each a kind of standing wave, like the ever-changing though...

Are you hard on yourself? The Practice: Don't beat up yourself. Why? The previous JOT - admit fault and move on - was about our relationship with other people. This JOT applies the same practice to ourselves. Most people know their less than wonderful qualities, such as too much ambition...

Are we really so separate? The Practice: Love the world. Why? Your brain evolved in three stages (to simplify a complex process): Reptile - Brainstem, focused on AVOIDING harm Mammal - Limbic system, focused on APPROACHING rewards Primate - Cortex, focused on ATTACHING to "us" With a fun...

What's your own role? The Practice: See your part. Why? In situations or relationships with any kind of difficulty - tension, feeling hurt, conflicts, mismatches of wants . . . the usual crud - it's natural to focus on what others have done that's problematic. This could be useful...

Is there enough? The Practice: Feel already full. Why? One slice of the pie of life feels relaxed and contented. And then there is that other slice, in which we feel driven and stressed. Trying to get pleasures, avoid pains, pile up accomplishments and recognitions, be loved by more...

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...

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