Just One Thing

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...

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...

Are you hard on yourself? The Practice: Don't beat yourself up. Why? A 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...

Do you feel swamped with bad news? The Practice: Find the good news. Why? “Tell the truth.” It’s the foundation of science – and the foundation of healthy relationships, communities, and countries. But the truth of things is complicated. To simplify, there is the good of things that are...

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...

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 aims,...

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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