Just One Thing

We need to know the facts: is the stove turned off, do I have health insurance, does my partner love me, are the people who work for me getting the job done? We also need to know our values: what is fair, decent, good, and...

(Updated November 12, 2016) It is so very helpful to see the truth both around you and inside you. Then you’re more able to handle threats and fulfill opportunities, understand others, and make wise choices. Not finding the facts is like closing your eyes while walking...

Are You Watering the Fruit Tree? The Practice: Tend to the causes. Why? Let’s say you want to get apples from a tree of your own. So you go to a nursery and pick a good sapling, bring it home, and plant it carefully with lots of fertilizer in...

Are you self-nurturing? The Practice: Refill your cupboard. Why? [Note: This JOT is adapted from Mother Nurture, a book written for mothers - focusing on typical parenting situations and gender differences that are experienced by many, though not all, mothers and fathers, and by parents in same sex relationships....

Is it about you? The Practice: Don't take it personally. Why? Here’s an updated parable from the ancient Taoist teacher, Chuang-Tzu: Imagine that you are floating in a canoe on a slow-moving river, having a Sunday picnic with a friend. Suddenly there is a loud thump on the side...

Are you basically OK? The Practice Notice you're alright right now. Why? To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved strong tendencies toward fear, including an ongoing internal trickle of unease. This little whisper of worry keeps you scanning your inner and outer worlds for signs of trouble. This background...

Are you hard on yourself? The Practice: Forgive yourself. Why? Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, King David, the Buddha, everybody. It's important to acknowledge mistakes, feel appropriate remorse, and learn from them so they don't happen again. But most people keep beating themselves up...

What Are You Holding Onto? The Practice: Let go. Why? I've done a lot of rock climbing, so I know firsthand the importance sometimes of not letting go! This applies to other things as well: keeping hold of a child's hand while crossing the street, staying true...

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