Just One Thing

Where do you live? The Practice: Be the body. Why? As a kid, I was really out of touch with my body. I hardly noticed it most of the time, and when I did, I prodded it like a mule to do a better job of hauling...

Are you breathing? The Practice: One breath at a time. Why? [If for you the breath is associated with trauma and discomfort, you probably shouldn't try this practice in its form below. But you might adapt it to something that is more nurturing for you, such as...

When is it “time to fold ‘em?” The Practice: Let it go. Why? Most people, me included, are holding onto at least one thing way past its expiration date. It could be a belief, perhaps that your hair is falling out and you are ugly and unlovable as a result,...

Sometimes it’s natural to feel stunned, shocked, powerless. And natural to be flooded with rage or fear or an overwhelming sorrow. Still, even in the midst of all this, you can be mindful: aware and present, and not entirely swept away. Then at some point...

Is it worth it? The Practice: Make good bargains. Why? Life is full of tradeoffs between benefits and costs. Sometimes, the benefits are worth the costs. For example, the rewards of going for a run - getting out in fresh air, improving health, etc. - are, for me at least,...

What do others want? The Practice: See good intentions. Why? Hustling through an airport, I stopped to buy some water. At the shop’s refrigerator, a man was bent over, loading bottles into it. I reached past him and pulled out one he’d put in. He looked up, stopped...

What's precious to you? The Practice: Find what's sacred. Why? The word, sacred, has two kinds of meanings. First, it can refer to something related to religion or spirituality. Second, more broadly, it can refer to something that one cherishes, that is precious, to which one is...

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...

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