Stages
  • Skillful Means

    The Buddhists have a concept called upaya: “skillful means.” It grew out of the simple observation that one shoe does not fit all feet, and that we often have to change our approach as the situation around us changes. Principles and rules are fine, but without the freedom to adapt to the realities before us, […]

  • Storms Don’t Last

    When hard times come there’s one thing you can always count on. They don’t last. The world has a way of righting itself. But not before a lot of damage gets done and a lot of people get hurt. Still, it is life’s resiliency that most surprises us. Just when you think the darkness will […]

  • Forest Bathing

    In the new age of multitasking it’s radical to monotask. Stripping away all distractions and focusing on a single thing seems quaint, dated, or even seditious. We pay a lot of lip service to mindfulness and being in the now, but we rarely do it. In Japan a new practice is taking shape called shinrin-yoku […]

  • A Call to Arts

    Never before have the arts mattered so much. As hate crimes escalate across the country the need has never been greater for the artist’s sacred calling: to enlarge our imagination, inflame our empathy, awaken our compassion, and inspire us to action. If you are an artist, you are hereby summoned to ply your craft with […]

  • And So This Is Christmas

    To whom does Christmas belong? Is it a private event or a come-as-you-are potluck? Although Andy Williams’s dulcet tenor claims, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” some of us wonder. Still, there’s something sweet and beautiful about Christmas flowing all around us. It would be a shame to get to January and find […]

  • Three Breaths

    I woke up, again, at 3:30 in the morning. Outside in the Eucalyptus trees a pair of Great Horned Owls called across the chaparral. The stillness wrapped the world like a blanket. But inside my mind there was anything but stillness. It’s not that I wasn’t exhausted—it’d been another tough week, and I was only […]

  • The Three Truths

    Life is dizzyingly complex. It’s easy to feel lost, confused, and overwhelmed. So many conflicted voices clamoring for our attention—it seems impossible to cut through the clutter and find the essence. But in the end there are only three truths: impermanence, presence, and love. Impermanence On the surface, everything’s impermanent. Nothing lasts. All forms arise […]

  • A Drop of Ink

    When you put a drop of ink in a clear glass of water, the whole glass goes dark. When you put a drop of ink in the ocean, nothing happens. A tiny dot of darkness is no match for the immensity of the sea. So, too, the smallest slight can darken our whole world. Does […]

  • The 10 Rules of Art

    In 1967, Carol King and her husband, Gerry Goffin, were the hottest songwriting team in the business. As King told David Remnick of the New Yorker, they were walking down Broadway one afternoon when a limousine pulled alongside them. The window rolled down and Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records stuck his head out. “I’m looking […]

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