Stages
  • Music and Meaning

    When we lost Aretha Franklin, we lost an American icon, a towering genius of musical prowess. But, in an important way, her beauty never left—it lives within us, and when we listen to her music, all of the power and magic is fully present. Music doesn’t die. Nothing real ever does. There’s a timeless essence […]

  • The Heart of Being

    We live in the Psychological Age. Every modern malady is traced back to psychological roots. Another mass shooting? Mental health problem. Homelessness? Mental health problem. Depression and anxiety? Mental health problem. What is the deal with Donald Trump anyway? Mental health problem. There’s no doubt that psychological healing modalities—talk therapy, wisely applied pharmaceuticals—have healed families […]

  • The Two Faces of God

    Let’s talk about God. It isn’t going to be easy. Is there any more charged word in all of the English language? It seems that any conversation about God gets immediately bogged down. So before we begin, some simple housekeeping is in order. What do we even mean by the word “God?” As passionate, partisan […]

  • The Ordinary Miracle of Meditation

    There’s an inherent paradox in meditation: it is at the same time easy and hard. It’s hard because ever since birth we’ve falsely identified with our thoughts and that’s a hard habit to break. But meditation’s easy because once you learn a few simple techniques you’re able to slip beneath the thought-stream into an indefinable […]

  • Sound and Silence

    Like every other folk singer, I’ve played some weird shows. Stuck in the corner of a restaurant’s empty back patio, playing for no one, while the crowd inside was watching football. Set up alongside a marathon route, playing for an endless stream of somewhat preoccupied and utterly indifferent runners. Performing on a cruise ship’s main […]

  • Solvitur Ambulando

    Solvitur ambulando is a Latin phrase meaning “it is solved by walking.” According to legend it was first uttered by the Greek philosopher Diogenes. After listening patiently to another philosopher’s ridiculous “proof” that motion was impossible, Diogenes simply got up and walked away, muttering “solvitur ambulando.” If ancient Greeks had mics, that’d be a mic […]

  • Life on Purpose

    I didn’t make soil, or blood, or light. I didn’t make the water I drink. I didn’t cause the sun to hang in the sky or the crops to grow. I didn’t design the system by which plants cast off oxygen as a waste product, oxygen that keeps me alive. Nor did I extract the […]

  • The Secret of Yoga

    Most mornings, after coffee and quiet reading, as soon as dawn starts to show, I take my yoga mat out into the backyard and I roll it out on the deck beneath the rustling trees. I face the rising sun. Then, as the last star fades, I begin. I don’t remember every pose. I haven’t […]

  • Don’t Be Buddha

    There is a fundamental paradox at the heart of all self-improvement work: you’re perfect just the way you are, but you could use a little improvement. Whether you categorize your self-improvement process as spiritual, religious, secular, psychological, or some combination thereof, the fact remains—something about the way you’re living your life isn’t quite right. You’re […]

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