• 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 […]

  • The New Hedonism

    Like anyone else, I’ve spent a lot of time chasing pleasure. Whether it was food or other substances, I’ve done my share. And then some. And like anyone else, it’s often bitten me in the ass. The very thing I thought would do me good turned around and did me bad. Turns out, managing pleasure […]

  • Winter Is Coming

    Lori and I have been working with a financial adviser on our retirement plan. We’ve been facing down a whole host of decisions regarding risk assessment, asset management, and prudent reserves. We’re not rich–we both work for the government. We’re about as middle class as they come. And in about ten years we’ll both be […]

  • Indian Summer

    Indian summer is the summer after summer. It’s that period of time–a few days or a few weeks–of warm air, wide open skies, and stillness, summer’s last stand before the chill of autumn sets in. Growing up, I always loved Indian summer. I still do. It feels like a secret. Regular summer is all loud […]