Stages
  • 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 […]

  • Living With Hate

    Imagine waking up every morning knowing that there are people who hate you and want you dead just because you exist. Imagine if the most beloved elements of your family’s culture were held up to ridicule—evidence of your inferiority. Imagine internalizing all of this from the moment of your birth—knowing you were the other, that […]

  • When You’re Salieri

    The 1984 film Amadeus presents a fictionalized biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The movie, and the Peter Shaffer play that preceded it, drives serious Mozart scholars nuts because it’s completely made up. But who says art has to be true? What’s fascinating about Amadeus is the relationship between its two adversaries: a young, brash Mozart […]

  • We Are Always Traveling

    We are traveling 1,000 miles an hour around the center of the earth. The earth is traveling 67,000 miles an hour around the sun—19 miles per second. The sun and its solar system are spiraling around the center of the Milky Way galaxy at 550,000 miles an hour. The Milky Way galaxy is flying away […]

  • Surfing

    I grew up in Ventura, California, a small, sleepy beach town an hour north of Los Angeles. There wasn’t much to do. But there were miles of beautiful, empty beaches. The Pacific Ocean pulled us toward her like iron filings to a magnet. Perched out on the horizon were the Channel Islands, uninhabited chunks of […]

css.php