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short writings

photography by SpencerSky.com

This short article may grow into a book eventually, but given what else is on my plate, that may happen sometime next century. Meanwhile, here's a very simple way to look at a very central subject: happiness.

click here to read "Happiness is Connection"

The students in my meditation classes say that the metaphor of the sky and the clouds is something that speaks to them especially clearly. I also find this to be true. So even though I presented it in my book, I'm including it here, in slightly expanded form. If you find this particularly helpful, do let me know!

click here to read "Be the Sky, Not the Clouds"

The difficulties of life can often be regarded either as misfortunes or as opportunities for growth. In the first case, you find a doctor or psychotherapist to help you alleviate or eliminate them. In the second case, you engage a medicine person or spiritual guide to help you work with them - they are recognized as blessings in disguise. It's the difference between meaningless hell and spiritual development. Traditional initiation rituals always include significant suffering...and the great empowerment that eventuates when suffering is consciously embraced and transformed into healthy motivation. 

click here to read "Mere Survival or True Initiation?"

What's ultimately real and true? The scientists say one thing, the spiritual people another. Who's right? And what's the most informed and useful stance for a curious and intelligent person to adopt? Here's my modest contribution to the perennial debate about the nature of reality and the ultimate basis of existence. If you don't mind being compared to a television, read on...

click here to read "Three Channels"

Life is strange. The worst difficulties can be the best opportunities. This essay describes an initiatory conversation in a restaurant in midtown Manhattan. The subject is the point in your life when you're falling apart...and the opening it brings for taking flight.

click here to read "A Short Course in Growing Wings"

I hope this isn't too brief a presentation for so central a topic. If it is, consider it a seed, and take it upon yourself to nurture it!

click here to read "Your Spiritual Lessons"

"The Inner Theater" is a metaphor I've been using a lot lately in teaching my classes. It's a pretty compelling image for maintaining the optimal level of interest and involvement in a meditation session. Plus it's a cheap ticket to a dynamite show!

click here to read "The Inner Theater"

Here's a technique I've been playing with for jumpstarting clarity in my meditation sessions. If you, like me, sometimes have difficulty paying close attention, and instead have a tendency to drift off, this might be just what we need to snap us into sharp focus and deep appreciation.

click here to read "You Have Ten Minutes"

For those of you who "just can't go there" when it comes to formal meditation, I wrote this user-friendly two-page guide to taking five minutes for a little mental healing and renewal. Now this is something anyone can do!

click here to read "Even Easier"

This is such a simple way of looking at what constitutes a good life that it may be embarrassingly trivial. On the other hand, it's wonderfully clear and illustrative. So it may be elegant and profound rather than just totally obvious. See what you think! 

click here to read "The Star System for a Shining Life"

This is a description of the two jobs any person interested in psychological wellness needs to accomplish. While we all have different specifics to address, our personal growth work can be regarded as two broad tasks, presented succinctly here.

click here to read "Necessary and Important Work"

A few words about the practicality of positivity...

click here to read "Half Empty?"

The medical model or the growth model - which leads to greater happiness? Is it better to take psychoactive medication and not suffer? Or is it healthier to feel the distress and work with it, in order to motivate growth and come to a higher level of aliveness? 

click here to read "The Path or the Pills - Which Way Comes Out Best?"

Because science, so I'm told, hasn't yet come up with a good definition of life...

click here to read "What is Life?"

Do you ever wonder why you "lose it" or "fall apart" and tumble into extremely unpleasant feelings and behavior? Of course you do - we all hate such episodes of losing our usual, adult balance, and instead behaving like very unhappy children. Unfortunately, we usually haven't a clue about why we behaved and felt so badly, or how to prevent it in the future. Well, maybe this article will be of some small help...

click here to read "Why We Nosedive...and How Not To"

photography by SpencerSky.com

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