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This may not be a psychological "theory of everything" but it's getting close. It's certainly succinct enough! It zeroes in on the basis for our thoughts, feelings, and actions. And it gives at least an indication of how to feel and do well.

click here to read "Our Four Basic Needs"

A friend wrote to me recently and asked for advice about his broken heart. This note was my response.

click here to read "Letter to Someone Who's Suffering"

By practicing mindfulness, our misery shrinks and our aliveness expands. Here's how.

click here to read "Mindfulness is the Realization of Spaciousness"

So what's the real scoop on reality, anyway? The scientists tell us one thing, the mystics another. And they're each convincing and convinced they're right. Someone's clearly getting fooled here. One or the other viewpoint obviously has to be an illusion. Or does it?

click here to read "The Clash of the Virtual Realities"

Don't be put off by the occasionally "professional" tone of this article. While I wrote it in part to clue in my colleagues, I've translated as I go along, and the content should be easy for anyone to follow. And what content it is! If you want to hear the very latest about what research tells us makes for good therapy, and why it stands our present understanding on its head, dive in! What you'll discover, as you already well know, and as professional psychology is just beginning to, is that a little love and trust go a very long way...

click here to read "Psychotherapy, Trust, and Love"

It is with some trepidation that I present this essay. Not because I don't believe in the chakra system, but because I doubt my ability to do it justice. So take what is written here as a mere hint of a far greater understanding. About the personal growth exercise I present, however, I have no such hesitation. It is, I think, eminently worthy of your notice. If you'd like to get a quick and easy, but by no means trivial, read on how you're doing on all the levels of what life is about, click the link below.

click here to read "The Chakragram"

This is a mini-lecture I give to students in my Psychology of Health and Effective Behavior class when we read a textbook chapter on sexuality. I think it helps to make sense of a lot of confusing information, avoids the trap of shoulds and shouldn'ts, and inspires people to mature in their sexual expression as they grow in their lives.

click here to read "Three Levels of Sex"

This short piece emerged when I was asked recently to come up with a definition of spirituality. I very much enjoyed doing so, and end the essay by asking the same of you.

click here to read "How I Define Spirituality"

This is the little speech I sometimes give at the end of my Introduction to Psychology class at Santa Barbara City College. I'm kind of being a cheerleader here for greater awareness. And since the students seem to readily take these words to heart, I end the semester feeling like there's hope after all.

click here to read "On Being a Conscious Person"

Meditation is typically equated with passivity. But this is not really the case. In this article, I present mindfulness in active terms, as the learning of a new and transformative skill. Mindfulness may be relaxing and healing. but you're certainly not mentally asleep!

click here to read "Be Present, Open Up, Let Go"

Here's a very straightforward technique that's designed to help you make the best guess about what's likely to happen in life situations with uncertain outcomes (of which there are many!). It's a "peak performance" skill that promotes seeing things accurately and acting optimally.   

click here to read "Make Three Columns"

I keep trying to make my practice, and my instruction, simpler. Well, this is about as simple as it gets: two pages on the open-eyed presence to which I'm increasingly drawn.

click here to read "Here and Open"

A very short essay on how the feeling of connectedness, internally and to others, grows stronger as we ascend the ladder of psychological health.

click here to read "Health and Connection"

For many years, I've been wondering what feelings actually are. Recently my confusion has given way to a new clarity. Since the current psychological theories - at least the ones I know about - don't seem entirely satisfactory, I hereby offer my contribution to the debate: a simple, biologically-based theory of emotion. If you can poke holes in it, or can bolster it with additional ideas or evidence, email me with alacrity. After all, that's how scientific understanding - and mine! - evolves...

click here to read "A Theory of Emotion"

This is a dress reheasal for a talk on love I might be giving to a teenager. In writing it, however, I'm realizing that, one, it's a talk I wish I had gotten, and two, it's relevant at any point in life. I know it's an egregious simplification of the world's most complex and mysterious topic. But I've never been shy about simplifying things. So...am I being clear and simple, or simply simpleminded?

click here to read "How Deep Is Your Love?"


I believe it is within our grasp to make a fundamental change in human behavior. I think we can largely eliminate human-against-human violence from the world, and can individually and collectively redirect our aggressive energies into constructive action. And I am fairly sure we can make this change in one generation if we choose to do so. The means is as close to you as these words.

click here to read "How to Change the World"

We seem so individual and separate. What happens when we die? Here's an analogy that can reverse figure and ground, separateness and unity.

click here to read "One Blade of Grass"

photography by SpencerSky.com

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