For the sake of learning, I’d like to ask you to consider the circumstances since the start of 2020 as a grand psychological experiment. Of course, it has not been. But considering how we might react if this were a lab experiment can help us find some great compassion for the difficulties we are experiencing […]

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Suffering Burns

  A sunburn and some thoughts about suffering I’m standing in the bedroom slathering a clear gel, from a white and green tube, on my very red left foot, left knee, and left thigh. I repeat the process with a creamy lotion, from a white and pink tube, on my very red right foot, right

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The Jam of Thinking

Think about strawberry jam—the sweet, gooey, red stuff that gets slathered on toast. Or maybe a bagel. Strawberry jam. Yum. (Simple so far, no?)   **Experts** In the 1980s, food technologists at Consumer Reports conducted extensive taste tests on 45 types of strawberry jam. That’s a lot of jams. The experts rated five jams as

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Be kind. It’s more important than being right.  “You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.” ― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People     BEING RIGHT   Let’s say someone says something you know just isn’t

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Original Sin

WITHOUT SIN MY PEOPLE My people don’t do the original sin thing. We don’t grow up with this doctrine. We know about guilt; we’re Jews. My people create guilt masterpieces. But original sin—a human construct upon which many lives are unduly influenced—is far darker than guilt. Far darker. Guilt stems from having done something wrong. 

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Emotions 101   Emotions are feelings. They happen naturally. Emotions are our response to being alive. As we are human–alive and awake–we have interactions with the world, and we experience emotions. Expressing emotions in a healthy manner is the birthright of every human being. If we were lucky, in our childhoods, we had teachers who

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In three words

Fresh Fish Sold Here Today I remember a magician in the 1980’s unfurling and holding up a paper banner with the words “Fresh fish sold here today” printed on it. The magician would say, “I find this phrase a touch redundant. Fresh? Of course it’s fresh fish. The sign doesn’t need the word fresh at

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Salvation Mountain

Dad and I went on our third father-son road trip in 2002. This one was in a rented RV. We leave LA, drive east, pass Palm Springs, and go south to Niland, by the shore of the Salton Sea—a huge unswimmable lake of salt, rotting fish corpses, and runoff fertilizer. From 1910 through the 1950s,

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