Category Archives: SELF HELP

OKAY I LIED ABOUT THE HERMIT THING

There’s an old Buddhist story about monks raking up leaves at their monastery before a visit from a revered guru. When the guru arrives, he looks out at the beautiful grounds with an appreciative smile, then raises his hand as … Continue reading

Posted in SAYINGS, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 16 Comments

MY DESERT-ISLAND CHORE

My wife likes doing laundry. It’s a welcome break from her day job, which tends to be demanding, highly social, draining. Doing laundry, on the other hand, is quiet and solitary, the clothes warm and fragrant when she pulls them … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 26 Comments

STORM-DRAIN DIRT

I looked back the other day at something I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic. The piece seems naive, ill informed, and overly optimistic. But the basic thesis remains true — there were silver linings to the Covid lockdown, … Continue reading

Posted in DUMB SHIT I'VE DONE, ICE HOCKEY, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 24 Comments

ON CULTS, COURAGE, AND PERSONAL BLIND SPOTS

Something in me loves a TV show about cults. You name the group, I’ve watched the documentary — Scientology, NXIVM, The Family, Heaven’s Gate, the Rajneeshees, Branch Davidians, the Moonies, The People’s Temple. Why am I interested? On the one … Continue reading

Posted in COURAGE, HEROES, MOVIES, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 36 Comments

BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE

Adam Braseel was wrongfully convicted of murder 14 years ago. Though he hasn’t been officially exonerated, he is out of prison now and beginning to put his life back together. The wrongful imprisonment was caused by sloppy police work, prosecutors … Continue reading

Posted in COURAGE, HEROES, SELF HELP, SPIRIT, UNIQUELY AMERICAN BULLSHIT | 6 Comments

MINI BOOK REVIEWS

One silver lining of lockdown was that I started reading books again. Below are short reviews of a somewhat random collection, in case you’re looking for something to pick up. THE OVERSTORYThis 2018 novel by Richard Powers follows a handful … Continue reading

Posted in LITERATURE, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 9 Comments

WE ARE STARDUST

I was listening to the old Joni Mitchell song “Woodstock” the other day. The mood is somber and hypnotic. Her performance is flawless. One one level, the song is about the famous Woodstock music festival in 1969, which Mitchell was … Continue reading

Posted in MUSIC, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 9 Comments

DOSING THE OCTOPUS

My son is so disciplined about his daily weightlifting. I decided to get disciplined about something myself — anything. I picked meditating. I went back to it twice a day, 20 minutes at a time. Most of my meditations are … Continue reading

Posted in DUMB SHIT I'VE DONE, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 3 Comments

OPERATING SYSTEM

We increasingly use the language of technology to talk about ourselves as humans. “I need a reset.” “We should hit the pause button.” “Does he have the bandwith for that?” Along these lines, I was thinking the other day about … Continue reading

Posted in SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 9 Comments

SIX HOURS

One day in Lebanon in the 1940s, Marie Simonian set out for the boarding school attended by her oldest child. Something was wrong, she could feel it. She walked six hours to reach his school. She arrived exhausted, dripping sweat. … Continue reading

Posted in SELF HELP, SPIRIT, THE ARMENIAN IN-LAWS | 13 Comments