Living to Learn

Why bother? Anyone who has ever been seriously depressed has confronted a question like this. What does life offer in exchange for all the pain, disappointment, betrayal, and loss? Why endure such suffering? Every spiritual tradition attempts to provide answers. … Continue reading

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Instruction from Invertebrates

The scent of brine wafts all around. A chill breeze blows in from the west. I am seated on a bluff above a small cove ringed by a sandy beach. After midnight, the solitude nearly palpable, the Pacific Ocean almost … Continue reading

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Honeybees, Harmony, and Humanity

Wisdom traditions teach us to redirect our focus from narrow personal concerns toward broader universal ones. Although this ethic represents a peak of human understanding, isn’t a notion that demands rational thought; it seems to arise naturally when groups of animals … Continue reading

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My Bio-Spiritual Journey

It happens that I’m applying to a training program for spiritual directors. The program requires submission of a ‘spiritual autobiography.’ Since I began blogging in 2006, my online writings have served to document my growth, and especially my efforts to merge … Continue reading

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Living in the Moment

The human body grows from a cell that is just barely visible to the unaided eye. Although a tiny speck on everyday scales, this cell is far larger than most and holds the potential to become another startling example of … Continue reading

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My Refuge in Reality

Anyone who has followed my writings, however sporadically, has witnessed my maturation. As I review essays written over six years, it seems clear my tone has grown less competitive, more accepting, less self-centered, and more compassionate. This budding of genuine adulthood has proceeded … Continue reading

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The Accidental Self

Is who we become in life decided by chance, or by choice? Our genetic composition was determined when our parents (and all prior ancestors) selected mates, but these weren’t our decisions, so our stock of genes is a chance outcome as far as we’re concerned. Likewise, the quality of … Continue reading

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Befriending the Body Intelligent

Last year awakened me to my life’s purpose. A series of disappointments forced me to abandon paths that had seemed interesting but were not leading to my center. More clearly than ever, I saw how biology has always guided me. Every time … Continue reading

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Out of the Casino and into the Arms of Life

In my last entry I described how emotional healing proceeds by means of Ten Steps Forward, Nine Steps Back. That essay grew out of my recent mood profile: for the last year or so I’ve enjoyed long stretches of expansive … Continue reading

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The Empty Fullness of Life

One strain of meditative practice within Buddhism leads us to appreciation of emptiness. As we trace experience to its core, it dissolves before our eyes. This happens, for instance, in the psyche. Our sense of identity seems solid until we try to … Continue reading

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