The Sensitive Human Animal

We humans can’t see our bodies clearly. Think of the lovely young woman, already slender, who looks in a mirror and sees ugliness and fat. Or think of the poorly conditioned middle-aged man who acts like a swaggering college kid. Or think of religious traditions … Continue reading

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The Body Is Nature

As an adolescent, I found solace in the mountains, beaches, and deserts near my home in Los Angeles. Although my family was about as dysfunctional as they come, I had ready escape. We lived within bike-riding distance of beaches and … Continue reading

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A Meditation on Sun, Photosynthesis, and Breath

Breathing all the time, we seldom think of what it means. We’re too busy and preoccupied to remember how our breath, our Life, depends on an ancient and beautiful biosphere. Mindful Biology, as a practice, reminds us to slow down and … Continue reading

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Suicide: A Symptom of Global Spiritual Malaise?

Recently my cousin wrote a brave letter to her local newspaper in response to two suicides that affected her children. Her message picked up a lot of attention because it addresses mental health issues with great open-heartedness and honesty. I felt … Continue reading

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Your Inner River

We know we’re made of water. The bodily proportion of H2O is 50% in females and 60% in males. My new project, MindfulBiology.org, aims to help us understand what it means to be a human organism, and to take that … Continue reading

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Floating in the Hormonal Sea

Our body chemistry changes, moment by moment. We feel this indirectly as energy levels rise and fall, fullness gives way to hunger, and arousal alternates with sleepiness. Many of these internal shifts are due to hormones. The pituitary gland, connected … Continue reading

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Will Mindfulness Replace Religion? Don’t Count on It.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” –Albert Einstein Will people someday discard beliefs about a caring universe? Will mindfulness meditation … Continue reading

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The Religion of Mindfulness

More than once I’ve found that critiquing the mindfulness movement–even very gently–prompts some readers to voice objection. Few of my other topics spark disagreement so predictably. The title of this post responds to a book about mindfulness written by vocal … Continue reading

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Mindfulness Instruction: A Trigger for Flashbacks of Abuse?

Why can’t mindfulness and I just get along? It’s perverse: here’s this healthy practice endorsed by scientists and mystics alike. Since I respect both, you’d think I’d find it easy to join the fad. But I balk. I find myself … Continue reading

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Freedom’s Just Another Word

Passionate, self-destructive women have always interested me. As a young man I felt drawn to the poetry of Anne Sexton. Even earlier, as a teenager, I felt passionate about the music of (the already deceased) Janis Joplin. This attraction likely … Continue reading

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