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books contemplation habits ideas the truth about life

On forming Forever Habits

Several years ago, I found myself in the predicament of being unable to read nonfiction books. I could, of course, read the words just fine, but the act of sitting and reading one page after another stirred an overwhelming anxiety: I knew so little and learning took so long. Each sentence I read was a […]

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books contemplation the truth about life

On failing to be the change you wish to see in the world

Several years ago after watching a video, I deliberately erected a bubble of ignorance around environmental issues. This video, not four minutes long, showed that birds on a tiny remote island were dying. Their corpses decayed to reveal a skeleton stuffed with an assortment of colorful plastic rings and caps and doo-dads. I was depressed […]

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contemplation ideas the truth about life

Surrendering self-cherishing

A little while ago I had the striking realization that all of my suffering—all of my hopes, cares, and tears—are private only to me. I guess it made me feel like… why do I care so much about myself? If all of my desires to have a nice life are only going to affect me… […]

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contemplation ideas the truth about life

Is this moment over yet? Reflections on a 10-day silent Vipassana retreat

Meditation was always something reserved for my ideal self, the self that was ten pounds slimmer and religiously followed a budget. So I was intrigued when my friend said he never could meditate before the retreat, but after it, he regularly meditated an hour or more. I wanted to try it. But finding a spare […]