In the movie of life, you’re the director

Have you ever wondered why someone might immediately cringe at the very thought of an insect while smile when presented with a gift or bouquet of flowers? If not, you wouldn’t be alone.  Such auto-experiences are so deeply embodied that most people don’t even ponder such questions. The example given is extreme, but an important one none-the-less.  It “makes sense” that people cringe at bugs, after all they may be poisonous or may release a painful sting. And flowers? Their colorful petals and p...
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The trouble is, you think you have time.

After seeing this meme a friend sent this message right before take-off on a flight to Seattle: “Interesting.  I’m not sure what that means.  Not to be difficult but when I read it I know I have time.  Even if it’s 5 minutes. I’m ready for my after life.  How do you read it?” I contemplated my response, then generated the message below once in-flight WiFi was turned on: It’s a wonderful, deep question you have asked which I will attempt to answer best I can given my current ...
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Finding Inner Peace before a Military Deployment

How monks helped prepare me for uncertainty It’s 4am at the monastery and by this point I’ve already meditated for 30 minutes. At 7am when I sit to enjoy a simple breakfast in noble silence, 20 hours would have passed since my last meal. As the monks and I gather in the main temple for the first hour of group meditation of the day, Master Chaiya seats himself at the front with his fellow monks lined up in a row behind him. The room is vast, dark and silent as candles bathe the monks’ r...
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Your Chronic Unhappiness is a sign of Addiction

Here’s how to break free. As you drift off to sleep each night it’s impossible to tell when you’ve slipped into the dream world. Dreams seem real because you’re unable to tell reality from delusion. Similarly, it’s very difficult to tell when trapped in addictive patterns because pain-free delusions offer an escape from a painful reality. Like a heroin addict coming off a high, you constantly ask, “What can I do to keep these euphoric feelings of love, acceptance and happiness f...
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Transcending War to Create Lasting Peace

Mankind’s survival over the last 10,000 years can be greatly attributed to our ability to bind into large cohesive groups. As part of a tribe not only would you have access to increased levels of protection, resources, and knowledge, but you would also be part of a community that offered a sense of identity and purpose. Fast forward to the 21st century and those same ancient tribes are now 7+ billion people covering the Earth as nations that have upgraded primitive clubs and spears to...
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Be Brave, Comrade

Before all else comrade, know that you are not alone. Those thoughts you have, especially the incredibly audacious ones — that is what makes you unique, that is what makes you special. Every time they laugh, ridicule, and point fingers at you, they are merely offering a glimpse into a system that isn’t designed to appreciate young free thinkers, disruptive innovators, or unbridled free spirits like yourself. You are merely a seed that found itself in arid soil lacking the nutrients of...
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How culture may induce suicide

The year was 1928 and antibiotics as we know them today did not exist. A simple scratch often became a nasty bacterial infection resulting in swelling, high fever and a potentially fatal diagnosis that doctors mostly treated with hope and prayers. The risk of bacterial infections left medical experts essentially powerless, as they could only treat the symptoms and not the root cause of the infection. Though scientists desperately searched for ways to replicate naturally existing an...
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