Category Archives: Buddhism

War and Peace

To escape the news recently, I’ve been immersing myself in 19th Century novels, and one theme keeps coming across: the destructive human obsession with social status. In Tolstoy’s War and Peace, for example, Prince Andrew Bolkonski, infatuated with dreams of … Continue reading

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No Expectations

There’s a classic zen story that goes like this: A young man approached a great master and asked to become his student. The student asked the master: “How long will it take me to become a master?” “15 years,” replied … Continue reading

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Separating the Normal from the Natural

I’m getting ready to head out on a 7-day silent meditation retreat, and I’ve been feeling a little weird about it. So I really appreciated coming across Paul Graham’s essay, The Acceleration of Addictiveness, which in large part explains why … Continue reading

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Love and Activism

A few years ago I was on a nonprofit leadership training retreat, when everyone had to go around the circle and declare their “purpose.” This was the sort of exercise I dreaded, so I scrambled to come up with something … Continue reading

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The Demoralizing Science of Success

One of the most interesting subjects in the field of Positive Psychology is the science of human motivation and success. Why are some people so motivated and so successful? Why do some people not even bother to try? And how … Continue reading

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The Happy Lawyer?

The other night I attended a training session at the New York City Bar Association called “Happiness for Lawyers: Mindfulness and Emotional Skills to Improve Our Professional Life (and Make us Happier).” As I was leaving, the security guard remarked that … Continue reading

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It’s Not a Package Deal

One of the problems with being a cynic is that, when you’re trying to learn something new, it’s easy to focus on all the things that sound wrong or silly or otherwise questionable and to disregard the entire lesson or … Continue reading

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