What kind of snack does Buddha eat as he’s watching TV?

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What kind of snack does Buddha eat as he’s watching TV?

I’m trying to tell you a lot about myself while using just a few words. So now you know something about me: I like to use pictures to supplement words.

There’s also the statement below the picture. It may sound a bit silly. But it stops you in your tracks, the way a koan would.

I am very interested in these kinds of things. Not just koans, but ways to open up to new perspectives.

I think of mindfulness as what naturally happens when we disrupt the mindless default…


Here’s an experiment. Do it at home, in the kitchen. Fill three small pans with water and place them on a high fire. Get a carrot, an egg, and some ground coffee. When the water comes to a boil, place the carrot, the egg, and the coffee each in one pot.

Let them sit and boil for about twenty minutes. Now, fish the carrot out and feel it. You will notice that it is soft. Pull the egg out of the pan and break it: it is hard-boiled. …


Photo: Ivan Lapyrin / Unsplash

Culturally, we value being fearless and sneer at being fearful. So it may feel strange to own up that I have a healthy respect for fear.

Fear is a potent part of who and what we are. Not just you and me, but our whole species and other animals as well. Eons of evolution have developed that capacity in us.

The phrase “survival of the fittest” could be expressed as “survival of the most scared!”

Being bold and foolish makes for a great action movie. …


Photo: Sebnem Ragiboglu / Dreamstime

Before he became a villain to the alt-right, George Soros made billions of dollars through his ability to anticipate the fluctuations of the world’s financial markets and invest accordingly.

If you’d like to make money through investing, it would be great to understand what has been giving George Soros his edge.

Chances are, if you ask George Soros why he did what he did on any given transaction, he will provide you with some logical-sounding explanations. These explanations will probably make sense to you. However, you get a different understanding of the situation if you listen to his son describe how things happened. He’d say: “My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that…


Artwork: Hugo Ceneviva / Pexels

There’s a ferocious voice that keeps pointing out your shortcomings. It shatters your self-esteem with a harsh putdown when something goes wrong. And it’s tough to run away from this voice: it is the voice of your negative inner critic. You can’t silence it. So let’s examine how you can have a creative dialogue with it.

Understanding who the inner critic really is

When you hear the inner critic, especially when it is loud, it is good to remember that it is actually compensation for feeling vulnerable. At that moment, there’s a part of you that can feel powerful by bullying another part of you. …


Photo: Sebastian Leon Prado, Unsplash

My friend Ernest was reminiscing about when his son was a little boy. When asked about what happened in his day, Ernest had noticed that his son was very elusive. He found a way around that. When he’d get home, in the evening, he’d kneel to be on the same level as his son, put an arm around his shoulders, and begin: “Let me tell you about my day”.

Before long, the son was excitedly telling Ernest all about his day, including such things as: “And the teacher got mad at me.” And Ernest would ask: “Now, why would she?”…


Photo: Gianni Scognamiglio / Unsplash

I want to share with you a perspective on creativity. It has to do with myth and ritual.

Myths are stories that civilizations have told about themselves. These stories are often at odds with the observations of modern science. So the word ‘myth’ is often used disparagingly to describe something that is patently not true.

Here, I want to make the case that myths are about poetic truth instead of literal truth. From this perspective, the issue is not about myth vs. objective reality. …


“I do weekly To-Do lists,” says Steve, “but I’m not good at the follow-through. It’s as if the person writing the list is a different person from the one who has to do the work.”

If you’ve ever felt this way, I suggest a little exercise. We’re going to pretend, for a moment, that there are actually two people involved — one called Management, and another called Labor. And we’re going to let them have a dialogue.

How to stage a lively inner dialogue

Here’s how we’re going to do this. Get 2 chairs. Have them face each other. One chair will be the chair you sit…


The concept of “hierophany “was dear to Mircea Eliade, the scholar of religious experience. Hierophany is the manifestation of the Sacred. There is a paradox to the Sacred: While it transcends the Ordinary, its manifestation is in the Ordinary, where it hides in plain sight.

Now, this may seem a bit abstract. So I will use an example, something that happened a few years ago, the sordid story of Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels.

Trump’s sexual adventures and his lying and bullying are solidly entrenched in the underbelly of the realm of the Ordinary. But he is not just an…


Photo: Mauro Paillex / Unsplash

Ask Alta ski instructor James Ledyard to tell you something that would radically improve your skiing, and he might actually talk to you about lion tamers. You might have a second take: What’s that got to do with skiing?
By the way, as you read this article, you’ll see it’s not just about skiing: You’re reading a metaphor about life.

It’s not about being fearless

Well, James would say, there’s something to learn about how lion tamers manage fear. On the one hand, they can’t be “fearless.” Otherwise, they’d be dead. The lion is a powerful animal, and you cannot treat it like a big…

Serge Prengel

Serge Prengel is a therapist in NYC. He is the editor of the Active Pause & Mindfulness podcast, at http://activepause.com

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