• Anxiety,  Depression,  Stress

    Peace Lives Within

    The Buddha said “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” I wonder what the Buddha would think if he were alive today, and could see how desperately, almost frantically, so many of us seek happiness in external things, experiences, people and situations. Renowned Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron calls this “if only” mind…one of the ego’s greatest tricks to keep us trapped in suffering. The ego tells us that happiness lives outside of ourselves, and that “if only” I had a (bigger house/better partner/larger paycheck/smaller waist size…you get the point), THEN I would be at peace. What a horrible trap! Our minds tell us that THIS moment, the one…

  • Happiness & Well-Being,  Stress

    Where Do You Find God?

    Where do you find God? Which is to say, where do you find bliss? Where is your Truth, the sense of deep peace and inner stillness that lets you feel your gentle exhaling heart? Do you find it hiking in nature? In the eyes of your pet? Does it live in your yoga class, on your meditation cushion or in the space between your breath? Do you find God as the sun sets, melting gold over a tired day’s landscape? Or is Love there when the sun rises, its roundness pregnant with the hope and possibility of a new day? Perhaps God lives in the changing of the seasons, the…

  • Anxiety

    Ease

    How do you want your life to feel? If you were given the instruments, what song would you play? If your life were a blank canvas, what painting would you create? I want my life to feel like slow exhalations and gentle symphonies and the glittering gold of summer’s dusk. Like indigo and violet, soft peach and canary yellow and deep mauve. I want each day to feel like a flowing stream, like water moving effortlessly, with ease, in the Universe’s intended direction. Does your life feel like that? Does it feel gentle and precious and calm? Filled with serenity and Light and laughter and hope? Or do you toil…

  • Depression

    Cabin Fever: How to Care for Your Mental Health

    By March, many of us begin to feel a bit tired of winter. We’ve skiied and snowboarded, worn our favorite winter sweaters and cozied up by the fireplace more than once. It seems that around this time of year, “cabin fever” starts to set in, so I figured I’d do some research on the topic and on ways we can help ourselves out when it comes to the winter blues. First of all, is “cabin fever” real? While “cabin fever” is not a diagnosis you’ll find in the DSM, it absolutely is a real phenomenon that affects many people. While cabin fever, at its essence, refers to feelings of social…

  • Anxiety,  Depression,  Men's Mental Health,  Stress

    Buddhism, Addiction & the Myth of Disempowerment

    Addiction can be viewed in various ways – from a psychological vs. physiological perspective, to the debate between whether or not there is a biological basis for addiction. Through my training, clinical experience and the lens of Buddhist psychology, addiction is not a matter of biology. It’s not some flaw in your design, some genetic mistake that predisposes you to a life of struggle and suffering. Rather, addiction is as incredibly simple (and insanely complex) as the brain’s inherent inclination toward pleasure and away from pain. I believe that as a society, we suffer from an epidemic of addiction. When I say “addiction”, I’m not referring to the most extreme…

  • Anxiety,  Depression,  Relationships

    Happiness

    What do you need to be happy? I mean really need? Where does your happiness live? Does it live in your bank account? Do you find it in the comforts of a paycheck, a job title or a dollar sign? If you need those things to be happy, then what happens when they change, as all things do? Is happiness something you find in a number on your scale, or on a tag on the back of your pants? Is it a size, a weight, a certain way that your body looks? What happens when you age, when your body swells with the magic of pregnancy? Where does your happiness…

  • Stress

    Therapy Session

    Hello, sweet child. Have a seat. Tell me about your fears. Your anxiety. Tell me about your sadness. And your shame. Your addictions and your demons. Tell me, sweet child, why you feel so unworthy and broken and unloveable. Empty the noise in your head, let it pour out into my lap. There. Now I can hold it for you. I can cradle all of your pain and suffering, all of the pieces of your broken heart. I’ll hold it like I would a baby bird with a broken wing: with love and tenderness and reverence. With respect for its beautiful fragility. Here, hold it with me. Take some. Some…

  • Relationships

    How Buddhist Psychology Can Help You Navigate A New Relationship

    The excitement, hope and sense of possibility that accompanies a new romantic relationship can be intoxicating. When we meet someone with whom we deeply connect we feel butterflies and excitement. We feel like we’re floating on a cloud and we experience bliss and euphoria…and then the mind kicks in. With all of its questions and fears and desire to control. With the attachment to outcome and “what if’s”, the catastrophizing and mind-reading and before we know it, we’ve driven ourselves absolutely insane. So what does Buddhism have to say about all of this? How can we apply principles from Buddhist psychology and yoga to help us navigate the beginning stages…

  • Self-Love

    Who Do You Think You Are?

    Who do you think you are? Are you the asshole who lives in your head? Are you the sum of all the stories your mind recorded over the years – the tales of triumph and woe, of successes and (mostly) failures? Are you Fear and Darkness, inherently rotten and broken and unworthy? Were you created to struggle and suffer, to toil uphill your entire life in a (completely unnecessary) attempt to atone for your sins?  Are you your preferences? Are you the color blue or the lucky number 27? Are you a skin tone, a diet, a number on a scale, a face in a mirror? Are you a job…

  • Relationships

    Being Alone Without Being Lonely: How Buddhism Helps Us Come Home to Our Selves

    A lot of us struggle with being single. Whether you’re single by choice or going through a divorce or break-up, the ego has a field day when we’re not coupled. This time is often very fertile ground for our mind’s greatest fears and negative self-talk to plant seeds. The ego tells us stories about how we’re broken, unworthy and unloveable. Our minds run wild with tales of being a social outcast, never finding a romantic partner and then eventually dying alone. The result of all this mind chatter? Debilitating loneliness. Loneliness so vast and unbearable that we literally want to jump out of our skin to get away from it.…