• Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Self-Love

    Letter to A Newborn

    Dear Sweet, Beautiful Little Darling, Hello! Welcome to this world. You are a ray of sunshine transmitted into a human body. With a human mind and human thoughts and human feelings. Without these forms, this matter of mind and body, you – Little Ray of Light – could not exist on this earth. So here you are, and your journey begins. I’m writing this letter to you to help you along your way…let it comfort you in times of darkness and add sparks to your celebration when all is well. Some important instructions: There will be pain, Little Love. Sometimes small and dull and fleeting, and at other times, acute…

  • Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    Live Your One Wild and Precious Life

    In her poem “The Summer Day“, Mary Oliver asks the question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Wild and precious. That life is…and it’s also messy and complicated and imperfect and heartbreakingly beautiful. The problem is, our minds get in the way. Our minds are a skewed and clouded lens, fogged by our past experiences, memories and all the stories we’ve created around who we are – our identities as human beings in this world, with our likes and dislikes, fears and hopes and notions about our capabilities and limitations. Our minds hold core beliefs about how loveable or worthy…

  • Anxiety,  Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Coping Skills,  Mindfulness & Meditation,  Relationships,  Self-Love

    Social Anxiety: How Buddhism Can Help You Cope

    Social anxiety disorder, also known as “SAD”, is a common psychological diagnosis centered on a fear of negative evaluation by others. Social anxiety is not about shyness or introversion, or even a dislike of people of social situations; rather, social anxiety occurs when a person is afraid of being judged by others, because of embarrassing behaviors that person believes he/she will display. Viewed through a lens of Buddhism and Buddhist psychology, social anxiety isn’t a pathological state requiring a clinical diagnosis, but rather, a result of the mind or ego. In Buddhist terms, suffering stems from the mind: from distorted thinking and also from overidentifying with ego, or taking ourselves…

  • Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Coping Skills,  Depression,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    Depression 101: How the Mind Creates Suffering

    The Buddha said many things on our minds and thinking, including “rule your mind or it will rule you” and “nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.” He taught that all suffering stems from the mind and that through practices such as mindfulness, meditation and yoga, we can learn to relate differently to our thoughts (also known in Buddhism as “ego”) and in doing so, find freedom from suffering. Much of what I do in my practice centers around these concepts. Clients come to see me with a variety of mental health challenges – including depression and anxiety, stress and grief, even relationship issues or problems…

  • Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Self-Love

    What Is Holistic Psychotherapy?

      The dictionary defines holistic as “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole”. When referring to holistic medicine, the definition is as follows: “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.” So a holistic perspective on psychology and psychotherapy perceives suffering and problems of the mind as intimately interconnected to your body. Meaning the state of your mind is influenced by the state of your physical body, and vice versa. Anyone who has eaten too much sugar or struggled with a sleepless…

  • Anxiety,  Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being

    Anxiety, Fear & Buddhism

    So many of us live our lives in fear. We’re afraid of failure, of being vulnerable (and risking rejection), afraid of not fitting in, of messing up, of letting ourselves and others down. We’re afraid to stay stuck and just as afraid to get well; afraid of depression and equally afraid of happiness; we fear pain and distress, ridicule and blame and we even fear our own thoughts and feelings! From a Buddhist perspective, fear is at the root suffering. The Buddha taught that all beings feel a deep sense of fear or anxiety, which stems from the fact that we resist the impermanence of our existence. Partly because of…

  • Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Mindfulness & Meditation,  Stress

    Acceptance, Non-Attachment & Surrender: How Buddhist Principles Decrease Stress

    I recently watched an episode of “Portlandia” in which Fred and Carrie, discussing all of the political/environmental/social justice issues one can be concerned about, decide to just “give up”. While the video is obviously a spoof and meant to be tongue-in-cheek, as a Buddhist psychotherapist, I couldn’t agree more with their plea to unburden their minds and let it all go! Since Trump became President, I have had numerous clients come to see me for psychological distress (anxiety, rage, etc.) caused by our current political reality. And while I would never tell any of them to just “give up” caring about the topics and issues that interest them, I do…

  • Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Men's Mental Health,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    Anger Management 101

    One of the most uncomfortable emotions for so many of us is anger. According to Buddhist Psychologist Tara Brach, anger can be viewed as a “wise discriminator“. As with all feelings, anger is an indicator – it lets us know that we need to protect ourselves from a possible threat. The problem is, anger is one of the most visceral emotions, and one of the emotions that we find ourselves most “hooked by”. Our minds get caught on our anger, and we often find ourselves being highly reactive when angry, losing our ability to stay calm and mindful and present. We mindlessly lash out, saying or doing things we later…

  • Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    What Is Mindfulness?

    Mindfulness – most simply defined as present-moment, non-judgmental awareness – includes an attitude of openness, curiosity, kindness and patience. At its core, mindfulness is an acceptance of the present moment, and a willingness to be with our experience of the here and now. Rather than trying to resist, attach to, run from or control a given experience, mindfulness teaches us to detach from our judgments and perceptions. By practicing such non-attachment, we are able to achieve a stable and consistent sense of inner peace that isn’t altered by external factors. So many of us rest our happiness on “things going our way”: we rely on certain “happy” events or preferred…

  • Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    Boredom & Buddhist Psychology: Learning to Stay with Our Experience

    We live in a society that is pretty obsessed with doing. We attach value to being busy, and most of us live in a constant state of activity, always working, distracting and interacting. We believe that a person’s worth stems from tangible achievements, accolades and outcomes – only by achieving a certain title, degree or salary are we deserving of love. Rarely do we make time to simply BE: to sit in silence and stillness, remaining present with our internal experience. Maybe we fear our own thoughts and feelings, afraid of what will arise if we actually stop all the busyness and just pause. For many of us, we simply…