Mindfulness

  • Embrace the Return
    On any particular day, if you looked at the minutes of my mind on a bar chart, you would be startled. Much of the day, my mind is absorbed with meandering thoughts about tasks, details, to-do lists, whether to check email (again), and other minutia. When I stop to look, I see that a lot …
  • Life Is Not a Problem to Be Hacked
    Like everyone, I want things to be easy. There’s no need to make life hard if there’s a smarter way to do things. I’m always looking for tips, like Hints from Heloise:  freeing a sticky zipper with a graphite pencil, or putting newspaper at the bottom of a trash bag to collect the drippings (do …
  • Always Forgetting, Always Remembering
    Maybe the world ends when I do. (Go with me on this thought experiment.) Maybe it all evaporates at the instant of my death, the sun and all her sister stars spread across the eons snuffed out in a whisper. Maybe my consciousness is the sum total of consciousness. All the events and people I …
  • Living Life With an Open Window
    I spend too much energy trying to curate my experience, as if I could choreograph my days to linger over the pleasures and hurry past the disappointments. This is perfectly understandable. Our human tendency to shy away from discomfort and gravitate toward pleasure is universal. But blindly following this instinctual drive has a cost. It …
  • Finding My Father
    “Dad, I can’t understand what you’re saying.” I strain to hear my father’s voice. He exerts himself to speak, wrinkling his forehead and the muscles of his face. He has something important he wants to convey, but his speech is garbled, a burble of feathery sounds with only an occasional word I can recognize. I …