Friday, March 26, 2010

Embracing Now

There's a Chinese proverb that I absolutely love which says, "the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now."
Dig in....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Coming Home

This Embrace

HOME by Kirtana

Beyond the sorrow and the hardships I've endured,
deeper than my inner child,
is a part of me, untouched and free -
innocent, undefiled.

Despite the ignorant and callous acts of man
and all the hurt that they can bring,
my attention has been drawn,
by the grace of God upon
what has never been affected by such things.

A stillness underneath the chaos -
the ground in which events appear.
Some call it presence or pure awareness.
I call it home now. And I live from here.

And no, this does not shield
my heart from future pain,
or take the trauma from my youth,
or exempt me from all rage
at injustice on life's stage,
I just pledge allegiance to a deeper truth.

A truth that underlies the chaos,
a peace from which events arise -
elusive to the mind,
but never hard to find -
always here to realize.

It's a peace that passeth understanding -
the very ground in which our lives appear.
Some call it Self or even God.
I call it home now. And I live from here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Bad Things Happen

A young man emailed me this evening asking me the age old question, "why did this (a bad thing) happen to me?" Part of my response included a quote from Harlod Kushner that I whole heartedly agree with, and thougtht I would share here in this blog.

“Let me suggest that the bad things that happen to us in our lives
do not have a meaning when they happen to us. They do not happen
for any good reason which would cause us to accept them willingly.
But we can give them a meaning. We can redeem these tragedies
from senselessness by imposing meaning on them. The question we
should be asking is not, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ That is really an unanswerable, pointless question. A better question would be, ‘Now that this has happened to me, what am I going to do about it?’"

Harold Kushner, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

While there are so seldom satisfying answers, and all too many quesitons, the most important question must eventually become, "what now?"

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Monday, March 15, 2010

Very Good Programs to View Online From UCT on Anxiety and Stress

University of California television offers a number of informative programs that can be viewed online on a wide variety of topics. I thought I'd very briefly outline a few that are available which address dealing with anxiety and stress.

UCT Recently aired a program entitled, "Worrying Well" which can be viewed here . The program is described as follows: "Physician, author, speaker, researcher, and consultant Martin L. Rossman, MD, discusses how to use the power of the healing mind to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, change lifestyle habits..."

Coping With Stress: Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Reduction is a very practical and informative presentation provides effective strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety.

Jon Kabat-Zinn's presentation, Coming to Our Senses
offers an excellent overview of mindfulness meditation, stress reduction, and the application of ancient Buddhist practices to healing.

In Positive Emotion in the Midst of Stress: Its Not Crazy it's Adaptive social psychologist Judith Moskowitz explores how positive emotions can be used to more effectively cope with stress.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression

"The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression" airs on PBS on March 25 at 9:00 PM. Considering that one in four women and one in eight men reportedly suffer from depression in the US, this is an important program to view.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Psychotherapy Brown Bag recently wrote about a wonderful online resource that provides instructions on the implementation of cognitive processing therapy in working with individuals suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. This free course can be found at .