Spirituality

Growing Wings: The Power of Change

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I used to think I knew how some caterpillars become butterflies. I assumed they weave cocoons, then sit inside growing six long legs, four wings, and so on. I figured if I were to cut open a cocoon, I’d find a butterfly-ish caterpillar, or a caterpillar-ish butterfly, depending on how far things had progressed. I was wrong. In fact, the first thing caterpillars do in their cocoons is shed their skin, leaving a soft, rubbery chrysalis. If you were to look inside the cocoon early on, you’d find nothing but a puddle of glop. But in that glop are [...]

Zero Attachment, Zero Anxiety

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I have put myself on a very strict health regimen this summer. It has nothing to do with eating or exercise; it is a thought/emotion regimen, which, in the end, has many more concrete results than any physical diet one could undertake. My program is the “zero attachment, zero anxiety” diet. Mind you, shooting for no anxiety or attachment at all is extremely ambitious, and not something I would have undertaken five or even two years ago. It was only after twenty-some years of meditation and daily “mental hygiene” (noticing and dissolving all thoughts that cause suffering) that it even occurred [...]

The Invincible Summer Inside You

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I’m thinking of training a hamster to predict the weather in California, where I live. It won’t be difficult; I’ll purchase two buttons – a red one that says “sunny” and a blue one that says “not sunny.” Then I’ll teach the hamster that the blue button doesn’t exist. We’ll make millions! For those of you who don’t live in California, please accept my deepest sympathy. The first time I ever sought professional counseling was during my freshman year in college. I told the psychiatrist at the student health services that I was weepy, despairing, and unwilling to get out [...]

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