Existence is Suffering

Existentialists, Freud, Buddhists, as well as others, believe that there is pain inherent in life; that there is an emptiness that needs to be faced and cannot be avoided.

A Verbose Argument for Silence

To use more words, and possibly reinforce my own ego, to argue for silence is ironic and paradoxical. But much of communication is mindless, and thereby detrimental.

You Can Change Who You Are

The debate in personality psychology has been whether character traits or the environment have been more responsible for observable behavior. An underestimated aspect is the mind.

Transcending Romantic Love

There is really one simple step to transcending romantic love: Stop making everything about you, and do for another. Compassion, loving-kindness, and just loving are the path.

The Psychology of Enlightenment

One way to overcome, or at least mediate the pain inherent in life is to seek enlightenment. However, we often become entranced in the veneer of life, but yearn for something more.

You're So Selfish

Self-centered behavior is natural, but is detrimental to interpersonal relationships and an impediment to personal growth. Awareness can lead to using it to one's advantage.

Think Buddha. Be a Buddha

Everyone has Buddha nature hidden underneath layers of conditioning. Recent science demonstrates thinking you are something brings your behavior closer to who you want to be.

The Empowering Moment

We have the power in every moment to choose who we will be. This idea is empowering. In time one can be who one chooses to be, rather than who one was conditioned to be.

Mindful Arguing

Arguing is often negatively affected by emotions. Mindfulness can go a long way to defusing this interference, and allowing a disagreement or conflict to be thoughtfully resolved.

Why Does The Heart Want What It Wants?

Several famous people (and many more that we've never heard of) have muttered the words, "The heart wants what it wants". But there are reasons that some prefer to deny.

"You're the Worst" On Love

Romantic-Comedic television shows exaggerate what people experience in their lives. In the case of "You're The Worst", the show exaggerates the selfishness and what Maslow described as Deficiency-Love common in many relationships. However, just because it is "normal" (meaning the majority do it) doesn't mean you have to settle for it.

Why You Shun Enlightenment

There are a number of reasons people profess wanting enlightenment yet don't follow through, fall short, or deviate from the path. The easy answer is that it is hard. But what makes it hard? What makes it so attractive to remain unconscious?

Talk Your Brain Into Being A Better Servant

There are simple and proven techniques that can allow you to use your mind more effectively, and it begins with talking to yourself. Though long viewed as a sign of possible mental illness or decline, studies indicate self-talk, including talking aloud can lead to positive outcomes.

Tell Me About Your Day

There are a number of forces working against sustained effective and meaningful conversation in relationships. These forces range from evolutionary drives to acclimation to drives to succeed. Despite the forces working against a relationship, there are strategies that can be utilized to prevent or reverse these negative trends. It starts with mindfulness.

Everyone Has Won, And All Must Have Prizes

"Everyone has won, and all must have prizes." The Dodo Bird Verdict, as it is now called, is from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Dodo Bird suggested a competition where everyone ran around to dry off. Since no record was kept of how far or long everyone ran, when asked who won the dodo bird proclaimed all had won. This was later used to proclaim all therapies work.

Acceptance: It Isn't What You Think

Acceptance is viewed by many as a negative resignation, surrender, giving up. Not only is it not quite as simple as this, it has been found to be an effective strategy for lasting happiness. Combined with appreciation and resonating with the positive, science has demonstrated this is a powerful force in improving one's quality of life.

What Your Superpower Might Say About You

In 2001 a humorist and historian offered "This American Life" his informal study of how and why people choose invisibility or flying when offered a choice of these superpowers. He then proffered that perhaps the question indicates whether you want to embrace your dark side, or simply move toward being all you can be.

You Are Already Enlightened

Enlightenment has been described as simply as a deeper knowing, or more profoundly, as a transformation of consciousness. You are already on the path to enlightenment. There are simple, mindful ways to further progress and reap the benefits of enlightenment.

Psychotherapy and Meditation: Means To The Same End

Meditation and psychotherapy have much in common. Mindfulness, a focus on oneself, detachment from thoughts, and ultimately, enlightenment are all aspects and goals of both.

The Kanye West In All Of Us

Kanye West is a polarizing figure. But we possess many of the same qualities that lead to him being described as “a caricature of the egocentric modern celebrity” (Hawking, 2013). Projection, our own hypocrisy, and a fervent desire to holder own opinions as correct contribute to us being no better.

You Might Be Better Off Not Reading This

Many writers of enlightenment talk about how it lies within us; how our egos must be transcended, how the ego cannot transcend itself, and how all our knowledge works to inhibit enlightenment. Yet we continue to write about it, as the knowledge must be transmitted. The goal, however, remains to reach the inner peace that lies beneath all of the knowledge.

Essential Freedom Is Essentially Ignored

Essential freedom, defined as "freedom of being", is often neglected in our culture. Despite the writing of many scholars and existential theorists, the general populace continues to value existential freedom (to act on choices) over essential freedom. The recent gift-giving holiday and New Year's holiday mirror this unnecessary, but often fought, conflict.

Living With a Depressed Loved One

Depression is one the most common diagnosis in this country, and as such, many who love a person with depression suffer with them. It can be painfully difficult. But there are things that can be done to help yourself and perhaps your loved one. It starts with understanding the illness and its symptoms, leads to being loved, and can help with your own self-actualization.

Afraid of Ebola? Or Afraid of Living?

“Many refuse the loan of life to avoid the debt of death”. This quote of Otto Rank may be at the root of why many complain about life nearly incessantly, yet fear every threat to their life that comes along. In the existential view, many do not truly live out of their fear of dying. However, being aware of death can bring more pleasure and vibrance to life.

Technology, Conditioning, And The End Of Long Term Therapy

Technology has moved society, and therapy, forward. Yet there are drawbacks no one seems too concerned about. One is the conditioning for an immediate solution. Despite the empirical evidence short term therapy can be effective, there is still a need, and many benefits, for long term therapy. Yet it seems very few have the patience for it.

Your Diagnosis Can Be Like A Traffic Citation

There is a great deal of variance in giving a traffic citation. Some of this is dependent on what the officer feels like doing, or what he/she focuses on. We have come to accept this. Yet, we wouldn't want this to be true of a mental health diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is evidence this occurs in this area as well. Diagnosis isn't as scientific or as perfect as believed.

From Addicted, To Loving

Codependency can be a tough addiction to overcome. Often it isn't even noticed. When it is a problem someone wants to change, it is more difficult if one wants to maintain the relationship, but make it healthy. With focus and work it can be done.

You're Not In Love; You're Addicted.

What many people believe is normal and healthy love, is actually nothing more than an addiction. And like any addiction, people protect themselves from the truth with defense mechanisms. However, several prominent writers have purported the truth about "love", and many others have agreed on the determinants of healthy love.

Was a Zen Master a Sex Addict?

Sexual addiction is a controversial topic. In this essay the criteria are explored and compared to the behavior of a famous Buddhist monk, Master Ikkyu Sojun. Master Ikkyu was a Buddhist monk who sung the praises of sex in his poems, and with his behavior. Buddhist monks are expected to refrain from sex. But did he meet the criteria for sexual addiction?

Why Don't You Want To Feel Better?

Many people suffer psychologically, and seem to believe relief is out of reach. However, the answers to most psychological suffering are not secrets. They are, and have been, demonstrated and available for a long time. People may not be able to see solutions because secondary gains and defense mechanisms are robbing them of their motivation to change.