Remembering the Unacknowledged Victims of the 9/11 Attacks

By Wednesday, September 12th, 2001, they wondered if they should call the wedding off. Who would want to come and, if they did come, who would be in a celebratory mood?

How to Cope with Personal and Global Uncertainty

His therapist said to him, “We can’t live our life in fear. We all must develop an assumption of safety that allows us to get through the day.”

When to Say “No” or “Not Now”

As I reflected on the best way to assess if it would be wise to set a self-protective boundary and say "no" or "not now," the Buddha's teachings on wise speech came to mind.

Non-Judgment Day

I like to consciously think: “The world is big enough for both the talkative and the untalkative; for both the complainers and the non-complainers.”

How to Find Joy in a Vacation You Cannot Take

The last time I was in New York City was about 20 years ago—August, 1992. I took my then-teenaged daughter, Mara, to see The Big Apple.

Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Mind Being Housebound

I've been mostly housebound and often bedbound since I became chronically ill in 2001. It took me many years to make peace with my new life.

How a Pet Can Sharpen Your Mindfulness Skills

My dog is my mindfulness guide. He doesn’t ruminate about the past. He doesn’t worry about the future. His attention to the present moment isn’t distracted by negative self-talk.

Things You Can Do from the Bed, Part 2: Ideas from Readers

This is a follow-up to my piece "Things You Can Do from the Bed."

How NOT to Treat Yourself When Chronic Illness Strikes

Initially, I blamed myself for not recovering; I felt guilty, as if I'd done something wrong that I could have prevented had I been stronger willed.

4 Qualities of Mind that Alleviate Suffering

The four sublime mental states are qualities of mind that we cultivate in order to alleviate the suffering we experience in everyday life and to feel more connected to others.

Things You Can Do from the Bed

Little did I know in 2001, that my bedroom would soon become my home. Here's what you can do from the bed, although my list applies equally to life from the couch or the recliner.

How Keeping a Zen Mind Can Save a Relationship

Three Zen masters—one from Korea, one from Vietnam, and one from the United States—have offered powerful teachings to keep us from rushing to judgment about others, teachings that can save a relationship.

How to Ask for Help

How many times have you said to a friend in need, "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help," and when you didn't hear back, fail to follow-up?

Opera Is Now for Everyone!

I was a rock n’ roller with not the slightest interest in opera.But in April 2005, I decided to face my fear. I picked a DVD of The Marriage of Figaro because it was by Mozart...

6 Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness Outside of Meditation

It may surprise you to learn that practicing mindfulness outside of meditation is a major component of meditation retreats.

How to Turn Loneliness into Sweet Solitude

When I became chronically ill over a decade ago and had to trade the busy life of a university professor for the isolation of my bedroom, the loneliness was palpable.

10 Tips from 10 Years Sick

Ten years ago to the day, my husband and I flew from California to Paris, planning to immerse ourselves in Parisian culture for three weeks. The second day there, I got sick.

Sick and Stuck in a Small Town

The first few years of being stuck in Davis, I longed to get away—to spend a day in San Francisco, to walk the cliffs of the Mendocino Coast, to breathe Hawaii’s fragrant air.

How to Cultivate Equanimity Regardless of Your Circumstances

Equanimity is a central Buddhist concept that makes it possible to find contentment and happiness in this very life...

The Stigma of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome II: Readers Respond

I've written this follow-up because of an email I received about a harrowing experience in the ER. Before I tell that story, here's a few of the comments I received from readers.

How a Now-Defunct Borders Bookstore Taught Me to Let Go

Borders didn’t carry my book, "How to Be Sick." Yes, you could get it at, but that didn’t stop me from feeling disregarded.

How Mindfulness Can Help with Physical Suffering

We'd like to be free from physical discomfort, but we're in bodies and they get injured, sick, and old. The Buddha prescribed mindfulness to help ease that physical discomfort.

Issa: My Life Through the Pen of a Haiku Master

When I became ill and began to live a life of relative seclusion, I discovered a kindred spirit: the lay Buddhist priest Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828).

A Lesson in Loss from Susan Saint James

When Susan Saint James was interviewed about the death of her son Teddy in an airline crash, she said that she and Teddy were like roommates and had become best friends. Then, emanating deep calm and acceptance, she said: "His was a life that lasted fourteen years."
Used with permission of Tony Bernhard

The Stigma of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When doctors ask what's wrong with me, I can give one of two answers; neither is satisfactory in the context of obtaining quality health care for myself and others with CFS.

Have You Listened to Your Self-Talk Lately?

Would I ever call a friend "dumb" or "stupid" or an "idiot"? No!

Life Is Tough but Freedom Is Possible

Take control of your life by learning to work skillfully with the types of unhealthy desires that make you continually dissatisfied and unhappy.

Taking the Plunge

I love blogs. That is, I love other people's blogs.