Reduce Holiday Stress by Educating Others About Your Health

Suffering from a chronic condition can be an ongoing crisis—for you and for those you’re close to. That crisis can come to a head during the holidays.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction? The Buddha and Nietzsche Can Help

Getting what you want is not the key to happiness. The key is learning to be at peace with the life you have.

Using the Body Scan to Help with Chronic Pain and Illness

Your body is so much more than just your pain or your illness. Making friends with this remarkable organism is emotionally calming and healing.

4 Techniques to Help with Physical Pain

In this piece, I want to focus on the physical sensation of pain, although the techniques I’ll describe can help with any physical discomfort.

Letting Go of What You Cannot Change

By repeatedly conjuring up images or thoughts that evoke envy and resentment, we, in effect, become an envious and resentful person. But we can make a different choice...

Five Minutes of Mindfulness Magic

I once read that the most common movie line is, “Let’s get outta here.” Here's an alternative: Be here now!

The Challenges of Living with Invisible Pain or Illness

Even illnesses that are life-threatening, such as cancer and heart disease, can be invisible to others.

Humor as Medicine: 20 Quotations about Health

"Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away." —Robert Orben

4 Tips for Slowing Down to Reduce Stress

These four tips can improve your physical and mental health. I hope that in reading through them, you allotted twice the time you estimated it would take!

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.