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3 Important Lessons on Mindful Conversation

mindful conversation

You stare in stunned disbelief. “Did she really just say that? What the h*ll’s wrong with her? Didn’t she hear what I just said? I’m never going to get through to this person.” All of a sudden, your high-stakes conversation has just taken a sharp left turn. Your good intentions and well-laid plans have flown out the window. You start to feel off balance. Heat rises up the back of your neck. Breathing becomes heavier. Palms sweat. Mouth dries. Thinking scrambles. Focus narrows. Run away or lash out? Now isn’t exactly the time to excuse yourself ...

Free Meditation Apps Worthy of Your Attention

Free Meditation Apps - Smiling Mind app screenshot

There’s no shortage of mindfulness and meditation apps these days, promising to help you combat anxiety, sleep better, hone your focus, and more. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that more than 2,000 new meditation apps launched between 2015 and 2018, and offerings have only increased as a result of higher demand during the pandemic—according to the New York Times, mindfulness apps surged in 2020. We took the overwhelm out of finding the most valuable and easy-to-use mindfulness apps that are available free and narrowed it down to these...

You Can Change Your Life by Loving Yourself

There is a self-love crisis in American right now—and globally too. We aren’t at peace with ourselves, we don’t fully know ourselves, and as a result we don’t feel comfortable or safe. Sometimes this lack of self-love reflects our psychological underpinnings, but often it’s a reaction to stuff fully out of our control. And when people don’t fully know or understand themselves, they lash out, punishing either themselves or the outside world for something they can’t fully explain or describe.  Let’s be real about something. Life is easier when yo...

13 Mindful Nonprofits to Donate to This Holiday

One way to celebrate the season of giving is by “helping the helpers” who do good work in our communities, schools, and society. Here are 13 mindful nonprofits we think are worthy of your attention and donations. 1) WholeSchool MindfulnessWorking with schools across the US to co-create an education system that advances well-being, community, and justice through mindfulness by establishing and supporting the position of a “Mindfulness Director” in schools. A Mindfulness Director is a school or district staff member whose role is to integrate min...

How to Inhabit Time

Share “Gardening, with all of its micro-seasons within seasons, has attuned me to seasonality — the way time is lived in windows, chunks of history within parentheses. Life itself is epochal even if the scale is simply my life, which is hardly epic. Seasonality means that, rather than being governed by the unceasing ticks of a minute hand, our lives unfold in eras. While minutes, days, and years carve up and measure the cosmic time of Earth’s course around a dwarf star, for temporal creatures like us, the season is perhaps the most natural form...

How to Inhabit Time

Share Organized around three meditations on portions of the book of Ecclesiastes, James K. A. Smith’s new book focuses on the humanness and creatureliness of time, marking life with seasonality, taking a long view, and remembering that we will die. It’s a “spiritual adventure,” the author explains, living in time. Recognizing this is the start to living a more contemplative life, he says. This book will appeal to those who have grown more angry and frustrated in recent years, with a toxic political environment and a pandemic changing our way of...

Allowing the Truth to Surface

A contemplative technology that has been invaluable to me over the years is recognizing aspects of the personality. This tool is a way to acknowledge that we have different forms of our psyche and that each has its own set of beliefs, assumptions, and fears. It’s a tool that can create a lot of space. This contemplative technology helps to lovingly invite the questions: Who am I? Who am I truly? When we’re identified with any of the various forms of the conditioned mind, who we perceive ourselves to be feels solid, fixed, even permanent. When w...

7 Exercises to Help You Journal Your Way to Mindfulness

Journaling has been around for decades as a way of writing our thoughts, keeping track of events, or simply jotting down memories so we don’t forget. Scientific studies have shown that journaling is a powerful tool to foster and promote resilience, increase motivation and self-awareness, and achieve mindfulness. It allows us to be in the present moment, work through difficult emotions, gently acknowledge our feelings, and gain the clarity to make rational decisions.  When I became a social worker, I asked all of my clients to write down their f...

Transformation through Ritual

Share Rituals are the language of the soul. They are ways we can be more intentional about life. They carry the presence of the sacred into our daily rounds. They often mark doorway moments when we pass from one stage of life to another. They acknowledge that these passages are not just external changes but involve internal transformation. Spirituality & Practice is happy to welcome Barbara Biziou to our School of Spiritual Life for an interactive workshop where you will learn how to create transformative rituals. The workshop will take pla...

The Coat

Share The brilliance of The Coat lies in its believable perspective on how the practice of kindness emerges in the life of a child. Elise has coveted her older sister's coat for as long as she can remember. She loves not only its poppy red but also the maturity it symbolizes. She has a hard time controlling her desire to have it now, as she waits for her sister to outgrow it. When she finally receives a package containing the coat, she runs down the hall shouting, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Her joyful, grateful response gets almost imme...

What Makes Us Human?

Share “The time of true peace — when not only one people or one religion is just, but all living beings everywhere — is to come. But if the human race ever reaches that time of universal peace in which no one shall kill another, then there will be no memory of war. No one will know of any war fought between nations or between men and monsters. But until the end of this age in which we live, or until resurrection day, there must be no cease to struggle against evil.”

What Makes Us Human?

Share I hope the subtitle and third author’s name on this book don’t put you off. “An Artificial Intelligence Answers …” is the correct start of the subtitle. “GPT-3” is the correct third author; that abbreviation stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3,” which is “a natural language processing AI developed by OpenAI,” according to the human coauthors Thomas and Wang. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. There is surprising and refreshing wisdom here. It is a most interesting collaboration. Thomas and Wang fed the texts of our great ...

Causeway

Jennifer Lawrence as Lynsey and Stephen McKinley Henderson as her doctor

Share “Friendship asks and wants, hollows and fills, ages with us and we through it, cradles us, finally, like family. It is ecology and mysteryand language, all three.”-Beth Kephart in Into the Tangle of Friendship Interest in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been growing since the 1970s when thousands of severely traumatized veterans returned from the Vietnam War and then from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trauma-related symptoms were also tracked in other populations including rape and assault victims, individuals suffering from ...

The Essential Rumi

Share One night a man was crying.Allah! Allah! His lips grew sweet with the praising,until a cynic said,“So! I have heard youcalling out, but have you evergotten any response?” The man had no answer to that.He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep. He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,in a thick, green foliage.“Why did you stop praising?”“This longingyou express is the return message.”The grief you cry out fromdraws you toward union.Your pure sadnessthat wants helpis the secret cup. Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.That w...

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1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. THE SWEEPSTAKES IS SPONSORED BY MINDFUL COMMUNICATIONS & SUCH, PBC, 515 NORTH STATE STREET, SUITE 300, CHICAGO, IL 60654 2. Entry Period: “Dopamine Nation” (the “Sweepstakes”) commences at 12:01:01 AM (EST) on January 5th, 2022 and ends at 11:59:59 PM (EST) on February 28th, 2023 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). 3. Eligibility: To take part in the Sweepstakes, participants must be legal ...

A 12-Minute Meditation to Cultivate Gratitude for Small Things

Adobe Stock/ Maria Sbytova We often find ourselves focusing primarily on what we want but don’t have, which cultivates a negative state of mind, striving for something else. What would it be like to let go of needing anything to be any different in this moment, and to open up to what’s actually here that may bring joy?  One aspect of wisdom is understanding the complexity of a situation—appreciating how every event arises interdependently with every other event, how a whole sequence of causes and conditions have gone into creating this moment. ...

A Tiny Prayer for those who are mad as Hell

On November 19, 2022, Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Green Vance were killed and 25 others injured in a mass shooting by 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich at LGBTQ+ club, Club Q, in Colorado Springs. And so we pray this news . . . May you not lose yourself in this shadowed valley between rage and grief, but instead observe how many of us are wandering through this wilderness with you, may you never deny this inflamed feeling, but when you feel yourself about to be consumed by the heat, may you reach out to those ...

Terms and Conditions

1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. THE SWEEPSTAKES IS SPONSORED BY MINDFUL COMMUNICATIONS & SUCH, PBC, 515 NORTH STATE STREET, SUITE 300, CHICAGO, IL 60654 2. Entry Period: “The Heart of Who We Are: Realizing Freedom Together” (the “Sweepstakes”) commences at 12:01:01 AM (EST) on December 1st, 2022 and ends at 11:59:59 PM (EST) on February 20th, 2023 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). 3. Eligibility: To take part in the Swe...

All That Breathes

Kites in the New Delhi skies

Share “I thought that animals were always in the trenches, in harm’s way. Unless somebody, somewhere could find a way to build a new ark. . . . it had to be big enough to carry us all again.”— Brenda Peterson in Build Me an Ark Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammad Saud are brothers and amateur bird medics who for twenty years have treated 20,000 black kites out of the basement office of their nonprofit Wildlife Rescue in New Delhi. They have spent up to 12 hours a day treating these birds of prey. Now middle-aged, they appreciate the help of their young...

Are You Ready to Spend Time With Family This Holiday Season? Here’s the Ultimate Mindful Guide to Complicated Dynamics

Adobe Stock/ Good Studio During this holiday season, it’s expected throughout our culture to be merry, lighthearted, and tirelessly social—but the reality is that few of us can live up to these expectations all of the time. There are countless reasons we may be managing difficult emotions at this time of year—especially in the social situations that make up so many of our holiday traditions, no matter which holidays you celebrate. Tempers may flare. Tears may happen. It’s all understandable, if not comfortable.  The good news is that mindfulnes...

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About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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