Mindful Breathing for Children (and Parents) of All Ages

Mindful Breathing for Children (and Parents) of All AgesMost of us have heard the word mindfulness, which we instinctively recognize as something beneficial for us and our children, but what is it, really? And how can it possibly help, especially in the midst of the daily grind of ensuring that homework is completed, devices are turned off, and drama is kept to a minimum?

What's Important Now? Tips for Living in the Present

What's Important Now? Tips for Living in the PresentWhen you are living in the present, you know what's important for you, and you act on that knowing. You are able to see the big picture and the smallest detail all at the same time. Your sense of timing and your instincts become sharp. Great athletes show us just how true this is.

How To Survive Your Annoying Relatives This Holiday Season

How To Survive Your Annoying Relatives This Holiday SeasonSocial allergies are a lot like seasonal allergies. They’re annoying, exhausting and hard to avoid. They’re also especially common around the holidays. That’s because the holidays put you at a high risk of exposure.

Are You Guilty of Distracted Living?

The Timely Man’s Mindful Message: Are You Guilty of Distracted Living?
We live in a generation that has many distractions. Even when we try to be focused on the day—today—we’re affected by CPA—not certified public accounting but a syndrome I call “continuous partial attention.” We pay continuous partial attention in an effort not to miss anything—multitasking, surfing the Web, answering our cell phones—yet in the end, we gain nothing.

Finding Reasons to Feel Good: Is There Another Way To View This Situation?

Finding Reasons to Feel Good: "Is There Another Way To View This Situation?"
Have you ever suddenly and inexplicably felt depressed or irritable when just moments before you'd felt fine? That happens to all of us from time to time. The next time it happens, take a moment to remember what occurred just prior to your shift in emotions. What did you tell yourself about the comment or situation that made you feel bad? 

Breath: The True Barometer of Your Health

Breath: The True Barometer of Your Health
Breath is the foundation of everything, and everything begins with breath. Breath is the true barometer by which to measure your mental, physical, and emotional states: levels of anxiety, fitness, tightness, ease, or stress. The quality of your breath indicates how balanced and aligned the different systems of your body are at any given time.

Be "Here" Totally, Rather Than Stressing About The Past or The Future

Be "Here" Totally, Rather Than Stressing About Later
Are you stressed? Are you so busy getting to the future that the present is reduced to a means of getting there? Stress is caused by being "here" but wanting to be "there," or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It's a split that tears you apart inside.

Beware the Burden of a Busy Mind

Beware the Burden of a Busy Mind
There is a huge tendency to have way too much going on inside our minds, at the same time. Hundreds of thoughts and decisions about various things are all vying for our attention. There's also memory...

How To Manage Exam Stress

How To Manage Exam Stress
A little stress around exam time can be a good thing, as it motivates you to put in the work. But sometimes stress levels can get out of hand, particularly at the end of an academic year.

In Praise Of Doing Nothing

In Praise Of Doing Nothing
In the 1950s, scholars worried that, thanks to technological innovations, Americans wouldn’t know what to do with all of their leisure time. However, modern life seems to encourage acceleration for the sake of acceleration – to what end?

The Inner Security Breach… Protecting The Inner Buddha

The Inner Security Breach… Protecting The Inner Buddha
In Buddhist practice we must protect our inner Buddha. We must harden ourselves as targets by doing a survey of our vulnerabilities. We must get extremely personal with ourselves and ask some tough questions about our lives. We must find where our weaknesses lie, and identify what and who are threats to them.

Choose Joy -- Again and Again and Again

Choose Joy -- Again and Again and Again
If you were to observe yourselves very carefully and observe the choices that you allow yourselves to make in your existence, you would observe the limits to which you yourselves choose to impose on the joy of your existence. You would observe the degree to which you limit your joy of existence.

The Bridge of Empathy: Connecting to Others Through Compassion & Awareness

The Bridge of Empathy: Connecting to Others Through Compassion & Awareness|
As we open to the full range of experiences within ourselves, we become aware of what we perceive in each moment, no longer denying some feelings while clinging to others. By coming to know our own pain, we build a bridge to the pain of others. Knowing that someone will suffer if we perform a harmful action or say a hurtful word, we find we do these things less and less.

How To Achieve Peace of Mind and Great Tranquility

How To Achieve Peace of Mind and Great Tranquility
The important thing to remember is that our sense of self-awareness is uniquely human, and it allows us to observe our own brain, to have mastery over it, and to exercise and improve it. As with all things, the search for meaning improves with practice, which eventually leads to an even richer and more meaningful life.

The Art of Practicing Mind Fasting

The Art of Practicing Mind Fasting
Fasting the mind is easier said than done. It requires immense discipline and a transformation of lifestyle. But paradoxically it is not hard at all; it is the easiest thing in the world to accomplish because your true nature is an empty liberated mind. This ancient art of healing brings you back to the present moment, where you’ve always been in reality...

About Time, Labyrinths, Life: A Secret of Sweet Success

About Time, Labyrinths, Life, and A Secret of Sweet Success
We may think we have learned to tell time, but actually we are allowing what we have made of time to tell us how to lead our lives. The next time someone asks you, 'Do you have the time?' consider it a profoundly important question. Don't look at your wrist. Look into your heart and mind and translate the question to 'Are you paying attention to your life?'

Do Attention And Distraction Refer To The Same Behavior?

Do Attention And Distraction Refer To The Same Behavior?
A constant complaint in our unpredictable world is that we live in an age of distraction. I am quick to label students who stare at their phones in my class distracted...

Are You Living in the Present or the Past?

Are You Living in the Present or the Past?
When observing our mind, we may notice that much time is spent thinking about the past and the future. Thoughts and emotions twirl around, seemingly of their own accord, but sometimes we must admit to churning them up or at least not making the effort to counteract them. What do we...

The Power of Stillness: Receptivity and the Inner Feminine

Receptivity and Honoring the Feminine: The Power of StillnessMost of us have heard about male and female energy, and how we all have a bit of both within us. In truth, these ener­gies are one, inseparable and incapable of existence as singular entities. However, the functions of our creative life force are characterized along masculine and feminine lines.

Do Something Different: How to Break Habits and Routines

Do Something Different: How to Break Habits and RoutinesDo you have a favorite coffee mug and get a bit miffed if a guest inadvertently uses it? Do you have 'your' side of the bed? We all have an affinity with repetition and habit, often when there's no good reason for it. It's just familiarity, our comfort zone.

Just What Is Mindfulness?

Just What Is Mindfulness? You’ve probably heard of mindfulness. These days, it’s everywhere, like many ideas and practices drawn from Buddhist texts that have become part of mainstream Western culture.

Mindfulness: What, Why, and How

in the momentRemember then: there is only one time that is important – Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. This quote by Leo Tolstoy in What Men Live By and Other Tales is valuable wisdom and...

Slowing Down In Order To Get There Sooner!

Slowing Down In Order To Get There Sooner!In my piano service business, I worked many seven-day weeks, and some fourteen- to sixteen-hour days. Once, when I had a particularly long day ahead of me, I decided I would put all my effort into deliberately working slowly. I couldn’t get a day off, so going slowly for at least one day seemed rather appealing.

How To Calm the Body, Mind, and Spirit using Mindful Exhalations

Calming the Body, Mind, and Spirit using Mindful ExhalationsBreathing is the bridge between our external and internal environments. The exhalation is linked to relaxation and the sense of well-being. It’s understood in expressions such as, “breathing a sigh of relief” and “breathing easy.”

How to Control Your Racing Mind to Attain Peace and Serenity

How to Control Your Racing Mind for Peace and SerenityIf your mind is always racing, then you're probably overwhelmed with activities, which are over-stimulating your mind. Your commitments take up every minute of your day; from the time you wake up, until the time you go to bed. Your mind never gets a rest, not even when you sleep.

How Mindfulness Can Help The Shift Towards A More Sustainable Society

How Mindfulness Can Help The Shift Towards A More Sustainable SocietyWe know that mindfulness can transform the life of an individual. But did you know it could also change the world? We need to develop new social practices and encourage a broader cultural shift towards more sustainable living and climate action.

Mindfulness at the Kitchen Sink

Mindfulness at the Kitchen SinkChoose one or two ways you can apply mindfulness in your daily life in the coming week. The more specific you are in choosing the activities, the more likely you are to follow through. You might choose washing the dishes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to begin your mindfulness experiment...

How to Cure Yourself of Excessive Thinking

How to Cure Yourself of Excessive ThinkingExcessive thinking is rarely creative thinking. More commonly it is driven by craving (or desire) and aversion (or fear), and is often aggressive or defensive in nature. Excessive thinking loves to “attack” problems and anything or anyone that...

The Thinking Obsession: Aware vs Unaware Thinking

The Thinking Obsession: Aware vs Unaware ThinkingMany of us are obsessed with certain things such as food, sex, gambling or work, or with certain people or emotions. When it comes to these obsessions we are out of control. But all of us have one obsession that we tend to ignore: we are obsessed with thinking.

Does Mindful Eating Help You Lose Weight?

Does Mindful Eating Help You Lose Weight?Mindful eating is increasingly being promoted as a solution to being overweight. Mindful eating, we are promised, will help us eat less, transform our relationship with food and end our battle with weight once and for all.

How To Discover What Works for You (and what doesn't)

How To Discover What Works for You (and what doesn't)Taking time for your personal development isn't indulgent, selfish, or self-serving. Rather, it is necessary and vital to be good to yourself, if you wish to do good for others. What happens when you become more aware of yourself is that you'll be able to let go of...

How to Dissolve Solid Views & Evolve Beyond the Little Me

How to Dissolve Solid Views & Evolve Beyond the Little MeIt takes some training to equate complete letting go with comfort. But in fact, 'nothing to hold on to' is the root of happiness. There's a sense of freedom when we accept that we're not in control. By not knowing, not hoping to know, and not acting like we know what's happening, we begin to access our inner strength.

Why Health Advice Is More Successful If You’re Mindful

Why Health Advice Is More Successful If You’re MindfulWhen you hear health messages—such as quit smoking or get more exercise—do you feel motivated or ashamed? A new study suggests how we react may depend on how mindful we are.

How You Can Rewrite the Script of Your Life

How We Can Rewrite the Script of Our LivesOur lives are a series of “moments” that flow together. We tend to extract one frame here, another one there, and fabricate stories about them. Stories breed with each other. One triggers another.

While You're Busy Making Other Plans...

While You're Busy Making Other Plans...Many of us would like to have a peaceful ride, enjoy the present moment, yet we can’t help but make future plans so we feel secure, or we spend time digging on past hurts. But... the true experience of being alive is beyond those plans, and “happens” to us.

What Are The Benefits of Living In The Present?

What Are The Benefits of Living In The Present?The present is what is happening when you strip away all the resentments of your past and all the worries you have about your future. To live in the present is to live as if the past never existed and as if the future were irrelevant. Living in the present is a vision for life that is achievable in any...

What If Our Life Always Began Now?

What If Our Life Always Began Now?To come to the beginning of ourselves is to cease to be victims of circumstances, the actions of others, or even our own mistakes. The true story of who we really are begins now. We are no longer tossed willy-nilly from one desire, thought, or worry to another in a futile process of trying...

Responding Healthily to Our Emotions & Feelings

Responding Healthily to Our Emotions & FeelingsWhen we learn to respond more healthily to the emotions and feel­ings that arise, we can radically change the quality of our lives. One of the greatest disappointments I felt in growing up was that no one ever gave me help in dealing with emotions. The experience must be extremely widespread, because...

Using Mindfulness to Break Bad Habits

Using Mindfulness to Break Bad HabitsPracticing mindfulness can help you recognize habits and replace them with newer and better ones. This is a core element of mindfulness, and indeed why mindfulness is itself called a “practice.”

Are You Struggling for a "Perfect Life"?

Are You Struggling for a "Perfect Life"?One day Ajahn Chah held up a beautiful Chinese teacup. “To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.” When we understand the truth of uncertainty and relax, we become free.

Awareness versus Self-Improvement

Awareness versus Self-Improvement It is not what we feel or experience that we need fear; it is what remains unconscious that poses the real threat. Parts of our survival psychologies, such as an unconscious need to feel loved and secure by helping others, eventually betray us...

In This World of Distraction, How to Manifest the Impossible

In This World of Distraction, How to Manifest the ImpossibleThe world of distraction spins around and around, while moving continuously to keep itself amused and entertained. It transports us to a world of fantasy, or a world of controversy, or competition, or of just about anything other than the one true existence that is right before us. Distraction keeps...

Live in the Here & Now, Not in the Past or Future

Live in the Here & Now, Not in the Past or FutureLiving in the here and now is the only way to make it safely through life with as much stress-free enjoyment and productivity along the way as possible. Some of us go down the path (life) shining our lights (focus of attention) too far and too frequently behind us...

Are You Surfing the Waves of Life?

Are You Surfing the Waves of Life?I smile to myself as a long awaited opportunity has finally arrived. I say opportunity perhaps inappropriately, but the chronic illness that challenged my life for so many years gifted me with an understanding of life that would help me make sense of the rest of it.

Plugging Into Your True Power Through Silence

Plugging Into Your True Power Through SilenceSilence is often the doorway to an ever deepening understanding of this thing called Life and our own true power. Silence is a wonderful place where wonderful things happen... Silence is food for the soul, a gift from the Great Universal Intelligence.

Making a Habit of Mindfulness, One Minute At A Time

Making a Habit of Mindfulness, One Minute At A TimeMaking mindfulness a habit seems paradoxical: habits are things that we do automatically and with little attention, whereas mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment. Yet we can develop a habit of paying attention to the present.

What Are Animals Inviting Us To Become?

What Are Animals Inviting Us To Become?If we look at human history, we find it replete with animals, in legend and lore. Beginning with the oldest cave paintings, and continuing into the print and electronic media of current times, animals are deeply embedded in our stories because they inform our ways of understanding the world. Since humanity’s beginnings, they have helped us to survive and thrive...

How to Make Mindfulness a Way of Life

How to Make Mindfulness a Way of LifeThe problem that many people have is their misconception of what leads to happiness. They usually point to their successful career, family, and material possessions as evidence of their happiness. But as you’ve probably realized by now, all these things are impermanent and bring only temporary pleasure.

Earth Angels: Exploring and Participating in the Fifth Dimension

Earth Angels: Exploring and Participating in the Fifth DimensionRegular science does not acknowledge the existence of a fifth dimension. In the hardcore factual world of science, there are only three dimensions of space: up/down, left/right, and forward/back. There is a fourth temporal dimension—that of time. However, things in the scientific world are changing.

If You Pause and Reflect, Are You A Modern Mystic?

Are You a Modern Mystic?Most people today cannot relate to mysticism at all, not even when it is described as an inner spiritual instinct. For this reason, I prefer to call those who do pause and reflect, listen, and connect spiritually (and keep as their main focus at all times that special inner Divinity innate to us all) modern mystics.

Is Life About Avoiding Misery or Creating Joy?

healing-is-revealingOur bodies, like our world, reflect our internal dynamics. If we have chaos within our consciousness, we have chaos within our bodies. We must clear out the fear and the junk we’ve carried around for years and learn again what it is to simply be.

10 Steps to Finding True Inner Peace with Mindfulness Meditation

10 Steps to Finding True Inner Peace with Mindfulness MeditationIn today's world, many people are coming to the realization that searching for happiness through achievements and material possessions simply adds to their rising stress, only bringing them more chaos and unhappiness. As they are forced to re-evaluate the direction of their lives, they begin searching for an alternate road to happiness and inner peace.

What I Learned About Living From Dying of Cancer

What I Learned About Living From Dying of Cancer

Many more patients are now living for years with the diagnosis of terminal illness. The author describes her journey to what she calls "livingly dying" - facing her death by living in the moment with grace and mindfulness.

You Don't Have to Find Your Path, You're Already On It

You Don't Have to Find Your Path, You're Already On ItYou stumble along thinking you don't know the way, and then one day you realize you're in the middle of it. I'd always thought that a path was a means to an end. A course of study, a tour of duty. The distance from A to B. The anguished span between wanting and having. The truth is...

Opening Up to a Sense of Connection and Love using Sacred Attention

Opening Up to a Sense of Connection & Love using Sacred Attention

Attention, as with awareness, can be understood as a relationship. It is the relationship between the one who is aware, or the "awarer" (whom we know as "me" or "I"), and the object of awareness. When it comes to the quality of our attention, we are like a child who, when he or she initially picks up a hammer, just smashes away at the nail without having yet understood that...

Embrace the Astounding Strength of Kindness

Embrace the Astounding Strength of KindnessThe impact we can have on the world we share, if we choose to be kind in every circumstance or even in an occasional situation, simply can’t be overestimated. The shift in how life would feel to everyone is truly beyond description. This may seem far-fetched, but...

Creating a Place of Solitude & Refuge In Your Home

Creating a Place of Solitude & Refuge In Your HomeAny place we live must accommodate a number of activities: socializing, sleeping, cooking, eating, bathing, relaxing. But what about quiet alone-time? Renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell insisted we all need a place to "simply experience and bring forth what [we] are and what [we] might be."

Going From Ignorance to Wisdom Through Mindfulness

Pursuit of Wisdom Through MindfulnessThe practice of mindfulness entails a careful examination and surgical dissection of what is being presented by reality from what is being projected by us. When we are simply imagining something and we attend with a quiet mind, our projections tend to vanish like mist under a hot sun. On the other hand...

Driving and Kissing: Being Where Your Heart Is

 

Driving and Kissing: Being Where Your Heart Is

I saw a romantic greeting card which showed a couple kissing in the front seat of a car. The message said, "If you can kiss while driving safely, you are not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." Anything that is worth doing...

Five Tips for Maintaining Mindfulness of Life

Five Tips for Maintaining Mindfulness of LifeA good way of integrating mindfulness into daily life is to practice while engaging in activities you might usually plow through on auto-pilot.  You might find that paying attention to these everyday activities can radically...

Beyond Food Addictions & Bingeing: MB-EAT

Beyond Food Addictions & Bingeing: Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training

People whose “drug of choice” is food have a tendency to cope with stress by over-eating, often bingeing on foods. Unlike drugs or alcohol, it isn’t possible to steer clear of temptation — we all need to eat, several times a day...

Learning How to Listen: Listening Is Active, Not Passive

Listening Is Active, Not PassiveElliott Jaffa, Ed.D., a behavioral psychologist who conducts "active listening" seminars for businesses and other groups, says, "In reality, very few people really know how to listen. There's more to active listening than sitting back and letting your eardrum collect vibrations. When done properly, it's actually hard work..."

Practicing Mindfulness and Kindness

Practicing Mindfulness and KindnessLiving amid the busyness of our high-tech and low-touch society takes us away from fully experiencing our day-to-day lives. We often live on autopilot, doing without experiencing. We can be quick to judge, react, resist, run away, or retreat when things don’t...

Investigating Feelings: Good, Bad, or Indifferent

Investigating Feelings: Good, Bad, and Indifferent

We often consider feelings as existing with only positive or negative values. Besides positive and negative feelings, there are neutral feelings. We want pleasure, we don’t want pain, and we relax when we feel indifferent. When a pleasurable feeling arises or is anticipated, the response of most...

Stepping Toward Peace by Changing Our Relationship With Thought

Taking A Step Toward Peace by Changing Our Relationship With ThoughtWe spend our lives immersed in a flood of thoughts, unaware that another dimension of consciousness is available to us. It is a dimension in which we come to know ourselves as something other than thinkers. By taking a step back, we become the witness of our thoughts. This subtle but radical...

The Entirety of Our Life is a Series of Moments

The Entirety of Our Life is a Series of MomentsWhile we live, we’re doing something in every moment. That doing may be sleeping and dreaming, or laughing or playing, or sitting very still in meditation, or writing or stretching. Life consists of action (or stillness) moment to moment. So even if...

Are You Being Hypnotized by Advertising?

Are You Being Hypnotized by Advertising?Are You Being Hypnotized by Advertising?Your adventure begins with a close look at how you might acquire some, if not all, of your beliefs. I could ask: Are you hypnotized?  Imagine that a stage hypnotist has hypnotized you. The experience will seem quite real, even if it’s a pure hallucination. Imagine you’ve been...

Mindfulness in Everyday Life, One Step At A Time

Mindfulness in Everyday Life, One Step At A TimeWhen we arrive back home after a mountaintop experience, often we are required to deal with the maddening routines of life. Laundry has to be done, dishes have to be washed, professional work needs our attention, lawns have to be mowed, pets need to be cared for, and our families need our attention; all of these...

Pure Potentiality

The first spiritual law of success is the Law of Pure Potentiality. This law is based on the fact that we are, in our essential state, pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is pure potentiality; it is the field of all possibilities and infinite creativity. Other attributes of consciousness are...

How to Maintain Mindfulness with Whatever Feelings Arise

How to Maintain Mindfulness with Whatever Feelings AriseWe need to avoid dwelling on any judgments, decisions, or internal commentary that may arise based upon the feelings we are observing. We must be careful not to identify with the feelings and consider them "ours". The following contemplations support the arising of insight into the nature of feelings and the ways in which we react to those feelings....

Developing Mindfulness: Doing Tasks As Though For The First Time

Developing Mindfulness: Doing Tasks As Though For The First TimeSo often we do not have our minds on what we are doing -- our bodies are doing one thing and our minds are on a totally different tack, which creates disharmony. In order to turn off our “automatic pilot”, we need to develop more awareness of what we are doing, to do things more slowly so that we can see each part of the routine action more clearly.

The Common Sense Antidote to Suffering

The Common Sense Antidote to SufferingWhen you look at a painting, whether the Mona Lisa, the Birth of Venus or anything you find beautiful, where is the beauty coming from? Where is the source of the beauty? It is obviously not coming out of the painting, or everyone would agree that one painting is beautiful and another is ugly...

Busy, busy, busy

Busy, Busy, Busy, article by Marie T. Russell

by Marie T. Russell.

I speak with a lot of people daily, and it seems like "not having enough time" is a recurring theme... We spend our waking hours doing things on our list of "things to do" and not having (or taking) the time to do the things that would nurture our spirit and that would please us best.

Freedom Through Self Awareness

by David Montini.

The fear was so intense that he could feel his heart beating in his throat. Moments before he had been enjoying the company of his two older female cousins (16 and 18 years old). It had become a normal Sunday practice to play with them after escaping from visiting next door with the adults. They were engaged in their weekly naughty behavior of playing poker, sipping wine, and smoking his aunt's non-filtered cigarettes.

Discovering Sense Ability

by Doris Wild Helmering. Sense ability is the skill to observe your thoughts, your feelings, and your behavior. It also makes you aware of others and provides real-time feedback as to how your feelings and behavior affect others -- inhibiting or inviting closeness, empathy, tolerance, emotional intimacy, interconnectedness, and oneness.

Life's Seasons & Cycles

Life's Seasons & Cycles by Marie T. Russell

by Marie T. Russell. Summer has gone... and Winter will be arriving... yet Spring will return. The seasons pass in nature, as in our own lives. The winter of doubt and fear does pass away as we become aware that there is no one to blame for the dark times we went through -- not even ourselves. These are simply the processes of life, the changing seasons as it were.

Towards An Aware Humanity: Healing, Loving, Compassionate

Towards An Aware Humanity: Healing, Loving, Compassionate

by Wayne Teasdale. The elements of awareness encompass conscious knowing, the ability to read hearts, to be a healing, loving, compassionate presence, situated in the Now. They also encompass practical wisdom in every situation, the ability to enlarge perspective, to affirm others and promote dialogue and mutual..

Why Not Now? Forget The Past and Future and Be Content Now

Why Not Now?  Forget The Past and Future and Be Content Now

The present is the only time we can choose between love and fear. When we fret about the past or worry about what to do in the future, we accomplish nothing. And yet, our mental habit of reliving the past and rehearsing what is to come generates various forms of pain.

Accidents and Synchronicities: The Big Stuff and the Little Stuff

Accidents and Synchronicities: The Big Stuff and the Little Stuff

The soul often whispers to us through synchronistic events. A synchronistic event occurs when we recognize that two or more causally unrelated events resemble each other and catch our attention. When we don't pay attention, the message has to be more powerful, perhaps in the form of an accident.

Learning to Live in the Moment and Taking Back Your Power

Learning to Live in the Moment and Taking Back Your PowerOne of the most difficult and rewarding things you will ever learn is how to live in the moment. Quite simply, if you are to have power to create the reality you want you must learn how to live in the moment.

Can You Hold? Having an Experience of Silence...

Can You Hold? Having an Experience of Silence...Silence is not particularly my thing. I remember, many years ago, when my closest and dearest friend shared with me that she was attending an eight day "silent retreat" -- just the thought put me in a twitter. Yet, now that I'm in my fifth decade, I'm beginning to appreciate at least a measure of silence...

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