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Buddhas Brain

See Good Intentions

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.12.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Recognizing the positive intentions in others, we feel safer, more supported, and happier. And when others feel that you get their good intentions, they feel seen, appreciated, and more inclined to treat you well.

Let It R.A.I.N.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.04.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

How can we reclaim, use, enjoy, and be at peace with our whole estate -- without being overwhelmed by its occasional swamps and fumes?

Find Your Own Way

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.03.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Did you truly choose this path? The Practice: Find your own way. Why? The human body has about 100 trillion cells (plus another 10 quadrillion micro...

See What's Likable

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.20.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Your brain continually tracks whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. In essence, is it a carrot, a stick, or safely ignored? Naturally, we like -- we enjoy -- what's pleasant, dislike what's unpleasant, and wish what's neutral would get pleasant pronto.

Wake Up to Good News

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.13.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

The root cause of suffering and harm is ignorance, illusion, not seeing things as they actually are. But when we wake up and see the facts and live in the light, we feel so much freer, at ease, unthreatened, confident, overflowing, loved, and loving.

Leave the Red Zone

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.06.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

In your mind, intend to settle back down. Exhale slowly, twice as long as the inhalation. This helps light up the parasympathetic nervous system. Think of something, anything, that makes you feel safer, more fed and fulfilled, or more appreciated and cared about.

Change the Channel

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.29.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What can you do when nothing is working? The Practice: Change the channel. Why? In response to my previous JOT -- Find Stillness -- a wise therapist,...

Let It Go

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.22.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Make space for the disappointment or grieving that's natural when you let go of something that's been important for you. It's normal to feel sad about a loss. Then after a while, it occupies your mind less and less, and you move on to more fruitful things.

Find Stillness

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.15.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Moving toward ultimate matters, and where language fails, you may have a sense of something unchangingly transcendental, divine. Or, perhaps related, an intuition of that which is unconditioned always just prior to the emergence of conditioned phenomena.

Be Home

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.08.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Your body and mind want to come home: That's where energy is conserved for the marathon of life, where learning is consolidated, where resources are built rather than expended, and where pains and traumas are healed.

Find What's Sacred

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.24.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Without stress or pressure, see if there could be a deepening commitment to this something sacred. How do you feel about making sanctuary for it, in your attention and intentions, and in how you spend your time and other resources?

Pay Attention

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Controlling your attention -- becoming more able to place it where you want it and keep it there, and more able to pull it away from what's bothersome or pointless -- is the foundation of changing your brain, and thus your life, for the better.

Be Benevolent

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.10.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself.

How To Stop Feeling Rushed

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.02.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

How do you feel when you're rushing? Perhaps there's a bit of positive excitement, but if you're like me, there's mostly, if not entirely, a sense of tension, discomfort, and anxiety. This kind of stress isn't pleasant for the mind, and over time it's really bad for the body.

Enjoy Now

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.21.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

The present moment is continually passing away, so if you try to hold onto it in any way -- such as by remembering it or forming ideas about it -- you are no longer in the present. Therefore, relax. Open to this moment. Not planning, not worrying, not lost in thought.

Recognize Suffering in Others

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.13.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Watch and listen to those closest to you. What's hurting over there? Face it, even if you have to admit that you are one of its causes. If appropriate, ask some questions, and talk about the answers.

Try This: An Exercise In Generosity

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Moving through your day, try considering your contributions as offerings -- particularly the little things that are easy to overlook, such as the laundry, courteous driving, or saying thanks. When you relate to everyday actions as offerings, you feel an intimacy with the world.

Don't Beat Yourself Up

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.30.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

It's one thing to call yourself to task for a fault, try to understand what caused it, resolve to correct it, act accordingly, and move on. This is psychologically healthy and morally accountable.

Admit Fault and Move On

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.08.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

We might think that admitting fault is weak or that it lets the other person off the hook for his or her faults. But actually, it takes a strong person to admit fault and it puts us in a stronger position with others.

Trust in Love

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 03.27.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Trusting in love does not mean assuming that someone will love you. It means confidence in the fundamentally loving nature of every person, and in the wholesome power of your own lovingness to protect you and touch the heart of others.

How To Sturdy Your Basic Foundations

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.21.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

I and others tend to skip over the fundamentals for a variety of reasons, including impatience, laziness, or a kind of arrogance that thinks we can sort of get away with not paying our dues. But when we don't take care of the fundamentals, the foundation is shaky for whatever we've built.

Don't Quarrel

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.07.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

However they happen, quarrels are stressful, activating the ancient fight-or-flight machinery in your brain and body. A bit of this won't harm you, but a regular diet of quarreling is not good for your long-term physical and mental health.

Hope And Heart: 5 Ways To Feed Your Compassionate Self

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 03.29.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

We feed the wolf of love with heart and with hope. We feed this wolf by sustaining our sense of what's good in other people, what's good in ourselves, what's already good in our world, and what could be even better in a world we can build together.

On Lightening Up: Tips To Take The Weight Off Your Shoulders

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 02.16.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight. What's in your own backpack? If you're like most of us, you've got too many items on each day's to-do list and too much stuff in the closet. Too many entanglements with other people. And too many worries, guilts, and regrets.

Speaking Wisely: How The Buddha Might Communicate

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 01.27.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

With time and a little practice, you will find yourself "speaking wisely" without consciously thinking about it. You might be amazed at the powerful, assertive ways you can communicate within the frame of these six guidelines.