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Just One Thing

Grow a Key Inner Strength

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.21.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

We all have issues -- including demands upon us, stresses, illnesses, losses, vulnerabilities and pain. Of course, many of our issues -- in the broad sense -- are related to important sources of fulfillment, such as starting a business or raising a family; still, there's some kind of challenge.

Feel Whole

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.15.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

With moments of practice that add up over time, you will feel more like a whole person, less fragmented and partial, less yanked this way and that by competing desires in your head.

Do Freely

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.30.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Try to experience doing as living. The sense of living then moves to the foreground, with doing as a matter-of-fact, no-big-deal, expression of embodied life. It's a subtle shift, but a powerful one.

Rest in Center

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Gravity draws things together, toward a center, while entropy scatters them into disorder. In much the same way, in our own lives, some things bring us to center, while others disturb and disperse us.

Relax Needless Fear Around Others

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Enjoy the sense of freedom this practice brings, the greater ease with others, the confidence. Notice how you can be more relaxed, patient, open, and caring with other people when you are not afraid.

Choose to Love

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.11.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Let love be there alongside whatever else is present in your relationship with the other person. There is love... and there is also seeing what is true about the other person, yourself, and circumstances affecting both of you.

Feel the Support

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.05.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What helps you carry your load? The Practice: Feel the support. Why? We're all carrying a load, including tasks, challenges, worries, inner criti...

Water Your Fruit Tree

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.29.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What would bear lots of fruit? The Practice: Water your fruit tree. Why? My wife and kids tease me that the title of this practice is corny -- an...

Enjoy the Freedom Not To

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Do you got to? The Practice: Enjoy the freedom not to. Why? We're pulled and prodded by financial pressures, commuter traffic, corporate polici...

Accept Difficulity

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.30.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

It's okay that things are difficult. That's part of what gives them their savor. Not all fulfilling experiences are grounded in some difficulty, but many are. Honor yourself for the hard things you're dealing with. And be aware of the things that are not difficult in your life, including the things that do support you.

Get Out of the War

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.12.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

See the suffering in the other people and yourself, and see if you can have compassion for all parties. The world outside may not change. But if you end the war in your own head, you'll feel better and act better. Which just might help the world around you to change for the better as well.

Drop the Load

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Wisdom is choosing a greater happiness over a lesser one. Sometimes you have to give up the lesser rewards of the new thing for the greater rewards of allowing some new space to clear in your life.

Cultivate Goodwill

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.28.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Put whatever happened in perspective. The effects of most events fade with time. They're also part of a larger whole, the great majority of which is usually fine.

Relax, You're Going to Be Criticized

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.21.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What are you bracing against? The Practice: Relax, you're going to be criticized. Why? The title of this practice is a little tongue-in-cheek. Wha...

Transform Ill Will

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Goodwill and ill will are about intention: The will is for good or ill. These intentions are expressed through action and inaction, word and deed, and especially thoughts. How do you feel when you sense another person taking potshots at you in her mind?

Accept Dependence

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Accepting dependence brings you into harmony with the way it actually is. All things, from gophers to galaxies, arise and pass away in dependence on all other things. Dependence is nothing to be ashamed of, in spite of our culture's hyper-emphasis on independence.

Come to Center

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 03.24.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

To what is your mind given? The Practice: Come to center. Why? I'm old enough to remember a time when people usually answered "good" when you asked ...


Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.06.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Find your warmth and good wishes amidst the mental clutter, like hearing wind chimes outside amidst storm and rain.

Drop the 'Shoulds'

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 12.14.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

At bottom, "shoulds" are not about events. They're about what you want to experience (especially emotions and sensations) if your demands on reality are met, or what you fear you'll experience if they're not.

One Breath at a Time

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

The breath is always available as an object of attention, whether formally in meditation or informally as a way to recenter yourself. Track the breath in yourself, and know yourself more deeply. Track the breath in others, and know them more deeply.

See Deep Wants

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.17.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Imagine your deepest wants like a soft warm current at your back, gently and powerfully carrying you forward along the long road ahead. How would this feel?

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.