Syria Crisis: Mindfulness and Stress Management for Emergency Relief Workers

Final preparations are being made by the Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project team for our biggest operational moment of 2018 so far. From March 20th to March 29th, the CBR Project’s team of psychologists and meditation and mindful movement teachers will be on the ground in the Middle East offering direct support and building the resiliency skills of aid workers in…

flower for article on buddhist hospice care

Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

No one alive really understands death. But as one woman who was close to death once told me, “I see the exit signs much clearer than you do.” In a way, nothing can prepare you for death. Yet everything that you have done in your life, everything that has been done to you, and what you have learned from it…

How to Practice Self-Compassion

When doing research for my latest book Real Love, I had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of my students around the world about what love meant to them—self-love, love for friends and family, romantic love, parental love, love in all contexts. In many of these conversations, the topic of “letting go” came up. In all facets of life, we…

Does Meditation Work?

Does meditation work? I got interested in questions like this through an unusual project I helped develop: the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. Back in the early 2000s, the Dalai Lama asked Emory University to develop a sustainable curriculum in modern science for his Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in exile in India. As you can imagine, this was (and still is)…

Fierce Compassion in the Anthropocene

During the winter season a few years ago, 108 inches of snow fell in Boston, breaking the record for the most seasonal snowfall in recorded history. And this snow, it did not melt. We watched it drift into six-foot banks in our backyard, burying our dwarf Japanese maple entirely. Day after day dawned frigid, stinging our cheeks as soon as…

How Can People Be Deeply Spiritual and Emotionally Immature?

Over the last 40 years, Jack Kornfield has been a significant force in bringing Buddhist practices to the United States. In 1967, he graduated from Dartmouth College, joined the Peace Corps, and was assigned to service in Thailand. Kornfield then trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma, studying under many influential teachers. After returning…

Healing Ourselves, Healing the World

When the truth of what had happened on Election Day 2016 sank in, our meditation community—like many churches, temples, and centers of worship and healing—organized spaces and gatherings to help people open to and share what they were feeling and be supported in community. We began with a guided meditation. Participants were invited to step out of the mental narratives…

Resilience Fatigue

Most of the time when we talk about resilience, we talk about bouncing back from acute traumatic events, like medical emergencies or natural disasters. We don’t always acknowledge the resilience necessary to respond to chronic adversities and structural inequities that lead to historical trauma through multiple generations. Psychiatrist and public health advocate Denese Shervington—who directs a community-based post-disaster mental health recovery division that she created…