Tag: fear

What I learned about the importance of ‘tend and befriend’ while surrounded by a SWAT team

The pretty South African woman sitting next to me said our flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth was taking longer than expected, although I hadn’t noticed. I arrived in South Africa only a few hours before. Jet lagged, I was wrestling with the cellophane wrapper guarding the plastic cutlery that came with my in-flight meal. …

Too stressed to meditate?

Buddhist psychology claims there are three primary feelings, or sensations, which meditation can help access: Pleasant, Painful, and Neutral. Arising from these primary feelings are our reactions to them, the so-called secondary emotions. For example, we feel desire or joy in reaction to pleasant feelings, anger or fear in response to painful feelings, and boredom …

Need help loving humanity? How to evolve beyond “us” versus “them” thinking

Painting of the word "Love".

One of the greatest threats to humankind is our tendency to create what sociologists call in-groups and out-groups. While such distinctions contribute to group solidarity, increased safety, and a personal sense of belonging, they can also lead to the us versus them thinking that underlies humans’ greatest acts of cruelty. Each of the following precipitate from us versus them …

Embracing the shadow side of creativity

In a blog post, “What is Creativity?,” Maria Popova quoted designer Charles Eames on the cultural obsession with the creative process: “Recent years have shown a growing preoccupation with the circumstances surrounding the creative act and a search for the ingredients that promote creativity. This preoccupation suggests we are in a special kind of trouble — …

More wisdom from Pema Chödrön

In her “Smile At Fear” Retreat (2010), Pema Chödrön spoke to the challenges of living with uncertainty —and the fear it produces — during difficult times such as ours. (I also shared about the retreat in this post.) Here are a few more pearls of wisdom from Pema’s teachings: • Fearlessness starts with unconditional acceptance of your basic …