Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Can Exercise Cause Mania?

I'd like to spend a few weeks writing about movement.  Exercise is crucial to good health, and it can help regulate moods, too.  I spend a lot of time with this blog on meditation, but not enough on this other, possibly more effective, form of stress relief.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Problem With Secular Mindfulness

I write about and teach meditation with a very specific aim:  to help people manage mental illness.  It works. Still I make no other vast claims about the practice.  I avoid calling what I do mindfulness because mindfulness speaks to a whole slew of now contradictory goals attributed to the same simple practice I recommend.  My practice is born of that undertaken by the desert fathers and ancient Zen masters, and still practiced today by spiritual seekers across the world.  It’s also practiced by people like me, who use it for a very specific purpose instead of mystical experience or enlightenment.  It’s also practiced by the purveyors of secular mindfulness, who I think overpromise results for too little effort.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Meditation and Mental Illness

Here's another excerpt from the book I'm working on:

It happened to me sometimes when I went to Center City Philadelphia at night, fixed on the red beacon flashing atop every skyscraper, and definitely when I visited Manhattan.  For a while the lights and the sounds and the pace just took me, and before I knew it my mood would be ablaze, my decisions poor, my sleep a short annoyance and my future barely considered.  With each pulsing minute my impulse control deteriorated and my ability to make good choices took a thumping.  The vibrant city would have been a great laboratory to study what it is that takes me as I turn manic, but I couldn’t handle it and was lucky when someone with me would whisk me away.