mental health

mental health

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "For the simplicity that lies this side of complexity, I would not give a fig, but for the simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity, I would give my life."

One of the many things I love about Mary Oliver's poetry is that she faces squarely into the complexity of our lives on "this side" of things — and then points us toward the simplicity that lies on the other side of our confusions and illusions.

If I didn't have the idea of "holding paradox" to help me understand myself and the world around me, I'd be more lost than I am! For me, holding paradox means thinking about some (but not all) things as "both-ands" instead of "either-ors."

Social psychologist Ellen Langer's unconventional studies have long suggested what brain science is now revealing: our experiences are formed by the words and ideas we attach to them. Naming something "play" rather than "work" can mean the difference between delight and drudgery. She is one of the early pioneers — along with figures like Jon Kabat-Zinn and Herbert Benson — in drawing a connection between mindlessness and unhappiness, between mindfulness and health. Dr. Langer describes mindfulness as achievable without meditation or yoga — as “the simple act of actively noticing things.”

Eve Ensler has helped women all over the world tell the stories of their lives through the stories of their bodies. Her play, The Vagina Monologues, has become a global force in the face of violence against women and girls. But she herself also had a violent childhood. And it turns out that she herself was like so many of us western women, obsessed by our bodies and yet not inhabiting them — without even knowing we're not inhabiting them. Until she got cancer.

Two legendary teachers shine a Buddhist light on a classic Christian teaching: love of enemies. Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg are working together on how we relate to that which makes us feel embattled from without, and from within.


Doctors don't care like they used to. As you'll witness in this video, Dr. James Olson turns this statement on its head. He is infusing hope and creativity into cancer research at a time we most desperately need it.

Human memory is a sensory experience says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. Through his longtime research and innovation in trauma treatment, he shares what he's learning how bodywork like yoga or eye movement therapy can restore a sense of goodness and safety. And what he’s learning speaks to a resilience we can all cultivate in the face of the overwhelming events that after all make up the drama of culture, of news, of life.

You don’t have to spend months in meditation, says Eckhart Tolle, to gain insights that could change your life, even your health.

For service members returning home from combat, PTSD diagnoses are commonplace and extensive. But one VA psychologist argues that the complications of PTSD compound to create a moral injury — one that requires a community, not a clinic, in order to heal.

If the stress caused by holiday gift giving were due to material lack, we’d see doctors prescribing less drugs and more widescreen TVs. Perhaps there's a spiritual solution.

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