The Function of Meditation

Written on May 23, 2010. Written by .

A couple years ago I started coming across references to meditation in a variety of sources.  They all suggested that sitting down and trying to focus on one thing for a while would reduce stress, improve health, and make you a happier person.  So I researched meditation a bit more and gave it a try.  […]

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The Eightfold Path

Written on May 16, 2010. Written by .

This article is not an explanation of the eightfold path of Buddhism.  I have never been satisfied with the eightfold path; it feels like a list of tips rather than a path.  This doesn’t seem like the best format to convince students of its effectiveness.  This article is my interpretation of the actual path that […]

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The Need for Meaning

Written on February 5, 2010. Written by .

I’ve often heard it said that to be truly happy you need to be a part of something bigger than yourself. In other words, limitless leisure and pleasure don’t necessarily lead to the ideal life. Those who have adopted this belief into their life philosophy try to find something more meaningful to give their life […]

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The Paradox of Hedonism

Written on July 26, 2009. Written by .

Human motivation is governed by two genetically-programmed features: the pleasure/pain mechanism and the illusion of ego-persistence.  The pleasure/pain mechanism is here to be understood in the broad sense of the “pleasantness”, positive or negative, of present experience. The illusion of ego-persistence is the programmed assumption that we have to be concerned about the future experiences […]

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The Desperation Cycle

Written on June 17, 2009. Written by .

Many Eastern philosophies advocate the reduction of desire in order to prevent suffering. The logic goes that if you desire little, there will be much less to disappoint you, and this is true. If you care about nothing, not even your own life, then what could possibly upset you? But by the same token, what […]

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The Psychology of Insecurity

Written on May 28, 2009. Written by .

Feelings of insecurity arise from a lack of control and confidence. When you have control of a situation, you aren’t so likely to get upset. If someone is giving you a hard time, you can just utilize your power to deal with it. But if you are relying on the cooperation of others in a […]

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Understanding Zen

Written on April 24, 2009. Written by .

Zen is a system of beliefs and practices deriving from Buddhism. It has two primary purposes. From Buddhism it inherits the goal of ending mental suffering through the refinement of thought patterns. In addition to this, Zen incorporates the goal of counteracting “oversocialization” with its own set of techniques. Oversocialization is a term borrowed from […]

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Aphorisms on Happiness

Written on April 5, 2009. Written by .

I have been studying the topic of happiness for some time now. After digging through many books and articles on Positive Psychology, Buddhism, and Epicureanism, I think I have found a set of core principles that underlay these works. Each principle is accompanied by a famous aphorism that illustrates the idea. “He who understands the […]

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Organic Learning

Written on December 25, 2008. Written by .

Reflections The beauty of motivated learning. Photo courtesy of atomicjeep Education is becoming an increasingly large burden in the life of modern men. Many of us now toil away the prime years of our lives in response to the pressures created by the combination of the exponential expansion of human knowledge and a “red queen” […]

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Mood Regulation

Written on November 10, 2008. Written by .

Entrance to the Ents World Finding stability through lifestyle choices. Photo courtesy of Doblonaut Methods for improving life quality can be split into two categories: external and internal. External methods attempt to change the world to better suit your needs, whereas internal methods are cause you to change yourself to better suit your conditions. You […]

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