The cover story for Time magazine this week is about a popular meditation and relaxation technique that goes by the acronym MBSR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. It is practiced and taught widely and receiving millions in grant money for studying its effects. It actually strikes me as rather funny because I have a similar program that goes by the acronym SSCD, Sit Still Calm Down (and maybe relax a little). We see our dogs and cats doing that all the time and I have to assume it is totally natural. But modern humans in advanced societies have to be taught because we have lost theRead More →

PRESCRIPTION: SLEEP EAT REST WALK STRETCH Sleep as long as you need to Eat well but not too much Rest and relax Walk in the fresh air and sunshine Stretch your muscles and jointsRead More →

If cats laugh they probably find us funny as we hustle and dash and run.  And then there are all the things we need to carry around and play with.  We’re busy, and they are amused, and like to watch it all from a distance.  So much activity and they must assume it is all so they can be kept well fed and comfortable.Read More →

I have touched on some of life’s pleasure in many of my previous writings, but I am tempted now to put together a more comprehensive overview of the Epicurean Project.  That project is really about reducing or eliminating the pain in one’s life and according to the ancient Philosopher Epicurus, on whom Epicurean philosophy is based, eliminate the pain and what is left is pleasure.  For those of us who prefer pleasure to pain this is an attractive prospect and perhaps worth a shot at what I call The Epicurean Project.  Pain can be the tension, constriction, strain, and distortions in our bodies.  Emotionally we areRead More →

I think one of the features of the diaphragm muscle that is often overlooked is that the strong tendons that moor it down to the lumbar spine (called the crura) have what appear to be a grip around the main blood vessel to the lower part of the body, the aorta.  Tighten and constrict the diaphragm (a common enough condition and probably one of the ways we get a grip on our emotions) and we squeeze and grip the aorta too.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a feature to high blood pressure and a way to maintain pressure in our head.  Release the diaphragm(allRead More →

  Heartsease is a flower but it is also a word in English that is defined as “peace of mind; calmness of emotion”.  The flower was supposed to ease the pain and pangs of love. We all have pain and pangs and a lot of it is centered around our core, our heart. Broken, twisted, achy, pinched, and prodded.  Hearts can be battered and bruised.  So take it easy, learn to rest into that core.  Know your heartsease. Have a taste of bliss.   Read More →

We all, at some point in our lives, have to get over being a crybaby.  Learning to clamp down on our breathing is probably how we manage to do that or so it seems to me.  Crying and laughing mobilize the diaphragm and get it moving.  Tighten and stiffen there and we begin to get some real control over the flow of our emotions and that control is a cornerstone to our growing up and is a basic requirement.  Years ago there flourished a pop therapy called “Primal Scream” designed, I supposed, to loosen that control and get out some basic suppressed emotions.  There is dangerRead More →

  CONFESSIONS OF A BEDOPHILE  I love my bed. Sure, I love a lot of other things, and even a few people, but bed is near the top of my list. It is as close to getting back in a womb as most of us ever get. Soft, warm, comforting, inviting. A place to let go cares and woes. It is the place to relax and to drift away.  Bed carries me to a dreamland where I travel to unknown cities and meet the strangest people. My dreams are a lot more exciting than my life. I am surprised I sleep through them.  I goRead More →

  After a nice lunch of vegetarian chili and cider, and after it all digested enough, a visiting friend (who is also a professional philosopher) and I turned to the issue of the day and that was pumping iron. He wants to build up some upper body strength and his doctor recommended using weights. When I was a teenager I used them, and bought them with my Bar Mitzvah money, and turned myself into a regular incredible hulk. Well maybe not but I did my share of pumping iron and still have a vague recollection of how to use them. My philosophical friend is funnyRead More →