How to Overcome Our Cravings with Judson Brewer: PYP 220

Judson Brewer, author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphone to Love - Why We Get Hooked, & How We Can Break Bad Habits - kept his meditation practice and medical career separate for a decade. Luckily for us, it eventually dawned on him to inform his research and clinical practice with the 2500-year-old insights of Buddhism. Read more »

Caring for Our Bodies as Temples of Spirit with Nalida Besson: PYP 201

Nalida Lacet Besson wasn't so concerned about weighing 240 pounds or passing the occasional painful gallstone. What got her attention in the summer of 2013 was a physical malaise so complete and overwhelming, she believed she was dying. Everything hurt, including her skin. It was as if her body were saying, "I've had enough of this. Time to rest." Read more »

The Simple Practices that Healed His Depression with Dave Wiskowski: PYP 189

In 1987, fresh out of college, I took a job as a teaching intern at a fancy prep school in central New Jersey. One of the students who never made it across my radar was a quiet, blonde fifth grade boy named Dave Wiskowski. In his class photo, he’s not smiling, unlike many of his classmates. He told me that he was struggling with depression at that time, any for many years later. Like many people who find themselves overwhelmed by life and negative emotions, he became adept at self-medicating through food, alcohol, and self-pity. Read more »

Thanksgiving and the Calculus of Integrity

The movie Airplane features a running joke in which air traffic controller Steve McCroskey (played by Lloyd Bridges) announces after each new catastrophe, “I guess I picked the wrong week to quit smoking… drinking… amphetamines… sniffing glue.” I woke up yesterday morning, watched a terrifying video of a white supremacist gathering in Washington, DC, and thought, “I guess I picked the wrong week to feel gratitude.” And some of my clients and students will look at all the turkeys, gravies, pies, turduckens, piecakens, and other festive dishes and tell themselves, “I’ll indulge just a little today, and tighten back up tomorrow. After all, progress, not perfection.” To all three examples, I say bullshit. Read more »

PYP 173: Mark Leuchten on Navigating Life Through Feelings

At various times in my life, I've felt like I was hitting my head against the universe. Struggling to figure out what to do next. Stuck in a house and neighborhood that wasn't right for us. Navigating a conflict between duty and pleasure. That sort of thing. And eventually, I would call my friend Mark Leuchten and ask him to help me "figure things out. Read more »