Celebrating our Togetherness – Musings in Missoula

The writer Arthur C. Brooks recently offered a lesson in joy titled “The Subtle Mindset Shift That Could Radically Change the Way You See the World.” He cites the Dalai Lama’s advice that we are all interconnected, a realization that can help with loneliness and seeing things from a variety of perspectives. This advice, if contemplated regularly, can help us move smoothly through the inevitable frustrations and divisions we encounter

June 8th, 2022|Uncategorized|

The Fluidity of the True Self

The idea that we have some sort of “true” self that we can discover is in some ways a new phenomenon. The philosopher Charles Taylor (1931 – ) traced the development of this sense of a deep inner self in his book Sources of the Self (1989). Though thinkers such as St. Augustine pointed to a sort of unique interior world that we each have, it wasn’t until the Protestant

June 6th, 2022|Uncategorized|

The Stages of Collective Grief

Even as June begins and our long, cool spring transitions to summer, it can be hard to move out of life’s gloom and into joy. Grief is as inescapable in our lives as death and taxes. In fact, death is commonly the greatest cause of grief in our lives. However, it can come to us through myriad paths: a job loss, a break-up, an injury or illness, or a move

June 1st, 2022|Uncategorized|

Existentialism and a Good Life

Existentialism as a philosophy offers an incredible wellspring of wisdom for living the good life. I found great solace in it in my late teens and early twenties and still return to it with great joy whenever I can. A recent article in The Marginalia (formerly Brain Pickings) has brought me back to the brilliance of existentialism by way of the great Albert Camus (1913 – 1960), one of the

May 31st, 2022|Uncategorized|

Three Questions for Happiness

The other day, while strolling through Missoula, MT, I came across this quote, which has been attributed to my favorite Western philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804): “Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.” Apparently, the quote is not found in any known work of Kant. It has been found, however, in a book by President Joe Biden. There it is attributed to Immanuel

May 28th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Many Paths to Mindfulness

While focusing on the breath is the most commonly taught form of mindfulness practice today, there are a number of ways we can develop a mindfulness practice. In fact, there are countless ways to develop mindfulness. It’s just that breath meditation tends to be the one that is easiest to understand and learn for beginners. Other practices will generally only work on smaller groups of people or take a bit

May 25th, 2022|Uncategorized|
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