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Extraverts, It’s Okay to Rest

Being an extravert is challenging. I'm not complaining, just exploring out loud, which is part of extraversion. When I think or feel something, I feel more alive if I have shared it with someone -- especially someone who will mirror or appreciate or engage with me in a meaningful way. But as meaningful as that sharing can be, it takes energy. And it can be tiring. [...]
By |April 29th, 2014|Emotional Self, Therapy, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Just Sit, Just Do Yoga: Know Yourself

I feel as if I need to explain that without having encountered Jizo on the hillsides of Kyoto in 2006, the stuff I write about would be more grounded in knowledge than experience. I had no idea how much I lived in my intellect, in my mind, and how little I resided within my body. It was not safe to be "at one." Enlightenment means "awake" and I have found that the combination of yoga and sitting meditation has been the best prescription for me to practice mindful living, to wake up. The operative word is Practice. We Practice yoga, we Practice mindfulness.  We have a meditation practice. I found a definition of practice: "the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use." There are thousands of books about this stuff and then there is the Being. The Doing.  Over and over again. And then, again. [...]
By |April 19th, 2014|Meditation, Mindfulness, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Jizo: A Gift for Mother’s Day

I don't know when Mother's Day is this year. I know it's in May, but my mom is gone, so I kind of avoid it. If you've lost your mom, maybe you can relate.  But loving my mom and loving the Jizos I have created moved me to contemplate Mother's Day. Motherhood. Jizo. [...]
By |April 14th, 2014|Holidays, Jewelry, Shopping, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tapping and the Jizo Bodhisattva

My Jizo Therapy is wading into the waters of what is popularly known as tapping.  Tapping, aka EFT - Emotional Freedom Techniques, can be found on countless websites, in dozens of YouTube videos, and at pain clinics. The very basic idea is that we have acupressure points in our bodies that, when tapped, move energy and help facilitate change. I was skeptical. I listened to various so-called experts and I was still skeptical. I tried it while on my meditation cushion and liked it.  I felt more relaxed. I had a better perspective. [...]
By |March 21st, 2014|Therapy, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Releasing Tension: A Jizo & Chibi Dialogue

So, Chibi has a stomachache. (Note to new readers: Chibi means "little one" in Japanese.  For this author it includes all children and inner kids, as well.) Chibi usually feels great on the weekends, but by Sunday night or maybe Monday or Tuesday, Chibi gets a stomachache. Or a headache. Or a backache. Let's assume Chibi has been to the doctor for all kinds of tests and, huh, how weird, nothing is very wrong. "But something FEELS wrong," says Chibi, "and I HURT!"  Chibi takes the problem to Jizo, who is the protector of all living things, especially children.  [...]
By |March 20th, 2014|Therapy, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Jizo Therapy: The Ghost Child in Intimacy

I have a theory about intimate relationships that is not very popular.  I think they often bring out the darkest, worst parts of ourselves.  It is as if a ghost child, comprised of both partner's inner kids, grows up between them.  Not everyone encounters this, but many do, and statistics report that couples get to therapy an average of four years after problems show their 'ghost child' faces. [...]
By |March 3rd, 2014|All, Buddhism, Mindfulness, Therapy|0 Comments

Jizo Therapy: Meet Your Ego’s Processor 2.0

I taught psychological theory in a graduate program for a dozen years. Every time I taught a theory, I learned more than I had known previously.  My introductory lecture was Freud & Jung.  Every quarter, I became more acutely aware of the mechanisms of the ego, a sadly misunderstood part of us that is the executive function of our minds, navigating between our infantile cravings (id) and our (often guilty) conscience, derived from parents and society (superego). These three functions are unconscious; we don't know where they are or what they're doing. [...]
By |March 2nd, 2014|All, Buddhism, Therapy|0 Comments

Jizo Therapy: Awakening to Money as Metaphor

Today in my meditation, I was gazing at my Jizo and he was gazing back.  The thought drifted through my mind that money is not money.  Money is not money.  Money is not money.  It flowed through my mind, once, twice...  I took a deep breath and as I exhaled, I heard Money is Perceived Safety.  Money is perceived Worth.  Self-worth.  It is what most people worry about.  It is an anxiety delivery vehicle. [...]
By |February 22nd, 2014|All, Buddhism, Therapy|0 Comments

Hello, Ego: Meet your Builder, Remodel your Mind

Enlightenment is to be awake.  When we sit in meditation, we begin to hear our thoughts, feel our feelings with greater clarity.  As we observe our minds with compassion, we are able to distinguish between what is our personal ego and what is the ineffable part of us that is connected to all sentient beings.  We may begin to recognize when the ego engages and when it is at rest. [...]
By |February 18th, 2014|All, Buddhism, Meditation, Mindfulness|0 Comments

I Can’t Sit Still!

In order for us to develop a relationship with our innermost self, we need quiet time.  Many of my patients laugh when I suggest that they get up early enough to try meditating consistently.  "Getting and staying quiet is impossible," the ego says.  [...]
By |February 12th, 2014|All, Buddhism, Meditation|0 Comments
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