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Is This Anxiety?

“It’s really uncomfortable, sometimes like being overdosed on caffeine, sometimes like something has to be fixed, even if you don’t know what that is—it’s the opposite of the sense of well-being.”  Everyone knows what it can feel like when they’re anxious. But is that feeling the only sign of anxiety? It might be that certain […]


Post-Surgical Relief

One of my friends just had a knee replacement. I read up a bit about the post-surgical experience and kept in close touch with her about her impressions in case I—or someone whose caregiver I might have to be—must someday undergo that surgery too. Here are a few important general points about recovering from surgery: […]

On the Front Lines: Interview with a Social Worker

I had a friend who worked as a social worker in a poor section of Brooklyn, visiting families in need—she was kind, patient and empathetic—and she went home every night and collapsed in tears. Social work is a demanding and challenging profession that is essential to the health of our society—even while it damages the […]


How to Help an Emotional Teenager

Imagine the perfect situation — you get several years with free room and board, and all living expenses paid. You can spend all of your time learning, exercising, growing, and socializing. Your physiology is young and healthy, and you are flush with friends. It’s a perfect world. This is an idealized description of high school […]


Depression During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be one of the most amazing times in a woman’s life, despite the morning sickness, fatigue, abdominal pain, headaches and insomnia that may accompany it. For many women, and in most circumstances, pregnancy is experienced as a happy time. But for a significant number of women, happiness isn’t part of the picture. In […]


How to Keep Technology in Balance by Going Deep

Some years ago, my husband and I were teaching a course in the Swiss Alps overlooking Lake Lucerne. One day we were walking on a crowded street in the city of Lucerne, and our friend pointed out, “Notice how every last person crossing this street stays within the white lines.”It was kind of freaky. That […]


Real Rehabilitation: Women Inmates Learn Transcendental Meditation

With about 220,000 women in the correctional system, the United States is one of the top incarcerators of women in the world. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “Only five percent of the world’s female population lives in the U.S., yet nearly one-third of all the female prisoners in the entire world are here in […]


Nurses Need Nourishing Too: New Research Shows TM Reduces Compassion Fatigue

I just learned a new term: “compassion fatigue.” This is what nurses, professional caregivers and first responders experience when they’re too tired, too sad and too stressed to feel normal compassion for their patients. It’s also known as secondary traumatic stress (STS) and is characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. Having watched many nurses in action during my parents’ multiple […]


Meditation and the Art of Chinese Peony Painting

The experience of practicing Transcendental Meditation and creating a Chinese peony flower painting have a lot in common. The term that comes to mind is ‘effortlessness.’ The practice of TM supports the creative art of Chinese ink and watercolor brush painting; it helps prepare the mind and physiology of the artist to engage in the specific creative […]


Demystifying Happiness: Why Being Happy Is the Best Way to Help Others (Part Two of a Two-Part Series on Happiness)

My husband likes to tell the story of the time we went to see the movie Bridesmaids. Five minutes into the movie, we realized the humor was not the type we enjoyed, and so we planned to exit. But before we could leave, a few people in the theatre started laughing out loud at some […]


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