A Better Way To Escape Pain

“Wanting to get out of pain is the pain; it is not the “reaction” of an “I” distinct from the pain. When you discover this, the desire to escape “merges” into the pain itself and vanishes.” When I read the above sentences recently in Alan Watts’ book The Wisdom of Insecurity, I had one of…

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What Is And Isn’t Within Your Control: A Cheatsheet

At the beginning of his Enchiridion, Epictetus gave the advice that went on to guide so much of Stoic practice: Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body,…

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How To Return To The Present Moment

If our human perceptions about time and space are to be trusted, we all exist in the present. We experience everything in the now. We are where we are now. We’re doing what we’re doing now. Because we’re deliberately focusing on it right now, we’re currently more conscious of this present existence. We’re actually present…

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How A Stoic Accepts Future Uncertainty

For me, the most difficult thing about future events is the shadow they can cast over the intervening days that lead up to them. Awareness of this state of affairs is, however, strangely comforting at the same time - that the most difficult thing about future events isn’t even the events themselves. Given I’ve made…

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How To Be Your Own Best Friend

We all submit to distraction once a while (or perhaps more frequently), that much is obvious. It’s rarely the lovely distraction of a gaze out the window at a vivid sunset, but more likely an altogether less engaged gawp at the glass of a glowing screen. Even without an external prompt, buzz, or beep, we…

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