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Tuesday, 06 September 2011 00:40

How to Cope with Personal and Global Uncertainty

Written by

Tony BernhardWhat do you count on as "certain" in your life? If you'd have asked me on May 21st, 2001, the day before I got sick with an illness that continues to this day, "Do you believe that impermanence and change are universal laws?" I would have said, "Of course!" I'd been a practicing Buddhist for ten years. Impermanence is what the Buddha called one of "the three marks of existence." We see it everywhere—in changing relationships, in changing political regimes, in the rapid-fire arising and passing of thoughts and moods.

By: The Advocator Group

Debt CeilingJust last week, The Advocator Group released an analysis of the impact of the debt ceiling impasse on the timely payment of Social Security benefits.  The analysis highlighted the inner workings of the Social Security Trust Funds, including how funds are invested and redeemed for cash that is used to pay benefits.

Monday, 08 August 2011 21:12

Finding Joy in a Vacation I Cannot Take

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Tony BernhardThe last time I was in New York City was August, 1992. I took my then-teenaged daughter, Mara, to see The Big Apple. Right now, my husband, Tony, is in NYC with Mara's own ten year-old daughter—our granddaughter, Malia. Tony and Malia are doing the same things that Mara and I did 19 years ago. They're taking in the sights. They're going to Broadway shows. They're riding the subway. They're walking all over Manhattan. Mara and I saw Miss Saigon and The Secret Garden. Tony and Malia are seeing Wicked and Billy Elliot. Truth be told, I've struggled with my inability to accompany them on this trip. But I can't go. I'm too sick to travel six hours to visit Mara and her family in Los Angeles, so New York is definitely out of my reach at this moment in my life.

Friday, 29 July 2011 11:47

The Debt Ceiling Debate

Written by

FinanceBy: The Advocator Group

As things currently stand, the United States government will lose its legal authority to borrow money on August 2, 2011. With this deadline drawing near, Social Security recipients are among the many groups of Americans who are wondering how this issue will impact their lives and more specifically, their monthly benefits. Should Congress fail to pass a plan to avoid default on the federal government's financial obligations, it is possible that benefits payments due in August (totaling $23 billion) will not be made on time.

Toni BernhardOn June 28tht, I wrote a post titled, Things You Can Do from the Bed. I listed eight possibilities. I've had so many creative and inspiring ideas added to that list from different sources (private emails, comments at Psychology Today or on Facebook), that I thought I'd gather them together here. So, here's a new list for you to consider.

Tony BernhardThis piece is based on a story I tell in my book.

In 2001, I got sick with what the doctors initially thought was an acute viral infection. I have yet to recover. Diagnosis: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—a little-understood illness that is as debilitating as its more justly named cousins that also compromise the immune and neurological systems. My case is particularly severe. I feel as if I have the flu without the fever—24/7. It is so disabling that I was forced to give up my beloved career as a law professor.

Tuesday, 05 July 2011 16:14

4 Qualities of Mind that Alleviate Suffering

Written by

Tony BernhardThe four sublime emotions (also called the four heavenly abodes) are qualities of mind that we cultivate in order to alleviate our suffering and the suffering of others. In the language of the Buddha (Pali), they are called the brahma viharas, which means "the dwelling place of awakened beings."  The good news for us unawakened beings is that it's easy to begin cultivating the brahma viharas. Indeed, they are an integral part of other religious, spiritual, and humanistic traditions. I present them here with a distinctly Buddhist "flavor." 

Thursday, 30 June 2011 00:25

How Keeping a Zen Mind Can Save a Relationship

Written by
Toni BernhardNote: This piece is dedicated to the memory of American Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck who died on June 15th. According to her friend, Joan Halifax, her last words were, "This too is wonder." Three Zen masters—one from Korea, one from Vietnam, and one from the United States—have offered powerful teachings to keep us from rushing to judgment about others, teachings that can save a relationship.
Thursday, 30 June 2011 00:20

Things You Can Do from the Bed

Written by
Toni BernhardLittle did I know ten years ago, that my bedroom would become my home. On some days, I'm able to go out or visit with people in the front of the house. But, due to illness, most of my day is spent on the bed.

I had a difficult time adjusting to my world becoming smaller and smaller, but I've slowly made peace with this new life. Here's a list of things you can do from the bed, although the list applies equally to life from the couch or the recliner. If your world has shrunk like mine, I hope you'll share your list at the end of this piece.  

In a New York Review of Books essay, Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, considers three books that take skeptical looks at "the epidemic of mental illness" sweeping the country:
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