What 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
Just 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.
The 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.
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.
On 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.
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.
The 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."
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.
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month. This annual month of consumer outreach was founded by The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, a nonprofit insurance information organization.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying careful attention to what is happening in the present moment, whether it be a sight, a sound, a taste, a smell, a sensation in the body, or mental activity (the latter includes emotions and thoughts). Practice it for a few moments or for a few minutes—lying on your bed, sitting in a doctor's office or on a park bench, standing in line. Anywhere.
By: Angela E. Gambrel Lackey