Ancient Wisdom, New Story

These articles draw on the world’s wisdom traditions as well as modern psychology to recast personal stories, pointing new directions for personal growth and self-exploration.

Stories We Tell, Stories We Are

Stories We Tell, Stories We Are

Much of the work I do with people is to help them look at their story in addition to the non-stop experience of looking through it. This wouldn’t be especially helpful unless we had the ability to change our stories. Luckily, we do, although they are stubborn.

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Beyond Achievement

Beyond Achievement

This doesn’t make us morally superior people. It means that our felt disparity between who we are and what we do pushes us onward. Our disillusionment with the cost-benefit analysis of our success spurs us to ask more questions, experiment beyond current comfort zones and seek a more expansive perspective. The bits of us that have been compressed or stifled demand attention.

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Dirty Enlightenment

Dirty Enlightenment

Nothing needs to be different from how it is right now for us to be okay. There is no problem with the way things are in this or any moment. This understanding can yield a deep relaxation in which personal ups and downs unfold.

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These writers have helped me immensely. Maybe you would benefit from visiting them directly. In addition to those below, I recommend Alan Watts, Matt Kahn, Matt Licata and J. Krishnamurti.

Bruce Tift

Tift is a gifted therapist and practicing Buddhist. He helps us understand that we needn’t pathologise disturbing experience. We organise our lives around personal discomforts that seem unbearable, but we have capacities our child-selves didn’t, and we can now work with all experience. 

Lisa Feldman Barrett

A former therapist, Feldman Barrett is now a neuroscientist challenging outdated views of the brain and mind. The brain’s predictions create our world, based on socially-inherited concepts. But we can update our conceptual library and re-cognise our reality.

Don Miguel Ruiz

Ruiz is a Toltec sage who gives an ancient ‘Western’ take on Eastern wisdom and spiritual growth. When we see our own dream (or story), fear loses its grip on us. When we love ourselves as we are, our relationships are no longer a search for what we already have.

David Deutsch

Deutsch is a physicist and computational scientist who places learning above knowledge. His ‘Many Worlds’ interpretation is our best explanation of quantum theory. I love his view of our ever-growing mastery barely scratching life’s mystery

Mary O'Malley

O’Malley goes beyond Stoicism to show how what’s in the way is The Way. She shows how a few powerful assumptions, which she calls spells, shape the story through which reality arrives for us, and she invites us to use our bodies to overcome those spells.

Alan Watts

Part philosopher, part entertainer, Watts is my favourite guide to the spiritual journey. He translated the East for us and integrated it with Western thought. I most appreciate his Taoist writings and his invitation to insecurity.


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