A Few Good Links

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There is so much going on in the world right now.  Sometimes I just want to bury my head in the sand.  Just tell me when it’s all over.

I almost never talk about my work here, but the other day I was asked to see a woman for anxiety.  She was dying of cancer, had gone through a horrific bout of pneumonia and was on a ventilator.  Because of the ventilator, she could only communicate by writing.  The first thing I said to her was “with all that you’ve been through, the cancer, the chemo, the pneumonia and now the ventilator, it’s understandable that you’d feel anxious… but is there something making you feel particularly anxious right now?”  Her arms were weak; she could barely lift her pencil to the notepad.  Very slowly, in faint squiggly letters she spelled out:  T R U M P!  We both sort of just looked at each other.  I shook my head, sighed, and she knew I felt the same…

So with all this terrible stuff happening, I took extra care to share some enjoyable things with you this week:

This week, I read this beautiful short story in the New Yorker called “Likes” by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum.  It’s a modern story about a father who struggles to communicate with his teenage daughter as she is consumed in the world of social media, instagram, and “likes”.  After I read it, I immediately wanted to know what message the author wanted to convey with the story, and was happy to find they interviewed her about it here.

Have you listened to the Secular Buddhism podcast yet?  It’s my favorite podcast of all time.  I’ve learned so many valuable concepts from Noah Rasheta.  He has this wonderful ability to take abstract concepts, that no one is actually able to put into practice, ie. how to stay in the present moment, how to let go of anger, how to forgive, etc…  and turns them into simple practical actions that you can incorporate into your daily life.  If you are new to the podcast, listen to the first 5 episodes in order, then listen to this recent one about anger and hatred.  There’s another amazing episode on how to teach your kids mindfulness.  It involves turning meditation into a game!  How clever!

And lastly, the new Bjork music video is genius.  I’m just blown away by the artistic vision and technical execution of it all.  It’s created by artist Andy Huang, who was actually in my college class.  We took a couple painting classes together and worked on a post modern video project for art theory class during our senior year.  He seemed like a nice guy.  Very quiet and humble.  I always knew he’d make it big.