Taking a little time to understand and practice key breathing parameters pays in times of crisis.

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Credit: Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

I’m broke. My student loans are due. I’ve got $7500 on my credit card that may soon drown me with interest. And the teaching gigs (tennis, yoga) I’d scheduled to cover these bills are canceled for the foreseeable future.

The coronavirus shutdown is a financial knife in the stomach for people like me in the gig economy.

That said, I’m not stressing out so much. I feel alright. Yes, I’ve panicked in flashes. …

Parents’ disapproval can unleash guilt and other self-created emotions that hold you back — in your inner life and your career. Here are some ways to overcome that.

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Image Credit: whoislimos on Unsplash

A great economic hunt

Why do parents get frustrated when their children don’t take their job advice?

Mark Twain suggested an answer. “The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin,” he said, “but, of course, society demands something more than this.”

Instead of people making up an economy, largely economy subsumes people. The economic machine has a regular appetite for human parts (which are needed). Doctors, soldiers, salesmen, and so on. …

Death awareness offers motivation that endures. (With a short reading meditation.)

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Sadhu at Pashupatinath, a sacred Hindu temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. CC-by-2.0: Sukanto Debnath

Today I feel I’m capable of nothing.

This isn’t a spell. This spring has been a pleasant one. I’ve slept well. Enjoyed work, sport, and yoga. Generally I feel good.

But inside me now, there’s a heaviness. Dull energy. I don’t know where it’s from or when it will go. I only know it’s hanging in my chest and under my eyes, a thick sludge. For context: About eighty percent of mental/emotional activity today has suggested I go for some variation of the Big Four: sleep, eat, watch, or fuck. That is, escape. Drown out the unpleasantness with chemical distraction.

Revelations of fraternity misconduct and protests against sexual violence, have beset the elite Philadelphia liberal arts school. One alum, observing the campus scene, reflects on what’s turned out to be a contentious spring.

From the Twitter of Organizers for Survivors, a student activist group at Swarthmore College. O4S is campaigning against a fraternity culture they say fosters sexual violence.

Swarthmore College is a quiet liberal arts school in the leafy suburbs of Philadelphia. The school, which has a reputation for intellectual rigor and left-leaning social activism, is highly selective. With a student body of approximately 1600 students, this year Swarthmore…

The mind thinks it knows others. But all it knows are distortions of them.

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Oil painting by Netherlandish (possibly Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen), ca. 1500. Wikimedia Commons.

I’m a young boy in third grade. Like every other school day, I wake up grim and go through the routine with a soldier’s discipline. I methodically shower and brush teeth. I put on t-shirt with print peers haven’t seen in seven or more days. I eat cream cheese bagel in backseat of father’s car. Even though I’m not hungry, generic lunchroom posters say breakfast important. I eat.

I report to Mrs. Rogers’ classroom. She might be smiling a big welcome to each of her students…

Practicing spirituality to be special, is illogical.

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Image by Fernando Nando

Spiritual practice has countless expressions, spanning many traditions throughout history. Indian Yoga. Christian Mysticism. Buddhism. Sufism. Spirituality is a deep-rooted human activity.

But how to define spiritual practice? Here’s one way:

Striving to transform two into one.

The world consists of twos. Night and day. Hungry and full. Asleep and awake. Thought and emotion. Man and woman. Young and old. Life and death.

You and me.

Life is duality.

And yet, from ancient times to the present, people have found only twoness dissatisfying. …

Meditation is a quality you can easily bring into anything, including writing.

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There’s an old story that’s passed around in meditation circles. Here’s my version.

Two brothers come to an ashram to practice yoga.

The first day is great. But the next morning, both suffer terrible headaches. The thing is, they’re life-long coffee drinkers. And there’s no coffee at the ashram.

Groggy, their heads splitting in pain, the brothers rush to see the ashram’s guru. The guru meets privately with each brother. They both ask if it’s okay to drink coffee in the ashram.

The next morning, the older brother…

Literally. It was a lot like Dragonball Z.

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Marco Verch CC by 2.0

I was sitting at a silent meditation retreat, absorbed into my breathing, as I’d done for the past seven days. Then suddenly, radiating out from within me, I felt sparks arching. A sharp crackling through my rib cage and around the area of my spine.

This is not an analogy. Quite literally, I felt like I was getting shocked. It was mind blowing.

Was I having a seizure? Losing consciousness? Had some wire shorted out under the carpet I was sitting on?

None of these things. I remained breathing at a normal…

And inclusive thoughts feel good.

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This article is part of a developing series on fundamental principles of inner life. Through personal experience, scientific research, and intuitive reasoning, I seek to illuminate laws that we can apply for better day-to-day experiencing.

We understand there are scientific principles functioning in the external world. But there are also principles at play in our internal worlds. If we learn what those rules are, we open ourselves to experiencing life in deeper, more fulfilling ways.

Today’s topic is universal: Pain.

Has there ever been a human who’s lived a life without feeling pain?

Even the…

Experiencing distance from your body and mind brings freedom, success, and sanity.

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Mind and body keep serving up thoughts, feelings, and sensations from the back kitchen. Our choice now is simple: pick the present plate or let it pass.

It’s 9 p.m. after a long day. You’ve finished dinner, and now you sit down to read that book, the one you’ve wanted to get at for a week. You’re comfortable. It’s quiet. The cat snuggles in next to you.

Then you feel it: A craving for a chocolate doughnut. You’re not hungry … but there are half a dozen left in the kitchen.

Well I didn’t have dessert, so…

Another thought counters: But I’ve only an hour before bed.

Oh come on, how long does a doughnut…

Justin diFeliciantonio

Yogic Blogger. Certified Isha Hatha Yoga Teacher. Offering Spiritual Tools for accelerated Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. Difeliciantonio@gmail.com

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