I think the claim that Marcus Aurelius would not have thought himself a philosopher is incorrect. At the same time, the way it is incorrect is very interesting. Exploring this will show us some important things about what philosophy and philosophers were in the ancient world, what they are perceived to be now, and how we might choose to regard and engage in philosophy going forward. Continue reading Marcus Aurelius: What Is a Philosopher?
Step into the world of Qi Gong, an age-old practice that traces its roots back to the rich world of ancient China, where it first blossomed some 5000 years ago. This holistic discipline has been profoundly shaped by an interweaving of philosophical strands, including the profound wisdom of Taoism, the transformative teachings of Buddhism, and the ethical principles of Confucianism. Initially flourishing within the realm … Continue reading Explore the Ancient Origins of Qi Gong: A Journey Back in Time
I’ve been thinking a lot about defiance lately. Actually, because I’m very much a contrarian at heart, I’m always thinking about ways to defy. That’s what contrarians do; they defy conventional wisdom (among other things). (By the way, it seems pretty clear that we need a lot more contrarians in the world.) I guess you could also say that I’m part of the resistance against … Continue reading Repost: Napping as an Act of Defiance
Not that long ago, I found myself stopped at a traffic light, across from a rather pricey development combining shopping and dining. Next to the road was a large sign, advertising for the entire place. What caught my eye was the slogan for this place: “Feed Your Appetite.” I was partly amazed, partly amused, and partly disturbed. Of course, if what “feed your appetite” meant … Continue reading Feed Your Appetite: An Unintentionally Honest Slogan?
Several centuries ago, during the peak of the Japanese autumn, in one of Kyoto’s splendid gardens, a tea master instructed his apprentice to prepare for a tea ceremony. The young man meticulously trimmed hedges, carefully raked the gravel, plucked dry leaves from the stones, and cleared the mossy path of any twigs. The garden appeared flawless: every blade of grass was perfectly in place. Silently, … Continue reading Embracing Wabi-Sabi: The Beauty of Imperfection in Japanese Culture
I’ve been forgetful lately. I’m talking like, I’ll be in one part of my house, decide that I need something from another room, head to that locale, and as soon as I arrive there, I can no longer recall what I wanted to get. I know this is a near universal human experience because I’ve had numerous friends, once I’ve told them about this tendency … Continue reading Repost: Does Anyone Know Where I Left My Car Keys?
If you haven’t already done so, you might want to have a look at part one. That one was mostly about work. This second piece will be more focused on money; although, work and money really go hand in hand because without the former, the latter is hard to come by. In part one, I mentioned (and linked to) “The Shame that Keeps Us in Our … Continue reading Repost: On Work and Money: Part Two
Earlier this week I read “The Shame that Keeps Us in Our Jobs,” an article by Paul Millerd, one of my LinkedIn contacts. Millerd’s piece, about work, work culture, and money, got me thinking about a whole bunch of topics. This blog is the result of that rumination. I want to begin with something I’ve wondered about throughout my career as a college and university … Continue reading Repost: On Work and Money: Part One
I don’t think this is going to be anything like any of my other blogs. Actually, I’m not for sure what this is going to look like or how it might turn out. That’s why I’m calling it an “experiment.” I will conduct my experiment by asking a series of personal, self-discovery questions and then answering them. Each response will be used to generate another … Continue reading Repost: Experimenting with Self-Discovery in Real Time
Note: A version of this post was published earlier. As America gears up for the 2024 presidential campaign, a variety of Republican contenders, chief among them Ron DeSantis, are doing their absolute best to dethrone the Grand Poohbah, otherwise known as “The Donald,” the man who gives lie to the statement “It can’t happen here.” To achieve this difficult task, these campaigners are going … Continue reading Let’s Talk and Think about Skin Color
Before I get into the body of this piece, I’d like to say that the conflict in Ukraine is especially interesting and tragic because I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Poland during the mid-nineties, not long after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was sent to Rzeczpospolita Polska—I still remember quite a lot of Polish—to … Continue reading Repost: What Vladimir Putin’s War Has Taught Me
I often like to use the word ‘philosophy’ in a somewhat unusual way. What I mean is philosophy understood as a craft, skill, or art of living. This is, actually, how philosophy was originally understood and practiced, in the ancient Greek and Roman periods of what we now call Western philosophy. That understanding, and even that practice, has never completely gone away. It has, however, … Continue reading Philosophy as an Art of Living
Exactly one week ago, on Saturday morning, my wife and I got into the backseat of my father and stepmother’s car, in Georgetown, Texas, pulled out of their garage, and headed eastward, to make the hour-long trip to the small town of Rockdale, Texas, population 5,323. Our goal was to attend a memorial service to commemorate the life of my uncle, a man I’d always … Continue reading A Sad Day, a Happy Day
One most often sees Right Livelihood, the fifth path factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, defined negatively, in terms of not causing harm. … This naturally may raise the question: Ought right livelihood to do significantly more than simply not harming and not impeding spiritual growth? Ought it not to go farther, and do something positively beneficial as well? Continue reading Right Livelihood: Is It More Than Not Harming?
Life is like a great meandering stroll through a vast wilderness of ever-changing scenery. Such a long tramp is bound to change us, so it’s highly likely we’ll undergo one transformation after another as we travel. I was an only child during the earliest stages of my “journey.” I spent the first few years of my life living in a quiet, rural setting where neighbors … Continue reading Repost: Others
I’ve been writing about happiness recently. This is the third (and final) installment in a series of pieces on this subject. The first installment can be found here and second one, here. While prepping myself to write this, I began to think of analogies. Can happiness be cultivated in the same way a farmer prepares for a good harvest? Think about it; a bumper crop doesn’t just happen … Continue reading Repost: Can Happiness Be Cultivated?
Our lives are intertwined, entangled like waves merging in the ocean. We see ourselves in others, in the world around us. The physical appearance of our parents, the traditions of our culture and unique intricacies of our closest friends all leave their mark on who we are, and who we become. The ‘I’, our ego, is porous and unbound. It is elusive and cannot be … Continue reading Book Review of The Waves by Virginia Woolf
Is there anything beyond the futility of the external world, governed by fierce competition, ambition and baseless pleasures? Where does one take refuge from the constant treadmill of busyness that encapsulates our day to day working lives? One is inclined to ask, is there anything outside of the status games played within our society, trying impress others through fame, fortune or luxury consumer goods. A … Continue reading In Search of an Inner Life
Dear, Readers, I’m speaking for all Wise & Shine writers when I say that we so appreciate your continued support of this blog. To show how thankful we are, we want to ask you to share a link to your blog or site in the “thoughts” or comments section at the bottom of this page. Please feel free to include a statement about what inspires … Continue reading Sharing is Caring
We all love a good hero story. They supply us with inspiration and hope. Many follow a typical narrative structure that we have become familiar with. An individual, against all odds, overcomes immense trials and tribulations to achieve their goal. From ‘rags to riches’ stories to the spectacular feats performed by our favourite superheroes, these tales continue to be pervasive in our culture. But what … Continue reading Looking Underneath the Surface: A Review of George Eliot’s Middlemarch