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Thousands of books about work, work habits, what to do, what not to do, have been written by a plethora of brilliant minds over the millennia, especially in the last fifty years. I’ve read some (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey comes to mind), but certainly not all.

For my money, the most profound advice of all regarding work comes from a short passage in my favorite book of wisdom, the Tao te Ching, written 2,500 years ago by Lao Tzu.

From Chapter 24:

“He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures. If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.” …

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The use of mindfulness practices in schools has been growing for several years. Even better, it appears to be working. Kids behave better in school, do better academically and improve their overall focus. ( This is absolutely fantastic for all involved — kids, teachers and parents.

But we’re missing a mammoth opportunity by restricting this to mindfulness practices only. Teaching kids the underpinnings of mindfulness is monumentally important. In fact, it could be the most valuable information kids learn in the entirety of their K-12 education.

Bold statement? Yes. True? I wholeheartedly believe so. Here’s why.

Educating about our inner…

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As someone who has devoted his professional life to writing about and teaching meditation, mindfulness and the all-around spiritual path, I thought it might be helpful to those interested in this arena to know what my 2021 New Year’s resolution is. In other words, what does someone who has dived headfirst into the spiritual ocean think is THE most important endeavor to pursue?

First, I think it’s critical to go through resolutions one might think I’d pursue. The following are all important to growth on the path…They’re just not, in my experience, the MOST important. …

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I’ve paid twenty bucks a month for ten years to subscribe to Eckhart Tolle’s website. Every week he sends out an email called a present moment reminder that contains a quote from one of his writings. At this point I’ve received several hundred of them.

Out of those hundreds of quotes, twelve have stood out above all others; i.e., I keep them in my email inbox to peruse periodically. And I’m not one of those people with 3,000 emails in his inbox. I keep mine clean and minimal.

My Eckhart only inbox

In fact, guess how many emails I have in my inbox right now? Twelve. …

I’ll provide a roadmap

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With the new year fast approaching, millions of us will decide in the days ahead what we want to focus on in 2021. Many with holiday guilt will choose to lose ten pounds, workout more, drink less or all of the above. Others may decide they want to read more, travel more or save more. All great ideas.

But I’d submit that there’s only one resolution we need to commit to. And then recommit to every January 1. And that resolution is…

Working on ourselves.

First, a mea culpa: It’s beyond presumptuous to proclaim to know the best new year’s resolution for everybody. But if you’ve read any of my previous pieces you know of my fervent belief that working to get our inner houses in order is the most important endeavor any human can pursue. …

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Many millions of trees sacrificed their lives providing paper for all the books and articles about diets, dieting and weight loss. Low fat. Low carb. High protein. Paleo. Atkins. Mediterranean. It’s never ending.

I don’t have any qualms about any of these. I’m sure they work for the people who do them…for as long as they do them. But how many people actually stay on a diet for the rest of their lives? Not many. Which leads to the proverbial yo-yo, up and down, lose fifteen, gain eighteen, lose twenty, gain twenty path that so many weight loss aspirants travel.

The annoying…

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I had an epiphany a few days ago while riding my bike along the Back Bay near my home in Newport Beach, California. It’s about a 45 minute ride and serves as my workout four or five days a week.

Forty-five minutes alone on a bike. You know what that means: Lots of time for my mind to wander into Thoughtlandia.

Traveling to Thoughtlandia

As someone who has traveled the spiritual path these past ten years, I am well-aware that Thoughtlandia is NOT where I want to be. My regular meditation and mindfulness practices train me to live in the present moment as much as possible. …

The Wild Stallion And The Tamer

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I’ll start this off by posing a seldom asked question: What is the mind? Mickey Singer defines it as a field of energy that can create thoughts. So the brain does lots of things, but the mind is the entity within it that creates thoughts. And let’s face it, most of those random thoughts are the bane of most people’s existence.

In fact, quieting our noisy minds is central to many spiritual traditions, notably Buddhism, Hinduism, the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, Mickey Singer and many more. A fundamental precept within all these traditions and teachings is that our minds/thoughts are not who we are. …

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I’ve found Mickey Singer’s teachings to be the most eloquent, relatable, resonant and, most important, helpful, of ANY of the myriad spiritual teachers I have explored. Here are four quotes of his that, if you incorporate them into your life, will provide all you need for your spiritual journey.

1. “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind — you are the one who hears it.”

This one lies at the heart of many spiritual traditions and teachings. One way or another, this concept sits at the foundation of Buddhism, Hinduism, Eckhart Tolle’s teachings and many others. If you get this, you’re halfway toward the pot of gold at the end of the spiritual rainbow. …

It’s about radical simplification.

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Meditation and mindfulness have been all the rage for several years now. Mindspace, Calm and Insight Timer have multi-millions of users, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other elite publications write frequently on the subject and Eckhart Tolle is now a household name.

There’s no doubt that these mega millions of meditation and mindfulness practitioners are better off as a result. So is the world.

Why are these people better off? In other words, what benefits have they reaped? Lots. You’ve probably heard of the health benefits like help with depression, anxiety and chronic pain, a strengthened immune system, and weight loss, to mention just a few. …


David Gerken

Meditation and Mindfulness teacher. Dad of three precious kids. Former Washington, DC political aide and Writer for THE WEST WING. Follow me at

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