We got together today and talked a bit about the retreat that I just finished teaching. I was struck by how grateful the retreatants were for the quiet of the retreat setting, and their obvious relief to have this time for themselves. I don’t think people need to depend on a retreat to be quiet; you can take some quiet time that is just for yourself, and that can be a real act of self-compassion. The group talked about the problems our society has with anxiety; this has reached epidemic proportions. One way to relieve anxiety is to pay attention to the happy moments in life, since we have a “negativity bias” and tend to focus on the negative rather than positive. I read a great poem by Billy Collins called “Shoveling Snow with Buddha” which you can read here:

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