One tiny adjustment can bring you all the way out.

image courtesy of adobestock.com

It’s different for everyone, and there are as many ways to deal with depression as there are people. Some need pharmaceuticals. Others, therapy. And others swear by less conventional methods: soul retrieval, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, or cuddling, or even a practice called “bouldering.” (Swear to God, it’s a thing. Google it.)

But those are all tools aimed at the the big D, not the “bardo” that comes after it. In Tibetan Buddhism, the time between death and rebirth is called the bardo. The Depression Bardo, as I’ve named this other state, comes just after the worst of the depression…


These kids show up, and now I really care what happens to them.

image courtesy of adobestock.com

This image is from adobestock.com so I know it was posed. There are several versions of it. (We’ve got the kids photo shoot on Thursday.) The agency secured the venue, set up the cameras and the lighting, and got the photographers ready to go. (Big smiles now!) The little African American girl looks either a little dreamy or like someone had just told her, “Come on honey, smile, maybe a thumbs up?” She obliges.

Whatever. It would be a wonderful (and very different) picture if it were of actual friends who’d loved each other, been mean to each other, and…


Life lessons from my knitting needles.

image courtesy of adobestock

All three of my children have varying degrees of ADHD. My daughter, who now has a magical three-year-old son, has begun working with a coach to help her move through the world more effectively with this condition. She noticed I have many of the same symptoms, and she has improved so much with help from her coach — so she urged me to get tested and deal with this head on. Which I’m doing.

In the meantime, I want to share with you an image that gave me a sense of wellbeing that I haven’t felt for a while now…


You can hear it. Just stop and listen for real.

Image by agsandrew, courtesy of adobestock

Ram Dass Here and Now is a podcast of teachings that Ram Dass gave during the eighties and nineties. If you forego the long introductions by a sincere gentleman named Ragu Marcus (you have to skip the first ten minutes or so), it’s an amazing trip into Ram Dass’ wisdom.

There’s a poem that he reads at the end of his “Playing With Reality” episode. It’s by Kabir (a fifteenth century Indian mystic poet and saint), and it stopped me in my tracks. Here are the lines that smacked me in the heart:

“Have you heard the music
that no…


Try it every day for a month and see what happens.

Image by Saphansa, courtesy of adobestock.com

We get up in the morning with a vague sense of dread. Then we pick up our phones to flesh out what it’s about.

Me too. I reach for my phone immediately upon waking; and then I ‘doom scroll,’ checking my news sources for the latest awful thing going on in the world.

I do this without thinking, and I do it every day.

But recently I busted myself for my own hypocrisy. I realized that I professed the importance of tending our consciousness like a garden…while regularly filling my mind with toxicity first thing in the morning. Why did…


Feelings don’t belong in the driver’s seat.

image courtesy of adobestock

Lately I’ve hit a new low. Schlumping around, depressed, full of self-pity with a generous side order of pandemic- and climate change-related dread. It’s the malaise with a million names, and it’s been in charge of me for the past long time.

Writing has seemed impossible. A “What’s the point?” monster moves in before I even sit down. Or it’s the “you deserve a rest” siren, with the Sleepy Stick. Or it’s the urgent need to clear out this drawer. This one. Right now.

The Distraction Diva, always demanding attention — but especially if I’m about to sit down and…


He’s long gone, but the damage is not. And it can be healed.

My father was born 119 years ago on this day, June 26th, in Hannibal, Missouri.

He is best known for having created the Learjet. Less known for inventing the 8-track tape, and even fewer people know that he was the first to come up with a practical car radio.

He did not invent the car radio — but he made it doable on a large scale by reducing the size (it only took up the space of a briefcase!). If you’re old enough, you’ll know the name Motorola. He coined that term. It’s a combination of ‘motorcar’ and ‘victrola’. …


Season’s Greetings, even if you’re not feeling it.

image courtesy of adobestock.com

This November, I started falling into my grumpy state—it’s hard to tell why — but I always do at this time of year, and not many people know this. How long have I been such a grouch? I don’t know but whatever. It’s grumpy-time.

But because I’m a grownup, I refrain from saying the words that sit inside my mouth. I don’t roll my eyes at the happy music or let anyone know how I truly feel about Christmas cards. I dutifully put up the lights. And we play the music that must be played when you’re Christmassing your house.


The first step in practicing nonviolence is toward the self.

image by photocech courtesy of adobestock.com

Don’t bring a gun.

I listened to a talk recently from Tara Brach about ‘radical compassion.’ In it, she tells the story of primate biologist George Schaller, whose renown came from gathering more intimate and compelling information about gorillas than any scientist at the time had ever gathered.

“How did he do that?” she asked. “How did he get intimate with the gorillas?” Answer: He didn’t carry a gun. And then she took us gently to the next logical step, asking, “How do we get intimate with ourselves?”

Don’t carry a gun.

In my quest for self-awareness, I’ve engaged in decades of therapy. I’ve…


It’s more powerful when we meditate together.

Image courtesy of adobestock.com

What are you doing at three o-clock today?
Me, I’m with whoever shows up to my Facebook Live meditation. (Three minutes at three o’clock.)

This started out as a light-hearted experiment. I thought it might help keep me engaged with my own practice, if for only three minutes a day. The thinking was if I had to show up for you, then I would do it for sure.

It goes like this: At (or near) three o-clock (Eastern time), I hop onto Facebook Live and lead a three minute meditation. Sometimes guided. …

tinalear

Writer. Yoga teacher. Musician. Buddhist. Quilter. Animal lover. Visible grownup. Hidden child. Secret dancer when all alone. Makes good bread.

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