Philosophy and Psychology

Post image for Forget about the money, follow your bliss

A friend of mine graduated from college last year with a degree in business administration. His dream was to major in engineering and pursue a career in designing high-tech electronics. But his father, the owner of a bakery chain franchise, convinced him a business degree was a more realistic and sensible decision. My friend now […]

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Post image for The concept of happiness: 5 essential books

The concept of happiness is a subject that endlessly engrosses me and is often the subject of Hipster Monk posts. Humans strive for happiness. People ask: What does it take to live a happy life? Money? Success? Sex? Family? Faith? Is there some secret that no one is telling me? I don’t have the ultimate […]

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Money can buy happiness

by Todd Hebert

Post image for Money <em>can</em> buy happiness

Recent studies have shown that the phrase, “money can’t buy happiness” may not necessarily be correct. While it’s true that money in not a prerequisite for happiness, it can make life easier and promote happiness, but only if it is spent in the right way. In the animated video below, AsapSCIENCE explains that “people who […]

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Post image for Zen and the Art of Happiness

Zen and the Art of Happiness Chris Prentiss Power Press (2006) Chris Prentiss opens Zen and the Art of Happiness by writing, “there is only one way to achieve lasting happiness. That way is simply: be happy.” It’s a great opening that made me eager to read on. Unfortunately, the rest of the slim 145 […]

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Post image for New Year’s non-resolution

New year’s resolutions don’t work. I don’t have to tell you this. You already know. So, why do you keep making them and breaking them year after year. You’re not going to lose weight, quit smoking, find a new job, eat healthier, exercise more, stick to a savings plan or anything else based on a […]

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Post image for Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking [Booklist]

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking Oliver Burkeman Faber & Faber, inc. (2012) Newsflash: life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. There are a lot of happy, joyful events that happen every day, but there is also a lot of sadness, failure and stress. Is the key to happiness focusing on […]

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Rethinking tradition

by Todd Hebert

Post image for Rethinking tradition

When an employee at my place of work has a birthday, he or she is treated to a cake. It’s a nice gesture. We’ll sing “Happy Birthday,” a few of us will have a slice of cake and then we’ll get back to business. The cake gets put in the fridge with only 2 or […]

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Post image for The Coffee-House of Surat [Fiction]

In the town of Surat, in India, was a coffee-house where many travellers and foreigners from all parts of the world met and conversed. One day a learned Persian theologian visited this coffee-house. He was a man who had spent his life studying the nature of the Deity, and reading and writing books upon the […]

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Big list of sin!

by Todd Hebert

Post image for Big list of sin!

sin (noun) – an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible Generally speaking, sin is a relative term that really has no meaning. If there is a god, I’m willing to bet he feels the same. A set list of dos and don’ts with […]

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Taming the monkey

by Todd Hebert

Post image for Taming the monkey

I spend a lot of time thinking about self improvement. Most thoughtful people do. Currently on my short-term agenda is: taking better care of my body (quitting smoking, eating better) making my newly adopted vegan lifestyle work without going crazy and wasting away being more friendly and less judgmental to friends and strangers disciplining myself […]

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Post image for Zen master pets [Booklist]

Guardians of Being Eckhart Tolle & Patrick McDonnell New World Library (2009) Dogs and cats have a divine purpose. Part of that purpose is to help us humans realize the joy of living in the present moment. At least that is the take-home message of Guardians of Being, a book collaboration by spiritual guru Eckhart […]

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Post image for No, not <em>those</em> Ten Commandments

To billions around the globe, the Ten Commandments are a fundamental set of rules to base ones moral and religious lives. To many others, outside of the Judea-Christian tradition, the set of guidelines is problematic or simply unnecessary. Like the Golden Rule and the Seven Deadly Sins, several other versions of the Ten Commandments exist. […]

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Smiling really works!

by Todd Hebert

Post image for Smiling really works!

It’s true what they say about smiling. A simple smile, even a forced one, can change one’s mood. I tried it and the effects were instant and undeniable. Hold up one second. I know what you’re thinking: damned new age hippie. I don’t blame you. Before writing this post I thought long and hard about […]

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Are we all agnostic?

by Todd Hebert

Post image for Are we all agnostic?

During an afternoon of boredom, I suddenly had a eureka moment. I came to the realization that we are all agnostic. I am, you are, the Pope is, and so is Richard Dawkins and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Big Bird too. Not a particularly profound thought, but one that had not occurred to me […]

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Post image for Afterlives Beyond Heaven and Hell [Booklist]

What happens when you die? Does your soul rise up to heaven or fall to the pits of hell? Do you go through some sort of reincarnation or transmigration process? Do you simply rot in the ground? Usually the answer to the question of afterlife is based on one’s spiritual belief system, or lack thereof. […]