The Ancient Wisdom of Grandmothers

A few weeks ago I went with my family to visit my grandmother in Okinawa. She is 89, and has been recently hospitalized after having a stroke. I haven’t seen her since 2003 when I last visited, so it was quite the trip. I never learned Japanese growing up so there has always been a

The Freedom of Constraint

I traditionally have chafed under authority. Not that I’m a rebel or anything; I just dislike being forced to do things I don’t want to do, like most people I assume. There is nothing worse than having a plan for the day, or, having a plan to do nothing for the day, and say, having

Some (Islamic) advice on keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

I’m sure most of you have made some kind of resolution for 2016, something that you feel needs correction and work. I’m personally back on a low-carb diet and I’m making sure to re-incorporate some of the ancient wisdom practices I abandoned after my experiments. But, most people fail at their New Year’s resolutions. A

What You’re Meant To Do: Career Advice from Ancient Wisdom

I live in the DC area and one topic that inevitably comes up is career. Depending on the crowd, you’ll hear about the people still figuring what they want to do for real (while they work as government consultants), people who are trying to figure out the next step in their career, and others who

Welcoming Variability

One of modernity’s “virtues” is its claim to reduce harmful variability in our lives. For example, in pre-industrial times, you might only have access to foods that are in season. Strawberries bloom in the spring, and in a time when international trade and refrigeration capability was limited, you could only eat strawberries in the spring.

Doing Nothing: The Taoist and Scientific Way of Generating Creativity

There’s a peculiar effect that I’ve observed in my attempts to embrace wu-wei this month: I have more creative insights. They tend to happen when I’m not doing anything in particular. At work, it is during my afternoon coffee breaks. At home, it’s in the shower or right before or after a nap. They also