Ask Emma

Advice on love and sanity for the 21st century
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You are What You Hate: More Advice from Pema Chodron

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Oh my God, I wasn’t in the door five minutes today when I found myself boiling with irritation. The drive! Please, the hurricane was on Sunday. Why are people still driving like they can’t find the gas pedal. One of my office mates has been a thoroughgoing…..(fill in the blank with your favorite expletive here) […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Sit on Your Hands: What to do when the world is turned upside down

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Beautiful weather we’ve been having. Yesterday, after the earthquake nonsense, I sat for a few moments on a bench. Fall is coming. Already there are leaves curled on the grass, but the sky was blue, without the glare of humidity, and I found myself transported back to a time when I was living on a […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Inner Calm: Wisdom from the Dalai Lama, stock market blues

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One of the reasons I find Buddhism so encouraging is that as you read across traditions and lineages — that is, if you read Zen, or Tibetan, or Cambodian, or Indian expressions of Buddhism, they don’t disagree with one another. Sure there are points of emphases, and different esoteric practices, but the fundamentals are the […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Why are Addicts, Addicts? : A blunted system for reward?

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Why do some people become addicts, and other people seem to handle the alcohol and the drugs, or even play around with them for awhile and shake them. The New York Times had an uncharacteristically balanced and intelligent article on the subject a couple of days ago, reflecting somewhat on the death of English soul […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Stressed Out Financially?: Who isn’t. Here are some tips on how to regain control

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A reader wrote to me the other day to point out that I never wrote about money. Yes… And it is my terrible blindspot, it is the thing that I suck at, and so of course, I avoid the subject whenever possible. I know in part why I developed this tendency. Both of my parents […] [Read More]
Categories: General

I Love Marmite: Sex, TV, and Mondays

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Now, I bet few of you have even heard of Marmite. Well, as the product of a British childhood, I practically bathe in the stuff. Marmite is a black, tar like product that comes out of jar that is shaped like a cooking pot. It has a lovely yellow lid. What you do with it, […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Aging: Does Life Get Better? A recent study says so, I’m not so sure

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And you think first to yourself, God I hope so. Well, I’m not much for the heat, and it’s so hot where I’m writing today that the sprinkler outside my window is spitting what looks like white ash into the air, but which I now realize is mist — ie, water intended for the garden […] [Read More]
Categories: General

High School: Good Thing, Bad Thing

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It was my high school reunion last week. I won’t tell you how many years it has been. Just as is true of my last reunion, I didn’t go. I was tempted to. I wanted to call my two best friends and say: “Let’s just go.” But I know that it wouldn’t work out. One […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Non, je ne regrette rien!: If only we could live up to Piaf’s motto

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I heard a snippet of Edith Piaf singing “Non, je ne regette rien!” on the radio as I was driving home the other day. Boy, it steers about as close to kitsch as a song can steer while remaining on two wheels, and of course by the time we get to Piaf’s final “Aujourd’hui, ça […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Wisdom from Pema Chodron: “We Just Don’t Know”

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There are a small handful of genuinely insightful beings in the world, and one of them is Pema Chodron, who was born Deirdre Brown in 1936, went to Miss Porter’s School in Farmington Conn., but is now a very highly respected Buddhist teacher and abbot, and who runs Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. […] [Read More]
Categories: General