A complete list of my writings published on Medium

One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time…give it, give it all, give it now.
Annie Dillard

Meditation and Mindfulness

The Most Helpful Yet Overlooked Thing About Meditation
Becoming Better At Being Happy
What is Wrong With an Ordinary Life?
I Will Never Regret Spending So Much of My Life Meditating
Is There Really a Mindfulness Conspiracy?
Why I Watch For Signs From Life
A Deceptively Simple Way to Break a Habit

Writing and Creativity

Does Writing Ever Become Easier?
When the Words Don’t Come Easily
Writing in…


It has changed mine

Photo by Maks Key on Unsplash

I have no special talent. I’m just passionately curious.

— Albert Einstein

The Dalai Lama famously said, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

For Einstein, his simple religion was curiosity. When he was twelve years old, he abandoned his religious beliefs and immersed himself in exploring science, daydreaming, and meditating on the wonders of nature.

As a child, annoyed that his big toes always made holes in his socks, Einstein decided to stop wearing them altogether and never looked back. At age twenty-two, he was deemed unfit for the Swiss military service because of issues with his…


What will we do when life becomes too expensive?

Photo by Rodrigo Soares on Unsplash

No matter how frightened or exhausted or frustrated you get, you need to follow a basic rule: Be kind to the people you love.

— Elizabeth Warren

In 2017 when my husband took a half-year-long sabbatical leave at fifty percent of his salary, we left the U.S. to travel. The thing is that staying would have cost us as much as traveling. Our reduced income wasn’t enough to cover our monthly expenses in the San Francisco Bay Area where we live.

Our son was no longer a routine-dependent toddler and not yet school age, so the timing was perfect for…


How meditation makes the Golden Rule of Habit work

Photo by Mirciov Dan on Unsplash

A couple weeks ago I found myself influenced by mob mentality and bought $1000 worth of Dogecoin at its very peak. The next thing I knew my humble investment began free-falling and it fell more with each passing day.

This experiment with my very first cryptocurrency has been an interesting ride and a learning experience. It taught me not to chase easy money, but also gave me insight into the making and breaking of habits.

An annoying habit formed on the day I bought Dogecoin. I began checking its progress every so often. I don’t know exactly how often I…


Meditative practices are part of the solution not the problem

Photo by Drew Farwell on Unsplash

Years ago I had an amazing opportunity to attend a yoga class in Udaipur, India. I was thrilled to see how yoga was taught in the very country of its origin. One warm evening I entered the dimly lit studio in the heart of old town. In its center were marigolds and candles laid out on the floor. An instructor looked like one of those sadhu-men except for his clean-shaven face.

He might have been in his sixties but he had an ageless body that appeared as nimble as a Cirque du Soleil contortionist. About a dozen other attendees were…


I don’t know where I would be without understanding this

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

In one of his Late Shows Stephen Colbert asks Keanu Reeves, “What do you think happens when we die?”

Keanu pauses with a long sigh and says, “I know that ones who love us will miss us.” His answer causes Stephen Colbert to become speechless for a moment before he shakes hands with Keanu and moves on to wrapping up his show.

I was struck by the simplicity of Keanu’s answer and the way it made me miss people I love both living and dead.

We tend to complicate our lives in countless ways perhaps because simplicity isn’t so simple…


It’s been the best investment.

Photo by Snappy Shutters on Unsplash

My experience is what I agree to attend to.

— William James

I’m in a big grassy meadow surrounded by redwood trees. I lie down on my yoga mat and gaze at the clear blue sky. High above, a flock of hawks swirl in a seemingly erratic manner. They go every which way — left, right, back, forward, and in opposite directions to each other only to turn around and go the other way. Their flight pattern makes little sense to me, but I find them utterly relaxing to watch.

When I close my eyes and listen, I can make…


It was just what I needed to hear

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Ahhh, so frustrating. I can’t seem to write anymore,” I say to my husband.

“But, why do you want to write?” he asks.

“You know, writing is my attempt to heal myself,” I say.

He asks more questions to help me reflect on what I’m going through. I silently go over my reasons for wanting to write. Writing grounds me. When I don’t write for a long time, I feel more restless and out of touch with myself. Writing lets me express myself and explore ideas I care about.

However, I dislike self-imposed pressures and feelings like I have to…


Because time neither waits nor cares about wealth.

Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

— Frederick Lewis Donaldson

Recently the New York Times published Here’s How Bored Rich People Are Spending Their Extra Cash. Apparently, the price of luxury goods, collectables, and assets such as jewellery, watches, sports cards, vintage cars, sneakers, and crypto art skyrocketed during the pandemic as lines for food banks grew ever so long.

Although it is no surprise that the pandemic made the rich richer and the poor poorer, it still saddens me to witness this widening disparity…


The magic of seeing ourselves as the storyteller of our lives.

Photo by Charlotte Coneybeer on Unsplash

A little boy dressed as Superman jumps from a high window into the sky. He believed he had superpowers and could fly just like his hero. Miraculously, a group of good Samaritans banded together and safely caught him with a blanket before he reached the ground.

I’ve carried this scene in my mind for many years. I couldn’t remember the source of the story about this lucky boy. So I Googled to see if it was in the news. When I found that it was originally published in the New York Times in 1979, my heart sank. …

Zul Bal

I write to collect, capture, and curate ordinary beautiful ideas.

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