Betsy Robinson, author of funny literary stories about flawed people, is a perpetual seeker of truth.

From books to music to theater and fine art, from online TV to DVDs, this blog takes a look at current culture through a spiritual perspective — with a touch of humor.

Materials under the "review" tag are a mix of free review copies (books, DVDs, etc.) in exchange for a review, to library copies, to materials and tickets I've paid for.


A Really Bad Hair Day (Feb. 13 blog)

The Art of Collapsing (Feb. 6 blog)

Life is only temporary says Evan Handler (Jan. 28 blog)

The New World of Finance (Jan. 28 blog)

All about growing up in a cult (April 16 blog)

Fierce Giving (Jan. 8 blog)

(Copyright © 2008-2014 Betsy Robinson. All rights reserved)

Notes from a Crusty Seeker

Science and Good Intentions

September 22, 2009

Tags: Unemployment, compassionate wisdom, healing, review

I suddenly realized that my unemployed lulls are a great time to read the “I’m-gonna-read-that-someday” pile. Here are a couple of interesting facts from two sources in that pile:

1. In How God Changes Your Brain, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, M.D., says that regular simple exercises can physically change your brain, allowing you to concentrate better, be more relaxed and peaceful, and improve your memory. The key elements are doing your exercise with desire and focus, regulating your body control (for instance breathing or doing finger or eye movements), and practice. And most important is “expectation” — your belief that you can and will accomplish your goals in your exercise.

Here are the steps:
• Maintain a state of relaxed awareness
• Regulate your breathing
• Do a simple or complex movement with any part of your body
• Speak, sing, chant, or silently repeat a sound or phrase that has personal meaning
• Do this for at least 12 minutes each day, with a clear goal

2. In the Autumn 2008 issue of Light of Consciousness, there’s a piece by Bo Lozoff, director of the Human Kindness Foundation. He suggests a practice so simple that, in my opinion, it would be ridiculous not to do it. Every morning as soon as you wake up — the very instant you know you’re not sleeping — say a prayer or statement of intention, i.e., “I will be kind today.” Commit to doing this (the statement can change) for the rest of your life.

3. Now put the two together: Gradually incorporate Newberg’s suggested movement and body control, and extend the practice for 12 minutes when you first wake:
Nirvana …or at least a calmer brain or a nicer approach to life.

Selected Works

Big Moose Prize-winning novel
a funny, sometimes sad, story of negotiating life without a clue

New on Kindle--a funny book for foodies who are committed to self-change through self-awareness
an epistolary memoir ... sort of
A funny and moving little book for anyone who's had a mother or struggled with being human.
anthology of stories and plays
includes Darleen Dances and stories below

1-act play

short story
the problem with worrying about the future

true story
Why I don't believe in death.

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