Angry woman boss berating her employees in a meeting

No one should have a boss. If I have a boss, then, by default under our current system, she’s thinking about her business objectives, how she looks, what’s important to her — not much about what’s important to me. Then, here’s the shitty part, my survival depends on her decisions. Decisions don’t include me and my needs.

Under this system, ordinary business decisions that ought to be quite minor, like whether to close a restaurant, whether to hire a new account manager, or whether to buy a new piece of equipment, become life-or-death, or near enough, for someone. That’s ridiculous…


Promotional Image for Social Dilemma movie

Tristan Harris is right. He is the genius behind the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma. He’s right that our attention is being hacked, and vulnerable people like kids, religious minorities, girls, and those who live in democracies are harmed every day.

Let’s assume you’ve seen the movie, so we can check the box on informed outrage and cut straight to the action. What do we do about the problem Tristan and his team elegantly framed? At the end of the movie, Tristan says the solution is in “collective will”. Agreed, so what do we do with our will?

I was…


Stylized brain in with list of spacious words: gravity infinite flow void heavens emptiness etc.

Is it possible that a breakthrough of world-peace proportions could happen inside one individual human? That one insight could crystallize, be communicated, felt, applied and then spread, leaving a wake of empathy, cooperation, sanity, healing and health behind it? Certainly horrifically bad ideas have propagated themselves, feeding on the energy of threat, abandonment, and past wrongs. Why not a positive idea, one with teeth and power, that spreads itself via the energies of connection, healing, cooperation and beauty?

What if you were that one human? What would you do?

Imagine life is a journey from birth to death across an…


I’m writing a book, Surviving Evolution: The Field Manual. I’m excited about it, so I’m sharing that with you. It’s a book about our real human origin story that we’ve kept secret from ourselves, robbing us of our superpowers.

I got excited when I saw that Genesis complements my ideas in the book, if you grant me permission to assume it’s expressed in a kind of code.

Genesis:

“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

ruach elohim, the original Hebrew translated “Spirit of God”, means “wind, or breath”. The most elegant translation is prana, the…


Meditation brings incredible, almost supernatural benefits, proven by science, popularized in media — everyone should meditate every day, right? So why doesn’t meditation feel good to beginners?

Because as a beginner, when you start meditating, you immediately, directly feel the conflict between where you want your attention to rest, and where it is pulled by your thoughts, outside sounds, to-do list…as a beginner, meditation sucks. Why?

Where you want to put your attention is “top-down” attention. In meditation, it’s whatever your meditation teacher told you: breath, divine image, body sensations, energies, the universe, God, consciousness, …all good stuff.

Where your…


My journal this morning, with a diagram drawn by my wife.

Until now, “flow” has been a mystery, a quality to be sought after, which, like happiness, flees the seeker but graces one who indirectly cultivates it.

Author Csikszentmihalyi defined flow as “optimal experience”, a.k.a the “holistic experience that people feel when they act with total involvement”. “Total involvement” implies self-forgetfulness, a blissful engagement of attention that transcends time.

It’s fair to say that flow is a desirable mode of attention.

Cognitive scientists divide attention into two parts: bottom-up, and top-down. …


(I left this summary in from my notes because I think it might help orient you. This is a draft chapter from my upcoming book on neuroplastic workouts)

Summary: understand and apply the modes of attention “modeling” and “direct action”; understand the concept of flow (practiced alignment, direct action); understand that the “self” lives in the model as a character that is the hero in most of the models, unhappiness is the process of trying to have a happy “self” instead of just being happy — hence the value of the phrase “non-doership”. Neuroplastic workouts as the process of being…


Mastering your attention is all well and good, but how do you think the very few serene Yoda-types, if you are ever lucky enough to meet one, got to be so serene? No one, man or woman, impresses you with imperturbable peace unless it is earned.

How is imperturbable peace earned? Intensity. The serenity you sense, the trustable feeling of “I’ve got this handled, I love you no matter what, I know some good shit, I’m on your side, I’m badass” doesn’t come from the mountaintop. Nope.

The emanation of presence comes from experience coupled with reflection. Generally, it comes…


There’s a buzz around mindfulness. The search term has increased by seven times in the last ten years. Here’s a quick tour to help you get the most out of both the buzz and the substance.

Mindfulness covers a number of concepts and techniques for meditation and coping. I have respect for the mindfulness movement, not only for its solid Buddhist roots, but also for its scientifically proven benefits for mental and emotional health. Like any evolving field of study and practice, mindfulness has several definitions and branches, which can be confusing.

You’ll get the most out of anything you…


If you had a copy of the “Owner’s Manual for Your Attention: How to Get the Value From Your Most Valuable Resource”, there would be a section titled, “Skill Building: You Can’t Help It”. And it would say…

Automated system for building cars. Requires very little attention.

Even if you just now learned that attention is your most valuable resource, your brain knew it from birth. You have a built-in mechanism operating all the time. …

Nathan Otto

Awaken the incredible value and power of mastering your attention to create a life you love and a world that works for everyone.

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