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For fun in the sun

Ladies and Gentlemen — this message is brought to you by SHE!

That’s right, the one and only SHE who sells seashells by the seashore

And this very same SHE you all know and adore

Wants you to know that SHE now sells a lot more than before

Starting this season SHE sells:

Seashells, sleighbells, legally obtained white blood cells,

Maps of the Halifax Citadel, Self-help tapes to grow your clientele,

Three types of ropes to pull fallen boys out of wells

And organic caramels

SHE sells:

All the religious scriptures and bi-bells

Bringing you the one truth of all…


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Seriously, you can just kind of switch it on

Intro for Haters

I’m trying to phrase this in a way that wouldn’t have scared me away last year, back before I popped off, back when I thought the word “Spiritual” meant “Bullshit for weak-minded people” or “Doesn’t exist”.

What can I do to make you trust me?

I’m not one of those “spiritual” people, with dreadlocks and wooden earrings, tribal tattoos, crystals in my pockets, and incense in my car.

I’m like you.

Maybe not as much anymore, but I popped off from reading about neuropsychology, and now whenever I hear about a new spiritual practice, I immediately think of ways it…


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It’s all neural regulation

Ever heard of a hypnagogic jerk?

That’s when you’re drifting off to sleep and you have a quick dream that you tripped or slipped and then you get a big twitch…..

except that’s not what happens.

What happens is that your nervous system burps off some biochemical energy… you twitch and THEN your mind makes up a little dreamStory to justify your action. …


Though they may be temporarily uncomfortable, not a single one of these points is inherently negative.

Meditation does not “promote” negative thinking. Negative thoughts and emotions may arise as awareness increases. We notice them and they pass away. Delusional and irrational” are judgment calls, and like you say, stirring up such memories can be a way to work past them.

State chasing is not the point, but deep meditative states, or jhannas, do happen and can be quite intense. Again, why is this negative? You say “researchers say these states can be unproductive”.

Unproductive for what? Are you saying positivity…


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Roadblocks to well-intentioned feedback

My chief complaint about modern mental health care is the fact that there are so many obstacles to complaining about it at all.

Setting aside the validity or invalidity of my particular issues, I’d like to explore some roadblocks to providing feedback in the event that one did see a problem worth addressing in the general arena of mental health.

1. Stigma and Credibility

I didn’t have an opinion about the psych ward until I went to one, but now that I’ve been to one, people don’t trust what I have to say. It’s a catch-22. …


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Life Hacking Reality

I first came across Tim Ferriss in 2013 when I was splitting my time between leading tours in Africa and Asia, and managing a hotel in Sri Lanka.

A guest left a copy of The 4-Hour Work Week in their room. It wasn’t my usual cup of tea, but options for English language paperbacks were limited in our little beach town.

Part of me loved it. As a human tumbleweed who has always bounced where the wind blows, it was novel and inspiring to discover that one can engage with life in such an intentional and thoughtful manner. …


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By someone who didn’t think they were real

Last summer I had one of those things. A moment of transcendence. A non-dual experience. Satori. Awakening. Revelation. Enlightenment. Unity. Whatever words do it for you.

I’m writing this because of how mishandled it was, not to brag or preach.

It happened after learning about my nervous system through the lens of ADHD. It lasted for a few hours and left a strong impression, but it’s not like I got to hold on to it or feel that way all the time now.

I didn’t know that that was a feeling people could experience. I thought I must have been…


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5 bikes, 4 countries, 1 idiot

I’ve fallen off a motorcycle or scooter five times, and I hope I never do again. Ranked 1–5 from most to least severe.

1. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka, June 2013.

The first time was a scooter. I was living in a beach town in Southern Sri Lanka called Unawatuna, managing a hotel/restaurant with two friends, and me and my friend Alison hopped on the scooter and started into town to buy some ice tubes for the kitchen.

I corrected our chef when I first heard him say ‘tubes’ instead of ‘cubes’, and he said “OK Dan-Boss”. I apologized when I bought my first bag of ice tubes…


Dear Lauren, M.A.,

Thank you for your tender, loving response, for clarifying once and for all that the DSM-5 is the “only appropriate criterion used in all the many professions that make up the entire field of mental health care”, and for your illuminating comparison between being forcibly detained in a psychiatric institution and not having cake provided at one’s place of employment.

I wonder – as a professional therapist responding to an involuntarily committed individual such as myself, would you categorize your lighthearted lobotomy zinger as a trauma-informed joke or not a trauma-informed joke?

Despite your groundless assertions, the…


Normalizing spirituality to curb medical mismanagement

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

One of the reasons that spiritual awakenings continue to be mistreated as psychotic episodes is that it is societally appropriate to hold the view that they don’t exist.

People like myself get traumatized and gaslighted by mental health workers who are supposedly helping, and we are dismissed and stigmatized when we try to discuss these things rationally.

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of scientists and doctors who speak about these sorts of things explicitly. It’s not that complicated. There are powerful, subjective experiences that cause predictable shifts in thought and behavior.

I’m not trying to convince people to…

Dan Latner

Dang Lantern

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