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Fresh out of college, without a job, and needing some money to pay the rent I became a substitute teacher in the Cambridge, Massachusetts public schools. Substitute teaching in inner-city public schools in the United States was a horrible job. $25 for a day in hell. Teach? Impossible! Just surviving to the end of the day was the goal. The tough, city kids were too much for me, or maybe any substit...

How can mindfulness teach empathy? Or what is ‘mindfulness’ in the first place? Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, an American Japanese psychologist and co-founder of LifeWorks at Stanford University, shed some important light on these questions during a weekly meeting of the "Mind, Body, and Culture Workshop" organized by the Stanford Research Group on Collective Trauma and Healing. During the sessio...

Have you ever felt like you’re the only one who’s different? Growing up as the one Japanese boy anyone had ever seen I often felt like I was the only one and in that way I was the only one. This sense of difference led to isolation and was the breeding ground of alienation.


But fortunately, I began to see that other kids felt different for their own reasons. Some of their reasons were visible, lik...

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