Beware of self-help formulas—such as the many well-intentioned memes on social media—that reinforce conditional thinking, including any semblance of a formula conveyed by this brief article! For example, “If you let go of fear, then you will be free.”

You are already free, regardless of what you’re experiencing. Now…integrating that insight into one’s consciousness is another story, although it’s a story worth entertaining.

Don’t practice meditation and self-improvement methods to get better. Practice to see clearly and think & act skillfully, with kindness and compassion. Better is a relativistic concept; striving to be “better” can sometimes be a subtle form of self-rejection. The cultivation of clear thinking, skillful action, and compassion is an intentional, values-based orientation that can guide you in a direction to make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

What are the keys to a path of clear thinking, skillful action, and compassion?

  • Know your intentions and values. Knowledge is the power that energizes them. If clear thinking, skillful action, and compassion align with your values and intentions, become familiar with those qualities by closely observing how you and others embody them.
  • Commit to your intentions and values. Commitment creates a context for holding yourself accountable; accepting your shortcomings with kindness is recommended. While knowledge is the fuel, commitment is the engine that can move you along this path.
  • Practice expressing your intentions and values through your thoughts, speech, and actions. Practice is the essential vehicle for cultivating skills that can liberate you. The paradox is that you are already liberated. The practice of mindfulness meditation ultimately reveals this truth.

The ancient poet Rumi asks, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” He advises us to, “Move outside the tangle of fear thinking. Live in silence. Flow down and down into ever-widening rings of Being.”


  • Larry Cammarata

    Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

    Mindfulness Travels

    Larry Cammarata, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist specializing in mindfulness-based psychotherapy and mind-body medicine. He was designated as an "Author-Expert" by IDEA for his writing, teaching, and service in the field of mind-body health, fitness, and wellness.  His work on mindful movement was presented at the 11th Annual International Scientific Conference of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. He is the co-founder and Director of Education of Mindfulness Travels, an educational organization providing retreats to inspiring, beautiful places throughout the world with leaders in the field of mindfulness and mindful movement. In addition to his involvement in the profession of psychology, Larry is an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong who has received advanced training in the US and China.