“I think the most transformative practice that I’ve come across is this ability to see that in all of our responses and reactivity and whatever it is we’re all, deep down, these beautiful animals who wish that they could live in a world in which everyone’s needs were met and everyone loved each other. And we all have that wish. And that’s not the world we live in.” ~Tim Desmond

This is exactly what a planet in “time out” needs: a conversation with someone who can help us make sense of any effed up sitch. In his latest book, How To Stay Human In A F*cked Up World, author and Buddhist philosopher Tim Desmond, LMFT, invites us to peel back the layers that have been papered over of mindfulness practices. He helps us dive headlong into the process of self-inquiry, asking us to examine our motivations in hopes that we resurface with a more outward-facing practice. 

His transformative version of mindfulness is built specifically for off-the-mat healing. Born from his chaotic childhood and informed by his ongoing spiritual study with Zen master Thích Nhất Hạnh, Tim leads by example, charting a healing path through pain, not above it. 

His journey toward enlightenment includes practical activism that addresses everything from capitalism’s unsustainable trajectory to more equitable access to mental health. He even gives this Wounded Healer a crash course in compassionate rage – an incredibly helpful sidebar in light of so much pandemic-related dysfunction. Let the conscious-raising begin! 


Tim Desmond is an esteemed Buddhist philosopher who has lectured on psychology at Yale and leads a mental health project at Google. Despite an absent father, childhood homelessness, and losing a wife to cancer, Desmond has emerged with not only inner strength and joyful resilience, but also a deep understanding of human suffering necessary to advocate for those hurting all over the world. Through his work, Desmond realized the truth: we don’t need a mindfulness practice for productivity or sleep, and it shouldn’t come from religion, philosophy, or hypothetical situations. Instead, mindfulness should be rooted in the pain, sadness, loneliness, and trauma of the here and now, because it is the only true antidote for this sometimes-miserable world we call home.


Tim Desmond

How To Stay Human In A F*cked Up World

Morning Sun Mindfulness Center

Peer Collective Mental Health


Brené Brown

Kristin Neff

Thích Nhất Hạnh

WTO – World Trade Organization

Occupy Wall Street

What The Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg / The Center for Nonviolent Communication

NARM – NeuroAffective Relationship Model

Dr. Laurence Heller

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