Toni Bernhard

Toni Bernhard

Toni Bernhard is the author of the award-winning How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers and How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow. Her newest book is called How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide. Before becoming ill, she was a law professor at the University of California—Davis. Her blog, “Turning Straw Into Gold” is hosted by Psychology Today online. Visit her website at


Recent Articles

Alone Together

How do we take the sting out of loneliness? Toni Bernhard suggests friendliness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity.

Buddha and candles.

Illness and the Buddha’s Prescription

The Buddha knew that illness is a natural part of human life. Toni Bernhard shares how the first noble truth has helped her gracefully accept being chronically ill.

A bowl of ramen.

When Plans Go Awry, Eat the Blame

Have your plans ever worked out exactly as you’d hoped? Toni Bernhard explains how to dance through life's complications.

loneliness, toni berhard, lion's roar, buddhism

Bringing mindfulness to loneliness

Toni Bernhard has an mindfulness exercise for bringing compassion to feelings of loneliness.


Is Mindfulness Ethically Neutral?

Toni Bernhard discusses why she thinks Mindfulness should not be considered a passive practice.

The Practice of Not-Thinking

Discursive thinking can be slowed down to give the mind a rest. Toni Bernhard gives five suggestions for practicing "Not-Thinking."

What’s Your Hindrance? Five Obstacles to Happiness and Contentment

A post by Toni Bernhard on the Buddha's "five hinderances" and how we can overcome these obstacles.

What Is Karma and Why Should it Matter to You?

Karma is essential to Buddhist psychology, says Toni Bernhard, because karma molds our character.

Lion's Roar

Three Kinds of Dukkha Explained

Toni Bernhard discusses suffering as it is understood in Buddhism. She introduces three kinds of dukkha and then a helpful practice for working with these.