Destructive emotions are not relegated to one group, one race or one class of people. It would be great if we could simply assign blame to one group. But we all experience the full range of anger from the slight irritations we feel when someone cuts us off on the road to the strong raging fires we set when we feel wronged or misunderstood.
'Are we willing to look at how we react to changes or will we keep finding temporary solutions to quell the storms?"
For some period of time, formulae work. Unfortunately something changes and the formula no longer works. At different points in time, we’ve all achieved a modicum of happiness working the formulae. But didn’t you find that the happiness you had didn’t last? Tempered by more striving for happiness we may have opted from Doing to Having and then back again.
My earliest memories of retreating are associated with military tactics. Probably watched too many Westerns and war movies as a kid. There was always an overwhelmed, somewhat bloodied and fatigued band of brothers pulling back from the action to rest, dress their wounds, and rethink current strategies.
I decided to replace doubt with faith, a starting point on any journey. By reframing doubt to joy, anxiety to patience, I gave myself permission to simply enjoy the passage of time.
"One type of negative thought begets another. So suddenly snagged by anxiety, greed, anger, or doubt we believe we’re justified to take action because the thoughts themselves feel so overwhelmingly real."
Each time I return from a day, weekend or week of meditation, I feel as if I’m running again on all eight cylinders.I can actually hear the wisdom rising from deep within. I don’t have to force myself to figure out anything. Granted, there are some pre- retreat jitters including the fear that I will miss something “out there,” with no cell phone, iPad, or computer to utilize.
We get up, we fall down; we get back up again. And that's life! But there are times when getting back up is more challenging than anticipated. Whether the fall is a serious one, or we simply believe the blow we have suffered takes us right out of the game, something happens, and we need help to re-ignite our pilot light.
Busyness comes with a strong sense of responsibility, and depending on your cultural beliefs you will define responsibility in ways that (can) leave you tied up in knots taking care of others and things. This is not a complaint against Twitter, but rather I’m asserting that busyness is not relegated to white- collar professionals. All of us, whatever our profession succumb to the infectious nature of this busyness.
Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself-if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself, it is very difficult to take care of another person. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice.
When we think of passion our minds immediately tilt towards sex or romance. We think of passion as something that gets “aroused” by somebody or something else.
This is mind training. Each moment I tell myself it's not possible to be happy all the time, I think of rice farmers entranced with Buddha's teachings. If an illiterate rice farmer can free himself from mental discontent, certainly, I can. We can!
Mastery differs from being the best. The former is a journey where our greatest competitor is ourselves, because our intention and attention is tied to our vision of what's worth accomplishing.
When we speak of passion our thoughts go directly to sex. If our sex lives are good or even promising we dismiss the value of passion in any other domain of our daily existence. We believe that our passion is embedded in our relationships.
I use mindfulness meditation as a practice to master my mental states, particularly those strong afflictive emotions, including desire, anger, greed, lust, doubt, and anxiety so as I move through the world, in and out of stores, cars, classes, coaching sessions, business meetings, illness and aging, I can remain peaceful and kind, both to others and to myself.
"By learning to lead in our own lives, we're taking on a master's journey. When we're leading and taking full responsibility for our own ship (our minds) we are happier."
What stymies our efforts to fulfill a vision is the attachment to our internal and external chatter, the busyness mind to which we succumb. Although we do our best to manage the relationship to chatter, we are often at its mercy.
Our listening is often like a cul-de-sac, where words and pictures enter, circle around a neighborhood of thoughts, then leave the same way they entered. Nothing stays.
Completion offers us the chance to acknowledge endings, opening the door to what’s next. We may agree that everything ends, even as we argue for the durability of things. We agree that change is part of life, even as we strive for stability, and constancy.
Ethics is not a sexy topic. We’d much rather focus on our business, friendships, families, lovers, possessions, etc.
But ethics pertains to our conduct- our thoughts, speech and actions; and stands on the platform that everything we think, say and do is a direct result of our mental states (our mind).
“The lower doctor heals the sickness, the median doctor heals the whole person; the higher doctor heals human society.” Sun Sze-Mo, Chinese physician 8th century AD.