On the temporary nature of things…

501323691_aa38277405Ajahn Chah writes:

“Do you see this glass?” he asked us. “I love this glass. It holds the water admirably. When the sun shines on it, it reflects the light beautifully. When I tap it, it has a lovely ring. Yet for me, this glass is already broken. When the wind knocks it over or my elbow knocks it off the shelf and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.”

via Freud and Buddha By Mark Epstein.

 

Working With Difficulties

Tara Brach writes:

About twelve years ago, a number of Buddhist teachers began to share a new mindfulness tool that offers in-the-trenches support for working with intense and difficult emotions. Called RAIN (an acronym for the four steps of the process), it can be accessed in almost any place or situation. It directs our attention in a clear, systematic way that cuts through confusion and stress. The steps give us somewhere to turn in a painful moment, and as we call on them more regularly, they strengthen our capacity to come home to our deepest truth. Like the clear sky and clean air after a cooling rain, this mindfulness practice brings a new openness and calm to our daily lives.

I have now taught RAIN to thousands of students, clients, and mental health professionals, adapting and expanding it into the version you’ll find in this chapter. I’ve also made it a core practice in my own life. Here are the four steps of RAIN presented in the way I’ve found most helpful:

R   Recognize what is happening 

A  Allow life to be just as it is

I   Investigate inner experience with kindness

N  Non-Identification

RAIN directly de-conditions the habitual ways in which you resist your moment-to-moment experience. It doesn’t matter whether you resist “what is” by lashing out in anger, by having a cigarette, or by getting immersed in obsessive thinking. Your attempt to control the life within and around you actually cuts you off from your own heart and from this living world. RAIN begins to undo these unconscious patterns as soon as we take the first step.

Full story at: Tara Brach – Working With Difficulties.

The Key To Healing It Is Feeling It…

Kute-Blackson-261x300-8x6.jpgKute Blackson writes:

All of your feelings are a gift.

Yet we often judge feelings as good or bad. We often try to eliminate the bad ones and feel only the good ones. However, in doing so, you end up disconnecting from the full range of your heart, self-expression, and power.

To the degree that you suppress what you might think of as the negative feelings is to the degree that you also disconnect from your capacity to fully experience the positive feelings.

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American Minute for March 6th; events preceding ‘Evacuation Day’

English: View of the city of Boston from Dorch...

View of the city of Boston from Dorchester heights / painted & engraved by Robt. Havell ; coloured by Havell & Spearing. Print shows a distant view of Boston with ships in the harbor, the “Worcester Rail Road” on the left, the “Lowell Rail Road” on the right, and the Bunker Hill monument in the middle background. Aquatint, color, C size. New York : Published by Robt. Havell, 172 Fulton St., c1841 (Printed by W. Neale) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William Federer writes:

25-year-old Colonel Henry Knox unbelievably moved 59 cannons 300 miles in 3 months from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston, considered by historian Victor Brooks as “one of the most stupendous feats of logistics. “Knox had witnessed the Boston Massacre in 1770. He fled Boston with his wife Lucy after the British destroyed his bookshop. On December 1, 1775, Knox was sent by 43-year-old General George Washington to bring the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston to help drive out the British who had occupied the city for seven months since the Battle of Bunker Hill, blockading the harbor and starving the inhabitants. Continue reading

Life is difficult…

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.It is in the whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn.” M. Scott Peck

Wholeheartedness = courage, compassion and connection…

220px-Brene_portrait_cropWEBTime to mix things up again. Thanks to my friend Tim Kastelle for sharing Brené Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability. She writes here on cultivating worthiness…

Practicing courage, compassion, and connection in our daily lives is how we cultivate worthiness. The key word is practice. Mary Daly, a theologian, writes, “Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” The same is true for compassion and connection. We invite compassion into our lives when we act compassionately toward ourselves and others, and we feel connected in our lives when we reach out and connect. Before I define these concepts and talk about how they work, I want to show you how they work together in real life—as practices. This is a personal story about the courage to reach out, the compassion that comes from saying, “I’ve been there,” and the connections that fuel our worthiness.

Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are (p. 7). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.

Here’s the TED Talk in case you haven’t seen it yet…