Highest Dharma

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Dharma is the way thing are and part of that is your present and potential contribution to the reality.

To understand dharma, is to understand life. Can this be even possible? As far as I understand it is what we should strive for in our human experience, even if we are a step late with our limitations.

Striving is trying to be perfect without any knowledge of the actual perfection and acute understanding of imperfections. It requires virtuous mind, to remain humble and open minded about all that can be learned.

Yet it requires appreciation of the wisdom already accumulated and hastily put into a virtuous action without a hesitation.

Reality is vastly interconnected. E = mc2 materia is energy and energy is materia, two different sides of the same.

When I hurt you, I hurt myself.

In Bhagavad Gita there is insight about highest dharma, and it is your own dharma.

Then there is insight about ahmisa. Ahmisa is universal love towards all living beings, and because of this love there is desire not to hurt. Often this second part is more widely understood, and first part failed to understand.

Non-violence is expression of the primary desire and understanding how interconnected everything is.

Yet sometimes best intentions are deadly to us as well. No amount of good intentions makes us less vulnerable to the nature of reality.

Nature of reality is coexistence of life and death, this cannot be escaped.

Now you remember this, what is your part in the play of Dharma?

 

P.s. Want to hear Albert Einstein himself explain his theory of relativity? Check this video: https://twitter.com/valaafshar/status/1179735260432683009

What You Are Grateful of Will Increase

Our experience of life is where are attention is.

What could you be doing instead of judging, worrying or complaining?

You could be grateful.

You could be joyous.

You could be creative.

Mostly when we feel lack, we are creating the scarcity for ourselves. We do not see how abundant the present moment is.

Being grateful is possible when you have nothing. In fact what ever is our circumstance, we have quite a bit of control over our own focus. We can decide what to focus upon: is it what is good, is it to the opportunities or is it to the negative. It’s our choice and our power.

Where and how we focus, that will increase.

Thank you for your attention, joy and energy to your life!

Janne

Focus on What You Can Do

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Input is the work you do. You should do work every day to make greatest contribution (read Tiny Action Towards the Greatest Contribution).

You should design your days therefore action oriented.

Action is something you, yourself can do and decide about.

It’s about the use of your time and attention within that time. Where are you going to focus your attention to? You can choose and decide where you put your attention.

Where you put your attention, grows and gets stronger.

If it’s not in the right place, wrong things will come to your life and you will feel dissatisfied.

If it’s in the right place and right things, you’ll feel deep satisfaction and sense of progress with your life. Even if the actual outcome is still far ahead.

We are not our outcomes. We must understand that outcomes are shaped by small frequent actions piled on top of each other.

At best there are even many tiny, frequent actions working in harmony (other people), towards the similar purpose or goal. This is what I call the harmony of virtues.

What actions today, would bring about the greatest contribution to others?

Where is your attention?

Where do you spend your time?

How do you measure the actions within that time?

What you measure, can grow stronger. What you measure can be improved.

Measuring gives you feedback. If you do not measure it, it’s not clear enough. Measuring is a key.

Effects usually are seen in single metrics such as sales or cash flow. Yet those metrics are outcomes of actions.

When measuring the actual doing, there needs to be taken account both volume of action and the quality of action. This contradiction is hard to grasp. There are people who vouch loudly for volume or the quality. Yet both can be true at the same time. What times of benefits would the increase of volume and quality bring?

Everything has to start with the volume. Passivity has to be transformed into action (volume and frequency of doing), before it can be transformed into harmonious action (quality).

Keep your focus in the present. Do not cling to past. Do not cling on what other people are doing.

What matters is your virtue in the present. As Jordan B. Peterson puts it: what is the smallest thing you could do that you would do?

Do those tiny things that you do as well as you can. That’s your effort, that’s your energy, that’s your contribution and a gift for the world.

Tiny Action Towards the Greatest Contribution

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Taking action and making yourself to move towards your purpose is more important than the results of your actions.

Bhagavad Gita says this about energy: it must be first changed from passive to action, before it can be transformed into harmonious action.

Any movement is better than standing still.

Having written this, instantly my moral philosopher hat on my head I feel contradicted.

In my mind some action is better left undone in the sense of the total good. Yet action over passivity is right in most cases, we just need to recognize the limit. There is also this phenomenon called illusion of action.

Action is the first answer, not the only answer.

Taking more of the right actions is the key. And to take right action means to stop the wrong actions.

More and more of the right actions.

Daniel Pink had a short interview of Tom Rath in Pinkcast about the Life’s Great Question book. Tom Rath advises there to focus on the greatest contribution instead of passion. Greatest contribution is a clue towards the right action.

At the moment for me getting the book published is the greatest contribution I can make. I feel that writing the book was easy, now I am totally in my uncomfort zone with actual steps towards making the publication happen. Yet I’ve made decision and commitment to small incremental action every day to make it happen. Sometimes it might be more, sometimes less. I am making small progress every day that’s what matters.

In the same time as I am making small progress everyday and I am satisfied with that I am also able to keep what I most value in my life which is the habit of writing. Writing is the habit which I wouldn’t want to give up and after finishing my book I had a little bit over a month where I did not write every day. Then I realized writing is something I must do. I’ll figure out everything else in tiny bits and keep on doing the writing because writing is my creative medium which allows me to contribute the most.

At the same time I realize mere writing is not enough at this point and I need to get these writings published as well in order to continue growing as writer and in order to contribute more to the world.

You can do this as well. Understand your strengths, understand in what direction your greatest contribution is and take action towards that, every day. No compromises. You develop your greatest strengths in the direction what the world values and needs most. Both of these things may change shape during the journey and that is okay. By doing this, you’ll take a step by step. Always keeping on taking the step and you’ll see that the steps you’ve taken will form a path. Eventually a road. Travelling will become so much more easier. You’ll become the path, you’ll become what you’ve been doing, and you’ve become great at it because of the effort.

Joy and energy to your life 😊

Janne, writing and scribing on an apartment floor because writing is what I must do

Warrior Within: Accessing the Knight in the Male Psyche

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What do you think when the word Warrior appears to you?

For Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, it is men such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King jr.

Not quite what you had in mind? Perhaps there is still something to learn about the mature male psyche.

Warrior is easily linked with aggressiveness and destructiveness. While those are important qualities of a warrior, real warrior is not purely set out to destroy. Real warrior is there to set out to destroy what doesn’t work and construct what is right in the world. Real warrior is both creator and a destroyer, a man with a mission to build and expand.

Warrior Within: Accessing the Knight in the Male Psyche is a book about the Warrior archetype of a masculine psyche, how to access it and why.

I cannot recommend this book as standalone, you should first read the outlining book: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature. However, once you have read that I highly recommend this.

Warrior within resonates with Stoic philosophy and thinking: “The buck stops with you. Prepare yourself. Step forward. Accept your Warrior responsibilities. Fit your talents and responsibilities to the arena or theater that seems to need you the most.”

Warrior energy should be put to work to take responsibility, destroy that which doesn’t work and then to expand and construct that which is needed.

Meaning is Life Force

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The more I think about it, the more convinced I am about the necessity for meaning in our lives.

Meaning given by others is ever fading and does not feel meaningful.

Meaning understood by ourselves, is ever strengthening.

The difference in here comes in our belief system. In latter example we are connected to the meaning through our own thought and cognitive processes: we’ve asked the necessary questions to understand and connect the meaning of this moment to the next and previous moments.

In the first example on the other hand, we adopt the meaning given by others without many questions. Because we have skipped this vital phase we tend to forget what we did in the first place and why. Moreover, even when we remember the why we are still at the surface level, although we should dig at least five times with why to get somewhere.

What is your meaning of life and what can you do about it today?

I think feeling fulfillment today about the meaning of life is a key. We can teach ourselves to find it in the moment. When we are doing this, we are all good: meaning gives us energy to work and through work we put energy back to it.

Wired for Fast

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Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky enlightened the world with their book “Thinking Fast and Slow” which explores the common human errors that arise from heuristics and biases.

Fast thinking brain is fast and energy efficient and error prone . Slow thinking is conscious, energy conscious and error prone as well. What could go wrong with systems like this?

To be honest I am surprised that anything goes right. A program called evolution has weed out the most obvious bugs for at least long enough for our ancestors to be able to reproduce and raise some offspring. Real trouble gets when we get older I guess?

What’s funny about our operating system is that although we have these two systems, our brain still prefers by automatic the fast system. Fast system is so energy efficient in comparison to the slow system that if it can be solved quick and easy, we would very much prefer that.

This tendency and bias towards fast system creates challenges such as our mind jumping to conclusions about things we don’t know, but know that we have jumped to a conclusion we know to be right.

Wiring for fast doesn’t stop with jumping to conclusions, fast mind is constantly looking for something familiar, something easy way to solve this thing and get to the next. We are living in societies where we want more and faster. Fast feels good.

Although our biological wiring is what it is, thankfully we have the slow system that allows as to transcend momentarily it at first and then maybe more permanently if we keep at it as patiently as Buddha for example.

Love is Actions; Action from Where We Learn is Growth

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Interesting and great things in life call for action, also known as work and love of that work. It’s everything from what we do, to who with we do.

Why to love?

Love is life itself, abundant, going against the law of entropy. Love takes energy, we have to give our all. However, energy what we have during our life will only increase during our lives through the action and work of loving the work and people in our life.

Energy consumed just changes form.

Once we use our energy, we build up the capacity for the energy.

The more of the energy we will use, the higher capacity for energy we will develop. In other words the more we love, the higher capacity to love we will develop.

And if we keep an open mind, we keep on learning from our endeavors we will grow. And as we will grow, we have more and more opportunities to teach others and share the love.

In this way the ideas get to ever larger audience, or reach even better those who really need it. Love and growth are deeply interconnected forces that create order and structure to life. They are what makes life exciting adventure.

With nature of love and growth are the obstacles, the entropy. Entropy is all around us. Even in us the entropy takes places. The can only retain so much of what we have learned. We are limited.

As limited we may be, but we need to consciously keep increasing our capacity to love (which equals action, which requires energy). We need to consciously put our energy to use every day for others, for ourselves.

Life rewards those who strive and in the end we all will die, and who knows what the universe has in store for us. May our atoms (and all the smaller bits) serve the universe well.

Love What You Have

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Loving the present moment makes life magical.

No more clinging to the past.

No more desiring for the future.

Focusing and enjoying the present releases energy to be happy. When we are happy we tend to be more cheerful and creative. This translates to productivity and social likability as well.

We can work from the present to increase the odds of good things happening in the future. However whatever happens, our life experience is limited to the present.

Loving what you have is easier said than done. Personally I find it easy to accept present and love it after 16th Karmapa meditation.

Growing Young

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It’s fascinating thought that instead of growing old, one could grow to be young. Not in physical, but in mental sense. To learn to acknowledge the imperfections of oneself, and life and then to embrace everything in life regardless.

“It takes a long time to grow young.” ― Pablo Picasso

I think growing young is not a journey of irresponsibility or immaturity, but rather the art of retaining best of both worlds.

Growing young involves growth, curiosity, energy, cheerfulness and optimism.