Enjoy the Present

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What is wrong?

Is anything wrong?

If anything is not wrong, why not just enjoy the Tao? Tao means road.

Last night I could not sleep, because I had taken rather long nap that evening. My mind was wandering over from thing to another. Monkey mind in action.

Eventually I stumbled upon a thought about four noble truths. I was trying to recall what were they exactly. First is that life has suffering. Second about causes of the suffering and there my train of thought stopped, what were the causes of suffering again? I could recall parts like that craving to be or craving not to be something and attachment, yet it felt incomplete. I had to check.

The cause of suffering has two parts. First part is selfish desire which I did not remember. I had recalled the second part correctly.

Third noble truth is about cessation of suffering. I could not recall the reasons for that, only that there was a concept called three poisons involved. I wondered if the three poisons were the same as suffering mention above or something else?

It turns out the three poisons have also different labels, although root cause may be same. The three poisons are attachment, anger and ignorance.

Question then is how to remove the three poisons?

Yoda might say ways there are many and that is indeed the first step to answer is to come up with that question. One such path could be fourth noble truth: the knowledge of the path that leads cessation of the suffering, noble eightfold path.

With the right question however other paths may open too.

With the right questions the right understanding comes (first of the noble eightfold path). With right understanding of the world you’ll understand the significance of the intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood. You’ll come to understand the right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration too.

You are in the right place right now. Realize you have purpose here and now. Enjoy and make the best use of it.

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

Defenses are Cues for Growth

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Mind has a tendency to construct a model of reality, which is largely just a crude representation of reality at it’s best. It’s this reality that we are all living in. We are living a lie narrated by our minds.

When mind gets confronted by something that threatens the reality, defense mechanisms kick in. First defense mechanism is denial. In fact for information we learn for the first time we outright dismiss, it has never happened to us before. Often to get even our attention, new things require repetition.

There are exception, in familiar and safe environments any changes in the environment gets right away our attention.

There seems to be a kind of filter of expectation. Our minds is at peace when everything goes as expected. Like a radio channel which plays the sort of music you are expecting. If something does not work as expected, your mind wakes up and starts to react.

We do not necessarily notice new elements in familiar kind of pop song only until much later on. This happens all the time. Our minds get enough of the familiar, so we do not even pay attention to the slight changes that have happened.

All this is natural and automatic. Consciously we can become aware and mindful about these and at key moments take a moment to consider what is going on. This is especially good practice when you notice defenses.

15 Common Defense Mechanisms is good place to start identifying which of these do you use most often and then to start practicing the more mature responses in situations.

Daily Practice

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Accumulative advantage comes through small actions each day. What are the virtues that you would like to one day posses?

How could you train that virtue everyday?

It’s through the daily practice that we grow wiser and are prepared for the day that we need such virtue.

It’s through meditation that we develop mindfulness.

It’s through reading and discussion that we learn to think.

It’s through practice that we learn to speak.

What are you practicing daily?

Personally I picked up this habit of contemplating on virtues through Daily Stoic. It’s addition to my journaling routine. I’ve noticed that it’s much more effective to recall and remember these virtues in cycles, rather than always seek new things.

How Does Your Day Actually Start?

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This morning this thought hit me among many others: what does the way our days start, tell about ourselves.

If there is need to hurry right in the morning, is it a healthy signal? On the other hand it is different thing to a stress and lose than make a strategic decision and win. I’ve found myself doing the latter and I don’t regret it at all.

I think it depends on the frame.

However, as a thought it’s good to do in fact the inventory of our mornings, how do they actually start and what do they tell about ourselves, to ourselves. We are influencing our own as well as wellbeing of many others the way we choose to do things.

And if we desire good, then we should make sure we are not self-sabotaging our purposes.

When reading about those who strive to do the most good, they may hurt themselves or the people closest to them in process. We become blind to some things, so therefore it’s good to stay mindful and do this kind of inventory every know and then.

Focus on Big Priorities and Withstand Imperfection on Small Priorities

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In life there are almost no things that are absolutely good or bad it always depends on the context. Good can turn into bad where bad can turn into good.

The more clearly we know what we want, the more we can start increasing such opportunities. As the number of opportunities increases, we have to start prioritizing our present moments. Then we may have great opportunities going on and at the same time have a cost of imperfection: we cannot do everything perfectly.

Therefore the ability to withstand the imperfection within the plentiful opportunities is a key to keep increasing opportunities. Without a risk, there is no reward. We just have to be really mindful for what we want and why.

We can have more and better opportunities the more we are willing to withstand the imperfection and uncertainty in life. All the great rewards eventually come from maintaining the most important and critical priorities.

Often focusing to the critical and most important priorities means that you are going to miss on small priorities, this is the cause of the imperfection. Yet as you know, your focus is in creating more plentiful opportunities. Your gains will be much higher than your losses, so what will happen over time? You will grow rich in areas of life you are practicing.

 

 

Whose Glass Do You Fill and In What Order?

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Even the best of intentions can do harm. Altruistic giver who gives always first away from even what little they have with all their energy and might will not end up serving any sustainable good cause.

To make the world flourish, we need to think in terms of sustainable giving. Sustainable giving starts with our selves: correct understanding, intention and speech. We need to learn to treat ourselves with compassion in order to benefit others with our actions.

I am not saying you cannot be beneficial to others before you have acquired such enlightenment, I am saying you should start each day by developing such understanding and mindfulness from where you are first aware of yourself, your limitations and capabilities.

Develop mindfulness and compassion towards life. Or as Ajahm Brahm says, develop kindfulness.

Start with yourself. Love yourself first, that’s the most important relationship you have.

Love is a verb.

Dr. Scott M. Peck defines love as “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”

Love is about spiritual growth and we need to start from ourselves before we can start benefitting others. In practical terms this would mean every day we would need to prioritize ourselves first, in order to ensure the sustainability of our love for others as well.

When we ensure in the morning that our own spiritual growth needs are being taken care of, we can truly start benefiting others. That’s from where flourishing relationships and societies rise from: love which is spiritual growth.

Ignorance Everywhere

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Ignorance rises every morning when we wake up.

Therefore to we must start our inner work in the morning to be mindful about this ignorance. Simplest way to become mindful about the ignorance is to take a moment to reflect what are the most important events of the day, what virtues you need there and what could go wrong.

Today I began my commute by meditating and I realized it’s good to focus on what can go wrong but also what should go right.

We can only start the journey where we are. And we do not have accurate world views. The difference between what we think we are and how the world is, can be a shock at times. Sometimes it’s not because we were wrong, it’s because something has changed and our world view hasn’’t.

Living by the truth isn’t easy, however it’s the way to live by. Ignorance cannot stand the truth.

When we shed light to our ignorance, only the true understanding remains.

As we become more mindful about our ignorance, we will gain more accurate sense of the world. Yet world is every morning different than it was when we left it as was. Something has changed.

We are all ignorant, that’s the first step to become mindful about.

Resistance is a Growth Opportunity

 

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Resistance might mean resistance to change. However, the more we feel resistance the more potential we have to grow. It does not have to be in a leap, although it could be.

It’s only through resistance and challenge that we can grow from. If there is no resistance present, then we are not in position to learn much either. Too much comfort stunts the growth.

Therefore when we notice resistance to do something, we know we have a lot of potential for growth in that area. Most of the growth in the area can come from simple acknowledgement and opening up to possibilities.

With resistance comes often denial: we start to decline opportunities. What if we would say yes instead, what’s the worst thing that can come from learning and trying something new? You are likely to learn something.

Resistance is a kind of invitation to explore and grow. Instead of locking up with resistance, be mindful and acknowledging: see it as an opportunity to grow now or in near future 🙂

Let the Joy Be Seen and Heard

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Life is short, therefore we should live it joyfully and let the others be touched by the joy of living as well, so that we all may live happily. Joy is contagious.

I had the privilege to meet an enthusiast midwife, who told all kinds of stories from her profession. I admire and respect that profession, because they are at welcoming newborns into this world and working to make it as safe as possible. Often in such moments, one might whisper loving words into the ears of newborns and thus welcoming them to this world.

Each day should be celebrated with such love, hope and joy and soon as we can read this for example we can understand that although we shouldn’t focus blame or complain about other people not doing this, instead we should focus on instilling the joy of living into our lives and communicate that through our actions to others.

Joie de vivre, joy of living can be transferred into others through simple affirming smile or greeting for example. We can do this anywhere we go: work, bus or school for example. If you then add something positive and pleasant to the mix you will totally make someone’s day better.

Some of us cannot stand this positive talk, because they have a limiter in themselves that limits the amount of good feeling they allow themselves to feel. Gay Hendricks calls this the upper limit problem. We all have to work on our own upper limit problems, however by staying positive and happy you will certainly create more good to the environment than do bad.

You can become the example for joy of living in where ever you are at the moment. Enjoy the life you have now and let you be a positive voice and influence to the lives of many. Strengthen what is good and right in the world, if we do this, the life is unending chain of positive wishes even after it is all over 🙂