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.

Choosing to Be Something or Someone

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Outcomes. Processes. Identity. These three layers are described in James Clear book Atomic Habits in terms of lasting change. Changes that start from identity are the lasting changes, where as outcome based (i.e. lose 10 kg of weight) are the least lasting ones.

If you are a sporty person, then it makes sense to do things a sporty person does.

I am in in crossroads.

Age of question “what I want to become when I grow up?”

Even though I learned a much better version of this question from Tom Rath (in terms of my strength, what kind of contribution I want to do to the world), I am still struggling.

I am kind of doing and becoming all the time something. And if I am not doing, that is the scariest thing of them all.

There is the “same same but different option”.

Then there is the new and different option.

Then there is to do nothing option.

Any many variations of these.

Mostly I am struggling with the thing that based on what I like to do and where I think my strengths are, I do not know even if these are enough.

I know that from these crossroads moments I am probably going to take a peek to the unknown. What is known, is known and there is a reason that personally I do not want to see that movie in any time soon.

Decisions have lasting impacts. It’s like the thought of choosing the problems, choosing the suffering, choosing the happiness. Thinking about the “bad” actually helps to cause action in the present. Present action will lead to happier future moments and problems.

Is suffering a curse or blessing?

Pilviä, Taivas, Sää, Sininen, Huntu

Buddha taught us four noble truths. That there is suffering, what is the cause, that there is a way to stop it and the actual way.

Buddha also advised not to take this advise at a face value, but to through own experience realize what he had realized.

Attachment is easy. Attachment is the illusion that something, outside of us can make us whole.

We desire and crave for the sense of wholeness. We want to belong so bad, that we forget something. We forget our own power.

We forget that we are an avatar (image) of almighty creator as bible puts it.

In more scientific sense we are so far the ultimate tool builders, who exceed any other species known to us. We are able to create intelligence, that can operate on it’s own.

Life as an occurrence is an interesting, what does separate life from death? Movement. Life has movement, rhythm. Some sounds extend longer than others, many sounds can be play at the same time. It’s a brilliant concerto.

Yet we fail to see it.

Yet we fail to hear it.

Yet we fail to experience it.

Because we are too attached. Our minds are not present.

Our minds are not focused to what matters. We fail to be all that we could be, because we forget who we are.

We are so much. We are great.

It takes great silence to remember that.

You are not your job.

You are not your children.

You are not your family.

At times you can be, yet it’s not all you are. Remember, you are you. You are not separate, but part of all of this at a moment at a time.

Moment by moment.

You are so incredible: able to be so many things in sequence. Yet you get attached to a one thing or an another and thus failing to be present in the moment.

You’ll already know what you need to do? Can you accept that truth? Do you have the courage to do what you know you must do? Do you have the love the do what is right even despite you might not feel it?

What you have is what you think of it. If you think it is curse, then it is. If you think it is a blessing, that’s what it is 😊

Love and wisdom to you and to all your days! 🖖

Janne

Values: connection & disconnection

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For what you value, you must sacrifice.

I’ve made changes in my values in the past six months. Due to this decision I begin to experience the price, and the sacrifice in my social life: the feeling of value with some people have begun to feel less meaningful and less valuable.

I’ve found different meaning and it’s no longer in the same direction.

Decision have to be made.

Values are meaningful. Shared values help us to work toward common goal.

If perception to the previously shared values changes, then the relationship changes as well.

What I thought was very positive change for me, has caused quite a bit of suffering. Is a positive change then a desirable? Is this temporary pain worth it?

I’ve comforted myself with the thought that nothing great is born without pain.

Besides I’ve chosen to update my values because I want something better. Yet in so called short term this feels surprisingly painful.

Long term or short term perspective?

Even from pain one seeks relief. At least hope. Is there hope?

Higher levels values, create higher level order.

Lower level values create chaos.

So by embracing and determining my values again, I’ve set out to feel the suffering now in order to create something greater. Example of great people have shown that the higher level values might not even be appreciated by the present state society. Only the future generation may grow to that level of maturity to appreciate.

About such greatness I do not know nothing. All I know, that I hope I must find and to create order I must continue.


Thank you for reading!

For greater context I can recommend Jordan B. Petersons 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote Against Chaos –book. It’s a book that I’ve read three times now in the past five months. I’ve found several ideas from that book to put in the practice and I believe I continue to discover so.

Now lately I feel like I want to connect with as many people as possible, globally so therefore I’ve chosen to continue my blog in English.

Janne

Learn the Inner Joy

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Joy is not very permanent thing as is not happiness either. Actually closest thing to a permanent it’s when we accept our fate and learn to be happy with it.

From my past suffering I’ve learned not to escape the present suffering. Often I still do wrong decisions that actually cause more suffering. Best response towards the present suffering is to accept it and learn to love the fate. Amor fati.

So with this in mind, if I do not feel joy it’s sign for me to still work on myself. Solution is not to seek joy from other people, or substances. What I’ve found is that mostly takes some rest, quiet meditation and clarification of priorities.

Nature of suffering arises something that we did or didn’t do and then we start to feel helpless. However, once we regain the sense of control and are able to do something the joy starts to come back.

Start from the inner joy. Drink only to celebration so to speak. Strengthen that which is right with the world focus less on everything else.

What We Focus on, Grows Stronger

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Focus is magic, for that which we focus on grows stronger.

I.e. if you focus on value, you are more likely to create some value as well.

If you focus to the irrelevant, then you are likely to be a distracting force around others.

Conscious focus is powerful human ability. Ability to consciously learn to focus habitually and effortlessly makes us exponentially more powerful.

In his book Focus Daniel Goleman writes “our own inner voices are our biggest distraction.”

If our ability to focus determines what we can achieve in life, we seem to be our own worst enemies. It’s a bit similar thought to Ryan Holiday’s “ego is the enemy, every step of the way.”

Amplification of that which we focus is strange, wonderful and powerful. It’s our choice how that power will serve us and it’s our responsibility.

Personally I’ve found both great suffering and great joy from focus. It’s our habit of relating with our environment that directs our focus. Often I’ve found that I am in environment that does not support optimal focus.

In human constructed environments there are often other interests than my true long term wellbeing. Shopping malls or supermarkets for instance have a hidden agenda and great effort have been put there together for specific products to have my attention.

In home environment I’ll try to arrange it so that the powerful thoughts have a lot of my attention, thus I’ve arranged life board in a visible part of my room so that I’ll get back to it often. I believe it’s from these thoughts that better life will sprout from. Making these thoughts into actions, actions into habits and habits as my character. Eventually this will become my life.

It’s our decision to choose where we focus: is it that what is right with the world, or what is wrong with the world?

Feeling the Suffering

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Sometimes they say that the smartest people feel the suffering.

Well what is smart anyway? Smarts should be the ability to come up with working solutions.

In order to solve something we should have problem and we should feel the problem completely. This might refer to the ability of empathy to everything around us.

It’s in human nature to feel the suffering somehow, that’s what makes us creative and smart at the same time. We are human, because of our ability to suffer.

Focusing to the suffering does not solve anything, however the ability to feel the suffering is the ground to start looking for solutions.

Win Your Fears Quickly

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Today I realized that when I win my fears quickly, life is awesome. Quickly means without a delay and without a delay means right now. When there is no delay there is also no time to suffer about anything.

I cannot believe how much of my life I’ve wasted over being afraid something could happen and then letting that fear cripple me – even when what I feared never very likely happened. Fearing causes world to shrink and pain inside us.

Fear is meant to keep us safe and it does that rather well. However when it is about mental dimensions of present day social life, not many of the perceived fears are not real.

In society there are also people who are ready to exploit the fear to a direction and another. From personal standpoint it is important to notice where do the fears are baseless and when there is a justified reason. If we can do this separation we are going to be alright and we shouldn’t stick with our fears too long. Winning fears quickly before they take a root is a good habit that builds up courage and joy in your life!

We Have All That We Have

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We do not have anything more than the present. We do not have our past and certainly not our future.

Suffering is created by clinging either to the past or the future.

If we go to past or the future we are distancing ourselves from the present. This in turn creates a vicious cycle of suffering, because if we are going to past or the future, we will lose present again.

All that we have is now, the present. Present includes everything. Buddha understood this very well and he also understood about the thinking and action which leads to these results.

In addition to the present, our present mindfulness or our thinking is all that we have. In fact we are not our thinking, because we can observe our thinking. Yet only few of us consciously exercise this human superpower called ‘thinking critically what we are thinking.’

We shouldn’t let our thinking taint our present experience, because present is all that we have. We should come to accept what we have and be happy with that 🙂

11 Questions to Reduce Hurry and Worry

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When you start to teach people about something, it gives you yourself more pressure to be example as well. This is mostly positive thing, because then you start deepen your relationship with the things you are teaching. Often this deepening means that you are thinking what you are teaching learning at the same time from different perspectives.

What I learned this morning about feeling of hurry is this: hurry is just lack of preparation.

This means, if we feel hurry, we have failed to anticipate the stuff we are stressing about presently.

What helps here is to accept the present circumstances and prioritize and think what is truly important, and how important. It’s through prioritization only way that we can live through our commitments and learn to make commitments that are most relevant to us.

Uncertainty makes life difficult. Or life is suffering like the Buddha came to understand.

The ability to accept these and to have a set of thinking skills in the present help to handle almost anything that happens and still live a worthwhile life.

Do not be affected by hurry.

Here are some helpful questions to cope:

  1. Do I have any problems right now?
  2. What is the most important priority right now?
  3. Am I doing my best?
  4. Is there something I or we can do?
  5. What would be the first step forward?
  6. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
  7. What is positive about this situation?
  8. Is the worst thing that can happen?
  9. Is this the end of the world?
  10. What is the upside?
  11. How to benefit from this situation?

Have a great evening!

Janne