Monday, February 28, 2011
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
-- John Lennon
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Perhaps the easiest way [to deal with difficult emotions] is simply to label the emotion—fear, anger, sorrow. When we label an emotion, especially with” tender attention” rather than “worried attention,” the emotion seems to lose its sting. Brain imaging studies have also shown how labeling reduces the fear response of the amygdala, the part of the brain that signals danger.Here at the Center we frequently work with the basic principle of accepting our feelings without judgment rather than getting attached to the idea of feeling better right away. Often we will feel better as a result but that needs to be a side-effect --- not the main objective.
[Another] strategy is to use language to soothe and comfort yourself when you’re feeling really bad. You could try the following phrases, which Kristin Neff calls the “self-compassion mantra.” ... When you’re in the midst of emotional pain, try saying to yourself:
This is a moment of suffering
Suffering is a part of life
May I be kind to myself
May I accept myself as I am
Saturday, February 26, 2011
You may need to read it a couple of times!
Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.
Friday, February 25, 2011
It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Perfectionism doesn't believe in practice shots. It doesn't believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly--and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner's work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn't know how to say, "Good try," or "Job well done." The critic does not believe in creative glee--or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The website as a whole is addressed to practicing Christians but there's a lot of good material there completely suitable for an interfaith audience. Here's an example:
[Kindness] is as broad and old as humanity. The Greek playwright Sophocles alluded to the naturalness of kindness when he said, “Kindness gives birth to kindness.” The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius understood the personal as well as the social benefits of kindness. “Ask thyself daily,” he wrote, “to how many ill-minded persons thou hast shown a kind disposition.” Goethe viewed kindness as the “golden chain by which society is bound together.” The fact that the word kindness is derived from the Old English gecynde, meaning natural, is a good indication that kindness is a very natural virtue. Shakespeare’s immortal and oft-quoted phrase, “the milk of human kindness” (Macbeth, act 1, scene 5), also attests to the naturalness of kindness, especially with regard to its manner of nourishment.As you may remember, the metta or loving-kindness meditation is simply based on the principle that first we wish ourselves happiness and well-being and then we extend that same wish to others.
In the contemporary world, we commonly hear reference to “random acts of kindness.” The expression was coined, presumably, to counteract “random acts of violence.” Nonetheless, acts of kindness are not fully themselves if they are random and impersonal. They should be well-placed and personal. “How truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness,” wrote Washington Irving, “making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles.” No other virtue is better identified with the heart. Kindness and kindheartedness are synonymous, as are kind and kindhearted.
Small acts of watchful kindness are seldom performed in vain. And they have a marvelous proclivity for engendering successive acts of kindness. Moreover, kindness is versatile in its manner of expression. The kind look, gesture, or word can be as beneficial as the kind deed.
You know, it gives me a little lift just reading about it.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
It is a common misconception, by the way, that Epicurus preached self-indulgence. He did not. He actually believed that the greatest and most reliable pleasure comes from moderation.
Nothing is enough for the person to whom enough is too little.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Needless to say, we would much rather not cancel class unless it seems truly necessary.
Do check here again by noon on the 10th.
Thanks for your patience!
Keep meditating, dear people.
And do send compassion and loving-kindness out to all beings (don't forget the animals) for whom the bitter cold we're experiencing along with the snow gives rise to suffering.
Peace be with you all.
UPDATE: Oh, I forgot to specify earlier: the Center is completely closed today so I'm unable to see people for individual appointments either.
Stay warm, stay safe, stay home!
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
And the quotation above points to what, as far as I'm concerned, is the greatest encouragement and consolation of the meditative tradition. I refer, of course, to the teaching that it's all material, that nothing is ever wasted. Nothing, nothing, nothing is ever wasted.
Maybe the only enemy is that we don't like reality the way it is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
-- Pema Chödrön
Monday, February 07, 2011
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Friday, February 04, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
I do recommed that we all meditate on the principle of impermance!
Take care, everybody, keep warm, be careful out there, and I'll see you soon.
PS: Here's a quotation for you to give you some material for reflection:
That really a good point about certainty, isn't it?
Life is. I am. Anything might happen. And I believe I may invest my life with meaning. The uncertainty is a blessing in disguise. If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery, fearful of losing my way. But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Well, as will not surprise you, we are closed today and tonight due to the blizzard. No Tuesday night class and no individual appointments during the day today.
Stay tuned for our decision about tomorrow morning.
Be careful out there, okay?
Blessings to you all.
UPDATE: Well, we have a record-breaking accumulation of snow here in Tulsa so far and, from what I can observe (as of 3:00 pm), it's still snowing. SO. The Center will be closed tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 2) as well. That includes class and individual appointments.
Once more, everyone do be careful and stay safe.
Meditation can be simply sitting in a quiet room, concentrating on your breath slowly in and out, for no longer than a minute. Yes, even one minute can bring great benefits to your life.This is true. Do trust me on this one!
I would only add that you not judge yourself regarding distractions.
You can go a long way on this approach all by itself.