Witness the Magnificent

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Through OUR eyes, the Universe perceives itself. Through our ears, the Universe can hear its harmonies. By being a witness, the Universe becomes conscious! Through our perception of Life‘s magnificence, we see the glory of all created; we experience the awesomeness of the creator. ~ Alan Watts ~

Inspiring words from a great master.

 

The Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh

I know I could use a reminder of what really matters… We do our best when we remember that we are all connected… Let’s remember to look at our judgements with some detachment, and dare to ask ourselves, “Is It True?”                                                                                                                      ~ •’•~.. ~ •’• ~..~ •’• ~.. ~ •’• ~

The Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh developed the “Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism” in the mid-1960’s at a time when the Vietnam War was escalating and the teachings of the Buddha were desperately needed to combat the hatred, violence, and divisiveness enveloping his country.

Today, there are thousands worldwide who regularly recite the Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism which remain uniquely applicable to contemporary moral dilemmas. They are guidelines for anyone wishing to live mindfully.

By developing peace and serenity through ethical and conscientious living, we can help our society make the transition from one based on greed and consumerism to one in which thoughtfulness and compassionate action are of the deepest value.

—Fred Eppsteiner

 The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism

  1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
  2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
  3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
  4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including personal contact, visits, images, and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
  5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life Fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
  6. Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them when they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred.
  7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you. Plant seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.
  8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
  9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
  10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community, however, should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
  11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
  12. Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
  13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others, but prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.
  14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. (For brothers and sisters who are not monks and nuns:) Sexual expression should not take place without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.

~ •’…^ ~ •’…~ •’…^ ~ •’…^

Edited fromInterbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism” 

Letting Go…

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How do you let go of attachments?  Don’t even try.  Effort creates attachment.  Rather,  attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle.

1.  The C- concept

When you recognize a quality in the other that was abandoned in yourself, it creates a longing – like a phantom limb. You become mesmerised. When you are attracted to a person, it’s often your “idea” of that person that creates the draw.

I call it you, but in truth, it is my own longing for my lost-self. 

In order to survive our first relationships, we learn to dis-own parts of ourselves that others saw as undesirable. We even forgot it was ever a part of our true nature.

My first clear experience of this was when I met a beautiful woman who was crazy-funny! ..”I wish I could be that free”… When I hung out with her I felt whole – My “C” became an “O”.

In retrospect, she represented an aspect of Self that I had learned to shut down – being spontaneous.  I learned to reclaim the part of myself that could be spontaneous and fun, even if it drew attention to me!

Try this is if your attachment is about a quality in the other: Write about the quality you are attracted to. Ask yourself, is it true that I lack the same aspect?

2.  Compassion Project (to FIX you)

When I resonate with you because I feel your pain, I experience a flooding of MDMA-like chemicals that expand my capacity for loving compassion (read more about Mirror neurons). In truth, I love the way I feel….   It feels like love..

Try this if your attachment is about Compassion

Write everything you love about (the other). Write the advice you would give them, what you want for them.

Now, take your sentences and cross out the other’s name. Replace it with “I, me”.

For example, “I wish you could see how wonderful you are” becomes “I wish I could see how wonderful I am“.

“If only you could see how much I love you” becomes “If only I could see how much I  deserve to love me“. (See Byron Katie’s The Work/”turnarounds“)

We often think we have to FORCE ourselves to make a decision regarding attachments, but it never works. We will be done when we get the message… then we are done.

What are your experiences? And your thoughts? 

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We Are All Connected

I love the idea of Namasté…

              “The Divine in me recognizes and honors
                                                                                                   the Divine in you”.



There is a definition of God which has been repeated by many philosophers. God is an intelligible sphere—whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. And the center is right where you’re sitting. And the other one is right where I’m sitting. And each of us is a manifestation of that mystery. That’s a nice mythological realization that sort of gives you a sense of who and what you are.” ~ Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

Although not everyone views Namasté this way – as a deeply spiritual acknowledgment of the soul in one,  by the soul in another – this is how I experience it.

Namasté represents a belief that:

  • The Life Force, the Divinity, the Self or the God, in me, is the same in all living things
  • That we are all made from the same One Divine Consciousness
  • According to one source I came across, a spiritual frequency is generated when two people greet each other with Namasté

    They wrote:

    When a person greets another with the feeling that “I am paying obeisance to the soul in the other”, a ring of spiritual emotion is created within him. Where there is spiritual emotion, there is Communion with God, and one is better able to access the sense of God’s presence. As a result, a ring of spiritual emotion  is created around the person who is being greeted as well. This in turn attracts a flow of the Divine Principle or God’s power. Wherever there is Divine Principle, a flow of Bliss is attracted.”   (Spiritual Research Foundation.org).

    Well, I don’t know about that – but I can sense that it may, in fact, be true…

    Namasté

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    A Short Mindfulness Moment

    Being Mindful By Engaging Your Senses

    being in the moment

    Please read the following script through until you feel familiar with it, then follow the instructions on your own.

    Start this exercise by finding a comfortable position sitting or lying down. Take a few deep breaths—relax.

    Now bring your awareness to your fingers. Rub them together and notice their texture, temperature, and the sensations as they move. Can you feel the indentations of your fingerprints? Take your time noticing all of this.

    Now rest your fingers where they were before. What are they touching? What does that feel like? Is it soft? hard? What are its features and textures? Really notice what you feel.

    Now bring attention to your hands and arms. What do they feel like? Relaxed? Heavy? Tense? Painful? Try to observe these sensations, including uncomfortable ones, without judgment.

    Notice your toes now. Wiggle them and feel whatever is around and under them. How does it feel? Can you tell what it is just by feeling?

    Next, notice how your head is positioned. Is it upright? drooping? Is your neck turned in a particular direction? Simply notice this without trying to change it. Also note the sensations in your head and neck, including temperature, pain, and relaxation. Take your time noticing.

    What about your face? Is your brow smooth or wrinkled up? How does it feel? …  Now notice your nose. Can you breathe freely? As you breathe, notice the sensations in your nose and lungs— expansion, tickling, warmth, or coolness. Then notice how your mouth is positioned.  Is it pursed? Open? Closed? Is the inside of your mouth wet or dry? Just notice. Also, notice how your skin feels. Is it dry? Itchy, tingling, hot or cool? Is there no sensation?

    Now notice your chest and belly. Place one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Can you feel your body breathing? What is that like? Are you breathing fast or slow? Is your breath going more into your belly or your chest? Just notice all these sensations.

    Next expand your attention to include your whole body. Where are you sitting or lying? Can you feel the back side of your body touching the chair or bed in places? Without moving, just observe your body’s position… Notice that you are being supported completely in this moment.

    When you are ready, look around the room and notice your surroundings, without judgment. When you are ready, stop this exercise and continue with your day.

    Ahh!

    Why Practice Mindfulness?

    Why Practice Mindfulness?

    peaceMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn shares several good reasons for us to make mindfulness part of our lives and our communities.

    The ultimate promise of mindfulness is much larger, much more profound, than simply cultivating our attentiveness. It helps us understand that our conventional view of ourselves and even what we mean by “self” is incomplete in some very important ways.

    Mindfulness helps us recognize how and why we mistake the actuality of things for some story we create. It then makes it possible for us to chart a path toward greater sanity, wellbeing, and purpose.

    “If our thinking is not balanced with awareness, we can end up deluded – Mistaking reality for some story  that we created.”

    Today, as we bring science together with meditation, we’re beginning to find new ways, in language we can all understand, to show the benefits of training oneself to become intimate with the workings of one’s own mind in a way that generates greater insight and clarity. The science is showing interesting and important health benefits of mind/body training and practices, and is now beginning to elucidate the various pathways though which mindfulness may be exerting its effects on the brain (emotion-regulation, working memory, cognitive control, attention, activation in specific somatic maps of the body, cortical thickening in specific regions) and the body (symptom reduction, greater physical well-being, immune function enhancement, epigenetic up and down regulation of activity in large numbers and classes of genes). It is also showing that meditation can bring a sense of meaning and purpose to life, based on understanding the non-separation of self and other. Given the condition we find ourselves in these days on this planet, understanding our interconnectedness is not a spiritual luxury; it’s a societal imperative.

    Even very, very smart people—and there are plenty of them around—are starting to recognize that thinking is only one of many forms of intelligence. If we don’t recognize the multiple dimensions of intelligence, we are hampering our ability to find creative solutions and outcomes for problems that don’t admit to simple-minded fixes. It’s like having a linear view in medicine that sees health care solely as fixing people up—an auto mechanic’s model of the body that doesn’t understand healing and transformation, doesn’t understand what happens when you harmonize mind and body. The element that’s missing in that mechanical understanding is awareness.

    Genuine awareness can modulate our thinking, so that we become less driven by unexamined motivations to put ourselves first, to control things to assuage our fear, to always proffer our brilliant answer. We can create an enormous amount of harm, for example, by not listening to other people who might have different views and insights. Fortunately, we have more of an opportunity these days to balance the cultivation of thinking with the cultivation of awareness. Anyone can restore some degree of balance between thinking and awareness right in this present moment, which is the only moment that any of us ever has anyway. The potential outcomes from purposefully learning to inhabit awareness and bring thought into greater balance are extremely positive and healthy for ourselves and the world at large.

    Working on our mindfulness, by ourselves and along with others, hinges on appreciating the power of awareness to balance thought. There’s nothing wrong with thinking. So much that is beautiful comes out of thinking and out of our emotions. But if our thinking is not balanced with awareness, we can end up deluded, perpetually lost in thought, and out of our minds just when we need them the most.

    Jon Kaba t-Zinn is the founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is  the author of Coming to Our Senses: Healing the World and Ourselves through Mindfulness.   Article from Shambala Sun

     Recognizing Soul in everyday life

     We sense, intuitively, that there is a soul. 

    For me, it feels like eternal wisdom… it is the part of me that knows I am one with everything… that know’s everything is okay.

    It is calm, By Michael Pravin from Chennai, India - Surya Namaskar, ccommons.wiki:index.php?curid=41696116

    radiating,

    loving,

    peaceful.

    This inner awareness has guided me – when I remember to tap into it.

    Pause a moment to  examine how you experience soul… have you found a way to tap into it?