Select Your thoughts…

via Natural Selection — Ramblings of the Claury

In ‘Mindfulness’,  All Are Equal

“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis… because both are ourselves.

“The tangerine I am eating is me.

The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath.

Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else.

In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.

~ Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

What You See…

Is What You Are …

“What you meet in
another being
is the
projection of your own evolution.” ~ Ram Dass

Projection is a term used in psychology – usually referring to aspects in the self which are undesirable – yet we react strongly and very judgmentally when we see them in someone else.

But Ram Dass isn’t only agreeing with that – What about the aspects of self that we do not recognize in ourselves, yet we admire in others? 

Can those aspects be about us, too?

Absolutely. 

When I read a statement like, “See the best in others, then you can start seeing the best in yourself.”, I flinch. I disagree. 

I think that the only way that could work is if you understood “projective identification”. Otherwise, we tend to compare ourselves with others and judge ourselves as coming up short. We actually feel worse about ourselves.

On a more positive note ->

What if – when you admire a trait in someone else – you KNEW it meant that you,too, held that exact trait? Perhaps the trait was suppressed for some reason, but it is your nature anyway – Your birthright!

My beautiful cousin, Catherine, is a good example. Her mother, also very physically attractive, shamed Catherine when she caught her admiring herself in the mirror.  She called it “vanity”, and the way she scorned her left no doubt that such an act  (looking at herself) was a very “bad” thing.  Catherine never allowed herself to feel pride in her physical beauty… i n fact, she learned to abhor this God-given gift,  causing her to slump her shoulders, and shying away from any attention.

Yet, privately, and from afar,  she admired women who shared their beauty unabashedly – “Mary Poppins”,  Catherine Hepburn,  “Charlie’s Angels“… she felt a longing to be free from the fear of drawing attention to herself!

When I see a loving being…  I now know that I,  too,  am a loving being!  When I see an assertive female,  I know that I,  too,  can stand up for myself!

Namasté – …

The   (beautiful, smart, loving, assertive)  spirit in me…   recognizes  and  honors  the Spirit in You”

How to Live IGNITED!

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“Your beliefs about people – that’s who you believe them to be.

That’s what’s meant by “no one exists”.

Because who you believe them to be isn’t who they are. That’s why they don’t exist.

Instead, you are getting a glimpse of your own ego. And when you meet the power of that, and when the power of that moves to another polarity…you can drop the word power. 

It’s like living ignited.

And it’s nothing more than being aware of your internal life, and knowing what’s true, and what’s not. What that leaves is the great surprise. And all you can know about it is its nature, so you begin to live a fearless existence. “

– Byron Katie, TheWork.com

Best Marriage Tip Ever

Times Magazine published an article about how to make your marriage work, entitled, The Single Best Piece of Marriage Advice Ever Given

It’s a common topic – you can find articles in magazines all over the place, almost every month out of the year.  But I thought it was a good article, so here’s a bit of a summary:

The highest praised piece of advice, according to the author, is to rise above the minutia of daily life and commit to bringing out the best in your partner.  

“In wise love, each divines the high secret self of the other and, refusing to believe in the mere daily self, creates a mirror where the lover or the beloved sees an image to copy in daily life.”  ~William Butler Yeats 

You can’t do this without understanding what it is that your spouse truly wants. That may sound easy, but isn’t. In the short term, you might know she wants a promotion, or he wants to live in the country. But that is not the “high secret self” you need to know. The “high secret self” exists apart from daily desires and even apart from the twists of fate and fortune that get in the way.

And when your partner has given in to his or her least attractive tendencies, this is the moment when you must see through the annoying, demanding, complaining, failing, faltering wreck in front of you—and find the strong, kind, fascinating, functional person you know your spouse wants to be.

You have to learn to be critical without criticizing. The origin of the word critic is the Greek word kritikos, which does not mean “able to pick at flaws incessantly” but does mean “able to make judgments.” This is a crucial difference. The kind of criticism that helps marriage is the kind you learned in English class: studying something so well that you can find its hidden patterns and its deeper truths. If you apply this kind of criticism in marriage, it is actually possible to stop a spouse in mid-spiral (sometimes even in mid-sentence!) and say, “Excuse me, no offense, but you are not being the person you want to be.” The pronoun is vital. The difference between “who you want to be” and “who I want you to be” is the difference between encouragement and nagging: spark and ash.

Article Source : The Single Best Piece of Marriage Advice Ever Given

You Are All This …

“The Real ‘You’ Comes and Goes” – Alan Watts

Creative by Nature Worth Reading – From Off The Web!

“The only real ‘you’ is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being. For ‘you’ is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that come and go so that the vision is forever new.” ~Alan Watts

John Reilly Art

“There is a Zen poem that talks about ‘IT,’ meaning the mystical experience, satori, the realization that you are, as Jesus was, the eternal energy of the universe. The poem says, ‘You cannot catch hold of it, nor can you get rid of it. In not being able to get it, you get it. When you speak, it is silent. When you are silent, it speaks.’

This phrase—not being able to get it, you get it—is the feeling Krishnamurti tries to convey to people when he says, ‘Why do you ask for a method? There is no…

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To Live Our Lives Like Water

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courtesy of: HaPe_Gera

A Guide For Living

Worth Reading! From Off the Web   By:  Parker J. Palmer, On Being columnist

The best are like water…

The best, like water,
Benefit all and do not compete.
They dwell in lowly spots that everyone else scorns.
Putting others before themselves,
They find themselves in the foremost place
And come very near to the Tao.
In their dwelling, they love the earth;
In their heart, they love what is deep;
In personal relationships, they love kindness;
In their words, they love truth.
In the world, they love peace.
In personal affairs, they love what is right.
In action, they love choosing the right time.
It is because they do not compete with others
That they are beyond the reproach of the world.

I’ve been drawn to Taoism ever since I read Thomas Merton’s 1965 book, The Way of Chuang Tzu. The teachings of Chuang Tzu — a 4th century BC Chinese Taoist master — introduced me to a spiritual path often called “the watercourse way.

Taoism counsels us to live our lives like water, but that does not mean “go with the flow” passivity. Taoism is all about nonviolent action. It invites us to flow quietly but persistently around the obstacles that stand between us and the common good, wearing them down as a river erodes boulders.

I don’t think Taoism — or any other wisdom tradition — has the whole answer to living well. Sometimes we must swim upstream against cruelty, injustice and untruth.

But rightly understood, Taoism is an important corrective to the Western obsession with force, even violence, as the way to get things done — which often results in little more than an escalation of violence.

The passage above is from the Taoist master Lao Tzu who names a few of the virtues that come from living  “the watercourse way.”  They won’t make you rich or famous. But they serve the common good, make life worth living, and help keep hope alive!