Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Compassion and Kindness

Pixabay: klimkin

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Rick Hanson:

“Very simply, compassion is wishing that beings not suffer, and kindness is wishing that they be happy.

As wishes, these are forms of desire.

Which raises an important question that we should address first:

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. . . . . . . Is desire okay?”

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Sustaining a steady mind

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“If awakening is like a mountain, in some moments you may find yourself far up the slopes– but can you stay there, on firm footing?

Or do you keep slipping back down again?”

Rick Hanson

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My two cents: My meditation practice has been deep and powerful at times, then at other times I get lost in endless thought, worry and doubt.

I reach that special place at times meditating, my issue is slipping back into the abyss an hour later.

My concentration steadies my mind and allows serene moments, fleeting contact without the bias of my ego.

Sustaining this space is my current goal.

How about you?

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Pain, suffering and Craving

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In a word there is suffering, named by Buddha as the First Noble Truth of human existence. This is not the whole of life.

There are also love and joy, laughing with friends, and the comfort of a warm sweater on a cold day.

Yet each of us must face the truth of suffering some of the time, and many of us face it all the time.

Poignantly, much of our suffering is added to life. We add it when we worry needlessly, criticize ourselves to no good purpose, or replay the same conversation over and over again.

We add it when we freeeze up around an authority figure or feel ashamed of some minor fault.

Life has unavoidable physical and emotional pains, and then we add suffering to them: thus the saying “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. 

For example we get embarrassed about having an illness or drink to much to numb old wounds.

This add-on suffering is not accidental. It has a source: “craving,” the sense of something missing, something wrong, something we must get.

From Neurodharma by Rick Hanson

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“The mind uses the brain to make the mind.”

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“Mental activity and neural activity thus affect each other.

Causes flow both ways, from the mind into the brain….and from the brain into the mind.

The mind and brain are two distinct aspects, integrated system.

As the interpersonal neurobiologist Dan Siegel summarizes it,

The mind uses the brain to make the mind.”

From Rick Hanson

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My two cents: The brain can be seen, touched, the mind can not.

The more we learn how the mind operates, the more our path towards happiness is illuminated.

I have found myself lost, off my spiritual journey.

Now, my path switches to building my concentration intensely, hooking up with that spiritual Marty, the one with much less Ego and much more gratitude and giving.

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Neurodharma by Rick Hanson

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“Neurodharma is rare book, perhaps the most stunning marriage of ancient wisdom and modern science ever written. Only Rick Hanson could weave impeccable scholarship of core Buddhism texts together with the latest neuroscience to reveal an exciting, practical, and accessible path to human happiness that anyone can follow. The Dalai Lama once told me that he loves neuroscience, but that western psychology is still in kindergarten. With this brilliant synthesis psychology just took a giant leap forward.

Joan Z. Borysenko, PhD.author of “Minding the Body, Mending the Brain”

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“This is an ambitious book, and only a few people in the world could attempt it. Rick Hanson is one of them. A brilliant and practical synthesis of wisdom and science, a must-read for anyone who is interested in deep personal growth or making this a better world, which hopefully is everyone.”

Shawn Achor, Happiness Researcher and New York Times best selling author of “Big Potential”

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“Rick Hanson’s brilliance is the capacity to offer practical, powerful, scientifically grounded practices that lead to true happiness and a loving heart. This is an illuminating and transformational book.”

Tara Bach, PhD., author of Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion

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There are 7 plus pages of praise in the beginning of this book just like these three. Hanson’s first book “Buddha’s Brain helped me heal, changed my life.

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Tazzie responds to a post on betrayal trauma

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I follow Tazzie’s blog and find her an inspiration. Oh she lives in Tasmania.

https://echidna.home.blog

“What incredible research and statistics. My partner and I tried to be as honest and open in all areas of our relationship. Yet I feel as being his third long term partner, and one after a relationship with a woman who treated him terribly our honesty and respect unconditional love and not fearing how our words would be taken wrongly allowed us to have a very deep level of love. My partner had had prostate cancer and this impacted his ability at times, he was deeply ashamed of this. Worried how I would react. We were totally open about it. things improved greatly and he shared that with me he never felt in adequate or a need to perform.

I feel so little real information is shared honestly and openly about sex. The crap that is written in magazines and tv movies. Expectations and that it will be wonderful. The shame of body image. Aging, odours, natural odours that have the pheremones being sanatised and destroyed by chemicals.

The pornogrpahy industry showing ridiculous situations fantasies, and all that goes with it. Fictional and not reality but often the only way many see the sexual act displayed. Sigh.

Sex and sexuality, expectation and reality. Not being honest, not communicating about what you like, and how before you marry or commit to a relationship with someone who may not really be on the same page or need as you are in the sex department.

I know that my partner and I were very very lucky but we did work very hard at communicating and not judging. When he became ill with his cancer, he told me it would be OK if I had sex with someone else I told him how touched and appreciated I was by his very kind words. I told him it meant a lot to me but he meant more and I knew at this point in his life if I did that even with his blessing it would hurt him. I also told him that I was quite happy if I needed to to masturbate, something he quite enjoyed being present for. lol he found it fascinating.

I feel sex is one thing but a sexual relationship and a commitment to being a couple goes deeper than sex. Many women find masturbation satisfies them better than sex with their partner. Have they shared it with their partner maybe not.

I am a very open and willing person in relationships within reason and my being in charge of my situation(not sure that makes sense) So if any person I was in a relationship with say went off and had sex with say a paid sex worker or an affair. I would much prefer that it was a safe hygiene where the sex worker was not taken advantage off, but a ‘professional’ than if the person had an affair. Firstly I would want to know why my partner had done this, and what I was not willing to do to satisfythe need. If I was nt willing but the person told me and still needed that to help then it would be to me no different to other therapies that help people cope. It is a business transaction, not emotional. If it was an affair, why? would I want the person still to be in my life if they did not want to be with me, I dont think so. As I age Sex is important but it is such a transient thing dependent on so many things. Both parties feeling like it at the same moment, weariness, children, stress, work, finances, body image, making noise and disturbing neighbours, having different desires (consenting adults ones) comfort levels, education regarding sex. some people seeing it as a necessity but not enjoyable, other loving it. Not feeling satisfied by it. feeling inadequate.

It is really a tragedy that so much is put upon sex in a realtionship. If you are really having such incredible issues in regard to your partners sexual needs (as long as they are in regard to consensual adults) than perhaps love is not what you have but a dream of what you thought it would be.

I believe you have to be honest before committing to live with someone. Be honest with yourself too. If you can not communicate about sex, openly with the person that might be a red flag.

I have never been married as I see it as a institution by the religious organisations to keep woman powerless and certainly in our history as chattels and owned by their spouses. Even now many religious services continue to have obey for the woman to say to the man but not the other way.

Continue reading

Focus has helped me heal the most

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Think of things in your life that demand focus.

How would you describe your ability to focus?

For me, hitting a baseball at a professional level with 25,000 screaming fans tops my list.

This skill lay dormant for decades until PTSD erupted.

When therapy after therapy had little impact, a hybrid therapy, Acceptance and Commitment using meditation entered my life.

Now that external focus I had built, the ability to hit a round object with a round bat in milliseconds, needed to be turned inward.

All my friends laughed, a Type a driver, an anxious, hyped up jock was going to sit quiet and meditate.

Yes, it was awkward for a while, then my focus got stronger, thoughts faded and life changed.

Our ability to focus when our trauma thoughts and emotions visit us is key to surviving.

I could not let go, release my fears and abuse without the ability to focus and stay present.

It is the core of integrating trauma, healing for me.

It is the safe haven I can visit anytime, anywhere.

It seems mundane and powerless.

I have found the opposite.

When I can focus, nature comes alive, I see beauty and perfection and opportunity.

We know all to well how to feel abuse, anxiety, fear and panic.

How do you handle your intrusive thoughts and emotions?

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“Gone” watching sensory events leave our bodies!

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This concept (Gone) is a core training from a mindfulness program (https://unifiedmindfulness.com/core).

I have used a version of this concept in my mindfulness group.

We bring awareness to a sensory event in our bodies, noticing one part of our body is extremely relaxed or sensing a firm tightness in the solar plexus.

Gone” is the process of watching sensory events as they leave our bodies.

Instead of dealing with external stimulus, we focus on our own sensory stimulus intently.

For me, we expand that awareness to noticing when an agitation or a relaxation starts, stays a while, then witness it leave.

This concept of “Gone” uses no thought and focuses on knowing our body sensations intimately, as they flow through us.

The lesson is clear, sensory things are impermanent.

Our core is solid, not transparent like sensory events.

Anger lights up my solar plexus, accompanied by tensing and tightening of my muscles, followed by adrenaline joining the party.

This is a great opportunity to take a step back and observe.

Leave the external reason for your anger alone, it is our internal sensory world we want to discover.

Feel this sensory event with a curious mindset.

Can you focus, watch this upset leave your body?

It happens everyday without any awareness on our part.

Many of the answers are right below our judgment and indifference.

The premise is, if we have sensory clarity, the external world becomes much easier to navigate.

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It’s a practice of being with yourself just as you are.

https://pixabay.com/users/Ben_Kerckx-69781/

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From Living with your Heart Wide Open:

“All of us sometimes act unskillfully and make poor choices that hurt others, and we are all sometimes hurt by the actions of others.

Rather than pushing thoughts and feelings about these things away, and rather than trying to correct anything or anyone, simply be with the thoughts and feelings that come up for you with curiosity and awareness.

As you practice self-compassion meditation, the intention is to be open to all of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations, to let all the streams of perception flow through you unfettered.

It’s a practice of being with yourself just as you are.”

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My two cents: Learning to observe means using curiosity and awareness instead of judgment.

Tenzin Palmo, a nun in the Tibetan tradition wrote:

“There is the thought, and then there is the knowing of the thought. 

And the difference between being aware of the thought and just thinking is immense.”

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Caring for ourselves in relationships

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Living with your Heart Wide Open:

“Caring for ourselves in relationships with others is another way to cultivate self-compassion.

Do you really need to remain in relationships that make you feel small or less alive?

Do you really need to accommodate yet another phone conversation with the “friend” who calls you only when she needs advice or reassurance?

Do you always have to accommodate lunch invitations from a coworker who likes to gossip about the other people in your workplace?

Why not try discouraging relationships that feel like they deplete you and nourishing relationships that make you feel loved and appreciated and bring out the best in you?

We are meant to love one another and care for one another in the deepest sense, and cultivating relationships that manifest these qualities is the very heart of self-compassion.”

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