What is suffering? It’s traditionally described as an ill fitting wheel on a chariot. I tend to think of a buckled wheel on my bicycle. It’s a bumpy unsatisfactory journey from A to B. However suffering can be an invitation for us to do the work.
The Buddha has done the work for us. All we need to do is practise. When the Prince became distressed at the sight of aging, sickness and death, he stepped onto the path. He was inspired by a mendicant who was radiating peace and begging for alms. With great energy, faith, meditation, concentration and wisdom, he found an end to suffering and … Read more »
I used to begin my day with a cigarette and a cup of a coffee. Now I begin my day with a meditation and a cup of coffee. But I have to admit, increasingly I can see that my day often begins with looking at one of my devices.
How many of you begin your day with the cell phone, the iPad, or the computer?
I was asked to do some training on digital addiction with some artists and geeks, and I was alarmed after some research to realize that I too am teetering into digital addiction.
If we rely on the dictionary definition of addiction, ‘the fact or condition of being addicted to a … Read more »
When the Prince Siddhartha glimpsed the 4th sight, a mendicant begging for alms in the streets, he was inspired to go forth from his life in the palace. You could see this as literally going forth, or the prince going forth from the palace of his mind that had kept him in imprisoned in deluded thinking.
Until he was able to go beyond the four walls of the palace that the King his father had built for him, Siddhartha thought he was never going to age, get sick or die.
Upon seeing the first three sights; an aging person, a sick person and a dead person, he experienced a spiritual crisis and felt compelled to … Read more »
Let’s practice gratitude this month. Every morning when you wake up, and or when you go to bed at night, think of at least three things you can have gratitude for. I will practise along with you. This practice belongs to the group of meditations called the four sublime abodes, or the four immeasurables, or the brahma viharas: Metta – loving kindness, Karuna – compassion, Mudita – sympathetic joy, and Upekkha – equanimity. They are a group of meditations that work at cultivating the internal conditions to help liberate ourselves and let go of our addictive habits. They cultivate positive attitudes and positive mental states.
The third of these meditations is called Mudita – sympathetic … Read more »
Watch your thoughts; they become stories
Watch your stories; they become excuses
Watch your excuses; they become relapses
Watch your relapses; they become dis-eases
Watch your dis-eases they become vicious cycles
Watch your vicious cycles they become your wheel of life
quote by Vimalasara 2016
Going forth is an aspect of step 6, placing positive values at the centre of our lives. Siddhartha the prince went forth from a life of indulgence because he could see clearly how it was hindering his growth. He could not find the answer to the end of suffering if he stayed in a hedonist world that was at the centre of his Mandala. When he left the palace that … Read more »
I had an accident early December. My doctor prescribed me some medicine for a tongue fungal, that caused a numbing sensation at the back and the side of the tongue, making speaking quite difficult.
When I took the first spoon of medicine, I exclaimed to my partner: “oh no it has sugar in it”. She said: “Just know it’s medicine, and it’s going to make you better.”Healing and Insight Wisdom
I told my sponsor too, he said something similar too. And although it made sense, I wondered how on earth was I going to cope with putting four spoons of sweetened syrup in my system and survive?
Well … Read more »
Once you think you’ve got recovery, you’ve lost your recovery. Because what is recovery? It is a path that can take us to liberation and freedom. Recovery is always changing. What it looked like when you first had one week of abstinence, is very different to what it will look like after one year or after 30 years.
‘Once an addict always an addict’, is often a saying we hear. There is good sense in this phrase, because it reminds us not to delude ourselves, and think: ‘right i’ve not picked up my choice of distraction for six months I’m okay now’.
Let’s not delude ourselves because we can think the same after 20 years … Read more »
‘Often the fear of a relapse can be the trigger for us to slip and slide. Just as lapses must be recognized as an opportunity to work our program of recovery diligently, the relapse must also be seen as a GIFT: A Great Indicator For Throwing Stuff out. They are the emergency alarm bell telling us we are on fire, and need to stop and pause to put the fire out. Dreading the relapse will just put us onto the vicious cycle of addiction.’ —Eight Step Recovery: Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction.
Relapse is part of the continuum for recovery. Few people manage to get total abstinence of their recovering journey from day … Read more »
When I reflect deeply on this step, I can see how unreliable my addictions are. In the end they bring great suffering. Once upon a time, my addictive habitual behaviours were at the centre of my life. I was so unhappy. I didn’t realize how unhappy I was until I began to place more reliable refuges at the centre of my life.
In the 12 step tradition people turn their lives over to a God of their understanding, they do this because it is a reliable refuge. Placing a God of your understanding at the centre of your life is far more reliable than our addictions.
In Buddhism we call this Going for Refuge, or … Read more »
Before we can move onto step 6, “Placing Positives Values at the Center of Our Lives,” we really need to come into “Mindful Awareness of What Addiction is.” It’s easy to delude ourselves when the scientists define 10 types of addictions, and our particular one does not come up on their list.
If you only want to believe what the scientists say then how about reflecting on this: Scientists state that for something to be an addiction it must have the following characteristics…