May 19, 2013
Harold Mandel, Examiner.com: There has been an intensification of negative feelings among activists worldwide in dealing with China’s policies ever since Tibetans began self-immolating in protest of Chinese rule over the years. Phayul.com reported on May 18, 2013, ‘West must unite against China’s bullying.’ Prominent journalist Edward Lucas has written a hard-hitting article which advocates for democratic governments in the West to unite in resisting “Chinese bullying” against those who meet with Tibet’s exiled leaders.
Lucas, who is International Editor of The Economist, has argued in his article, “The Tibetan Test,” which has been …
May 19, 2013
We can be very hard on ourselves, can’t we? It’s as if, sometimes, we’re watching out for any tiny hint of a mistake, and then we pounce on ourselves, getting angry, or frustrated, or ashamed.
I suspect it’s because we can be. When people are allowed or encouraged to be cruel, they often will be. There’s some inherent cruelty in all of us (to varying extents) and this is kept in check by social norms. Change the social norms so that cruelty is encouraged, and it soon emerges. The Standford Prison Experiment and other similar studies shows that that cruel streak is there and can easily be brought out to …
May 18, 2013
The Nation (Thailand): Critics say that, by ordaining as a monk, a celebrity transvestite is using the religion for selfish reasons, but, like everyone else, he has the right to seek solace in the temple
One key argument against the decision by a former Miss Tiffany to become a monk is that he may be doing so to escape personal problems or send someone a statement.
In other words, he may not be seeking the kind of spiritual peace that those seeking ordination are supposed to. Religion, critics of Sorrawee “Jazz” Nattee say, is neither a hiding place nor a means of revenge …
May 18, 2013
“Perhaps everything terrifying is deep down a helpless thing that needs our help.” Rainer Maria Rilke
“Perhaps everything terrifying is deep down a helpless thing that needs our help,” Rainer Maria Rilke wrote to a friend and protégé, encouraging him to make peace with his inner demons.
It’s an interesting phrase, “inner demons.” We think of the demonic as being that which is evil, that which aims at our destruction. And yet I don’t believe in the concept of self-sabotage.
Yes, I know, you sometimes act in ways that keep you from doing what you want to do, even when what you want to do is likely to bring your happiness. And I know, you sometimes act in ways that limit you and keep you bound to suffering, even …
May 17, 2013
Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times: There’s something healing about simply watching “Free the Mind,” Danish filmmaker Phie Ambo’s gentle, compassionate documentary spotlighting the use of such drug-free options as meditation and mindfulness to treat anxiety and trauma.
Writer-director Ambo focuses on three main subjects: Will, an endearing 5-year-old with ADHD and a fear of elevators; Steve, an Afghanistan war veteran haunted by his stint as a military intelligence soldier and interrogator; and Rich, a former battalion leader in Iraq wracked by guilt and horrific memories of combat. Fueled by the subtle parallels between young Will and the adult Steve and Rich, the movie…
May 17, 2013
thejournal.ie: ‘MINDFULNESS’ MEANS BEING present in the moment, aware of what is going on inside and around us instead of engrossed in the merry-go-round of our thoughts and emotions. Meditation quiets the mind and fosters new ways of relating to whatever external stressors emerge in the workday.
Everyone knows that training makes our body stronger, fitter and more flexible. Now, neuroscience research shows that mindfulness training cultivates the innate capacities of the mind to be present; to step out of automatic pilot and to create space so we can be clearer, calmer, more focused, more creative, even more compassionate…
May 17, 2013
We’re just over a third of the way into our 100 Days of Lovingkindness, and to celebrate we’re all but giving away my double CD of guided lovingkindness and compassion meditations, The Heart’s Wisdom.
As far as I’m aware, the Heart’s Wisdom is the only CD set offering a guide to the four practices known as the “immeasurables” or “brahmaviharas.”
The four meditations on the CD set are:
- Developing lovingkindness
- Developing compassion
- Developing empathetic joy
- Developing equanimity.
You can order the double CD here.
You can also see all of the 100 Days of Lovingkindness posts here.
And if you’d like to support the work we do, which seeks to change the world through the promotion of mindfulness …
May 17, 2013
The other day I wrote about “Idiot Compassion,” which I described as ‘…avoiding conflict, letting people walk all over you, not giving people a harm time when actually they need to be given a hard time. It’s “being nice,” or “being good.”’
Idiot compassion, a term Chogyam Trungpa adapted from Gurdjieff, lacks both wisdom and courage. We don’t want to jeopardize being thought of as a “nice person” and so we’re unwilling to be direct with people when that’s needed. We’re afraid to say ‘no’ to our children, for example. This is the lack of courage.
And we lack the ability to …
May 16, 2013
In his book, Living Ethically: Advice from Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland, Sangharakshita has some advice for those who feel guilty about wanting to be happy. I have to confess that I’d forgotten that it was possible to feel this way…
“How can we wish for the happiness of others if we are alienated from our own desire for happiness?
“Unfortunately, many of us in the West were given to understand when we were young that it is selfish to want happiness for onself, and we therefore feel unnecessarily guilty about wanting it. As a result, we can feel guilty even about BEING happy. ‘After all,’ the perverse logic goes, ‘with all my
May 15, 2013
Life Coach extraordinaire Tim Brownson drew my attention to this interesting infographic last week, and I promptly forgot about it until stumbling across it again last night.
According to the graphic’s creators, by the end of 2012, at least 91 schools located in 13 states were planning to implement meditation course for their students. High school students practicing meditation for a month had 25% less absence and 38% fewer suspension days when compared to other students.
Students improved scores in their attention by practicing meditation and students found that their aggressive behavior was reduced. Students practicing focused meditation committed fewer rule infractions.