As the most social and loving species on the planet, we have the wonderful ability and inclination to connect with others, be empathic, cooperate, care, and love. On the other hand, we also have the capacity and inclination to be fearfully aggressive toward any individual or group we regard as “them.” (In my book – Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom – I develop this idea further, including how to stimulate and strengthen the neural circuits of self-control, empathy, and compassion.)
To tame the wolf of hate, it’s important to get a handle on “ill will” – irritated, resentful, and angry feelings and intentions toward others. While it may seem justified … Read more »
Try using a softer tone…
When our kids were little, I’d come home from work wanting some peace after the daily roller-coaster and often walk into a living room full of stuff – toy trucks, tennis shoes, bags of chips, etc. Irritated, the first words out of my mouth to my wife would be: “How come there’s all this mess?” Understandably, after a day chasing children plus juggling her own work, Jan would feel unfairly criticized and sputter back at me. Then there’d be a quarrel or a chilly silence. Not good.
And it all began with the tone I used. Linguists like Deborah Tannen have pointed out that most communications have three elements, which … Read more »
RocketNews24, Japan: Most people go to Shinto shrines several times a year, like for New Years or to make a special wish or prayer, like before a job interview. But with Buddhist temples, it’s usually just for tourism and funerals – not that frequently, basically. But wait! Temples are transforming these days, more and more using their halls for activities such as yoga classes, group date venues (‘gou-kon‘ in Japanese – group dinners with single men and women, seeking potential mates), and even as concert venues!
The idea to use temples as group date venues came from the observation that of the people …
In several places in the Pali canon, the Buddha praised loving families. For example:
To support mother and father,
to cherish wife and children,
and to be engaged in peaceful occupation
— this is the greatest blessing.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal emphasizes the importance of affection in relationships, and the advice comes, poignantly,… Read more »
Husband and wife, both of them
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
One time I watched a three-year-old at her birthday party. Her friends were there from preschool, and she received lots of presents. The cake came out, she admired the pink frosting rose at its center, and everyone sang. One of the moms cut pieces and without thinking sliced right through the rose – a disaster for this little girl. “I shoulda had the rose!” she yelled. “I shoulda shoulda SHOULDA had the rose!” Nothing could calm her down, not even pushing the two pieces of cake together to look like a whole rose. Nothing else mattered, not the friends, not the presents, not the day as a whole: she was insistent, something MUST happen. She … Read more »
Bedford [UK] Times & Citizen: “My husband left me and I literally thought I was going to die”
Elizabeth Drake spent most of her life suffering with severe anxiety and agoraphobia, she was crippled with low self-confidence and a fear of being disliked.
And when her husband left her after months of verbal and emotional abuse, her whole world fell apart.
But instead of shutting herself off from the world, she turned her life around after, she says, she was saved by meditation therapies. Two years on, she says she is happier than she has ever been.
Elizabeth, 50, is now a reiki …
Gabrielle Bernstein, Metro: Let’s face it: Though romantic relationships can be wonderful, sometimes they are totally nightmarish. While there are a lot of reasons romance can be tough, most of the time the chaos begins within.
The first step toward clearing a fear of romance is to accept relationships as opportunities for awesome spiritual growth. Rather than get all heady about what went wrong in the past, let’s focus on what you can change today. Outlined below are key principles that will help guide you to release fear in romance and cultivate more love in your life:
No one is sent to anyone …
One of the strangest and most meaningful experiences of my life occurred when I going through Rolfing (ten brilliant sessions of deep-tissue bodywork) in my early 20’s. The fifth session works on the stomach area, and I was anticipating (= dreading) the release of buried sadness. Instead, there was a dam burst of love, which poured out of me during the session and afterward. I realized it was love, not sadness, that I had bottled up in childhood – and what I now needed to give and express.
We can hold back our contributions to the world, including love, just as much as we can muzzle or repress sorrow or anger. But contribution needs to … Read more »
Most of us wear a kind of mask, a persona that hides our deepest thoughts and feelings, and presents a polished, controlled face to the world.
To be sure, a persona is a good thing to have. For example, meetings at work, holidays with the in-laws, or a first date are usually not the best time to spill your guts. Just because you’re selective about what you reveal to the world does not mean you’re insincere; phoniness is only when we lie about what’s really going on inside.
Much of the time, we interact mask-to-mask with other people. There’s a place for that. But remember times when someone saw through your mask to the real … Read more »
In middle school, I thought it would be cool to play a musical instrument, and picked the clarinet. My wise parents rented one rather than buying it, and I started practicing. (In the garage because it sounded pretty screechy.) After a week or two of doing scales, I got bored and picked my way through a couple easy songs. But after a few more weeks, I couldn’t go further because I hadn’t laid a foundation with scales and similar exercises – so I quit in frustration. To this day, I regret never learning to play a musical instrument.
I and others tend to skip over the fundamentals for a variety of reasons, including impatience, laziness, … Read more »