Archive for the ‘Assorted’ Category

“Living with Your Heart Wide Open”: Footsteps

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We’ve discussed some of the ways in which we deepen and perpetuate habits of mind by repeating them.
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Up to this point, we’ve discussed this process in regard to its downside: creating the narrative-based self and limiting self-concepts.
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Yet this process also has an upside—something Henry David Thoreau spoke to over 150 years ago:
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“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
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To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.
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To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thought we wish to dominate our lives”
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My two cents:

To travel even deeper, we learn to let thought go, over and over and over again until the mind clears.

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We can train the mind to focus, to empty, to just be in this moment.

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Worry, doubt and fear disappear, opening our mind to its expansive brilliance.

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This space lights up our left prefrontal cortex, making all our positive emotions available.

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Ricard: Why not look Inside yourself?

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“We willingly spend a dozen years in school, then go on to college or professional training for several more; we work out at the gym to stay healthy; we spend a lot of time enhancing our comfort, our wealth, and our social status.
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We put a great deal into all this, and yet we do so little to improve the inner condition that determines the very quality of our lives.
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What strange hesitancy, fear, or apathy stops us from looking within ourselves, from trying to grasp the true essence of joy and sadness, desire and hatred?
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Fear of the unknown prevails, and the courage to explore that inner world fails at the frontier of our mind.”
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Acceptance is a very trying task to accomplish

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We need not achieve, accomplish, or gain anything to be happy.
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In fact, acceptance is for this next breath, as is our chance for happiness.
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Our goal is to accept everything about us, right now!
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Seems such a simple request.
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Acceptance happens only in this present moment, right now.
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How can we stop concealing our weaknesses, thinking we need to correct them to be whole, happy?
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Acceptance brings a vulnerable feeling at times.
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Accept the fact we are vulnerable in this life.
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Thinking we need to improve, steals our chance at living fully in this moment.
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Accept your weaknesses, realize all that exists is this moment, mundane as it maybe.
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Also let go of the superior or inferior feeling the ego tries to establish, to cultivate as real.
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We are on this journey together, not in competition.
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We need to help the underprivileged not jockey for a higher position with others.
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Let go of that sense of importance and just be.
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Suffering, Unhappiness or Happiness

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Ricard: “Unhappiness is altogether different, being the way in which we experience our suffering.”
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Life has suffering on this journey. It is unavoidable.
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How do we experience our suffering?
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If we judge our suffering it grows. What fires together wires together!
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Viktor Frankl in “Man’s Search for Meaning” describes the satisfaction felt while enduring their suffering without complaint.
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Life brings us challenges whether we are rich or poor, common man or elitist.
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Some judge challnges as unfair, deep seated tests of our worthiness, a door to possible loss.
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Others accept life’s challenges as challenges, bringing perspective to their journey.
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Suffering is inevitable, unhappiness a choice.
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Our path can limit suffering to the suffering itself and no more.
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Suffering can grow, consuming us, dominating our thought process.
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Our mindfulness practice enables us to focus, to let go, to see our suffering in reality.
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We can carry happiness inside us when challenges abound or even when suffering exists.
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Ricard: Suffering and Unhappiness

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Suffering can be triggered by numerous causes over which we sometimes have some power, and sometimes none.
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Being born with a handicap, falling ill, losing a loved one, or being caught up in war or in a natural disaster are all beyond our control.
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Unhappiness is altogether different, being the way in which we experience our suffering.
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Unhappiness may indeed be associated with physical or moral pain inflicted by exterior conditions,

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but it is not essentially linked to it.
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A study of quadriplegics found that although most acknowledged having considered suicide at first, a year after having been paralyzed only 10 percent considered their lives to be miserable; most considered theirs to be good.
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Just as it is the mind that translates suffering into unhappiness, it is the mind’s responsibility to master its perception thereof.
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A change, even a tiny one, in the way we manage our thoughts and perceive and interpret the world can significantly change our existence.
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Changing the way we experience transitory emotions leads to a change in our moods and to a lasting transformation of our way of being.
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Such “therapy” targets the sufferings that afflict most of us and seeks to promote the optimal flourishing of the human being.
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Choices: the Ego or Mindfulness

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The ego grasps identity, needs approval, covets achievement, and wallows in a sense of superiority.
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Mindfulness is about letting go, bringing perspective to desires.
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The ego is rigid and narrow, mindful flexible and expansive.
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The ego is created, mindful just is.
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The ego feels isolated, better or worse, never equal, the mindful totally connected to one another and things.
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The ego is filled with desires, the mindful, satisfied with life exactly like it is.
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The ego judges, the mindful accepts.
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The ego avoids, the mindful stays even when vulnerable.
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The ego has goals, the mindful, this present moment.
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The ego restricts growth, the mindful has unlimited opportunity.
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The ego feels unworthy, the mindful  complete.
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The ego races, the mindful enjoys, and slows down.
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The ego affiliates with anger, hate, resentment, the mindful has perspective and balance when expressing emotions.
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The ego is lonely, the mindful at peace.
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The ego is sad, the mindful happy.
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“Coping with Trauma related Dissociation”

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Memory and traumatic memory:
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Generally people are able to recall important events they have experienced in the past. .
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They realize the event has happened to them and that it is not happening now.
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The memory is so to speak, part of their “autobiography.”
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But as you may painfully experience at times, this is not the case with traumatic memories.
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When you, or a dissociative part of you, reexperiences a traumatic memory, you feel as though it (or at least some aspect of it) is happening in the present.
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Traumatic memories may include intense or overwhelming feelings, such as panic, rage, shame, loss, guilt, despair, conflicting beliefs and thoughts; physical sensations such as pain; visual images, sounds, and smells; and also behaviors, such as running away, fighting, freezing, or shutting down.
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Each of these aspects of a traumatic memory can occur simultaneously, in succession, or separately at different times.
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Typically, these reactions are not appropriate to the current situation, or they are far more intense than the situation warrants.
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