Posts Tagged ‘Practice’

We should train our soldiers, PTSD WOULD DECLINE



Matthew Ricard from “Happiness”

After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, Tenzin Choedrak, the personal physician of the Dalai Lama, was first sent to a forced labor camp in northeastern Tibet along with some one hundred others.

Five prisoners, himself among them, survived.

He was transferred from camp to camp for nearly twenty years and often thought that he would die of hunger or of the abuse inflicted on him.

A psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress and who treated Doctor Choedrak was astonished that he showed not the least sign of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

He was not bitter, felt no resentment, displayed serene kindness, and had none of the usual psychological problems, such as anxiety, nightmares, and so on.

Choedrak acknowledged that he occasionally felt hatred for his torturers, but that he always returned to the practice of meditation on inner peace and compassion.

That was what sustained his desire to go on living and ultimately saved him.




My two cent: Suicide is extremely rare or non existent for these world class meditators.

Amazing what we can endure if we let our judgments go, then stay present.

Inner peace and compassion sustained this monk for twenty years.


Let’s practice not being special!

Pixabay: dozemode



Today, relinquish all desire to be special. Can you tolerate being ordinary or even inept at something new.

Anything we struggle with, is a great proving ground for not being special. Join an expert group you have no knowledge about the subject.

When we are the novice, having nothing to add to the group, how does your “Ego” react.

Does he/she discount this group as not important, or lobby to exit this group. One thing for sure, our “Ego” does not like not being special.

We can learn our “Egos” personality in situations like this.

Observe his/her judgments and bias.

Do you agree with these judgments.

Do your “Egos” judgments harm or benefit your being?

In truth most harm!

Explore your inner world, know when the “Ego” is leading, judging and dominating.

Learn to observe, that is be present as the Aware Presence.

Aware Presence has no memory or thought, it is a neutral observer.



Does your life with Chronic Pain feel like this?



My chronic pain was like the wind, invisible, powerful and relentless at times.

How was I going to battle such a ghost. I named my pain Mr P. after the old Happy Days show, Mr. C.

Mr. P. Was my nemesis when I hiked. Mr. P. wanted to stop my legs from moving, from confronting my fear, from taking control of my mind back.

My mindset was centered around my greatest strength, my willpower, determination. Always incorporate your strengths as part of your solutions.

My mindset as usual, a jock accepts the challenge before him/her. No way was Pain going stop my legs from moving!

My exercise routine became an emotional battle between pain and my will.

In a way it was exhilarating. I convinced myself not many humans could hike in such pain day after day.

We jocks always imagined being at bat with the bases loaded, two outs bottom of ninth, game seven of World Series. This was my chronic pain version.

Visualization is powerful. I would imagine myself in “The Last of the Mohicans” running with Hawkeye, running for our life.

Music gave me a beat that I could synchronize my legs with. My legs would move to a beat when they were exhausted, ready to quit.

Chronic pain became a friend. Adversity makes us stronger.

Chronic pain strengthened my meditation practice. I truly learned how to focus and dissipate my pain level.

Pain constricted, became much more bearable, then faded as months passed. Aerobic exercise and meditation were my tools.

I would set in the middle of my pain with my breath, no judgments just observing.

My breath could dissipate my pain. My familiarity allowed me to sit calmly inside my pain. My pain received no energy from fear, attention or thought.

After a few years I had compartmentalzed my chronic pain.

Acute pain is a different animal.

Pain eats energy but does not touch my soul, or my enthusiasm for life.



The amount of time and energy devoted to healing is _____



I have observed many people with disorders of varying degrees, those with severe symptoms, suffering the most did not feel the degree of urgency needed to improve.

Even those mature adults who have suffered over 50 years, feel some urgency but are blind to comprehend what it takes to improve.

Healing or improving is not a part time endeavor.

If you have been suffering for decades, reinforcing the strength of your disorder, healing will take persistent, dedicated action.

For me, I lacked someone to direct me, so some of my efforts did not help.

Our energy level and effort can not wane from lack of improvement.

Expect setbacks and challenges along the way, keep applying effort.

Effort and attitude are crucial in this healing journey.

For most, they do not see or realize how all out effort to heal is our first priority.

Somehow other things seem more important, our Ego convinces us that healing is not that important right now.

Sitting quietly, focused, alone with our mind, scares the hell out of many who suffer.

We have to focus and get out of our mind to see the correct path, the healing journey.

It is the path less travelled. Increase your effort when resistance is the greatest.

How do you distract yourself away from depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.?

Some overwork, some keep busy constantly, some deny, others think or talk incessantly.

Anything but sitting quietly, anything but exploring your inner world, anything but letting the noise clear for reality to emerge.

What is more important, more valuable than healing and happiness?



My goal meditating: a mind focused and empty of thought

My goal is to build focus on the breath, strong enough, so thoughts clear and my mind is empty. An exploration of my inner world is possible from this space.

If my mind is filled with thoughts, I am not meditating, more like thought daydreaming.

When I first started a mindfulness practice, thoughts filled my sets. It took time, dedication and a daily practice to reach no-thought.

It took a very specific, intense focus to let my thoughts clear.

This is the challenge to train the mind,  slowing it down and emptying itself of thought.

I will always have some of the reported 60,000 thoughts that cross my path daily.


My goal is not perfection, or the elimination of thought.


My goal is to establish a silent space, focused and secure, available when things go sideways.


Once an empty mind is reached, work on many issues and applications can commence.

All the magic happens when my mind is focused, empty of thought.


It takes practice and dedication to reach empty.


It is extremely simple but very difficult for most people.

How do we Practice?


If we examine two concert pianists, two professional athletes, or two people attempting a new skill, how do their practice habits impact their performance?


The obvious habits of dedication, hard work and discipline influence performance in a major way.


Another area we may overlook is the ability to make mistakes, think outside the box.
Trying new things brings a vulnerable, awkward feeling. We desire to be accomplished, proficient and confident. Making mistakes does not feel like that.



Growth, improvement and satisfaction are the rewards for our risking.
We fear embarrassment and that feeling limits our growth.


I worked with a concert pianist a few years back. He tried to be perfect not only during a performance but during practice.

It limited his growth and stole his enjoyment of playing.

With daily focus and acceptance, he agreed that a half hour a day, he would tolerate mistakes.



I suggested he start playing from the middle of a piece and practice a short part of the composition. This was a moment of freedom for him, a big weight removed.
Now, he could enjoy himself, rather than be responsible for pleasing the composer, his teacher and the audience.


I challenged him to speed up, go fast and accept stumbling now, to be more proficient later.


There was no room for his needs or enjoyment with perfection as a goal.


The next day it was like he found a whole new area of opportunity. He could relax and just play for the first time.


If we can not allow ourselves to make mistakes, we limit our ceiling of growth (my opinion).

Awareness , Time and Purpose,

The Buddhists at the Zen centre preached awareness.
Example: While preparing a meal, an intentional slowing of the pace initiates the action. Check out how time restraints impact awareness. In a hurry, awareness is never available.
Ask yourself the purpose for any action or skill we undertake.
I am preparing the best meal possible with the current ingredients available, period.
Place a time restraint on this task and it becomes a chore, something to get done immediately.
Our choice is unawareness or total immersion. We can become the knife that slices these vegetables.
Time becomes irrelevant when we slow down with purpose and intent.
Practice going below the surface of life, the shallow exterior of what really exists at a deeper level.
Preparing a meal can bring a joy never experienced before.
Food is a neutral entity that we can use to explore desire, need, satisfaction and awareness.
Master food first, then proceed to unworthiness, fear, trauma, and judgments.

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