As long as we are alive, we can expect painful experiences- the first arrow. To condemn, judge, criticize, hate, or deny the first arrow is like being struck by a second arrow. Many times the first arrow is out of our control, but the arrow of reactivity is not.
Often the significant suffering associated with an emotion is not the emotion itself but the way we relate to it.Do we feel it to be unacceptable? Justified? Do we hate it? Feel pride in it? Are we ashamed of it? Do we tense around it? Are we ashamed of how we are feeling?
Mindfulness itself does not condemn our emotions. Rather it is honestly aware of what happens to us and how we react to it.The more cognizant and familiar we are with our reactivity the more easily we can feel, for example, uncomplicated grief or straightforward joy not mixed up with guilt, anger, remorse, embarrassment, judgment, or other reactions. Freedom in Buddhism is not freedom from emotions, it is freedom from complicating them. Gil Fronsdahl, “The Matter at Hand”
When you get an email with that subject line, do you keep reading it?
I get at least twenty or thirty spam emails a day. I know damned well that if a message begins with “Dearest beloved in Christ,” I don’t need to read it too carefully. (Who falls for these things, by the way? Especially after you’ve already gotten a thousand of them, what makes you answer the thousand-and-first?)
It’s a scam. It might not be obvious the first time you see one, but by the thousand-and-first, you know it’s not anything important. You hit “delete” and you press on to the next message.
What about the spam you send yourself, though? Your brain sends you these same repetitive, pointless messages all the time. If you’re depressed, it’s probably something about how bad your life is and how worthless you are. If you’ve got problems with anxiety, it’s about how something terrible is going to happen. If you struggle with anger, it’s about how unfair everything is and how other people aren’t giving you the respect you deserve. There’s nothing new there, but we get sucked in again and again, trying to figure out what to do with that message.
But, you know what? Maybe there isn’t any deeper meaning. Maybe it’s just noise.
The thousand-and-first time you get that email about winning the Nigerian lottery, you ignore it. The thousand-and-first time you start thinking about how someone treated you wrong, though, you dig in and obsess about it as if it were really important.
And, hey, sometimes maybe it is important. If someone’s genuinely messing with you, you need to take some action. if you really are doing something wrong in your life, notice that. If something horrible’s about to happen, get the heck out of the way.
But next time your brain sends you one of these messages, take a minute before responding to figure out if it’s signal or noise. And if it’s spam, just delete it.
itsonbaybay said: what do you know about soulmates and you know, groups of soul that reencarnate together? dont know what its called. i'd like to know what i have to learn about my familyu relationships and friends relationships, but dont know what tipe of lesson it may be.
Actually, all I know about reincarnation is that it’s not a universal belief among Buddhists. Some sects have a very strong orientation towards reincarnation (eg, Vajrayana), others are more inclined to see the next life as either heaven or heaven-like (eg, Jodo). Other sects (eg, Zen) don’t spend a lot of time and energy worrying about what happens after you die, but focus instead on what happens here and now.
I’m with the latter guys. I’m not sure whether we reincarnate or go to heaven or hell or whatever. I haven’t seen any real evidence that there’s any continuation of the soul after death, so I’m disinclined to worry about what happens then.
What I know for sure is that we are here right now, and that what we do and think and feel right now is all we can ever really know for sure.
So, hey, why wait until the next lifetime? If you want to be with your family and friends, don’t worry about whether you get to hang out together after you die. Go spend more time with them right now.
To spread joy, you have to have it. To impart delight, you have to be more or less delightful. And to be delightful is not some factor of trying to make yourself look delightful, it is to do things that are delightful to you. You become thereby delightful to others.
That is to say people who are interesting are people who are interested.
Any person for example who is constantly thinking about all sorts of other things and other people and so on, because they are fascinating, becomes a fascinating person.
But a person who doesn’t think about anybody else, and who’s got very little going on inside their skull, is boring…if you try to enrich your personality by taking a course in “how to win friends and influence people,” or “how to be a real person,” you become just a washout. Because you’ll be in a sort of small circle, as it were. You’ll be like someone who tried to get good nutrition by biting his nails, and then the fingers next, and then half an arm gone and so on. You’re entirely nourishing yourself with yourself. Alan Watts (via stevenisbolo)
Anonymous said: what do you know about the atraction law? i was wondering if i can use it, cause im inlove with one friendofmine and i dont know if anything'sever goint to happen. but i love him and wouldlike to know if i can do something mentally to make it happen. namaste
As I understand it, the Law of Attraction is the idea (popularized in “The Secret”) that you can get things you want by keeping them in your consciousness. You visualize yourself having something, and if you do it right and enough, eventually the thing you want comes to you.
Honestly, I can’t see how to reconcile this with Buddhism.
From a Buddhist perspective, the response to craving something is not to try to get the thing you crave (either by physical or metaphysical means), but to work on the craving itself.
The second Noble Truth is pretty clear on this point: the cause of suffering is attachment. The problem is not that you’re not getting what you want, it’s that you want what you don’t have. The fallacy of the conditional mind is that we think we’ll be happy once we get the next thing, but the reality is that there’s always another thing we will need once we get the thing we thought was going to make us happy.
Taking off my Buddhist hat for a minute and putting on my therapist hat, I’d suggest that if you want a relationship with this guy, you’re much more likely to get that by talking to him about what you want than by visualizing the two of you being together.
However you pursue this project, I wish you happiness, with or without him.