As I am developing this intervention model of Buddhist Therapy, I have had a few people ask how individuals and counselors can help develop change. “Mind precedes things, dominates them, creates them” (Mano pubbangamadhamma mano settha mano maya). ~ Dhammapada The core of change comes from the acknowledgement and understanding of decision-thinking is self-motivated. Even […]
We are feeling creatures. Our feelings frame our reality. What we believe to be true is what we feel to be true. We accept facts or dismiss them based on how we feel about them. We assign value to words based on how we feel about them, and then assign value to people based on […]
I was speaking with a fellow minister of my order and I asked him what work he was doing. He is working as an Army Chaplain and he replied “I am reminding an infantry company to remain mindful and to bring the spiritual into their training. It’s an uphill battle.” Of course, he is a […]
I am a prolific writer; however, I tend not to write too often about the personal events in my life. I write about the dhamma and how to enrich our lives in the dhamma. However, this past Saturday, after an endorsement by the Venerable Chao Chu of the Rosemead Buddhist Temple (Rosemead, Calif.) and other […]
Trying to explain Buddhism to non-practings Buddhists can sometimes be a challenge. Nevertheless, it can also be a truly fruitful experience, because it requires you to reflect and answer questions that perhaps get unmindfully conditioned in the brain.
Speaking to a friend of mine about Buddhism, she stated, “ If Buddhism is about non-attachment then I would rather suffer. I enjoy my attachment to things like my family and friends. I may find some suffering from owning a car, but I enjoy my car more than I suffer from it.”
The world is made up of what we use and what gets in our way.
Her statements were true. I honestly believe and practice my Buddhist faith, but I enjoy my family and my pleasure in the suffering I endure with my clinging to them. I do practice unconditional love and acceptance of metta, but that is not the only love I have for them. I have that attached love of a parent and son. [CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE]
“Suppose, monks, there is a man journeying on a road and he sees a vast expanse of water of which this shore is perilous and fearful, while the other shore is safe and free from danger. But there is no boat for crossing nor is there a bridge for going over from this side to the other. So the man thinks: ‘This is a vast expanse of water; and this shore is perilous and fearful, but the other shore is safe and free from danger. There is, however, no boat here for crossing, nor a bridge for going over from this side to the other. Suppose I gather reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and bind them into a raft… [CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE]
Sumitta, How can I humble myself against hate and dislike? How do I response to someone who really doesn’t like me? I know I should love them, but how do I put up with it without feeling the feeling of pain and anger they give me? —– Dear Dhamma Follower, The first step is to […]
It’s the fourth Buddhist Blog Swap, created by the great Nate DeMontigny over at Precious Metal! And this one’s a video-blog swap! This blog swap I have been honored to be paired with Reverend Danny Fisher. He is an individual who I have been following for awhile. You can read his good works on his blog Danny Fisher. […]
Each day, hundreds of mourners gather together in West Virginia: first in hope, and now in remembrance. The life of the coal miners is a dangerous one, and so some may not find it surprising that such a tragedy could occur, but nonetheless, it should remind us all of the fragility of life. It begs […]
The big holiday season comes at the end of the year. We celebrate the coming of winter, the shortest day of the year, good will towards men, peace on Earth, resolve to be better to ourselves and others. This time,for most in America, is spent with family and loved ones, huddled over dinner tables of potatoes and yams.
As the end of the year came, I had an experience that brought this time of year back to the first realizations of the Buddha. The Buddha Gotoma, who was always sheltered from the world, had made four trips outside his castle and had his eyes opened to the world around him. He saw the sick, the old and the dying that is the condition of all mankind. He also saw the spiritual people of the world who found happiness.
My advice is always to seek love and develop love with the knowledge of the mortality of love, just as there is mortality in anything that is born. All things are impermanent, but all things are also inter-dependent. The love, compassion, and acceptance we develop with our spouses carries on beyond our marriages. The love we develop in our marriages is not less important because it is temporary, but more precious because of this fact. Two people who have bonded and joined their lives to journey their short time on this world together are a blessed by each other and are able to take a non-monastic path in their understanding of happiness, wisdom, understanding and compassion.
We must choose the Buddhists we wish to be develop and become, always understanding that the goal is not nirvana, but true happiness. While a married lay person must carry a heavier burden in the physical world, they still walk the Middle Path.
We must recognize that when we harbor negative feelings about someone, that it is not a gift or curse from others, but a choice we have to develop those negative thoughts and hold onto them until they become very unpleasant– and only to us.
Instead, let these feelings go. Remind yourself that you should focus on liberating yourself from negativity and replace the arising of those negative thoughts with something positive.
And if you focusing only on the present situation without developing judgments about it you will find that you will not give power to the negative energy we all so easily hold onto in our lives. This is the poison of aversion and clinging. To avoid and push negative energy away, itself takes energy and develops a sense of validity to negative thoughts, just as clinging to them feeds those negative thoughts as well. We end up carrying rotting potatoes.
Feel the lightness of being when we can put down the burden and move forward in our lives without dealing with such things.
After the rings are exchanged, cake is cut, honeymoon tans have faded marriages have to get down to business. The enthusiasm of this new phase in the relationship – the marriage phase—is exciting like a new car: it is shiny, sexy, smooth to ride. Like a new car, we are extra careful in how we treat our new relationships. With a car we do what we can to avoid scratches, change oil regularly, etc. In a new marriage, we work hard to avoid conflict, temptation, maintain passion.
Overall, I am now finishing my month-long experiment and very satisfied with the results. I have not only lost nearly 20 pounds (which my dieticians say is fantastic and healthy), but I have developed a greater understanding into myself and my Buddhist practice.
We cannot be perfect Buddhists every moment of every day. Especially during the challenges of divorce, but we can start orienting ourselves to see the benefits of accepting life as it comes and dealing with it positively.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO FIND SOME HAPPINESS DURING A DIVORCE
1) Meditate— Sitting quietly for 30 minutes a day, over a two week period, has proven to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, and create inner calm, lower blood pressure and blood sugar.
2) Giving—Taking time to donate your time and effort to others develops compassion and forgiveness. It is also a good safe way to start new social networks outside of the previous marriage
3) Listening—everyone tells you that you should “talk it out.” Unfortunately, we do not reflect when we talk. Talking is good for venting, but listening is good for comprehension and insight. Find someone who wants to talk and listen to them without interjection or turning the conversation back to you. Soon you will start understanding a lot more about yourself.