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Difference Of One

Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective's photo.

“In a family, if there is one person who practices mindfulness, the entire family will be more mindful. Because of the presence of one member who lives in mindfulness, the entire family is reminded to live in mindfulness. If in one class, one student lives in mindfulness, the entire class is influenced.”

Source ~ Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective

 

March 20 was Happiness Day and the World Happiness Report 2016 has been released. India’s ranking is a shocking surprise. The top 10 countries remain unchanged though the rankings within the top has changed a bit. These reports began in 2012.

Top 10

  1. Denmark
  2. Switzerland
  3. Iceland
  4. Norway
  5. Finland
  6. Canada
  7. Netherlands
  8. New Zealand
  9. Australia
  10. Sweden

The US ranks at 13, UK 23, Saudi Arabia 34, Italy 50. War-torn, unstable countries with repression and violence rank higher than India (118), now a major economy with a GDP rate higher than China’s (83): Libya 64, Lebanon 93, Greece 99, Iran 105, Palestine 108, Iraq 112! Even Bangladesh (110) and Pakistan (92) rank higher.

In the next post we will look at the factors that account for some of the differences.

 

 

Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit

Mind and Life Fellow Jud Brewer talks about the relationship between mindfulness and addiction in his recent TED Talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit.”

 

 

We try out many different ways to manage our physical and mental stress, anxiety, pain, grief, loss, regrets. Some work, some don’t. Meditation is one of them–and all the different types of meditations. Mahasri Yoga offers free online shorter breathing tracks as meditation and longer Yoga Nidras. They have had a profound effect on many (and like any other type of meditation, done nothing for many!). A recent reminder is that of an old college friend who had juvenile arthritis that started in college. She now lives in Spain with debilitating arthritis as an adult and happened to try the Yoga Nidras on the website. A Christmas card announced that they had transformed her life, “They were fabulous.”

So this goes to anyone who may want to try it out!

 

This is a question that comes up quietly but persistently–a man’s duty as a father, husband, spiritual quest–and the conflicting emotions that arise from it: How does a man just walk out on his wife and new-born son without a single word? What about duty to them and the Buddhist teachings of duty to parents and family?

“When I heard the story of Gautam Buddha, my question was always about his wife and son that he left behind…this write-up by Vikram Bhattacharya touches that part of the story.” (Source: saw this posted by a friend’s friend on Facebook and here is another link http://metamorphosiseyou.blogspot.com/2015/10/buddhas-wife.html)
—————

He left her in the middle of the night, the night their son was
born. When she heard the news
she was devastated.

Yet, she did not complain but her
life lost all meaning. The only
reason for her to live now was
her son. She wanted him to grow
up to be a man that the world
would look up to.

Her friends and relatives came
around and asked her to forget
about the man who had left her
and start life again.

They asked her to marry again
but she refused. She was young
& beautiful & suitors queued up
outside her door, but she refused each one of them.

Then one fine day he came back !

He stood in front of her and she could hardly remember him as the man who had left her. “They call you the Buddha now?” she asked him gently.

“I hear they do,” he answered in
a calm fashion.

“What does it mean?” she further inquired.

“I think it means the enlightened one, a knower,” he informed.

She smiled and then a silence.
“I suppose we have both learned something. Your lessons O Buddha, will make the world richer in spirit, but my lesson will unfortunately remain largely unknown.”
she reflected deeply….

“ And what lesson is that ? ”
The Buddha probed.

Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears, “That a courageous woman does not need anyone to complete her…..
SHE IS COMPLETE ON HER OWN ”

I welcome the courage and honesty in the January 23, 2016 Guardian article Is mindfulness making us ill?  Meditation is a way of training or developing mindfulness, also called awareness, being attentive to what is. In my teaching, we have always stated that nothing works for everyone.  

For many people, self-help books may be fine to feel grounded. But as we have seen over the years, experienced guidance is often critical. There are numerous types of meditations and techniques. Whatever works for you is the one that is best for you. Mindfulness-based methods, insight meditations are challenging for some and something like Yoga Nidra could work well. Others may find they don’t like the guided meditation. How much time should be spent? Experienced, in-person guidance may be essential to find what works. Over time, the practice needs to evolve and change. And as various emotions and moods surface, guidance is needed in resolving them.

Then there is honesty–an experienced teacher is secure and honest in saying this is not working for you. Perhaps try another teacher, method, or try something else to relax and feel grounded–dance, listen to or play music, sing, swim, walk, run, knit, write, even drink a glass of wine! Perhaps the person needs psychiatric help and not mindfulness. A good teacher knows that it is not about her ego but what is best for the person. A good teacher does not delude herself into thinking that mindfulness is the perfect elixir for everyone–sometimes even a teacher needs to know when to take break from mindfulness and meditation. For the person, it does not mean that she is doing anything wrong.

Meditation can aggravate depression, trauma, and other mental conditions regardless of all the virtues being cited–one needs to be honest and objective without being attached to a preconceived outcome.

Do no harm.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to readers of this blog and Mahasri Yoga–from over 2500 towns and cities around the world! May our circle of peace continue to be strong and grow.