Archives for Compassion is Self-Care

Anger Management

An Apriori of Forgiveness: You Can Blame a Human No More Than a Tree Branch That Just Fell on Your Head

Most of the time we move forward/onward without any philosophy of living, without any ideology, mindlessly!

In mindlessness we are all equal - from saint to sinner (not that I believe in these distinctions).

But when something aversive (bad) happens to us or those that we relate to ( identify with), our implicit philosophy of living crystallizes into a situation-specific judgment, a "stone." (as in a "stone of judgement"). Emotionally, we experience it as anger or rage...
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Compassion is Self-Care

Throw a Banana at Me Anytime!

I am surrounded by information. Each day I see, hear, smell, taste, touch and read, read, read as much as life allows. On my bedside table this week: Nick Humprhey's Soul Dust and Douglas Hofstadter's Surfaces & Essences.  Stockpiled on my kitchen counter, this weekend: National Geographic, New York Times, Popular Science.  In my browser, this moment: CNN - "Bananas Thrown at Italy's First Black Minister."

Bananas...
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Compassion is Self-Care

New Human Narrative (NT Perspective)

Context: please, if you haven’t yet, read my posts on the Neural Tribe (NT) Perspective -  Neural Tribe (an Introduction to the Meme)  and Neural Tribe Doctrine - to get a better sense of where I am coming from with all of this.  Both of these posts introduce a new narrative about what we are and what we aren't.

Neural Tribe is Information-Processing Tribe
Neurons process information and share it with each...
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Compassion is Self-Care

Why We Fear Compassion

A couple of years ago I wrote about BugZooka which is a “fast, simple, safe and clean way to rid your home of unwanted spiders and bugs.”  (See God-Training with BugZooka )

Well, it broke.  Which is no big deal, of course, particularly after a couple of years of use.  So, I readily and promptly ordered another one.  It arrived: nothing has changed – same excellent product that it was.  The packaging, however, seems to be just a tad more psychologically sophisticated.  The product promises a “kinder, gentler way to win the war on bugs.”  I am impressed: this is a message of compassion, albeit kind of tongue-in-cheek.

But the word “compassion” itself is nowhere to be found, either on the box or in the manual.  And this, I believe, is symptomatic of our culture.  In my blog from two years when I waxed poetic about BugZooka I talked about how its use is truly a compassion-training opportunity.  After all, each and every time we catch a bug, we are playing god.  “Shall we kill or not kill?” becomes the question of the moment. 
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Compassion is Self-Care

Egocentric Cells


Back in the late 90s, as part of my doctoral training at SUNY Buffalo, I did a psycho-oncology practicum at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and was later briefly employed in their pain clinic as a clinical research assistant.

Naturally, in those days cancer was very much on my mind (as well as the interplay of pain and time perception).  It was back in those days that I finally dropped the hyphen of distinction from the notorious mind-body dichotomy: it became starkly self-evident to me that both words (body and mind) refer to one and the same system.

It was also around that very time that I harvested my first crop of conclusions from my readings of Eastern philosophies and one of these conclusions was the following: anything that is alive is also conscious.

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360 of Compassion

Community Through Communication

Facebook, Twitter, email, chat, texting, social media, blogging.  What is this constant compulsion to share?  Must be the fear of remaining un-witnessed.

When “the body is but the foam of a wave” (as Dhammapada teaches), the mouth has nothing to do but to foam with words.

It’s always been like that.  What’s a haiku but a medieval tweet?!  Mind watches its own passing and mourns itself with verbal sentimentality.  Community through communication.

Pass your time in...
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Acceptance-Based Perfectionism

There Are No Mistakes

No One Makes Mistakes On Purpose (Sabotage Notwithstanding)

The phrase “to make a mistake” implies purposive, conscious, planned action.  That’s utterly inaccurate: there are no intentional mistakes, no one consciously sets out to fail.

When we fail on purpose, when we make a mistake by design, we are actually succeeding with some kind of covert plan.  Therefore, even an act of conscious sabotage isn’t a mistake (to you) even if takes the form of a mistake (to others).

Bottom-line: No one makes mistakes because no one ever makes a mistake on purpose (sabotage notwithstanding). 
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360 of Compassion

Happy New Spin to You!


A year – astronomically – is a spin of a celestial object around a center of gravity.  In our – Earthly – case, a year is, of course, a spin around the Sun.

As we yearn for stability and balance in our lives, we are zipping around the Sun at an orbital speed of 30 kilometers per second (that’s 108,000 kilometers per hour) – and not down some well-paved straight line, but on a perpetual curve, without any chance of ever getting off this mind-boggling ride!

Ponder this as well: a straight line is but a geometrical abstraction.  We live in the world of tremendous centripetal/ego-centric forces and inevitable curvatures. 
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Self-Forgiveness Isn’t a Responsibility-Shirking Excuse

Know all and you will pardon all.
Thomas A’Kempis
This is a follow-up to my previous post Rediscovering Your Motivational Innocence.  As I see it, when you dig down to the motivational depths of all behavior, there is only one core motive: pursuit of wellbeing – we all move away from pain towards pleasure.  It is my firm belief that all conscious existence is lined up along this motivational vector.  The rest is just variations on the theme.  How we go about...
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Rediscovering Your Motivational Innocence

Know all and you will pardon all.
Thomas A’Kempis
Guilt and/or shame leads to rumination and dwelling on the causes of what happened.  At a glance, this seems to be a potentially useful information-processing habit.  The problem, however, is that this post-mistake analysis is biased and the conclusion is typically foregone.

You have already decided that a) if you “made” the mistake, then, of course, it was your fault, and b) that the reason why you “made” the mistake is because you are flawed.  Let’s work on reversing this process in order to rediscover your motivational innocence and to learn to give yourself the benefit of the doubt.
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