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Archives for December, 2010

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...
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Acceptance-Based Perfectionism

Mindful New Year to You, Idealist!

Not every year can be necessarily a happy one, but even an unhappy year can be a mindful one. So, instead of wishing you a happy new year, I'd like to wish you a mindful one; not a year of presents but a year of presence!

In reviewing my 2010 posts, I'd like to replay this one theme, that of redefining perfection and of noticing the ordinary perfection all around us.

The ideas behind this theme represent...
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Mindful Eating: Open Your Mind Before You Open Your Mouth

No More Resolutions

It's almost that time of the year: the season of resolutions. New Year, new beginning, a slimmer and healthier new you… Undoubtedly, many of us will, on impulse, make unrealistic weight and fitness goals that will be abandoned guiltily just a few weeks later.

As we once again turn over a new leaf in this seasonal book of self-change, we sooner or later come to realize that this story of resolve...
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Lotus Effect: Identity Detox

Consciousness Is Its Own Broom

Suzuki reports the following curious exchange between Yun-men (a Zen master) and a fellow monk.  When asked “Who is Buddha?” Yun-men said:  “The dried-up dirt cleaner.”

To my analysis, this is a rather profound response, although it doesn’t seem so at first.  After all, Buddha as a dirt cleaner?  What does that mean?

Let’s take a look.  But first, a word about the meaning of “buddha.”  There’s nothing religious about this word—it simply means...
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Lotus Effect: Identity Detox

You Are Not Your Worry

Worry is science fiction.  Worry is thoughts about [what might happen in the] future.  Worry is scientific in its initial attempt at logic: worry starts with facts and then escalates them into fiction.

Face it: The future doesn’t yet exist.  It hasn’t happened yet.  Nowhere in this universe does the future exist.  Everyone and everything is right now, only now, ever now, never not now.  Recognize that no matter how much you worry...
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Ordinary Perfection

Study Spinoza

"Modernity dethrones humankind.  It reduces all our thoughts, purposes, and hopes to the object of scientific inquiry.  It makes laboratory rats of us all.  Spinoza actively embraces this collapse of the human into mere nature.  Leibniz abhors it.

Leibniz intends to demonstrate that we are the most special of all beings in nature.  In the entire universe, says, there is nothing more real or more permanent...
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360 of Compassion

Advaita Refresher

Lean into the sky with your stare.
See all of its black infinity behind the azure blue of the familiar.
Realize that all, all, all of that is you!
I know, I know
You thought it was just you.
I know you thought it was all quite simple:
That there was you and not-you,
That there was this you here and all that not-you there.
It’s not.
All of it is you.
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Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully (Week 2)

Week 2 Exercise: Change How You Enlighten Your Smoking Mind

Smoking is pyrotechnics: cigarette is a fuse, your lungs – a bomb of pleasure and worry.  This week's objective is to change how you set yourself on fire.

Get a new lighter, a lighter you wouldn’t intuitively use.  For example, if you are into classy metal lighters, get a BIC with a NASCAR theme.  If you like a minimalist, slick, urban look, get something really colorful or camouflaged.  Show some...
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Ordinary Perfection

United States of Body

There are days when
I am completely in my mind.
Those days are many.
And then there days when I am totally outdoors, totally out of my mind*
Like now:

*Mindfulness doesn’t mean more mind, it means less mind, more body.  There is this here-and-now smell, this present-moment touch, this dynamic of the moment, this life as it is unfolding in this moment, and then mind cuts in, with its distracting interpretation, with its intellectualizing narrative.  Never mind your mind –...
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Self is a Stereotype: Correct It!

There is a story in Zhuangzi (a Taoist book named after Zhuangzi, a 4th century BCE Chinese philosopher) that goes something like

A master carpenter Shi and his apprentice are walking through the woods in search of a good tree. The apprentice sees a great big old oak tree and asks his master why he walked past it paying it no attention. "Oh, enough with that," the Master exclaims, "don't even talk about...
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