Refuge

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Where do we find refuge from destructive emotions?
In the things that we do, in those we love, and in how we spend our time. For me, that has been the answer.

(¿Donde encontramos refugio de las emociones destructivas? En las cosas a las que nos dedicamos, en los que queremos y en lo que hacemos con nuestro tiempo. Para mi esta ha sido la respuesta)

Breathe and Smile

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  Meditation is not to separate ourselves from society, we don’t escape from it, on the contrary, we prepare ourselves to form a part of it. Thich Nhat Hanh Best wishes go out to Thich Nhat Hanh who is in the process of recovery …  A lotus for you, Thay.     Al meditar no nos alejamos de la sociedad, no nos escapamos de ella, sino muy por el contrario, nos preparamos para reinsertarnos adecuadamente en ella. Thich Nhat Hanh Mis mejores deseos para la recuperación de Thich Nhat Hanh… Un flor de loto para tí, Thay.

Why is it important to develop attention?


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Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

~Lao Tzu

“Observa tus pensamientos; estos se convierten en palabras. Observa tus palabras; estas se convierten en acciones. Observa tus acciones, estas se convierten en hábitos. Observa tus hábitos ; estos se convierten en carácter. Observa tu carácter; este se convierte en tu destino”

Connect With Your Body

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(Eve Ensler) In the Body of the World: A Memoir of Cancer and Connection

I think – from my own life experience, and certainly what I’ve discovered in many women and men across the planet – is [that] when we’re traumatized, when we’re beaten, when we’re raped, we leave our bodies. We disconnect from ourselves. And if it’s true that one out of every three women on the planet have been raped or beaten, which is a U.N. statistic, that’s a billion women.
Many, many of us have left our bodies – we’re not embodied creatures, we’re not living inside our own muscles and cells and sinews. And so we’re not in our power, we’re not in our energy.
[…]
It’s been a long journey to get fully back into my body. And, certainly, what I’ve seen everywhere in the world is that the more traumatized people are, the less connected they are to their own source of strength, their own source of inspiration, intuition, heart – everything.

Yoga and Mindfulness helps us to connect with our body giving us energy and strength to discover our own source of inspiration and intuition. It allows us to express our interior to the exterior reveling our heart to the word.

“Reframing”

reality-illusion (1)Falling flat on your face into a puddle is usually interpreted as a threat. We’ll assume that our clumsiness is a sign to others that we’re incompetent, and that our social status will drop, which is a painful thing.
But this thing is that this is just an interpretation, not a reality. It’s possible to change our interpretations — the filters that lead to the arising of pleasant and unpleasant feelings — either so that different feelings arise, or so we’re able to bear our suffering more easily.

  • We can reframe by considering unpleasant experiences as being a test, or an opportunity to cultivate patience.
  • We can reframe by considering that unpleasant experiences are impermanent.
  • We can reframe by considering that unpleasant experiences are not us, but are simply passing though us, like clouds through the sky.
  • We can reframe by reminding ourselves that there are others who are suffering as badly, or worse, so that we feel a sense of gratitude.
  • We can reframe by seeing our misfortunes as being a way to develop empathy with others who are suffering, so that we can increase our compassion.

What’s we’re doing in all of these reframes is changing the mental filters that interpret our experience and that normally lead to the mind flagging up potential threats by creating unpleasant sensation. Now the mind registers our experiences as opportunities. We’ve turned a threat into an opportunity, and although we may not find that our unpleasant feelings vanish (though that happens sometimes) we’ll find them easier to be with, and so we won’t cause ourselves unnecessary suffering by engaging in self pity, and won’t cause others unnecessary suffering by acting out in anger.

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80-90 percent of what you fear will happen never really come into reality

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“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Winston Churchill

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” E. Joseph Cossman

Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say…but try this whenever worries pop up in your mind:

Simply remind yourself of how little of what you have feared throughout your life that has actually happened.

Ask yourself a question like: “Honestly, am I overcomplicating this?”

Uncertainty is where things happen

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We tend to imagine that the special skill of an entrepreneur lies in having a powerfully original idea and then fighting to turn that vision into reality…

…The most valuable skill of a successful entrepreneur … isn’t “vision” or “passion” or a steadfast insistence on destroying every barrier between yourself and some prize you’re obsessed with. Rather, it’s the ability to adopt an unconventional approach to learning: an improvisational flexibility not merely about which route to take towards some predetermined objective, but also a willingness to change the destination itself. This is a flexibility that might be squelched by rigid focus on any one goal…

…”Start with your means. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Start taking action, based on what you have readily available: what you are, what you know and who you know.” A second is the “principle of affordable loss”: Don’t be guided by thoughts of how wonderful the rewards might be if you were spectacularly successful at any given next step. Instead – and there are distinct echoes, here, of the Stoic focus on the worst-case scenario – ask how big the loss would be if you failed. So long as it would be tolerable, that’s all you need to know. Take that next step, and see what happens…
…Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where the opportunities – for success, for happiness, for really living – are waiting.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking Paperback by Oliver Burkeman

A Simple Exercise to Increase Well-Being

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We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savoring what went well.

For sound evolutionary reasons, most of us are not nearly as good at dwelling on good events as we are at analyzing bad events. Those of our ancestors who spent a lot of time basking in the sunshine of good events, when they should have been preparing for disaster, did not survive the Ice Age. So to overcome our brains’ natural catastrophic bent, we need to work on and practice this skill of thinking about what went well.

-Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. 

-Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. 

-Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?” Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week.

(A Simple Exercise to Increase Well-Being and Lower Depression from Martin Seligman, Founding Father of Positive Psychology)

Ordinary Looking

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Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you…

…I would find myself at once alarmed, delighted, and humbled at the limitations of my ordinary looking. My consolation is that this deficiency of mine is quite human. We see, but we do not see: we use our eyes, but our gaze is glancing, frivolously considering its object. We see the signs, but not their meanings. We are not blinded, but we have blinders…

…By marshaling your attention to these words, helpfully framed in a distinct border of white, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses: the hum of the fluorescent lights, the ambient noise in a large room, the places your chair presses against your legs or back, your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw, the map of the cool and warm places on your body, the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawn-mower, the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision, a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance.

Alexandra Horowitz (On looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes)

Set Aside a Time for Worrying

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Your worries relate to real and practical problems in your life, so you cannot rid yourself of them altogether, but you can learn to control when you think about them. Fyodor Dostoyevsky famously commanded his brother not to think of a white bear, and we know from the experiment on thought suppression which followed that, given that instruction, you can think of nothing but a white bear. … Likewise, telling people not to think of their worries isn’t going to work…

Set aside 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening to do nothing but worry about the future. Sit at a table, make a list of all your problems and then think about them. But as soon as the time is up you must stop worrying, and whenever those worries come back into your head remind yourself that you can’t contemplate them again until your next worry time. You have given yourself permission to postpone your worrying until the time of your choice. Remarkably, it can work. It puts you in control.   

Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception by claudia Hammon