An eternity one second at a time.

As another new year approaches, I could give you tips about making new years resolutions, or give you more tips on how to guarantee you fail at those resolutions… but this year I want to focus on presence.

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An eternity one second at a time

The sweeping
ticking
second-hand,
marking
the
steady
passing
of time.

Eight
Six
Four
Zero
Zero
times
a day.

Each tic
pregnant
with
promise
or pain.

Each
tic
a potential
beginning
or end.

Each tic
separated
by silence.

A brief
emblem
of the
infinite
nature
of time
yet
impermanent
nature
of being.

Each
tic
providing
a place
to panic
or
a place
to rest.

My wish for your new year and mine

For your new year I hope that each of those brief silences is an opportunity to rest, not panic. If troubles do befall you, I hope that you can learn to sit with your sadness and rest in the silence, and that you are surrounded by people who will help you to be resilient and deal with whatever the circumstances are. Overall, I hope that the new year is one of happiness for you and your family and friends.

I want to remind you of the gifts mentioned in my xmas post

To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, an example, and to yourself, respect.

I’ll be concentrating on being more present in each and every moment and trying to give these gifts throughout the year….. what will you be doing?

So this is Xmas…. Again.

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Two years ago at xmas time I exposed my grinchiness in my xmas post (although it was no surprise to those that know me well 🙂 ) and challenged those for whom the year had been lucky to think about a way to ease the burden of those less fortunate.

Last year I wrote So this is xmas…. but, as we celebrated xmas with both a sense of fear and anxiety about Samuel’s declining health, and I quoted a verse from the song “so this is xmas”….

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

Now I am thinking so it’s xmas time….. again… and just how wrong the world has felt this year after conducting the saddest duty of life, getting too well acquainted with the grief of losing a child, figuring out that one really isn’t the loneliest number, revealing the truth of depression hiding behind the mask and looking for little signs and dealing with different reminders.

That is not to say that it has been a completely bad year as there have been a few bright spots, like the sibling carer awards for Taylor, a win on behalf of the Samuel Morris Foundation in the Local Business Awards, and a 21st Wedding anniversary with a beautiful, strong and determined woman, delivering a couple of conference key note addresses and taking a nice holiday.

So while the year has felt wrong in so many ways…. it is a year that has also taught me a hell of a lot, and made me think longer and harder about quite a few different aspects of life, love and work.

So this years challenge from me to you, comes via some insightful words I am borrowing from Timber Hawkeye, who runs the Buddhist Bootcamp, so I challenge you to give the following gifts this xmas and into the new year…..

To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, an example, and to yourself, respect.

So from this grinch, to you and your family… Merry Xmas… be kind to yourself, and those you love and go give those gifts highlighted in the passage above!

 

 

 

 

 

What is your concept of God?

John Lennon - GOD?

John Lennon by Bixentro @ flickr

John Lennon put it this way in his GOD lyrics…..

God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I’ll say it again
God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I don’t believe in magic
I don’t believe in I-ching
I don’t believe in Bible
I don’t believe in tarot
I don’t believe in Hitler
I don’t believe in Jesus
I don’t believe in Kennedy
Í don’t believe in Buddha
I don’t believe in Mantra
I don’t believe in gita
I don’t believe in yoga
I don’t believe in kings
I don’t believe in Elvis
I don’t believe in Zimmerman
I don’t believe in Beatles
I just believe in me…………………..

What is your concept of GOD? and what do you measure by it?

Are you hurting yourself more than your enemy?

The buddha by rahlducca

“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your  own unguarded thoughts” -Buddha

How much time do you spend with a million things going through your head, compared to how much time you experience an inner peace or a sense of flow in the task that you are undertaking?

For most people the ratio is probably pretty scary with their minds spinning. churning over thought after thought after thought far more often than experiencing that sense of flow or complete clarity.

When we have a moment of complete clarity or experience that sense of flow whilst engaged in a task what happens to us? That sense of clarity or flow is almost inevitably interrupted by another thought… and what type of thought is it.. usually a negative one, that completely shatters that sense of peace.

That one thought then leads us on to another and another (and a sense of frustration that the flow has been interrupted… leading to more negative thoughts).

Our thoughts have the power to do us harm or do us good.

Chris Brogan sparked off a conversation that reflected this with his post expressing his frustration at unrealistic expectations by some people he interacts with.

Chris had a really valid point to make, but what was really interesting was when Chris identified in the comments his fear of being thought of as an asshole if he was not meeting other peoples expectations for access to him.

Now Chris is regarded as guru in internet land. But in reality as much as people want access to him and he values their collective opinion, how much time does any one individual spend thinking about him during the scheme of their day?

Even if we are contemplating our worst enemy how much time do we think they spend thinking about us?  In reality we probably spend far more time being concerned about what they think of us, than they expend on thinking about us, so doing more harm to ourselves than they are to us.

The key to preventing our own thoughts from doing more harm to us than those of our enemies is to watch our own thoughts. Within each of our heads there is an angry person, an ill-natured person (yes admit it we all have that even though we are trying to be good all the time), a miser and liar (yes that is that little negative voice).

In the Dhammapada there is a quote that we should all apply to each of the “people” in our own minds first, and then to the outer world, but we can only do this by guarding our thoughts………

“Conquer the angry man by love, conquer the ill-natured man by goodness, conquer the miser with generosity, conquer the liar with truth”