Exploring Resilience via Lifes Burning Issues

Tag: buddha (Page 3 of 3)

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”

Believe Nothing.

The Budhha by rahlducca

The Budhha by rahlducca

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense – Buddha

I’m sure we have all experienced a shift in our opinions about some things over time. But this quote is a real challenge to check on what you consider to be self evident truths (and I’m not going to get into a post constructionist debate about the nature of truth… well not now anyway).

When you hold something to be a self evident truth then the reality is that you are unlikely to be open to anyone challenging the validity of that “truth” and there is a very good chance that the “truth” comes from some form of dogma. How much trouble is there in the world at the moment because of a rigid adherence to a self evident truths, and rigidity of “beliefs”?

Why do I love todays opening quote?

Rather than being told it is this way, and only this way here is a teacher who challenges you to think about what he says and challenges you to examine it in the context of your own life. How many teachers or systems do you know like this? Not many I bet.

In the post who are you? I dabbled with this question previously by providing a quote from Oscar Wilde and discussing what other peoples beliefs and opinions do to you without examination.

How long can something be self evident for?

Beliefs can be held to be self evident for a very long time………

Want some perfect examples…..

for how long did people “believe” that the earth was flat?

for how long did people “believe” that the universe revolved around the earth?

what about some more recent examples…

in medicine…. how long did people deny that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacteria?

in space exploration….for how long have people believed that there was no water on the moon?

What do you “believe” to be true?

The only firm opinion that I hold (based on my experience to date) is to use another quote “that the greater the circle of my knowledge, the greater the circumference of my ignorance”.   WHAT? Let me explain.

The more that I learn in life about anything and everything the more I realise simply how much I do not know, and in reality can probably never know.

So I work on maintaining an open mind, I’m prepared to look at any and all evidence in relation everything in my life, I will form an opinion based on (as much or as little of) the evidence that I can access, and work hard to remember that the opinion (or belief if want to put it that way) is limited by a multitude of factors and should remain open to change based on interaction with new evidence as it emerges.

What Beliefs have you or are you willing to challenge?

I’d love to know what things in life have facilitated a change in your “beliefs”…… I’d love to know how they changed and what it meant to you………so lets discuss it below in the comments.

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