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10-4-15 Judgment to Compassion

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Judgment to Compassion

Judgment – The formation of an opinion based on evaluation.
A misfortune believed to be sent by God as punishment for a sin.
Compassion – A deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it.
When we judge we are determining that a situation or another’s behavior is correct or wrong. And we know this because WE have the capacity to know what is right.
We delude ourselves that when we limit reality by our definition of it, we keep everything under our control. Yet life is not for the purpose of controlling. Our insistence that life be as we determine it, even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, keeps us stuck defending beliefs that are neither helpful nor true. We enter the present moment with curiosity, openness and acceptance. We let go of our judgments and become enchanted and delighted, surprised and vibrantly alive. Jan Waterman

We are addicted to our thoughts and our craving to have things our way. This is a narrow view that constantly brings discontent. Most of us spend the day in constant contemplation of how we can help ourselves. This is a very strong and practiced behavior. First, as in all addictions, we need to be aware of our behavior, then to look at our behavior with discrimination and compassion to see if it is hindering us or cultivating a healthy life and relationship with the world. If it is hindering us, what will we do about it? Knowledge is essential but useless unless put into action. We can begin to change our behavior slowly but with determination to stay on the path.

We can judge ourselves as – not good enough, a poverty mentality, fearful. Or – Better than others, promoting ourselves, either with our achievements or with our special unique problems, which others really need to understand. This is a means of detachment, and is lonely.
When we judge others, we deepen and widen the distance between ourself and the other person, and the world.

In recovery we have learned to have an understanding and compassion for another’s struggle with an addiction, which for someone who is not an addict cannot comprehend. We need to continue to bring a sense of compassion for others and ourselves in ALL respects. Why would we not want to do this???
When we cease being aggressive towards our emotions, our judgments, just see them for what they are, accept that, and move forward in a fresh openness, compassion arises naturally and the chains of judgment begin falling away.
We will feel fear and a sense of loss, when we begin letting go of our judgments and replacing them with thoughts of compassion and understanding.
How could compassionate thoughts of others, ever replace all the constant thoughts I have about myself, and all the energy I use in judging others and myself. That is a full time job with mandatory overtime.

As you begin to trust and believe in yourself, you naturally have compassion for others, this is not a feeling sorry for. It is a basic, pervasive warmth. As you continue making friends with your self, compassion is the bridge to the OUTSIDE world, that will become a part of YOUR world, and you of it.
You are recharged by the energies you are in touch with. Compassion is not a matter of giving something to someone else, but of giving up your demands….. Compassion has nothing to do with achievement, only spaciousness, and generosity. Paraphrase – Sakyong

Whenever we are feeling a negative judgment about someone, we should ask instead – How are they feeling? This will bring us a freedom we have never known.
When we think of the other person, instead of coming from ME, we can feel an opening up of our minds and hearts, we can actually feel it. Try it, pay attention to any change.
If we have quit fighting anyone or anything, what is left after we have refused to fight anymore?
Refusing to fight is difficult! Being peaceful and compassionate takes more courage and discipline than any violence we have seen.
A blessing naturally occurs when we overcome our aggression.
Constantly wonder, How are they feeling?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –


4-26-15 Short-changing Myself

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Short-changing Myself

How often are we truly present for what is going on, responding openly and honestly to only what is presented to us at that time? Or how often are our responses controlled by another thought or emotion that has invaded or conditioned our minds, and our response and experience to the present situation is not a true one but is tainted by outside issues, otherwise known as ME? How often do I shortchange myself?

12 & 12 …We did not wish to have all our defects of character removed, because we still loved some of them too much.
The persistent use of meditation and prayer, we found, did open the channel so that where there had been a trickle, there was now a river…

There are difficulties in our lives that do need to be looked at and addressed. We most certainly may need to ask for help from outside entities of counseling and professional care.

What keeps us from having peace of mind and the ability to step openly and honestly into any situation that is presented to us NOW. Basically it is because we are consumed with thinking about ourselves. What happens when we are not thinking about ourselves, how often does this sense of presence that is not consumed with ourselves occur? First we have to be aware of what is going on in our heads and hearts, and then, if we have the tools, we can make a choice as to how we relate, or not, to what is actually happening, not just our version of reality.

The True Peace:?The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people, when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.? Black Elk, Oglala Sioux & Spiritual Leader (1863 – 1950)

Pema Chodron.
Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives. ———————————————————————-

Here we are looking at one aspect that is in respect to very simply being more present. Which means whatever the situation is we are aware of what our mental state is, of what is driving us, or when we are openly and honestly engaging fully in what is occurring? How do we become aware of what is happening, as opposed to blindly being led through our day by our fears, our distractions and desires? Rarely being able to relate to what is truly happening.

Meditation is one tool we can use to, become aware of how our minds work, to see our thoughts, and realize that they are not real, and that we can return to a peaceful gentle place within ourselves. That state is always available to us! With some mental discipline we can realize when we are indulging in our needy self, and then make a choice how we wish to relate to our experience.

If we are able to open up and relate in an honest and caring manner, we are rewarded with touching a place of peace that exists naturally within ourselves and being able to project that into the world. What we then do is not dwell on our experience but accept it and let it go, so that there is no grasping at a perceived GOOD thing, that will discolor our next moment of experience. Each moment of our experience is fresh and new, if we permit it to be.

If we are unable to open up and relate in an honest and caring manner, that we know we are indulging in our needy selfish self, what we then do, is not dwell on our experience but accept it and let it go, so that there is no distaste of a perceived BAD thing, that will discolor our next moment of experience. Each moment of our experience is fresh and new, if we permit it to be.

It can be difficult to not indulge in our distractions; they are something we have strong ties with. When we are able to let them go we may feel a lack of who we are, a craving, a need to pull our blanket back up over ourselves. If we persist in keeping an open mind and heart, we feel we are in a bit of a void, this is a good thing!
Two points to help on having a more peaceful open experience; One – Know that you are worthy of feeling peaceful. Two – Be aware of what you are feeling, ask yourself often, what am I feeling?

One third of my Recovery is dependent on what I Don’t Do – engage in my addiction.
Two thirds of my Recovery is dependent on what healthy aspects I DO engage in.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

2-1-15 Others

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Most of us know that if we eat our fruit and veggies, exercise often, and avoid smoking, we have a better chance of living longer and healthier lives. But your doctor may not have told you that regularly giving to others should perhaps be added to that healthy checklist. We are hard-wired for face-to-face contact that includes lots of touch, eye contact, and smiles. Such interactions release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps us to bond and care for others, and also helps us to handle stress better.
If you want to live forever, I can’t help you with that. But if you want to live a longer, happier, and healthier life, take all the usual precautions that your doctor recommends, and then … get out there and share your time with those who need it. That’s the caring cure.

We care for others as a natural part of who we are, but not to the point where we are harming ourselves, or enabling others in destructive behavior.
We do not try to fix others, only they can do that. If we find we keep trying to fix the world, we should recognize our behavior as harmful to ourselves and others.
Compassion can be gentle, or at times very difficult, direct and seemingly harsh. We need to learn to say no to our obsessions, and unhealthy requests or demands from others.
If we seem to be doing well, it is useful to extend our well-being to someone whom it may help, which enlarges our sense of well-being also. If we are emotionally engaged in a painful time, we can realize what is bringing us pain, work on letting go of our obsession, mainly by engaging in healthy activities for ourselves, AND getting out of ourselves to help someone else. This could be simply having a kind word for someone who is hurting.

“City people adjust to the constant demands of urban life by reducing their involvement with others,” the researcher concluded. But some people seem to be more other-oriented than others regardless of the situation. People who feel in control of what happens in their lives and who have little need for approval from others are the most likely to help others.
They have a positive view of people in general, they are concerned about others’ welfare and they take personal responsibility for how other people are doing.
“It’s difficult to lead a competitive, individualistic life”-as we’re raised to do in American society “without devaluing others to some extent,”.

I think it’s part of human nature to feel the impulse to ease the suffering of other living beings. When Eckhart Tolle woke up and realized that everything he had ever desired existed right here in the present moment. He suddenly knew he was valuable, worthy, and didn’t have to do anything to earn that grace. At some point, a pure impulse to share with others the bliss of what he was experiencing in the present moment motivated him to write The Power of Now, and A New Earth.

Within the family of recovery that I am connected with, I will not act to degrade anyone else, but act to support them and thus myself. In recovery meetings I may be inspired to have a greater awareness of the importance of being kind and patient with others, sharing my difficulties and solutions since that is what we have specifically gathered for. I then begin to take my elevated state of awareness into all aspects of my life. I learn to be responsible for my actions and that I am responsible for at least not doing harm to others. If I truly wish to grow and flourish in life, I begin to actively be mindful of how I might be helpful. In recovery we learn to move from isolation and selfishness,- being aggressive or fearful,- into a more open and aware mindset of others and their struggles. We are able to see “them” as nothing different from ourselves and we wish to act to help alleviate the pain.
We learn to act appropriately for the environment that we are in, and that we have an active role, a responsibility, in determining that it is a healthy environment.

The definition of love in Buddhism is: Wanting others to be happy.
The ordinary term of love is usually about attachment, more or less successful relationships and sex; all of which are rarely without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and the unselfish interest in others’ welfare.
“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.”

Our ordinary nature is what suffers, and we can deal with this by being mindful. We can stop and take a breath, we unite mind and body. We can touch into the hardened or inflamed part, the aggressive or fearful part that is suffering, with kindness and recognize that it is part of us that is causing suffering, We care about it and are ready to let it go, to transform it through our kindness to ourselves. Breathe into it, let it dissipate, and feel the spaciousness and ability to expand our consciousness to others occur.

Then he asked for the grace to bring love, forgiveness — and joy to every human being he could. That he might be able to find some of these treasures too — he would try to do so by what he called self-forgetting. — He thought it better to give comfort than to receive it, better to understand than to be understood, better to forgive than to be forgiven. – – – St. Francis Prayer

You can only find the peace within yourself, to the degree that you desire and work for bringing peace to others.

Always make an effort to be kind. Not manipulative – Kind.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

12-6-14 Forgiveness

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Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, more positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act.
Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?
When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused.
If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and
hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. You then are coming from, acting from a place of resentment, fear and anger, and you can not help hurting others and yourself. You bring anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience.

How do I reach a state of forgiveness?
Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and
situation have had in your life.
As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding. Mayo Clinic

Importantly, self-forgiveness need not be all-or-nothing. It’s a slow process that may never result in a full release of negative feelings or an exclusively rosy view of oneself. Rather than being a form of self-indulgence, healthy self-forgiveness might be better seen as an act of humility, an honest acknowledgment of our capacity for causing harm as well as our potential for doing good, that we all possess.

In a few instances someone may purposefully injure another. In most instances a perceived wrong, or the reason you have a resentment, is because another acted in a way you did not agree with, though they were doing what they thought was best. Your pride, your ego is what has been offended. If you can forgive them, then you deserve to be free of this evil, and you will be free.

If you try to reach inside of your heart you can find forgiveness, or at least the start,
And from that place where you can forgive is where Hope, and Love, also thrive and live.
And with each step that you try to take and with that chance that your heart might break,
comes so much happiness, and so much strength which alone can carry you a fantastic length.
For hate and anger will not get you there. Barry S. Maltese

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~Jean Paul Sartre

Realize that lack of forgiveness is rooted in a lack of boundaries.
This is the moment of choice: Are you going to decide that you won’t tolerate XYZ behavior.
The moment that you decide that you won’t tolerate the behaviors that lead you not to
forgive is the moment that things shift. The boundry of never denying forgiveness.
If your boss routinely puts you down, you don’t tell her off and that’s your “power.”
Rather, you decide that you won’t tolerate the put downs, you come up with a plan for how you’re going to handle it when they arise, and then you actually assert that boundary, while looking at her with pure love because you know that her put downs are causing her suffering.
To be above the fray, to give the situation space and not participate in furthing harm, is a choice we can continue to work with. Be aware, take a breath, do not engage.
When humans are unkind to one another, they’re not so very different than you. Many of us are just using different language and wearing nicer clothes.

Buddhists believe that to not forgive gives rise to suffering. It is taught that those who cannot let go of a real or imagined wrong against them are unable to free themselves from hate and that they will suffer because of this. Hatred can in turn lead to more widespread suffering, and in turn, more hatred. How can we feel compassion and love while we hold hatred in our hearts?

To forgive is to be compassionate. We need to recognize that all people are trying to be happy, sometimes in rather unskilled ways that can injure others, as we have probably done.
We need to feel compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and others, to know the suffering, to contemplate and feel it until it is unbearable, so that it shatters us a bit. To be able to touch into a higher level of awareness and openness that is raw and all encompassing.

Ever notice how we have to BLAME someone for almost everything. It is dark, hurtful and
disconnects us. It is a very old habit difficult to address, but one we can work with everyday.
There is a Buddhist saying – “Drive all blames into one” – yourself, take responsibility.
Then – Drop all blame. An amazing openness and connection is then possible.

To work directly with forgiveness in meditation –
Sit in Shamatha for a few minutes.
Touch –  the feeling of the tension, regret or resentment, the feeling it illicites in heart and/or body, where the feeling is. Let the story line go, just the feeling.
Positive Remorse – not guilt, but broken hearted quality that suffering has been caused.
No blame to self or other, just an acknowledgement of suffering occuring.
Vow – to not do it again, and to never give up (if /when you do it again).
Sit Shamatha.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

11-30-14 -Ambushed or Awareness

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Ambushed or Awareness

Ambushed – To attack from a conceailed or hidden position.
Awareness – To recognize and know, plainly and clearly. To have knowledge of.

12 and12 – …we have buried these … defects deep down in us under thick layers of self-justification. Whatever the defects, they have finally ambushed us into (addiction) and misery.
Essential is an awareness of what is causing our difficulties, to come to an understanding of what is causing our dis-ease. Only then can we begin to work with our difficulties, instead of being ambushed and bulldozed by them.
In my addiction I was aware that I was going downhill pretty fast, I did not really have a good idea what the deeper cause was, because as I over and over again tried using my addiction to make me happy, I only became more miserable. A part of the problem was needing to be happy or entertained all the time.
As I was able to address my addiction and get it under some control I realized that the cause of my needing to either escape or to get something beyond my addiction, was the cause of my unhappiness. I needed to calm myself and look at what was running me, what was – is, causing me unhappiness.
If we cling to (try to control) the flow of life, we can’t go with the flow; we can’t be aware. Then our awareness will disappear and we will get swallowed up once more in wishing and wanting, going and getting, joy and sorrow. Awareness, then, is about knowing what we know now for ourselves. It isn’t that difficult to become aware of what’s happening in our experience in the moment. We don’t have to be clever. But perhaps we feel it can’t be simple either because only great people can do that, not us, and we look for something more complicated to tackle.
The difficulty lies in the simplicity of what is necessary.
When we wish to work on a difficulty we experience, through our awareness we acknowledge what is causing tension, then we can bring that emotion to mind and, here is the hard part, just accept that that is what we are experiencing, a total acceptance without wishing to change it.
That may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but essentially, if you are fighting with something, quit fighting, and the war will be over. This involves a trust in our higher power, our basic goodness. A trust that the Sunlight of the Spirit will illuminate our way if we can get out of our own shadow, and rest in love and trust.
Learn to STOP and BREATH, when you are having a craving, including a THINKING craving or indulgence, or anytime you feel the need to calm yourself.
Energy itself is neutral; it is our attitude towards it that determines whether we are open (sane) or closed (confused). When we are simply and honestly open to our own energy, we experience ourselves as warm and clear. When we misuse our energy, grasping or avoiding, we feel confused and stuck. Being open or closed determines how we view ourselves and consequently the world.
Whatever you accept completely will take you to peace, including the acceptance that you cannot accept, that you are in resistance.

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell

I also need to be aware that there are other people in the world that are as confused as I am, and trying to be happy, often in muddling ways, even as I do. I need to realize I am completely connected to all these other people. The way that I see and act on that unconditional connection starts from how I view myself.

I know now that I do not have to be happy or entertained all the time. Life is an amazing mixture of so many things, some wonderful, some difficult. I can be present for all that life contains if I can keep it simple, be patient, have love and compassion for myself and others, not in a distant or abstract manner, but in my everyday actions and thoughts.
I will no longer be ambushed by parts of life I don’t know how to handle, and just try to cover the confusion up with superficial and harmful distractions. An unshakable foundation that will guide me well through all of life will occur when I have learned to exert my patience and persistance in being willing to truly know, feel and accept what is happening, and take responsibility.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

11-23-14 Surrender

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We practice surrender every time we allow God, as we understand God, Our higher power, the sunlight of the spirit, rather than our ego-driven desires, to guide our lives.
Albert Einstein – The most fundamental question we can ever ask ourselves is whether the universe we live in is friendly or hostile. When we live from the ego, seeking to impose our will on the world, we cannot help but see the universe as hostile. Everything appears to be in opposition to us and our desires. But when we surrender to the world, not allowing it to batter us but allowing ourselves to learn it’s currents and how to navigate them, we discover that the universe isn’t out to get us, but it isn’t out to protect us either. Rather, the world is what it is, and if we work in harmony with it the world can be a place of deep meaning and beauty.
This, of course, dosen’t mean we can avoid suffering or prevent others from suffering. It only means that even suffering can have meaning if it leads us to a deeper appreciation of reality.
This is the principle of surrender. “Recovery – the sacred art” – Rami Shapiro

Surrender may also be contrasted with Submission, (to unwillingly give in to the desires of another). Surrender is willful acceptance, and yielding to the truth and spiritual will.

If we function from primal instincts and unconscious habits-of-mind rather than from mindful awareness and non-judgment, we tend to respond to Other with forms of fear, anger, or avoidance.
It is Other which provides us with the resistance necessary for personal growth (Dalai Lama & Cutler, 1998) and it is the psychological geography where surrender, examination of beliefs, and transformation occur. In its simplest terms, Other is everything that we discern to be not-us and against which we have a resistant response.
Ego represents the illusion of one’s identity; surrender has to do with transcendence and liberation, not defeat; and the goal of development is renovation of one’s beliefs and is usually pursued deliberately.
There is a universal longing for the experience of surrender: a longing to know others and to be known by others. Both Eastern and Indigenous cultures understand the limits to intellectual and psychological knowledge and believe in the requirement to go beyond these limits to seek answers to the deep questions of life and the process of knowing self and other.
Basically, Western culture suggests that: Ego represents strength and is unconsciously reinforced through confrontational attitudes and behavior; surrender means defeat; and the goal of development is the accumulation of facts. Information seems to be revered over wisdom.
The more inviting definition of surrender appeals to its resilient nature, not its resistant nature. Resistance operates against growth or change and seeks to maintain the familiar, while surrender and resilience operate toward growth. Tiny Buddha.
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~Proverb

In control mode my vision gets very narrow and focused, my breath is shallow, adrenaline is pumping and my heart rate increases.
My mind shifts from topic to topic and from past to future very quickly, and I have little concentration, poor memory, and almost no present-moment awareness.
In surrender mode, I’m calm, peaceful. Breathing deeply, present in the moment. I see clearly and my vision extends out around me, allowing me to (literally) see the bigger picture.
So the great irony is that attempting to control things actually feels less in control. When I’m micro-managing and obsessing over details, I know I’m in my own way.

The Art of Surrender
Surrender literally means to stop fighting. Stop fighting with yourself. Stop fighting the universe and the natural flow of things. Stop resisting and pushing against reality.
It’s not about inaction. It’s about taking action from that place of surrender energy.
If letting go of control and surrendering not only feel better, but actually produce better results, how do we do that?
Sometimes it’s as easy as noticing that you’re in control mode and choosing to let go—consciously and deliberately shifting into surrender energy.
Would letting go feel like freedom? It almost always would. Let that feeling of freedom guide you toward loosening your grip. There is a peaceful, yet focused energy that accompanies holding the intention of what I want, but not forcing myself to do it. That energy is magic. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m allowing it to become a habit instead of making it a habit.

The Way is not in the sky. The Way is in the heart. The Buddha

Our Intellectual behavior of reinforcing SELF and our separation from the real world is a strongly engrained behavior. We need to recognize when we are rationalizing our control behavior, modifying our behavior to superficially satisfy our desire to connect spiritually. Kind of like saying – I am only going to engage in my addiction a little bit, and only 3 times a week. How well does that work?
It takes courage and practice to go beyond out intellect, and let go into the openness where so many more possibilities exist. Are you tired enough of fighting yet?

If you meditate in earnest, with a pure mind and kind deeds, leading a life with discipline and harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. If you meditate in earnest, and have
spiritual discipline, you can create an island for yourself that even floodwaters cannot overwhelm. The Dhammapada

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

11-16-14- Negative Thinking

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Negative Thinking

One of the most important things I can do, is to take an honest look at who I am and how my thinking affects me and others, and what I am able to do about it.
This is one of the places I can have “The courage to change the things I can”.
I need to recognize all that is in me that is not true, is harmful, made up, and false.
That which covers the Sunlight of the Spirit. The sun is always there, it is nothing to
attain or strive for, I just need to relax enough to let the clouds in front of it move on, since I am the only one who has put that darkness there, only I can dissolve it.
What keeps me from that warmth? Am I really so caught up in this relative world, the world of superficial and temporary pleasures and pain, that I cannot see or feel, have as my foundation, a greater spiritual connection that will help to naturally guide me in this world?

If you find you are comparing yourself to others that you see as having “more” than you, and you are making yourself feel BAD because you do not measure up, remember to also evenly compare yourself to others such as the mentally handicapped, the 4 year old with terminal cancer, and the sixteen year old girl disfigured in a fire.

You cannot notice life when you are focused on yourself.

1- ‘Life is shit’ Thinking pattern –Everything in life is bad, everybody is not to be trusted and nothing good will ever happen.
2 – ‘Should, would, could’ Thinking pattern – This type of person knows what they have to do to change their life, they are capable and they know it and they would do it if only………
3 – ‘It’s all my fault’ Thinking pattern – You see yourself as being the cause of everything bad that has happened.
4 – ‘They’re all wrong’ Thinking pattern – You see everyone as incapable of doing
anything right and your way is the best way to do it.

You are not on a journey towards the spiritual, you are on a journey WITH the spiritual.

Everybody’s view of the world is different and it all comes down to the thinking patterns you use in your daily life. If you think life is wonderful you will notice the wonderful things in your life, if you think life is shit you will find shit things about life. Change your thoughts and you literally change the world you are living in.
First you have to recognise your destructive thinking pattern.

Second is to be aware of when you are using the destructive thinking patterns If you seem to be in a constant funk, feel negative about yourself, you should look at your thinking patterns.

Third is to Change any negative or judgemental thinking.
Consider a greater view from the often destructive thinking. This takes time and
practice, our old patterns are literally grooved into our brains and behaviors. We can establish new grooves and behaviors, we can be very groovey.
When you feel that famaliar tightness, the grasping for, or the fear and avoidance of, STOP, take a breath and open your mind and heart and then decide. If you think about doing this “bettering behavior” and don’t do it 10 times, be OK and do it the next time.

Change your life with your new way of thinking.
People can change, do change and change for the rest of their lives. You will start to
notice new types of people and activities enter into your life who can help you reach the goals you have in life, and in turn you will help them reach their goals.

1. Stop comparing yourself to others.
The first step to releasing the hold envy has on your life is to turn away from what you see others have, good or bad in you judgment, and face the truth about yourself.

2. Stop Judging. Judgment, even self-imposed judgment, divides and conquers the soul into tiny squares designed to punish.I didn’t understand that good and bad are relative terms. Without them, things just are.
Once I stopped judging myself, I was able to accept where I was. It may not have been where I wanted to be, but I was no longer angry about it.

3. Start seeing things clearly.
With no one to blame, I was forced to accept responsibility for where I was and how I got there.
Without the veil of envy, without the mirrors of comparison, without the torture of
judgment, I saw the truth clearly: I was not where I wanted to be, because I was not who I needed to become.
See yourself clearly for the first time:  a wonderfully flawed human being with
passionate goals.

We always need to look at ourselves with compassion but we also need to take an honest and sometimes difficult look at ourselves. Compassion can be gentle, or at times very difficult, direct and seemingly harsh. But it will always engender healthy growth.

Meditation helps us to relax, perhaps find a broader perspective, an awareness of our thinking, and the ability to tame and focus our thoughts for benefit.
Awareness is an energy we can engage anytime, to see and know what we are doing and why, and to choose to engage in healthy growth and believe and trust in ourselves.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

10-26-14-Generosity or Idiot Compassion?

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Generosity or Idiot Compassion?

By Sharon Salzberg
The cultivation of generosity is the beginning of spiritual awakening. Generosity has tremendous force because it arises from an inner quality of letting go. Generosity is the beginning of the path. When the Buddha taught, he always began with generosity.

The Buddha said that a true spiritual life is not possible without a generous heart. Generosity is the very first parami, or quality of an awakened mind.

Think about what it’s like when the mind feels brittle, narrow, confined and dark. At that point, you feel on edge, uneasy, and you don’t like yourself very much. With all that going on, how easy is it to accept calmly a painful or difficult experience? How easy is it to be with the experience without judging it—to accept it as it is, to allow it to be there? It’s not very easy because of the narrowness of the mind that is receiving it. By contrast, a vast and spacious mind doesn’t feel so bound, contracted and self-denigrating.

Conversely, when a pleasant experience arises, we don’t lunge at it with desperation, because we don’t really need it. We don’t have that sense of needing it to feel good about ourselves.
The first aim of generosity is to free our minds from the conditioned forces that bind and limit us. Craving, clinging and attachment bring confinement and lack of self-esteem. If we’re always looking for some person or thing to complete us, we miss the degree to which we are complete in every moment. It’s a bit like leaning on a mirage only to find that it can’t hold us; there’s nothing there.

There’s a quotation from the Tao Te Ching that says, “One who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” It’s an inner sense. One of the great joys that comes from generosity is the understanding that no matter how much or how little we have by the world’s standards, if we know we have enough, we can always give something.

We also experience the third Brahma Vihara, sympathetic joy. That means we rejoice in the happiness of someone else rather than feeling what we can so easily feel—envy, jealousy and wanting them to be just a little bit less happy so we can feel a little more happy about our own state
We will develop a generosity of spirit so when painful states arise within us, like depression or anger or desire or jealousy, we can let them go. We are happier with their passing, so we allow them to follow their natural path of coming and going. We are not served or made happier by their staying.

If I were to ask you to think for the next few minutes about what you’ve really done well, when you’ve really been generous, and to appreciate yourself for having done that, it might be hard for you. It’s kind of embarrassing to sit and think about that. It’s so much easier to think about the time I almost gave something, but then I decided not to.
(We can almost revel in the un-kind things we have done, to feel sorry for ourselves. Be generous and compassionate towards yourself first, know you are not perfect, the same as everyone else, and feel generous towards yourself, which will permit you to be generous to others in a healthy manner.)

Pema: Idiot compassion is a great expression, which was actually coined by Trungpa Rinpoche. It refers to something we all do a lot of and call it compassion. In some ways, it’s whats called enabling. It’s the general tendency to give people what they want because you can’t bear to see them suffering. Basically, you’re not giving them what they need. You’re trying to get away from your feeling of I can’t bear to see them suffering. In other words, you’re doing it for yourself. You’re not really doing it for them.

When you get clear on this kind of thing, setting good boundaries and so forth, you know that if someone is violent, for instance, and is being violent towards you —to use that as the example— it’s not the compassionate thing to keep allowing that to happen, allowing someone to keep being able to feed their violence and their aggression. So of course, they’re going to freak out and be extremely upset. And it will be quite difficult for you to go through the process of actually leaving the situation. But that’s the compassionate thing to do.
They will certainly not thank you for it, and they will certainly not be glad. They’ll go through a lot. But if there’s any chance for them to wake up or start to work on their side of the problem, their abusive behavior or whatever it might be, that’s the only chance, is for you to actually draw the line and get out of there.

We all know a lot of stories of people who had to hit that kind of bottom, where the people that they loved stopped giving them the wrong kind of compassion and just walked out. Then sometimes that wakes a person up and they start to do what they need to do.
In my addiction I had little compassion for others or myself, and not much I can think of that I did had any sense of generosity to it. I was caught up in amazingly selfish behavior and in amazing ways to rationalize it. It takes time for me to realize the need to let go of those selfish things I held so dearly that were killing me and harming others. I now practice generosity, in a very imperfect manner, but I am learning, and most importantly, I want to and will, continue to move forward. That is a choice I make, and with the help of others we will all continue growing.
Very importantly I have learned that the generosity and compassion I feel and show, must be in balance between myself and others, as in reality there is no difference.
I aspire to love others as I love myself, I aspire to love myself as I love others.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

Contemplation on an emotion

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Contemplation of an Emotion:

You can use this technique when a difficult emotion has arisen and is knocking you around, or you can choose to bring up an emotion you want to work with that has been problematic in the past.

By recognizing our difficulties and engaging them in a positive healthy manner, we begin to naturally make healthier choices. We Do have to make the effort!   

When contemplating an emotion, sit with the experience only as long as you are able to.

Do not let it become overwhelming.

If it is too much – let it go, return to peaceful abiding meditation.

Some emotions we may need to work with a little bit at a time.


Sit in shamatha (peaceful abiding) meditation for a few minutes.

Bring to mind a thought or emotion that is troubling you.

Bring to mind a person or situation that causes your discomfort.

Let the emotion increase, feel the physical sensation of the emotion in your body.

Now let go of the thought of the person or situation that causes your discomfort,

and focus only on what energy, what physical feeling has arisen.

Notice where the feeling is located in your body.

Let what you are feeling be your experience.

Now turn into – look at, from an outside, non-judgmental state, that emotional energy,

Look directly at the energy of that feeling, with an absence of any attachment or engagement; just see it from a place of vast, clear awareness.

Now include the energy of that emotion into the vast, expansive, clarity of your awareness. Permit the emotion expand into that vast calmness, and gently dissolve, like mist in the morning sun.

Gently rest in your clear awareness.

Short – 3 Breath – version of calming.

1-Breathe– Breathe in deeply: I Am Present.

2-Breathe  – Breathe in deeply: I Am Calm.

3-Breathe – Breathe in deeply: I am Open.

Let your open presence remain, smile, and continue with life.


The “Short version” is to merely calm ourselves, to bring our focus back to the present moment, which can be used anytime. Notice when you are feeling agitated, and remember the 3-breath technique. Notice if your ego, does not want to calm down, it would prefer to stay agitated. You can include this resistance in the calming breaths. Choice is Always an option.


“Contemplation of an Emotion” is going further into investigating, and working directly with an emotion, and seeing, one, that we do have a choice of how we relate to our emotions and, two, that the emotion is not who we are, it is a transitory experience, and we can choose to return to a fuller, more open awareness of life.   

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