This is a powerful mediation. Had me crying on the mat

I have recently been struggling with metta for myself. For those who don’t speak Buddhist/Dharma Lingo (henceforth to be known as Dhlingo) metta is Pali word meaning roughly “loving-kindness”. I have a history of negative self talk and general feelings of being ashamed of being who I am.  This meditation hit me hard. I wasn’t just crying but sobbing on the mat and I now feel like a weight has been lifted off of my heart. Thank you Kristin Neff for this lovely gift.  https://insighttimer.com/kristinneff/guided-meditations/loving-kindness-with-self-compassion?_branch_match_id=571007114219682540

Class discussion 6/7/2016

In class I gave you guys this poem during class:

The essence of mind
Is formless;
This itself is the subtle
Body of reality.
The essence of mind is
Inherently empty;
This itself is the infinite
Body of space.

— Ta-chu, Tang Dynasty Chan Master

Here is my current understanding of the poem

The essence of mind
Is formless;

The mind is not by nature orderly and constricted with the boundaries we put on it

This itself is the subtle
Body of reality.

Reality is like our mind limitless but also chaotic (chaos is not always a bad thing)

The essence of mind is
Inherently empty;

Without the artificial boundaries that we create the mind is clear and floating along happily

This itself is the infinite
Body of space.

Because of the body/mind connection that which is true of our mind is true with out body and vicea versa. An example, The splits are not an impossible task. Anyone’s body can do the splits but we are limited by the idea that it hurts. This does not mean that you should force yourself into the splits today because “pain isn’t real” that will cause a horrific injury. What I do mean though is not to claim that you will never be able to do it because it hurts. Over time you can work through smaller pain events to get to the ultimate goal.

What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Gassho _/|\_ ,

Washu

How to set goals

I started writing a series of articles on small goal setting and making todo lists, but I realized many of us have no idea how to set goals. There are a lot of things in life that we are expected to do but no one showed us how to do it. Goal setting is one of these. I didn’t even realize how much I had to learn about goal setting until I read this article from Psychology Today by Dr. Will Meek Ph.D.

Doc Meek sites John Norcross is a researcher that has been studying goals and change for many years, and defines a goal as a) identifying something that you want and b) are willing to stick with a course of action to achieve. Doc says

This is different from a “value,” because a value is something we find important, but does not have a specific course that we are committed to. For example, you can value being healthy and make some choices that are in line with that, but a goal related to health would be to “lose 10 pounds by December 31st.”

To start with he has some questions to ask yourself about your life:

In the big picture, what do you hope to experience and accomplish? In what ways do you want to improve your mental and physical health? What bad habits do you want to change? What relationships patterns do you want to improve? What skills do you want to learn? What other things have you been thinking about changing?

Wow those are some heavy and necessary questions. Your answers may change as your expectations and experience grow. Make sure the answers are first about you and not someone else. Then make sure they are realistic, achievable, worded positively, and lastly make sure that they are specific. Wanting to be “happier” or “a better person” is great but hard to achieve because of how vague they are.

Now that you have your goals you need an Action Plan!

You have your goal statements but now what are you going to do with them:

1.You need a way to measure them

2.set a time frame you want to achieve the goal in

3.list what you are already doing that is already on that path

4.what are the next logical steps to achive your goal

5.what new skills or information do you need to achieve your goals

6.where can you get support?

One place you can get support is right here! Click here to see membership options. Members will be getting some follow up information on The Art and Science of Making Todo Lists and Eating an Elephant One bite at a time: The Power of setting small goals.

The Primitivation of Problems

When I think about my problems they can become huge and unmanageable. Which can lead to inaction and depression. I often ask myself “How would people have dealt with this in the past?” or “If there was a full scale societal collapse how would I deal with this?”

Sometimes this allows me to put my problems in perspective. Society is a great thing. It gives us safety, stability, and more wealth than our ancestors could have ever dreamed of. It also puts a little too close and creates exceptions on how one should live. We are all up in everyone’s business.

I meet a lot of 20 and 30 somethings that are living at home with their parents, with grandparents or other “sub-optimal” living situation. These cats feel judged or believe they are judged even when no one has thought anything of it.

Don’t get me wrong everyone has an opinion, and they are entitled to it, but let’s look at it this way. You had been living in a shelter made of sticks and leaves for months. You have survived the cold, rain, maybe even snow. One day some guy walks by and says “Hey your shelter sucks you loser!” Are you going to be concerned that you aren’t considered cool in the eyes of some other dude? I doubt it, you are way too busy surviving to care about that dude.

Your real life is the same way. Don’t ever be ashamed of the way you are surviving. You are the one putting in the work. Anyone who comments on the way you are surviving has two options help or f*&k off.

Savage AF – WE ARE A HAPPINESS FACTORY!

The Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Psycology Today, and Washu (hey that’s me!) say that working out (especially cardio) can ease the symptoms of depression. How this works (I think) is that the increased heart rate causes your body to release endorphins which hang out in two receptors of your brain; the pleasure center and pain receptors. Ever been playing too rough an hurt a couple of hours from them or even the next day? Or in my case take a beating at a Martial Arts Tournament, anyway… That was all because of endorphins! It also could be Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression, and/or Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects. Either way you feel better about yourself and you are building that inner Savage.

The Mayo Clinic also says:

Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:

  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

If you would like some help getting an exercise routine together click on Join the tribe and sign up!

Finally meeting government recommendations for preparedness

Like most people who get involved in preparedness I went after the fun and cool parts of the checklist first. Credit Card sized survival tool, check. Tent, check. Weapons and ammo, check. Water filter, check. Solar battery charger, check. Enough food to last three days with a way to cook it if things get hairy? Well um… that’s not the fun stuff dude!

Until today that’s how I’ve been operating. I know, I know not smart, but after I trip to a big blue box store I am now I am meeting the Government’s basic suggestions on disaster preparedness. for a little over $60 I got 3 days worth of freeze dried food for 3 people and a 6 gallon water jug.

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Peep that Best by date

Storing this food is as easy as, DON’T OPEN THE BLOODY THING! The pail is sealed with the food, camp stove, and fuel ready to go. No reason to mess with it. Once opened the self life goes from 25 years to 5.

The water on the other had takes a little, and I mean little more work. You must clean the canister and add a little bleach to the water. A rough guide is 1 teaspoon per gallon, and it should be rotated every 6 months.

Is this everything I need? Nope. but it is a bloody good start. You can find more info at ready.gov and redcross.org

 

Harmony of Body, Mind, and Spirit to Tune Your Human Machine