Category Archives: Philosophy

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.

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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!

It’s all about balance

This post was made in a free verse stream of consciousness. I have not and will not edit anything from this post. Here it is warts and all. More like art than prose.

I was talking to a buddy today that is having issues with balance. He didn’t see them as balance, he was way to busy putting out fires and being overworked to see that. I am lucky that I am in a constantly in a situation where balance and my awareness of it is called into question on a constant basis. But few live in my sphere of influence, and I haven’t been here as long as you may think.

By reading this blog or hanging out with me on social media you may not know but I am a computer nerd. I am a decade and a half long GNU/Linux User, I was an Ambassador and Marketing Team Member of the Fedora Project, I have 3 servers in my home, I was the Director of a Hardware Co-Op (a place that takes unwanted computing equipment and refurbishes it for the underprivileged), I did 4 or so podcasts, I even travelled 13 hours by bus to go to a LinuxFest! That’s right I am a gigantic nerd. This made me very happy for a very long time, but it changed the way my brain worked.

Me at Fudcon Tempe
This is me at lunch at Fudcon Tempe

I remember during these years having arguments with my significant other (SO) about, why can’t you be logical! Why can’t you talk in a structured manner! Stories would meander like a hike in the woods, but what I wanted was a clear man page (man pages are like short Wikipedia articles on how to use a program in Linux) or technical documentation. My attention span was about 10 seconds. I needed popup notifications, and bells, and chimes, and flashing text, and, and I needed more input. Or so I thought.

When I started doing Kung-Fu that started to change. What I needed was movement, and fewer distractions, and accomplishments, and to constantly improve. Or so I thought.

Life is about balance. The Author Cory Doctorow once said “Engineers are all basically high-functioning autistics who have no idea how normal people do stuff.” (Eastern Standard Tribe, 2004) and I don’t disagree. All computer nerds have a certain level of  Social Retardation. It’s what happens when your passion keeps you from face to face social interaction.

Notice I said FACE TO FACE interaction. Facebook, reddit, IRC, forums, mailinglists, and Skype are not face to face interactions.

OK so all I need to do is hang out with people in meat space, right!?! Well yes and no. What you need to do is diversify who you are hanging out with. Remember when I said that Kung-Fu was the solution to everything but then it wasn’t? You can spend too much time with improvers too.  Not just Kung-Fu people but Financial Coaches, Health Experts, and Self Help Gurus. I didn’t really realize this until I dislocated my knee cap and tore my ACL. I was on the couch for a month while my insurance was sorted out.  So since I couldn’t get in to do Kung-Fu I figured I should check in with my old computer pals. I found out they were not evil people who kept you from getting exercise, kept you wanting to buy stuff, and weirdo automatons (ok some of them may actually be weirdo automatons). They are just people. It was technology or my friends that was the issue… the issue is balance. It’s all about balance.

I hear it often that you are an amalgamation of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I believe this.  So you need to pick this group carefully. Get 5 people on your “Social Team” that are from different groups. I do still think that negative people should still be if not avoided,  should have limited contact.  But yeah, consciously pick your Social Team, pick from as broad a population as you can.

I try to balance my time (whether face to face or in some type of media) between Comedians and Artists (they have spoken to my soul more than any preacher I have ever talked to) , Improvement People, Nerds (this includes Gun people, yes gun people are nerds), My SO (We influence each other greatly), and the people I grew up with (as long as they are not destructively negative).

So there you are, now shoot out your five love tendrals and attach to your Social Team, you know scratch that, you Social Tribe. Shoot out your five love tendrals and attach to your Social Tribe to create a vast symbiotic meta being. A Voltron of Love and Belonging. Strike fear and anguish into hatred and loneliness. Big Kiss, mwah!

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Hey did you know I have a mailinglist? It’s pretty awesome I have all kinds of tips and tricks in there to supercharge your full life upgrade.

go to https://kungfuwithwashu.com/join-the-team/ to sign up.

 

Elliot Sent Me an Email

Ok so the title is a little misleading. I’m on Elliot Hulse’s mailinglist an I got this email today, and it made me realize that I am the same way! I’ll let you read it and then I’ll jump back in.

Fine morning Kings and Queens ,

Whether you are aware of it or not, you are the Orderer
of your life.

Your thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams and action are like the
bulldozer and and cranes by which you build your life.

Making you the foreman, top contractor, conductor and KING of
your life.

No one can take that away from you.

No matter what your circumstances, YOU are in full control
of your thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams and actions…. therefore,
YOU are the creator of your experiences.

When we take full ownership for our experiences, no matter how
pleasing or painful, we begin to shape the world around us.

You are THAT powerful. 

Earlier this week we spoke about Love Languages, and how
we tend to love other people the way we ourselves like to be
loved. 

It reminds me of the fact that I DO NOT care so much for awards,
or physical gifts.

Not that there is anything wrong with giving and pursing love though gifts
and awards; I just happened to be a words-of-affirmation kinda guy.

I prefer to be told I’m doing a good job, rather than awarded
with gifts.

When I was in hot pursuit of Strongman trophies back in 2006-2010
I was racking up award after award, winning more and bigger shows.

Above is a picture with Tom Mitchell and I after winning my Pro-card
in 2010.

Tom was my first, and only, Strongman coach. 

What you may not notice in this picture is that I was far more pleased
and nurtured by Tom’s handshake and his soft but powerful affirmation,
“I am proud of you Elliott”  — rather than the trophy I’m holding.

In my hand is the biggest and most prestigious trophy I’ve ever
won in my four-year Strongman career, and it meant sh*t to me
compared to Tom’s kind words of affirmation
.

I have a question for those of you who are competing in the years
Strength Camp Challenge….

What are you most excited about?

* The thrill of the pursuit?

* Setting and achieving the goal?

* Cheering and excitement of the crowd?

* The $10,000 cash prize?

* Or just a warm pat on your back, accompanied by the words “I am
proud of you”?

It’s a good idea to know what our real motives are, so when we
reach our goal — we can rest, enjoy and be at piece in it… 

Rather than feeling empty, jipped or ripped off.

Remember, you are the creator of your life… so its up to you to be
clear about what makes you feel good, and what is just an empty
award.

Today, most of my Strongman trophies and awards are stowed away
in a box somewhere.

But Tom’s words-of-affirmation still reverberate in my ears and heart.

Just a heads-up…

The entry fee for The Strength Camp Challenge is going up pretty
soon. 

So, if you are still thinking about joining us and competing for the
cash prize and a pat on the back 😉 — then be sure to click here and
register ASAP.

Those of you who plan on joining us as a spectator, to meet me and
about 10 other YouTube celebrities— PLUS our massive after-party,
you can get all the info here too.

Bless up,
E Hulse 

Wow I am the same way! Getting awards and trophies really don’t mean that much to me. I am actually equal parts embarrassed and proud when people ask about them. Just the title of this email warmed my heart. Is Elliot truly proud of me? I doubt it he doesn’t even know me, but I do represent the type of person he is proud of.

We don’t need to seek individual praise for what we are doing. Realize when someone is praising a group that you belong to that… THEY ARE ALSO TALKING ABOUT YOU!!! If you say something nice about my kwoon (Kung-Fu school) about a member of my team at Team Beachbody, or any of the people I teach. You are also saying something nice about me.

OK time to go, big kiss other equal parts of the larger meta being! Mwah!

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Hey did you know I have a mailinglist? It’s pretty awesome I have all kinds of tips and tricks in there to supercharge your full life upgrade.

go to https://kungfuwithwashu.com/join-the-team/ to sign up.

5 simple ways to improve your intimate relationships – with this overlooked Success Principle

Today we have a great guest post from Jack Canfield Creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® books.

5 simple ways to improve your intimate relationships – with this overlooked Success Principle

Intimate relationships are one of the greatest – if not THE greatest – sources of joy in life.

But creating and maintaining a successful relationship takes time and energy – and growing it to the point of true intimacy takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable.

With so many different things competing for our attention these days, it’s all too easy to find excuses not to put in the effort needed to grow and maintain the relationships we need to thrive.

And so we find ourselves in a world where too many relationships fall apart before they’ve reached their true potential.

Lovers drift apart because they’ve never developed the deep sense of connection required to overcome the stumbling blocks that occur in every relationship. Partners share a bed but not a life. Spouses sit side by side on the sofa but never share their deepest thoughts and feelings with each other – then wake up one day to discover that the person sleeping beside them is a stranger.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can easily grow and maintain healthy intimate relationships using one of my simplest yet most effective Success Principles: goal-setting.

Planning and foresight are sexy

Goal-setting is one of the most powerful Success Principles – yet I see few people using it within the context of creating healthy intimate relationships. Which is crazy, because if you set a concrete, achievable goal for yourself, you are far more likely to achieve it – no matter what that goal happens to be.

A study conducted by David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, showed that Americans who write down their goals and reviewed them regularly earned nine times more over the course of their lifetimes than those who didn’t set goals.

This particular study focused on financial achievement, but the power of goal setting can be applied in every area of your life, including your intimate relationships.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to use the power of goal-setting to enjoy deeper, more authentic relationships with your loved ones:

1. Get specific about what you want

Vague goals produce vague results. It’s not enough to say that you want to “spend more quality time together.”

To achieve real results, you want to be specific and state your goal in a way that you and anybody else could measure it. Get clear on what you’re going to do – how much or many actions – and by when.

For example:

“I will take my spouse out for dinner once a month and schedule one evening a week to hang out together without any TV or screens, so we can spend more time talking and enjoying each other’s company.”

“We will set aside two hours for a heart talk next Saturday so we can discuss the things that have been bothering us and gain a deeper, more sympathetic understanding of how the other person feels. At the end of the talk we will each commit to taking 3 actions to make our life together more enjoyable for both of us.”

By saying what you’re going to do – and when you’re going to do it by – you make it possible to determine how well you’ve managed to reach your goal.

2. Write it down in detail

Once you’ve gotten clear on what actions you’d like to take to improve your intimate relationship, write them down in detail. Be sure to include the outcome you hope to achieve through your actions, so you can visualize what your life will be like once you accomplish your goal.

For example:

“I will take my spouse out for dinner once a month and schedule one evening a week to hang out together without any TV or screens, so we can spend more time talking and enjoying each other’s company. We will share deep, soul-baring conversations that help us create a united vision of what our dream future will look like – and our increased intimacy and sense of partnership will greatly enrich all areas of our life together.”

The better able you’re able to identify what you truly want, the easier it will be for you to work toward it – and achieve it. The universe will conspire to help you!

3. Set goals that make you uncomfortable

It’s good to have a goal that makes you feel a little uncomfortable. Why? Because your ultimate goal (beyond your relationship goals) should be to grow as a person and become a master at life. To do this, you need to stretch your horizons – and learn new skills, expand your vision of what’s possible, and overcome whatever fears and roadblocks are standing in your way.

In the process, you’ll build the confidence, wisdom, and self-esteem you need to open yourself more fully to your significant other and achieve a deeper level of intimacy that will enrich your life.

4. Reread your goals 2-3 times a day

Once you’ve written down your relationship goals, review your list two or three times every day.

Take the time to really focus on each goal. Read the list (out loud with passion and enthusiasm if you are in an appropriate place) one goal at a time. Close your eyes and picture each goal as if it were already accomplished – then take a few more seconds to feel what you would feel if you had already accomplished each goal.

By following this daily discipline of success, you’ll activate the creative power of your subconscious mind. Your brain will want to close the gap between your current reality and the vision of your goal – and that will increase your motivation, stimulate your creativity, and heighten your awareness of opportunities that will help you achieve your goal.

5. Get ready to confront some fears and roadblocks

When you set your relationship goals, you’ll probably find yourself confronting some long-standing fears and roadblocks.

For example, maybe you set the goal of spending more quality time with your spouse. Then you realize that means saying “no” to your boss when he asks you to work overtime on the evenings and weekends – and you worry about the impact this will have on your career.

Maybe you worry that opening yourself up to your spouse or partner will leave you vulnerable to rejection – or that if you ask for the truth, you’re not going to like what you get.

It’s important to remember that there is always a solution to any obstacle – you just have to look for it.

If you want to spend more time with your family but still need to put in a certain amount of hours at the office, ask your boss if you can come in a couple of hours early on weekdays so you can make sure to get your evenings and weekends off.

If your attempts to connect at a deeper level are met with initial rejection, be patient – your spouse or partner may need time to face their own fears or roadblocks before being able to meet you halfway. Even if you discover that all your worst fears about the relationship are real, at least now you have the opportunity to move forward in truth and integrity to solve the problem together or let each other go – and open yourself to the opportunity of entering into relationship with someone else who better meets your needs.

And don’t forget, all these potential setbacks are part of the goal-setting process – both in your relationships and in all other areas of your life. If these challenges don’t appear, it means you haven’t set a goal that’s big enough to stretch you and grow you – and there’s no real potential for self-development.

The effort and risk are more than worth it

Cultivating an authentic intimate connection with another person is one of the most profoundly enriching experiences life has to offer. But you can’t expect such relationships to just fall into your lap. You have to take action and make them happen.

Goal-setting is one of the best possible ways to do that. With just a bit of planning and foresight, you can enjoy deeper, more fulfilling intimate relationships that will make all areas of your life so much sweeter.

Have you ever used goal-setting as a relationship tool? Or is there another Success Principle you’ve used to improve your intimate relationships? Tell us about it in the comments!

Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: http://www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

My Promise as a Coach and Teacher

I promise to never knowingly make you feel bad about who you are, how you look, what you think, or what your dreams are.  As the weather warms up there are a lot of people out there body shaming (mostly) women (but sometimes men are also body shamed) into buying product A or diet X. This is not what I’m about.

I couldn’t have said it better myself… oh wait I did 🙂

I live by the Platinum Rule. If I ever in anyway make you feel less than AWESOME please let me know. I would like the opportunity to apologize and build you back up.

So there you are interconnected, co-dependently arising, manifestations of the divine multiverse! Your move!

Mwah, Namaste!

We Manifest Our Own Heavens and Hells

If you are what you eat, you must also be what you think, feel, and say. Much like the way you can choose a new diet you can choose to change your outlook on life. The Buddhists have laid this idea out in a cool way but first we have to understand some things.

We live in a continual repetitive cycle of birth and death called Samsara. Samsara consists of 6 realms. These six realms are typically divided into three higher realms and three lower realms: the three higher realms are the realms of the gods, demi-gods, and humans; the three lower realms are the realms of the animals, hungry ghosts and hell beings. These realms can be described briefly as follows:

  • God realm: the gods lead long and enjoyable lives full of pleasure and abundance, but they spend their lives pursuing meaningless distractions and never think to practice the dharma. When death comes to them, they are completely unprepared; without realizing it, they have completely exhausted their good karma (which was the cause for being reborn in the god realm) and they suffer through being reborn in the lower realms.
  • Demi-god (Titan) realm: the demi-gods or Titans have pleasure and abundance almost as much as the gods, but they spend their time fighting among themselves or making war on the gods. When they make war on the gods, they always lose, since the gods are much more powerful. The demi-gods suffer from constant fighting and jealousy, and from being killed and wounded in their wars with each other and with the gods.
  • Human realm: humans suffer from hunger, thirst, heat, cold, separation from friends, being attacked by enemies, not getting what they want, and getting what they don’t want. They also suffer from the general sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death. Yet the human realm is considered to be the most suitable realm for practicing the dharma, because humans are not completely distracted by pleasure (like the gods or demi-gods) or by pain and suffering (like the beings in the lower realms). Among the six realms, the human realm is considered to offer the best opportunity to practice the dharma, thereby offering the best chance to attain liberation from samsara.
  • Animal realm: wild animals suffer from being attacked, eaten, and raped by other animals; they generally lead lives of constant fear. Domestic animals suffer from being exploited by humans; for example, they are slaughtered for food, overworked, abused, and so on.
  • Hungry ghost realm: hungry ghosts suffer from extreme hunger and thirst. They wander constantly in search of food and drink, only to be miserably frustrated any time they come close to actually getting what they want. For example, they see a stream of pure, clear water in the distance, but by the time they get there the stream has dried up. Hungry ghosts have huge bellies and long thin necks. On the rare occasions that they do manage to find something to eat or drink, the food or water burns their neck as it goes down to their belly, causing them intense agony.
  • Hell realm: hell beings endure unimaginable suffering for eons of time. There are actually eighteen different types of hells, each inflicting a different kind of torment. In the hot hells, beings suffer from unbearable heat and continual torments of various kinds. In the cold hells, beings suffer from unbearable cold and other torments.

These are explanations that come from Buddhist cosmology, but we also have these realms inside of us, and through our thoughts, feelings, and actions manifest these in our real world. Noah Levine has done a great talk about this at the Against the Stream Buddhist Mediation Society, which he happened to podcast. I won’t try and cover the same material I would much rather have you get it straight from the source, but I do have some things to say about it.

These realms manifest in us in different situations, here are some (but not all possible) examples:

  • The God realm manifests in us when we are smug and feel that we are above others.
  • The Titan realm manifests in us when we bully, gossip, or slander others
  • The Human realm is where we are when we are not causing trouble
  • The Animal realm manifests in us when we are inhumane, lustful, or violent.
  • The Hungry Ghost realm manifests in us when we, as Mick Jagger said, “Can’t get no… satisfaction”. Never enough food, never enough to drink, never fast enough internet, never enough Iron Man action figures.
  • The Hell realms manifest in us when we are not mindful about our suffering and we let it take control of us. Depression, Mental Illness, and Chronic Pain are hells.

Now that we understand Samsara let’s look at what causes the problem. There are Four Nobel Truths that point out the fundamental issue.

  1. Dukkha: all temporary things and states are unsatisfying;
  2. The start of dukkha: yet we crave and cling to these things and states; thereby, we’re continuously reborn;
  3. The end of dukkha: if we stop craving and clinging, we won’t be reborn;
  4. How to end dukkha: by following the Noble Eightfold Path, namely behaving decently, not acting on impulses, and practicing mindfulness and meditation.

Wait what!?! There is a way out!?! Buddhists (and many non-buddhists) believe so. The Nobel Eightfold Path is the prescription that Siddhartha Guatama gave about 2600 years ago. The Eightfold Path can be broken down into three major sections.

  • Wisdom
  • Ethical Conduct
  • Concentration

Wisdom

Wisdom” (prajñā / paññā), sometimes translated as “discernment”  provides the sense of direction with its conceptual understanding of reality. There are two pieces in the wisdom category, Right View, and Right Intention.

Right View

Right View is seeing through and getting rid of illusions. Seeing the world, situations, and yourself in a honest and real way.

Right intention

Right intention can also be known as “right thought”, “right resolve”, “right conception”, “right aspiration” or “the exertion of our own will to change”

Ethical conduct

For the mind to be unified in concentration, it is necessary to refrain from unwholesome deeds of body and speech to prevent the faculties of bodily action and speech from becoming tools of the defilements.

Right speech

Right speech deals with the way in which aone would best make use of their words. In the Pali Canon, it is explained this way:

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Right Action

Right action can also be translated as “right conduct”. As such, the practitioner should train oneself to be morally upright in one’s activities, not acting in ways that would be corrupt or bring harm to oneself or to others. In the Chinese and Pali Canon, it is explained as:

And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, from stealing, and from illicit sex [or sexual misconduct]. This is called right action.

 Right Livelihood

Right livelihood. This means that practitioners ought not to engage in trades or occupations which, either directly or indirectly, result in harm for other living beings. Think of it this way, if you are a vegetarian you might not want to be a butcher.

Concentration

Concentration (“samadhi”) is achieved through concentrating the attention on a single meditation object. This brings the calm and collectedness needed to develop true wisdom by direct experience.

Right effort

Right effort can also be translated as “right endeavor” or “right diligence”. In this factor, the practitioners should make a persisting effort to abandon all the wrong and harmful thoughts, words, and deeds. The practitioner should instead be persisting in giving rise to what would be good and useful to themselves and others in their thoughts, words, and deeds, without a thought for the difficulty or weariness involved.

The  four phases of right effort are:

  1. Prevent the unwholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
  2. Let go of the unwholesome that has arisen in oneself.
  3. Bring up the wholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
  4. Maintain the wholesome that has arisen in oneself.

Right mindfulness

Right mindfulness, also translated as “right memory”, “right awareness” or “right attention”. Here, practitioners should constantly keep their minds alert to phenomena that affect the body and mind. They should be mindful and deliberate, making sure not to act or speak due to inattention or forgetfulness.

Right concentration

Right concentration is also known as right meditation. There a many ways to do meditation. If there is interest I can do a post on that, or a web search would give you more information than you could ever process.

Much of this was taken from Wikipedia so that I could have the most concise way of putting it. Much of this is difficult to explain as it is learned through experience, but I didn’t disagree with their explanations.

Hopefully this will help you live a more harmonious life!

Namaste!

File Bankruptcy on your Past

I was talking to student last night who asked “Do you ever think about about the past, and think if only I had done this and that?” To which I replied “I did, but I try not to now”. This is something I have worked hard perfect over the last 10 years. In the last 2 years things came to a head and I received insight from several places. Both my Sifu (teacher/father) and my Sigong (teacher/grand father) have talked extensively about “controlling your inner triad” and I have also gained a lot of insight from many of the dharma practitioners that have written books and discuss this sort of thing online. Somewhere this all combined with my own crazy dharma to come to this. Filing bankruptcy on your past.

First we have to understand something. There is no time, but the present. The future may never come, and you can’t prove that the past ever existed. I have read that when you look at someones brain in an MRI machine dreaming and remembering trigger the same parts of the brain. So essentially you are making up your past. I often ask people to prove to me that the past happened. I usually pick something really easy to argue, like World War II. Ok prove it. People will often say that it is in a history book, and I reply that Harry Potter is also a book. So we have stories of the past, not really a past.

So now that we have established that the past is mental construct we can now file bankruptcy on it. All bankruptcy allows you to do is not pay old bills. So let’s stop paying our old emotional bills. This doesn’t make everything go away. Just like in a financial bankruptcy it doesn’t fix your credit, it just gets out for under your crushing debt.

In this method, Karma is your credit. Just because you file bankruptcy on your past it does not mean that you are now exempt from the consequences of your past. But now all you have to do is clean up your karmic credit. Focus on things like:

Benevolence / kindness
Righteousness / honesty
Loyalty
Wisdom
Courage
Discipline
Trust / Trustworthiness
Protocol / Principles

Do you find this helpful, would you like to discuss this? Comment below!!

Namaste!