Dissolving the Ego in Meditation

Ego

While the ego works tirelessly to feed itself, the soul can ‘be’ to embrace itself. Meditation is a great way to ‘let go’ of the world around you. Meditation is the practice of turning inwards to the force that lies within.
It is a tool that every human being has the ability to do, yet so few practice it. Why is that? It’s probably because the ego races the brain, and that most of peoples views of meditation are distorted.
The mind may interpret meditation as something that ‘weird people‘ do, or people who need ‘calming down‘, or ‘those who do not fit in’. You may have heard how people say “I’m too busy to meditate” or “I don’t need to meditate“. Firstly, there’s a quote by Ajahn Chah, that goes like this: “If you have time to breathe, you have time to meditate.“, which is completely true.
You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour“.
Believe it or not, meditation actually frees up more time for you because it enables you to see beyond your conditioning by using the contemplative eye, that is the eye of observation and awareness. It frees your mind to do plenty of other things. Your days will become more enjoyable. To respond to the second statement of “I don’t need to meditate“; meditation does not provide a need.
Meditation is the art of returning to your true-self. There is no need involved in this. Arguably, one could argue that it takes more strength to meditate than it does to lift heavy weights in the gym. After all, it must take willpower and resilience to ‘be still’, and observe the mind without judgement, in such a frantic world. Don’t confuse ‘being still’, with sitting still. Sitting still means doing nothing, whereas ‘being still’ implies the withdrawal and retreat to the center of your soul.
One more point that needs to be stressed is how the human brain perceives things. The mind cannot comprehend certain events or circumstances, so it will form its own picture, alienating those who do different things. This picture is generated on the basis of past events and experiences, all of which make up the ‘conditioned mind’.The ego in the mind makes people believe that some things in life should never be explored. This is a limitation. People are imprisoned by their thoughts. Nobody can tell you what meditation exactly is, nor what you will feel when doing it. You must do it yourself, before drawing a conclusion. If you cannot reach the peak of the mountain and see all of what surrounds you, then your opinion is invalid.
Eternal Peace
Ego destroys the present moment. How do you let go of ego? Well, the answer lies within. You simply don’t. Being aware of the ego automatically dampens it down, slowing its momentum, and eventually destroying it. You can manually shift the gears in your brain from automatic ‘doing’ mode to conscious ‘being’ mode. That being said, don’t over-think ego. Be still. Be aware. The ego will get bored.. And eventually leave too. I bet you have all heard of the phrase ‘a need for a need’? A hidden dissatisfaction of some sort. You ‘want’ something yet you are confused as to what you ‘want’. Maybe this dissatisfaction arises as a result of neglecting the soul?
Once the ego crumbles, your soul will be revealed. So what is the opposite of the ego? Peace. Wisdom. Love. Unity. All of these will arise. If you do not let go of ego, then life will be extremely difficult, and suffering may come (although that may be necessary for you to awaken to your true self). Realize that the present moment is all there ever is, even now, right now, this is a moment of your life that you should cherish. Smile! This realization will empower your inner being and nourish your soul with freedom and prosperity.
Letting go of ego, learning to ground yourself in the ‘here’ and ‘now’, and turning inwards to the deepest-most-inner-depths of your soul, will ultimately, lead to inner peace, and provide a great sense of worth. What a great revelation it is to know that the happiness you had been ‘wanting’ for so long, is actually inside of you. Start appreciating everything in life, even the moments that you think are ‘little’, and don’t take anything for granted. Discover your indwelling spirit that lies within.

Written by Sam Tabibzadeh

Source & Credit: thewayofmeditation.com.au

The Ten Commandments of Mindfulness

 
Image Credit:plant.kansastlink.com
1. Yearn not for a body free of disease and suffering, because without going through pain and illness, sundry desires are easily awakened.
        2. Wish not for a life free of mishaps and obstacles, because without them one tends to become arrogant and egotistical.

        3. Pray not for a quick shortcut regarding spiritual introspection, because without excruciating effort, one becomes small-minded. 

        4. Fear not the haunting disturbance of evil while accumulating spiritual strength, because without it one’s determination does not grow strong. 

        5. Hope not for easy success in one’s work, because without difficulties and failures, one tends to undervalue others and become overly proud. 

        6. Build not relationships on selfish gain, because a relationship based on profit has lost its genuine meaning.

        7. Look not for a universal consensus regarding one’s personal opinion, because complete adoption to a single opinion will render narrow mindedness.

        8. Expect not repayment or reward from others for one’s services, because calculation and expectations contradict true service.
        9. Engage not irrationally in profitable attractions, because jumping too quickly into temptation may well blind wisdom. 

        10. Stir not at being a victim of injustice, because eagerness to clarify reputation belongs to an ego too attached to let go. 



        These are the Buddha’s teachings:

        - Consider disease and suffering as medicines to the body

        - Regard mishaps as a means of self-liberation

        - Treat obstacles as enjoyable challenges

        - Greet haunting spirits as good companions

        - Consider difficulties as one of life’s enjoyments

        - Thank bad friends as helping you in self-adjustment

        - View dissents as friendly entertainment

        - See favors as merely unimportant sandals plentiful to discard.

        - Take disinterest from temptation as an honourable achievement.

        - Use injustice as an expedient door into spiritual perfection.
 



        To accept obstacles will bring wisdom, but to pray for wisdom will inevitably bring obstacles. It was within all such obstacles that The Thus Comes One became enlightened to the Ultimate Bodhi. He gladly instilled perfection to the Path of Enlightenment to all the people who wished to do harm to him, even with the great wickedness of Devadatta.

        Thus, do the difficulties faced in life not bring beneficial results? Can’t people’s destruction and damage to you bring support to your achievements? Today, because Buddhist practitioners dread to throw themselves into obstacles, when real obstacles finally come their way, they are too helpless to fend for themselves. The Absolute Dharma of nobility and superiority is therefore diminishing because of this pity. How regretful!  

5 Ways Buddha Taught To Maintain A Happy Life

Why the Buddha Kept Meditating

When I was a young monk, I wondered why the Buddha kept practising mindfulness and meditation even after he had already become a Buddha. Now I find the answer is plain enough to see. Happiness is impermanent, like everything else. In order for happiness to be extended and renewed, you have to learn how to feed your happiness. Nothing can survive without food, including happiness; your happiness can die if you don’t know how to nourish it. If you cut a flower but you don’t put it in some water, the flower will wilt in a few hours.
Even if happiness is already manifesting, we have to continue to nourish it. This is sometimes called conditioning, and it’s very important. We can condition our bodies and minds to happiness with the five practices of letting go, inviting positive seeds, mindfulness, concentration, 

1. LETTING GO

The first method of creating joy and happiness is to cast off, to leave behind. There is a kind of joy that comes from letting go. Many of us are bound to so many things. We believe these things are necessary for our survival, our security, and our happiness. But many of these things—or more precisely, our beliefs about their utter necessity—are really obstacles for our joy and happiness.
Sometimes you think that having a certain career, diploma, salary, house, or partner is crucial for your happiness. You think you can’t go on without it. Even when you have achieved that situation, or are with that person, you continue to suffer. At the same time, you’re still afraid that if you let go of that prize you’ve attained, it will be even worse; you will be even more miserable without the object you are clinging to. You can’t live with it, and you can’t live without it.
If you come to look deeply into your fearful attachment, you will realize that it is in fact the very obstacle to your joy and happiness. You have the capacity to let it go. Letting go takes a lot of courage sometimes. But once you let go, happiness comes very quickly. You won’t have to go around searching for it.
Imagine you’re a city dweller taking a weekend trip out to the countryside. If you live in a big metropolis, there’s a lot of noise, dust, pollution, and odors, but also a lot of opportunities and excitement. One day, a friend coaxes you into getting away for a couple of days. At first you may say, “I can’t. I have too much work. I might miss an important call.”
But finally he convinces you to leave, and an hour or two later, you find yourself in the countryside. You see open space. You see the sky, and you feel the breeze on your cheeks. Happiness is born from the fact that you could leave the city behind. If you hadn’t left, how could you experience that kind of joy? You needed to let go.

2. INVITING POSITIVE SEEDS

We each have many kinds of “seeds” lying deep in our consciousness. Those we water are the ones that sprout, come up into our awareness, and manifest outwardly.
Purpose of life
Painting By Murciano
So in our own consciousness there is hell, and there is also paradise. We are capable of being compassionate, understanding, and joyful. If we pay attention only to the negative things in us, especially the suffering of past hurts, we are wallowing in our sorrows and not getting any positive nourishment. We can practice appropriate attention, watering the wholesome qualities in us by touching the positive things that are always available inside and around us. That is good food for our mind.
One way of taking care of our suffering is to invite a seed of the opposite nature to come up. As nothing exists without its opposite, if you have a seed of arrogance, you have also a seed of compassion. Every one of us has a seed of compassion. If you practice mindfulness of compassion every day, the seed of compassion in you will become strong. You need only concentrate on it and it will come up as a powerful zone of energy.
Naturally, when compassion comes up, arrogance goes down. You don’t have to fight it or push it down. We can selectively water the good seeds and refrain from watering the negative seeds. This doesn’t mean we ignore our suffering; it just means that we allow the positive seeds that are naturally there to get attention and nourishment.

3. MINDFULNESS-BASED JOY

Mindfulness helps us not only to get in touch with suffering, so that we can embrace and transform it, but also to touch the wonders of life, including our own body. Then breathing in becomes a delight, and breathing out can also be a delight. You truly come to enjoy your breathing.
A few years ago, I had a virus in my lungs that made them bleed. I was spitting up blood. With lungs like that, it was difficult to breathe, and it was difficult to be happy while breathing. After treatment, my lungs healed and my breathing became much better. Now when I breathe, all I need to do is to remember the time when my lungs were infected with this virus. Then every breath I take becomes really delicious, really good.
When we practice mindful breathing or mindful walking, we bring our mind home to our body and we are established in the here and the now. We feel so lucky; we have so many conditions of happiness that are already available. Joy and happiness come right away. So mindfulness is a source of joy. Mindfulness is a source of happiness.
Mindfulness is an energy you can generate all day long through your practice. You can wash your dishes in mindfulness. You can cook your dinner in mindfulness. You can mop the floor in mindfulness. And with mindfulness you can touch the many conditions of happiness and joy that are already available. You are a real artist. You know how to create joy and happiness any time you want. This is the joy and the happiness born from mindfulness.

 4. CONCENTRATION

Concentration is born from mindfulness. Concentration has the power to break through, to burn away the afflictions that make you suffer and to allow joy and happiness to come in.
To stay in the present moment takes concentration. Worries and anxiety about the future are always there, ready to take us away. We can see them, acknowledge them, and use our concentration to return to the present moment.
When we have concentration, we have a lot of energy. We don’t get carried away by visions of past suffering or fears about the future. We dwell stably in the present moment so we can get in touch with the wonders of life, and generate joy and happiness.
Concentration is always concentration on something. If you focus on your breathing in a relaxed way, you are already cultivating an inner strength. When you come back to feel your breath, concentrate on your breathing with all your heart and mind. Concentration is not hard labor. You don’t have to strain yourself or make a huge effort. Happiness arises lightly and easily.

5. INSIGHT

With mindfulness, we recognize the tension in our body, and we want very much to release it, but sometimes we can’t. What we need is some insight.
Insight is seeing what is there. It is the clarity that can liberate us from afflictions such as jealousy or anger, and allow true happiness to come. Every one of us has insight, though we don’t always make use of it to increase our happiness.
buddhaloiu2We may know, for example, that something (a craving, or a grudge) is an obstacle for our happiness, that it brings us anxiety and fear. We know this thing is not worth the sleep we’re losing over it. But still we go on spending our time and energy obsessing about it. We’re like a fish who has been caught once before and knows there’s a hook inside the bait; if the fish makes use of that insight, he won’t bite, because he knows he’ll get caught by the hook.
Often, we just bite onto our craving or grudge, and let the hook take us. We get caught and attached to these situations that are not worthy of our concern. If mindfulness and concentration are there, then insight will be there and we can make use of it to swim away, free.
In springtime when there is a lot of pollen in the air, some of us have a hard time breathing due to allergies. Even when we aren’t trying to run five miles and we just want to sit or lie down, we can’t breathe very well. So in wintertime, when there’s no pollen, instead of complaining about the cold, we can remember how in April or May we couldn’t go out at all. Now our lungs are clear, we can take a brisk walk outside and we can breathe very well. We consciously call up our experience of the past to help ourselves treasure the good things we are having right now.
In the past we probably did suffer from one thing or another. It may even have felt like a kind of hell. If we remember that suffering, not letting ourselves get carried away by it, we can use it to remind ourselves, “How lucky I am right now. I’m not in that situation. I can be happy”—that is insight; and in that moment, our joy, and our happiness can grow very quickly.
The essence of our practice can be described as transforming suffering into happiness. It’s not a complicated practice, but it requires us to cultivate mindfulness, concentration, and insight.
It requires first of all that we come home to ourselves, that we make peace with our suffering, treating it tenderly, and looking deeply at the roots of our pain. It requires that we let go of useless, unnecessary sufferings and take a closer look at our idea of happiness.
Finally, it requires that we nourish happiness daily, with acknowledgement, understanding, and compassion for ourselves and for those around us. We offer these practices to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to the larger community. This is the art of suffering and the art of happiness. With each breath, we ease suffering and generate joy. With each step, the flower of insight blooms.

Written by Thich Nhat Hanh


10 Ultimate Life Lessons From Buddha

The Timeless Wisdom of Buddha

Still so relevant today is the wisdom Buddha taught 2,500 years ago. Buddha taught how to live an ethical life, calm your mind and experience the deepest spiritual peace. His teachings have spread all over the world into nearly every country and his message is said to be timeless and universal.
Timeless because it does not depend on culture or the time in history and universal because as long as you are a human being with a mind you can benefit from following his wisdom. One of Buddha’s main messages was kindness and compassion to all sentient beings. His teachings were his offering to the world to help all sentient beings live a happy life and transcend the ordinary suffering that comes with living.
1. Its Okay to Start Small
“A jug fills drop by drop.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every artist was once an amateur.”We all start small, do not despise small beginnings. If you’re consistent, and if you’re patient, you will succeed! No one succeeds over night; success belongs to those who are willing to start small and patiently work until their jug is filled.
2. Thoughts Become Things
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” James Allen said, “Man is mind.”
In order to live rightly, you must fill your mind with “right” thoughts.
Your thinking determines your actions; your actions determine your outcome. Right thinking will grant you everything you desire; wrong thinking is a vice that will eventually destroy you.
If you change your thinking you will change your life. Buddha said, “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

3. Forgive
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
When you release those who you are holding captive in the prison of un-forgiveness, it is you who is released from prison. You can’t keep someone down, without staying down with them. Learn to forgive, learn to forgive quickly.

4. It’s Your Actions That Count
“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”
They say “Talk is cheap,” because it is. To progress you must act; to progress quickly, you must act daily. Greatness will not fall upon you!
Greatness is for everyone, but only those who are willing to act consistently will experience it. There’s a proverb that goes, “God gives every bird a worm, but he doesn’t throw it into their nest.” To be great you must act great. Buddha said, “I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

5. Seek to Understand
“In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”
Stephen Covey said, “Seek to understand first, then to be understood.” Easily said, very difficult to do; you must labor to understand the “other” person’s perspective. When you feel anger rising, let it cease. Listen to others, understand their perspective, and you will have more peace. Be more concerned with being happy, than being right.

6. Conquer Yourself
“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
He who can conquer himself is greater than the mighty. To conquer yourself you must conquer your mind. You must control your thinking. Your thoughts cannot be tossed to and fro like the waves of the sea. You may be thinking, “I can’t control my thoughts, if a thought comes, it comes.” To that I say, you may not be able to stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can certainly stop him from building a nest in your hair. Dismiss thoughts that are contrary to the life you desire to live. Buddha said, “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe that lures him to evil ways.”

7. Live in Peace
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
Don’t look without for something that can only be found within. Many times we may look without only to distract ourselves from the reality we know is true. That reality is that peace can only be found within. Peace is not a new job, peace is not a new car, or a new spouse….peace is a new perspective, and that new perspective begins with you.

8. Be Thankful
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
There’s always something to be thankful for. Don’t be so pessimistic that for a moment, even a split moment, you fail to realize the thousands of things you have to be thankful for. Everyone didn’t wake up this morning; some people went to sleep last night for the last time. There’s always something to be grateful for, recognize it, and give thanks. A grateful heart will make you great!

9. Be True to What You Know
“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
We know a lot, but we don’t always do what we know. If you fail, it won’t be because you didn’t know; it will be because you didn’t do what you knew to do. Work to do what you know to do. Don’t just consume information, but ponder on thoughts that are conducive to what you desire to become until you have a burning desire to manifest it.

10. Travel Well
“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”
Life is about the journey! I’m not trying to arrive, I’m already there. I am happy, and content, and satisfied where I am today. I may experience nicer places, and finer wines, but I am travelling well. Don’t put off your happiness into some nebulous time in the future based on some goal that you think will bring you happiness. Travel well today, enjoy the journey.

Buddha’s 6 Tools For Overcoming Suffering


              Buddha’s Key

There are very few certainties in life.
But one thing you can be absolutely certain of- you will have challenges and problems, no matter what.
And when those problems come, you’ll only have two choices in how you react: positively or negatively.
Buddha understood this aspect of human nature and taught that there were 6 key areas for development in order to overcome these difficulties.

Replacing Bad Habits

If you’re trying to start a new habit, like an exercise routine or overcoming an addiction of any type, there can be times when you need to resist the urge to fall back on bad habits.
And while this is very important, it’s really only part of the solution.
Giving up a bad habit is very hard! That’s why Buddha recommends everyone replace a bad habit with a good one.
If you stop smoking, you could start painting. If you stop eating junk food, you could start eating health food. Or if you are going to stop hanging out in nightclubs and getting drunk, you could start going to yoga and drinking raw juice.
It’s very important that you consciously look for a healthy, sustainable replacement to bad habits, because if you don’t you may end up with a worse habit in its place.

Stop Over Consuming

Consumption works both ways; you could be over consuming or under consuming.
You could be eating too much or not enough. You could be not drinking enough water or be drinking too soda. You could be buying too much stuff that you don’t need or you could be depriving yourself from the things that you do need.
This is why the concept of balance is so important! You have to know when to consume more or less of certain things in order to overcome life’s challenges.
This goes hand in hand with self-knowledge; because when you learn more about your needs as a human being you get more of an understanding of how much you need and when you need it.
Excess is the greatest threat to happiness.

Patience/Persistence

You can’t always have what you want when you want it!
This is not a bad thing though; just imagine everything you set out to do was completed straight away. You would have nothing to aim for, no goals.
If you have something big that you want in your life you will have to be patient and you will also need to be persistent.
This is to teach us the lesson of enjoying the journey.
Be patient and persistent and the world will open to you!

Avoiding Unnecessary Conflict and Temptation

The spiritual path isn’t always about pushing headlong into every conflict and challenge. Sometimes the art of avoiding conflict is more important.
For instance, if your friends are going to a fast food restaurant and you just started a new diet, don’t go with them. If someone at work acts negatively and always leaves you feeling down avoid them.
Some things in life will need to be confronted, but sometimes the best way to deal with a problem is to just avoid or ignore it.

Remove Obstacles

Your life is your responsibility and when certain things have a constant negative impact on you, you will have to make a decision: am I going to accept this or remove it and move on?
This can be especially hard when it’s a relationship.
But it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself!

Learn to Say No

Unfortunately, lots of people go into adulthood without knowing what they want or what they stand for. This is why the lifestyle they’ve always wanted alludes them.
This is also why boundaries are one of the most important things we can have for ourselves; they give us the life we want to be living.
We all have the same amount of time during the day, but some people struggle with getting basic chores done, while others excel running a fortune 500 company.
Both are totally fine choices- but to get those lives, you have to be willing to say no to things that might distract you.

Source & Credit:blog.sivanaspirit.com

10 Things to Remember When You’ve Lost Your Motivation


The biggest and most complex obstacle you’ll ever have to overcome is your mind.  If you can overcome that, you can overcome anything.


Have you ever lost your motivation?
I know exactly how you feel.
Many moons ago, there was a time when my motivation hit rock bottom.  I would look around and see others motivating themselves to do things simply by knowing that these things needed to be done.  But not me.  For me, motivation was an esoteric, intimidating game where I’d try to make myself do something while my mind simultaneously avoided doing it.  If I won, I’d have to do something I didn’t really want to do.  And if I lost, I’d be one step closer to ruining the rest of my entire life.  At least that’s how I felt.  And I never really knew whether I was going to win or lose until the very last minute.
Obviously, I was not being mindful.
The good news is, with daily practice, I’ve come a long way from those rock bottom days of haphazard motivation.
Nowadays, Angel and I coach students on a daily basis who are struggling to motivate themselves in various life situations.  And, fittingly, we guide them through many of the same proven strategies I’ve learned and practiced over the years to get my mindset and motivation from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs.
One of those strategies involves mindful daily reflection.
The truth is, motivation can be fleeting, which is why we need to positively recharge our mindset on a regular basis.  I was reminded of this a few minutes ago when I received an email from a new course student that opened with:
“I feel drained!  I’m stuck… with worry and overwhelm and frustration… and just a general lack of enthusiasm!  Any advice?  What should I reflect on or try to remember when I’ve completely lost my motivation?”
Today, with our student’s permission, I’ve decided to answer this question publicly, because I know we all need these reminders sometimes.  Here are some key things I reflect on regularly to support my practice of nurturing a more mindful, motivated mindset…

  1. It’s not the weight that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.  You can use pain, frustration and inconvenience to motivate you rather than annoy you.  You are in control of the way you look at life.  Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negative thinking.
  2. You always have a choice.  Choose to be negative and you’ll find plenty of reasons to stop and frown.  Choose to be positive and you’ll find plenty of reasons to step forward and smile.  Truly, the most powerful weapon against stress and discouragement is our ability to choose one thought over another.  Train your mind to see the good in everything.
  3. One of the most rewarding and important moments in life is the moment you finally find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.  When you stop worrying and complaining about what you can’t control, you have more time to change the things you can control.  And that changes everything.
  4. It’s never in your best interests to share lots of time with people who constantly try to discourage you (even if they’re your family).  Because, if you’re the kind of person who believes there’s something out there for you beyond whatever it is you’re expected to do – if you want to be extraordinary – you can’t get there by shackling yourself to those who hold you back.  Instead, you will very likely become just as ordinary as they expect you to be.  And there’s absolutely no reason to do that to yourself.  
  5. Long-term success in life is a trifecta of ability, motivation, and attitude.  Ability is what you’re capable of doing every day.  Motivation determines what you actually do every day.  And attitude determines how well you ultimately do it.  Keep this in mind, and keep yourself in check.
  6. Sitting around worrying is a misuse of your incredible creative energy.  Instead of imagining the worst, imagine the best and how you can bring it about.
  7. It’s always better to be exhausted from meaningful work than to be tired of doing nothing.  Put in the effort and live the life you’ve imagined.  Wake up and remind yourself that you are what you do today, not what you say you’ll do someday.  Good things don’t come to those who wait – they come to those who work on meaningful goals.  When all is said and done, oftentimes more is said than done.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  The way to get going, and feel good about it, is to quit talking and begin doing.
  8. Imagine how much more effective and happy you’d be if, instead of dreading and fighting against certain tasks, you simply got them done.  Remember, the task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you.  Do what’s right, not what’s easy.  And when the task is a big one, do just a little bit of it every day.  Even the tiniest daily ritual changes everything in the long run.  
  9. Effort is never wasted, even when it leads to disappointing results.  For it always makes you stronger, more educated, and more experienced.  So when the going gets tough, be patient and keep going.  Just because you are struggling does NOT mean you are failing.  Every great success requires some kind of struggle to get there.
  10. The next step is always worth taking.  Seriously, no matter what happens, no matter how far you seem to be away from where you want to be, never stop believing that you will make it.  Have an unrelenting belief that things will work out, that the long road has a purpose, that the things you desire may not happen today, but they will happen.  Practice patience.  And remember that patience is not about waiting – it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard to make progress every day, and knowing that this journey is worth it
Source & Credit: www.marcandangel.com

Science Confirms A Controversial Teaching Of Buddhism: There Is No ‘You’

                                

It turns out the Buddhist concept of not-self, or anatta, is a verified scientific premise.
Since the rise in popularity of the Dalai Lama in the 1980’s, the study of Buddhism has fascinated neuroscientists.
This is because a team of scientists and the Tibetan leader came together and created Mind and Life Institute, which studied these effects in earnest. The science that came out of those first studies gave validation to what monks have known for years — if you train your mind, you can change your brain.
Buddha didn’t teach the confusing philosophy of anatta to lay people, for fear that it might get misconstrued. After all, the idea that we don’t have a ‘constant self’ is a little strange!
Evan Thompson, the scientist who verified the philosophy, said that “the brain and body is constantly in flux. There is nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”
So basically, to further elaborate on the concept of anatta: if you were to look at a video of yourself from the past, or something you wrote years ago, you’ll notice your interests, perspective, beliefs, attachments, relationships, et al, have all changed in some way. Anatta doesn’t mean there’s no you; it just means that you are constantly changing, constantly evolving, and shape-shifting.
So why is this important?
Because if there’s no constant ‘you’ then we don’t have to take things so personally; thoughts and external events aren’t happening to us personally. They don’t define us.
This can give us a tremendous sense of liberation because we can change ourselves however we see fit.
Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness,” Thompson said in an interview. “And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There’s nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”
So, if you’re down on your luck and feel like you haven’t been the kind of person you’d like to be, have no fear. You can change.

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