Struggling With Overthinking? Buddhists Have a Message That You Need to Hear

Problems. We all have them.
Some are small, others are big.
But whatever life is throwing our way, the one thing remains true:
We think about them. We think about solutions and worries, whether it’s productive or not.
However, sometimes this thinking can become so constant that it’s impossible to stop.
But if we want to take action in our lives and live in the moment, we need to learn to stop it.
The problem that we’ve all experienced, however, is that the harder we try to stop thinking, the more intense our thinking becomes.
So, what can we do?
According to Buddhism, it’s all about learning the art of acceptance and letting go.
Below we have some excellent advice from Buddhist Master Osho on how to cultivate a calm mind.

How to stop thinking

According to Osho, the first thing we need to realize is that thinking cannot be stopped. It only stops when the mind is left alone:
“THINKING cannot be stopped. Not that it does not stop, but it cannot be stopped. It stops of its own accord. This distinction has to be understood, otherwise you can go mad chasing your mind. No-mind does not arise by stopping thinking. When the thinking is no more, no-mind is. The very effort to stop will create more anxiety, it will create conflict, it will make you split. You will be in a constant turmoil within. This is not going to help.”
However, Osho admits that if you forcibly try to stop thinking, you may succeed. However, he warns that you won’t experience true stillness:
“And even if you succeed in stopping it forcibly for a few moments, it is not an achievement at all — because those few moments will be almost dead, they will not be alive. You may feel a sort of stillness, but not silence, because a forced stillness is not silence. Underneath it, deep in the unconscious, the repressed mind goes on working. So, there is no way to stop the mind. But the mind stops — that is certain. It stops of its own accord.”
Instead, Osho says that it’s far more fruitful to learn the art of acceptance and simply watch the mind work:
“Watch — don’t try to stop. There is no need to do any action against the mind. In the first place, who will do it? It will be mind fighting mind itself. You will divide your mind into two; one that is trying to boss over — the top-dog — trying to kill the other part of itself, which is absurd. It is a foolish game. It can drive you crazy. Don’t try to stop the mind or the thinking — just watch it, allow it. Allow it total freedom. Let it run as fast as it wants. You don’t try in any way to control it. You just be a witness. It is beautiful!”
Osho goes to say that overtime, you’ll begin to create a gap between the observer and the mind, which is he poetically calls “a taste of Zen”.
“The deeper your watchfulness becomes, the deeper your awareness becomes, and gaps start arising, intervals. One thought goes and another has not come, and there is a gap. One cloud has passed, another is coming and there is a gap. In those gaps, for the first time you will have glimpses of no-mind, you will have the taste of no-mind. Call it taste of Zen, or Tao, or Yoga. In those small intervals, suddenly the sky is clear and the sun is shining. Suddenly the world is full of mystery because all barriers are dropped. The screen on your eyes is no more there.”
Through non-attached witnessing, Osho says that eventually this will give you more control over the mind.
“Non-attached witnessing is the way to stop it without any effort to stop it. And when you start enjoying those blissful moments, your capacity to retain them for longer periods arises. Finally, eventually, one day, you become master. Then when you want to think, you think; if thought is needed, you use it; if thought is not needed, you allow it to rest. Not that mind is simply no more there: mind is there, but you can use it or not use it. Now it is your decision. Just like legs: if you want to run you use them; if you don’t want to run you simply rest — legs are there.”
So, what techniques can we use to quieten the mind? Firstly, Osho warns against drugs:
“The modern mind is in much hurry. It wants instant methods for stopping the mind. Hence, drugs have appeal. Mm? — you can force the mind to stop by using chemicals, drugs, but again you are being violent with the mechanism. It is not good. It is destructive. In this way you are not going to become a master. You may be able to stop the mind through the drugs, but then drugs will become your master — you are not going to become the master. You have simply changed your bosses, and you have changed for the worse.”
Instead, Osho says that using a technique like meditation is the correct way to control the mind, because you’re simply sitting their and watching the mind, without fighting against it.
“Meditation is not an effort against the mind. It is a way of understanding the mind. It is a very loving way of witnessing the mind — but, of course, one has to be very patient. This mind that you are carrying in your head has arisen over centuries, millennia. Your small mind carries the whole experience of humanity — and not only of humanity: of animals, of birds, of plants, of rocks. You have passed through all those experiences.
All that has happened up to now has happened in you also. In a very small nutshell, you carry the whole experience of existence. That’s what your mind is. In fact, to say it is yours is not right: it is collective; it belongs to us all.”
Originally published on Hack Spirit.

8 Positive Comebacks For Dealing With Negative People

You probably know someone who is chronically negative. It might be a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or even your boss. This person is constantly complaining, playing the victim, and walking around surrounded by negative energy. Dealing with a negative person without letting them bring you down can be tricky. Next time you find yourself attempting to fight off their negative energy, try one of these eight positive comebacks.

1 – “I Hope You Feel Better Soon.”This response usually catches a negative person off-guard. It’s your way of showing concern, without apologizing for their situation or having to agree with their negativity. They may silently walk away or thank you for showing concern. Either way, it can be used to discretely end the negative conversation.

2 – “Try To Focus On The Positive.”

While negative people aren’t typically looking for advice, this phrase can help you point out their negativity without sounding too harsh. Advising them to focus on the positive may help them see how negative they’ve been lately. Whether they take your advice or not, it may help open their eyes a little.

3 – “Let Me Know If There Is Anything I Can Do To Help.”

A negative person is willing to tell you all about their problems, but they aren’t really looking for a solution. They instead want to vent, complain and try to make you feel sorry for them. When you ask if there’s anything you can do to help, chances are they’ll say no, because they aren’t looking for a solution. But it might catch them off-guard long enough for you to excuse yourself.

4 – “Don’t Allow Yourself To Dwell Too Much.”

This phrase is similar to “Try to focus on the positive.” You’re essentially telling a negative person that they’ve been dwelling on their problems, without coming out and saying it. Hopefully, they’ll take your advice and try to move on. If they choose not to, you’ve still given them something to think about.

5 – “People See Your Negativity, And It Brings Them Down.”

This phrase may be a little more to the point than others, so it should be used carefully. If the negative person is a boss or co-worker that you don’t know very well, it might not be the best idea. If the negative person is a close friend, this phrase may be the best way to get through to them. Try to use a kind and helpful tone, instead of a confrontational one.

6 – “Plan Something Relaxing This Weekend!”

If a negative person is going on and on about their problems and how stressed out they are, this phrase can be used to break up the complaining. Instead of letting them bring you down, tell them that they seem in desperate need of a stress-reliever! You can even offer suggestions.

7 – “Smiling Has A Way Of Changing Our Mood!”

This phrase might not go over well on everyone, but some are sure to crack a smile. It may sound corny, but trying to get a negative person to smile can bring a little positivity to a negative situation. It might come off as annoying, or it might just make their day.

8 – “You’re Loved And Cared For.”

If you simply can’t get through to a negative person, reminding them that they’re loved may be the only thing you can do. You’re letting them know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. Whatever has them down, there are people around who care enough to help.
source and credit: davidwolfe

40 Powerful Alan Watts Quotes

On Love

“The first thing to discover is what indeed you do love, and you will find there is something.”
“Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.”
“Love is not something that is a sort of rare commodity, everybody has it.”

On Emotions

“This is one of the peculiar problems of our culture, that we are terrified of our feelings.”
“We have frustration because we are fighting the changing of things.”
“Most problems that are solved in a rush are solved in the wrong way, especially emotional problems between people.”
“There are no wrong feelings.”

On Perception

“This whole world is a phantasmagoria, an amazing illusion.”
“Things and events have only a verbal reality.”
“The world is precisely the relationship between the world and its witnesses, and so if there are no eyes in this world, the sun doesn’t make any light, nor do the stars.”
“If you don’t remember anything you don’t know you’re there.”
“We notice only what we think noteworthy, and therefore our visions highly selective.”
“Memory creates the future as well as the past, you wouldn’t know that you were going to have anything happen tomorrow if you didn’t have something yesterday.”
“There is nothing except the eternal now.”

On Life and Death

“The meaning of being alive is just being alive.”
“Dying should be one of the great events of life.”

On the Universe

“Everything that happens, everything that I have ever done, everything that anybody else have ever done is part of a harmonious design, that there is no error at all.”
“You and I are as much continuous with the universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
“Everything in this universe depends on everything else.”
“Through our eyes, the universe perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

On Balance

“Everybody has to be salted by a certain unrespectability.”
“To be implies not to be.”
“All insides have outsides.”
“You can only be on the in in relation to something that is out.”
“The positive cannot exist without the negative.”

On Art and Creativity

“Creative people can stimulate creativity in others, by osmosis.”
“An artist is a person who performs certain things skillfully, but doesn’t really know how he does it. You learn art by methods that you don’t know how you learnt, you can’t describe, because your brain is capable of absorbing all kinds of information that is much too subtle to be translated into words.”

On Choice and Misguidedness

“We have been literally hypnotized by social convention into feeling and sensing that we exist only inside our skins.”
“Choice is not a form of freedom in the sense of the word; choice is the act of hesitation that occurs before making a decision.”
“Every manifestation of life is impermanent. Our quest to make things permanent, to straighten everything out, to get it fixed is an impossible and insoluble problem.”

On You

“My image of me is not at all your image of me.”
“That, you see is the most difficult thing to do, is to accept oneself completely.”
“You have all eternity through which to live in various forms.”
“You are the animate sensitive being on the inside of the skin.”
“The ego is your symbol of yourself, just as the word ‘water’ is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid reality. So the idea of the ego, the role you play, who you are is not the same as your living organism. Your ego has absolutely nothing to do with the way you color your eyes, shape your body, circulate your blood, that’s the real you, but its certainly not your ego.”
“[Our ego] is composed of our image of ourselves, as when we say to somebody, you must improve your image. Now, this image of ourselves is obviously not ourselves any more than the idea of a tree is a tree.”
“A lot of the current quest for identity among younger people is a search for an acceptable image.”
“Our image of ourselves is completely inaccurate and incomplete.”
“All people feel themselves in the middle, they feel central to their own experience.”

“The physical body is the body as examined by others; the subtle body is the way you feel yourself.”

The Five Buddhist Mindfulness Trainings Editorial by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the five mindfulness trainings is to cultivate the insight of inter-being, or right view, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future

1.Reverence For Life

I am committed to cultivating the insight of inter-being and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to overcome violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.
2.True Happiness

I am committed to practising generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting.I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am committed to practising Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.
3.True Love

I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, i am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. Practising true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.
4.Loving Speech and Deep Listening

I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.
5.Nourishment and Healing

I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and society by practising mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how i consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate inter-being and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

source: speakingtree

10 Benefits Of Loughter

Live longer
According to some recent research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, elderly optimistic people, those who expected good things to happen (rather than bad things), were less likely to die than pessimists. In fact, among the 65-85 year-old study participants, those who were most optimistic were 55 percent less likely to die from all causes than the most pessimistic people.
Boosts Your Immune System
Researchers have found that laughter actually boosts the immune system, increasing the number of antibody-producing T cells. This then makes us less likely to get coughs and colds. It also lowers the levels of at least four hormones that are associated with stress, so after a good giggle you should be far less tense and anxious.
Relieves Pain
A good chortle has been found to reduce pain. Not only does it distract you from aches, but it releases feelgood endorphin into your system that are more powerful than the same amount of morphine. A British study shows how just 15 minutes of laughter can increase pain tolerance by around 10 percent as a result of endorphins being released in the brain. These endorphins cause something akin to a natural “high”, leading to pleasant feelings of calm, as well as temporary pain-relief.
Reduces Depression
Laughter has long been known to help people who are suffering from the either SAD or full-blown depression. Laughing reduces tension and stress, and lowers anxiety and irritation, which are all major factors that contribute to the blues. In a study published in Geriatrics and Gerontology International, it was found that laughter therapy reduced depression in elderly patients by inducing an feeling of well-being and improving their social interactions.
Boosts Your Relationship
If you’re looking to find a new partner, then laughter will help you find a new mate. Men love women who laugh in their presence and women actually laugh 125% more than men. And if you’re already with someone, then a shared sense of humour is an important factor in keeping your relationship running smoothly.
Social Benefits
Laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you laugh more. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can diminish their stress levels, and possibly improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!
The more you laugh with others, the more likely you are to be remembered for the positive energy and feelings you bring. Even intimate relationships improve with laughter, leading to more happiness and joyful relations.
Internal Workout
Have you had a good belly laugh lately? A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart. Laughing 100 times is the equivalent to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike.
Improves Your Breathing
Laugh more and more, because laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect – similar to deep breathing. This is especially helpful for people who are suffering from respiratory ailments, such as asthma.
Helps You Lose Weight
Laughter is a very good physical exercise too. Burning off calories by laughing might not sound as if it has much use, but a hearty chuckle raises the heart rate and speeds up the metabolism. If you’re dieting, think about adding laughter to your exercise regime. A good sitcom might easily keep you laughing for 20 minutes or more.
Protects the Heart
People who laugh a lot on a regular basis have lower blood pressure than the average person. When people have a good laugh, the blood pressure increases at first, but then it decreases to levels below normal. Your heart is a muscle and, like any muscle in your body, it gets stronger and functions better when exercised. Regular laughter is like getting a gym membership for your heart. Laughter has been found to benefit the way blood flows around the body, reducing the likelihood of heart disease. The research said that 15 minutes of laughter a day is as important for your heart as 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.


10 Lessons From Dalai Lama That Will Change Your Life

It is not often that Oprah Winfrey is lost for words! Yet this was exactly what happened when she asked the Dalai Lama a very pertinent question, which is recounted in the book by Victor Chan entitled The Wisdom of Forgiveness.
She asked him, “Have you ever had to forgive yourself for something?” His Holiness replied, “My attitude towards mosquitoes is not very favorable, not very peaceful. Bed bugs also.”
Oprah was astounded that there was nothing else to be forgiven for in a life spanning 78 years.  Forgiveness and compassion for all living creatures are the two pillars of the Dalai Lama’s teachings. Let’s discover together how his teachings will change your life.

1. Be compassionate.

“The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.”
Dalai Lama
Research now shows that when you are compassionate, you experience a similar feeling of pleasure as when you have sex, good food or a relaxing holiday. Basically, showing compassion is good for your health. Take compassionate action and get the “giver’s high.” Benefits are reduced stress, more regular heart beat and improved immune system.
You can show compassion by understanding the person’s feelings and emotions. That means talking to them and trying to share what they are going through. It is more demanding than a mere act of kindness. If you are compassionate, you are going to get emotionally involved. You also ask what help is needed. You could apply this to:
  • A friend who is ill
  • Someone who has lost their job
  • A relative who has been bereaved
  • Someone going through a separation
  • A homeless person

2.  Be kind and help others.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
Dalai Lama
Being kind and generous costs little and the benefits you gain in happiness are considerable. That was the conclusion that Michael Norton and colleagues at the Harvard Business School came to, after doing some very interesting research. The volunteers who gave away some money were happier than those who had spent it on themselves.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
Dalai Lama

3. Find happiness.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”
Dalai Lama
In the rat race, the one thing you really want at the end of the day is the capacity to find happiness.
When he was interviewed about this, the Dalai Lama said that we are bombarded with messages about material possessions. There are very few messages about forgiving, being compassionate, patient, tolerant, and kind. You really have to give those values top priority in order to be happy.
“Happiness is not ready made—it comes from our own actions.”
Dalai Lama

4. Discover inner peace.

The Dalai Lama advises everybody to spend a little time alone each day. Time to reflect and chase away the negative thoughts such as anger, resentment, jealousy, and tiredness. Try to replace those with positive emotions such as optimism, gratitude, love, and peace. He rightly says that the truly calm mind is the source of happiness and good health.

5. Do not harm others.

“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”
Dalai Lama
If you start telling lies, gossiping and spreading nasty rumors, bullying, and taking advantage of others, then the negative fallout from them will come back to haunt you. These are just a few of the actions that can harm others.

6. Nurture your friendships.

Friendships should never be undervalued. They need tender loving care because they can generate trust and affection. Real friendships will never depend on money or political clout.  It is a sad fact that neglected or stillborn friendships lead to loneliness. This is one of the risk factors which probably contributes to depression in our society.

7. Don’t let technology rule your life.

Did you know that the Dalai Lama has over 8 million followers on Twitter?  While he admires the advances in social media in helping us to communicate, he nevertheless warns against its overuse for the following reasons:
  • It can control your life—look at people in restaurants using their cell phones.
  • Who is in charge? You or the technology?
  • It is a poor substitute for real friendship.
  • It cannot help you to be compassionate.
  • Real human interaction will suffer.
“We are the controller of the technology. If we become a slave of technology, then that’s not good.”
Dalai Lama

 8. Don’t argue or fight; just negotiate.

“Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”
Dalai Lama
Whether it is an international crisis or an argument with your partner or boss, the key to a peaceful, non-violent outcome is dialogue. In this way, you learn the art of compromise and negotiation. His Holiness recommends that you should never bring up the past but concentrate on what is causing the present problem.

9. Be gentle with the earth.

In order to survive, we have a duty to preserve this planet as best we can. Learning how to recycle, looking at ways to create alternative energy, and learning about the current issues are all ways that can help to delay the tipping point.

 10. Learn from your failures.

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
Dalai Lama
When you screw up, it is important to examine what went wrong. Maybe you sad the wrong thing or maybe you haven’t thought the whole process through. Perhaps there was a problem in planning the project and maybe you did not think about worst-case scenarios. Reflection can help you learn every time you fail.
Could these ten lessons really change your life? Try to apply them to your life and work. You will soon discover that truth, honesty, warm-heartedness and compassion will be the driving forces in your life and will help you to gain real happiness.
Tell us in the comments what teachings or quotes from the Dalai Lama have inspired you and how they have changed your life. 
Featured photo credit: Dalai Lama/Kris Krug via Photo Pin
source: lifehack

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