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.

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

Thinking About SUICIDE?

                               Death Doesn’t End The Suffering

People who contemplate of committing suicide may think that suicide is the only way that can take away all the pain and end their suffering. But in Buddhism, death is only the beginning of another cycle of pain and suffering for others and yourself. According to the Buddhist teaching of the Four Noble Truths – life is full of dissatisfactions. All the stages of life - birth, ageing, sickness, death - all the ways of being, wanting and striving are conditions of suffering. However, the Buddha also taught that the end to a dissatisfactory life is possible with the Noble Eightfold Path.
    
The Buddha also taught us to realise the impermanence and insubstantiality of both life and death. Everything changes constantly. Nothing stays the same. Rain might come after sunshine, but so does sunshine comes after rain. In the realisation that people (their personalities, interests and attitudes) and life situations are unfixed and constantly changing, it becomes possible to approach each moment with an open mind. One is then able to react and adapt to new situations without clinging to outdated and inconsequential conceptions.
     
We can live more in the present without hanging on to the past or worrying about the future since each phenomenon arises depending on causes and conditions that are coming into being. In Buddhism, the mind is also seen as the root of all good and all evil, the cause of both suffering and True Happiness. It regards the mind as the primary factor that determines the well-being of each person. Through meditation and counselling, the perception of reality for those with persistent negative-thinking can be adjusted. This will enable them to better cope with the unexpected changes of life.
Buddhism’s perspective to suicide
"If one knows how to treasure oneself, one should protect oneself well."
-The Buddha (Dhammapada)
"According to the Buddhist teaching of cause and effect, since one does not realise the truth of all phenomena, or does not practise to be liberated from life and death, suicide is pointless. When one's karmic retribution is not exhausted, death by suicide only leads to another cycle of rebirth. This is why Buddhists do not support suicide; and instead, encourage constructive living, using this life to diligently practise good, thus changing the present and the future for the better."
-Chan Master Sheng Yen
"Some people commit suicide; they seem to think that there is suffering simply because there is the human life, and that by cutting off the life there will be nothing... But, according to the Buddhist viewpoint, that's not the case; your consciousness will continue. Even if you take your own life, this life, you will have to take another body that again will be the basis of suffering. If you really want to get rid of all your suffering, all the difficulties you experience in your life, you have to get rid of the fundamental cause (greed, hatred and delusion) that gives rise to the aggregates that are the basis of all suffering. Killing yourself isn't going to solve your problems."
-His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
"Taking one's own life under any circumstances is morally and spiritually wrong. Taking one's own life owing to frustration or disappointment only causes greater suffering. Suicide is a cowardly way to end one's problems of life. A person cannot commit suicide if his mind is pure and tranquil. If one leaves this world with a confused and frustrated mind, it is most unlikely that he would be born again in a better condition. Suicide is an unwholesome or unskilful act since it is encouraged by a mind filled with greed, hatred and delusion. Those who commit suicide have not learnt how to face their problems, how to face the facts of life, and how to use their mind in a proper manner. Such people have not been able to understand the nature of life and worldly conditions."
-Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda
"This human body and life is difficult to attain but is now attained. The Buddha's teachings are difficult to encounter but are now encountered. If we do not use this precious body to help ourselves, till when shall we wait to save ourselves?"
-Buddhist Saying 

source: truehappiness

The Buddha's Advice To A Couple

I. THE WIFE

     In advising women about their role in married life, the Buddha appreciated that the peace and harmony of a home rested largely on a woman. His advice was realistic and practical when he explained a good number of day-to-day characteristics which a woman should or should not cultivate. On diverse occasions, the Buddha counseled that a wife should:
  • a) not harbor evil thoughts against her husband;

  • b) not be cruel, harsh or domineering;

  • c) not be spendthrift but should be economical and live within her means;

  • d) guard and save her husband's hard-earned earnings and property;

  • e) always be attentive and chaste in mind and action;

  • f) be faithful and harbor no thought of any adulterous acts;

  • g) be refined in speech and polite in action;

  • h) be kind, industrious and hardworking;

  • i) be thoughtful and compassionate towards her husband, and her attitude should equate that of a mother's love and concern for the protection of her only son;

  • j) be modest and respectful;

  • k) be cool, calm and understanding — serving not only as a wife but also as a friend and advisor when the need arises.

     In the days of the Buddha, other religious teachers also spoke on the duties and obligations of a wife towards her husband — stressing particularly on the duty of a wife bearing an off-spring for the husband, rendering faithful service and providing conjugal happiness.
     Some communities are very particular about having a son in the family. They believe that a son is necessary to perform their funeral rites so that their after-life will be a good one. The failure to get a son from the first wife, gives a man the liberty to have another wife in order to get a son. Buddhism does not support this belief.
     According to what the Buddha taught about the law of Karma, one is responsible for one's own action and its consequences. Whether a son or a daughter is born is determined not by a father or mother but the karma of the child. And the well-being of a father or grandfather does not depend upon the action of the son or grandson. Each is responsible for his own actions. So, it is wrong for men to blame their wives or for a man to feel inadequate when a son is not born. Such Enlightened Teachings help to correct the views of many people and naturally reduce the anxiety of women who are unable to produce sons to perform the "rites of the ancestors."
     Although the duties of a wife towards the husband were laid down in the Confucian code of discipline, it did not stress the duties and obligations of the husband towards the wife. In the Sigalovada Sutta, however, the Buddha clearly mentioned the duties of a husband towards the wife and vice versa.

II. THE HUSBAND

     The Buddha, in reply to a householder as to how a husband should minister to his wife declared that the husband should always honor and respect his wife, by being faithful to her, by giving her the requisite authority to manage domestic affairs and by giving her befitting ornaments. This advice, given over twenty five centuries ago, still stands good for today.
Knowing the psychology of the man who tends to consider himself superior, the Buddha made a remarkable change and uplifted the status of a woman by a simple suggestion that a husband should honor and respect his wife. 
A husband should be faithful to his wife, which means that a husband should fulfill and maintain his marital obligations to his wife thus sustaining the confidence in the marital relationship in every sense of the word. 
The husband, being a bread-winner, would invariably stay away from home, hence he should entrust the domestic or household duties to the wife who should be considered as the keeper and the distributor of the property and the home economic-administrator. 
The provision of befitting ornaments to the wife should be symbolic of the husband's love, care and attention showered on the wife. This symbolic practice has been carried out from time immemorial in Buddhist communities. Unfortunately it is in danger of dying out because of the influence of modern civilization.

Fearlessness by Thich Nhat Hanh

Most of us experience a life full of wonderful moments and difficult moments. But for many of us, even when we are most joyful, there is fear behind our joy. We fear that this moment will end, that we won’t get what we need, that we will lose what we love, or that we will not be safe. Often, our biggest fear is the knowledge that one day our bodies will cease functioning. So even when we are surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, our joy is not complete.

We may think that if we ignore our fears, they’ll go away. But if we bury worries and anxieties in our consciousness, they continue to affect us and bring us more sorrow. We are very afraid of being powerless. But we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us. We can transform our fear. Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.
The first part of looking at our fear is just inviting it into our awareness without judgment. We just acknowledge gently that it is there. This brings a lot of relief already. Then, once our fear has calmed down, we can embrace it tenderly and look deeply into its roots, its sources. Understanding the origins of our anxieties and fears will help us let go of them. Is our fear coming from something that is happening right now or is it an old fear, a fear from when we were small that we’ve kept inside? When we practice inviting all our fears up, we become aware that we are still alive, that we still have many things to treasure and enjoy. If we are not pushing down and managing our fear, we can enjoy the sunshine, the fog, the air, and the water. If you can look deep into your fear and have a clear vision of it, then you really can live a life that is worthwhile. 

The Buddha was a human being, and he also knew fear. But because he spent each day practicing mindfulness and looking closely at his fear, when confronted with the unknown, he was able to face it calmly and peacefully. There is a story about a time the Buddha was out walking and Angulimala, a notorious serial killer, came upon him. Angulimala shouted for the Buddha to stop, but the Buddha kept walking slowly and calmly. Angulimala caught up with him and demanded to know why he hadn’t stopped. The Buddha replied, “Angulimala, I stopped a long time ago. It is you who have not stopped.” He went on to explain, “I stopped committing acts that cause suffering to other living beings. All living beings want to live. All fear death. We must nurture a heart of compassion and protect the lives of all beings.” Startled, Angulimala asked to know more. By the end of the conversation, Angulimala vowed never again to commit violent acts and decided to become a monk.
How could the Buddha remain so calm and relaxed when faced with a murderer? This is an extreme example, but each of us faces our fears in one way or another every day. A daily practice of mindfulness can be of enormous help. Beginning with our breath, beginning with awareness, we are able to meet whatever comes our way.
Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free. If I am ever in an airplane and the pilot announces that the plane is about to crash, I will practice mindful breathing. If you receive bad news, I hope you will do the same. But don’t wait for the critical moment to arrive before you start practicing to transform your fear and live mindfully. Nobody can give you fearlessness. Even if the Buddha were sitting right here next to you, he couldn’t give it to you. You have to practice it and realize it yourself. If you make a habit of mindfulness practice, when difficulties arise, you will already know what to do.
source:awakin.org

Alan Watts Explains How To Find Your Authentic Self

Upon contemplation of William Shakespeare’s work, we find hidden truths nestled deep into the root of our society, our egos, and the illusions of self that keep a firm grip on our perception of reality.
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts”- William Shakespeare
 The world-renowned Philosopher Alan Watts, taught his students to understand that when we are born, we do not differentiate between the external and internal world. We do not understand “that which exists outside of ourselves and that which exists internally” and therefore as we grow we learn to discern what is I and what is you. This was the true understanding of duality and the ego; that without you, there could be no me and if there was no me, then there would in fact be, no you.

With this understanding we begin to see, that we are all wearing a societal mask–a role that each of us play on the grand stage of life. That, the description each of us gives ourselves, is only measured by the perception of someone else and when you begin to care about the perceptions of others and what others think, you have engaged emotionally. You have become subject to the judgement and perception of others, falling into your role too deeply. You have in fact lost yourself in the role that you are playing and the game of hide and seek has begun.
By grasping this concept we then can remove our mask and we are simply left with thought and perception.
And so today, we are here to ask. Who are you really? Do you believe yourself to be the role you have assumed in society? and do you associate yourself as being the thinker of your own thoughts? Are you the mastermind behind each and every emotion that arises and each and every thought that transpires inside of your mind?
Is that the real you? 
Allow yourself the time to ponder this for moment and when you realize that this too, this thinker, that you believe is you is also just a thought, then you can begin to see that you are not the thinker of your own thoughts. Upon this realization the question then begs, what is beyond thought? A being, a nothingness, an observer perhaps?
To journey to find the center of yourself is a journey to try to grasp air with your own hand. You will catch nothing. There is a Zen poem which speaks to this nothingness,
“You cannot catch hold of it, nor can you get rid of it. In not being able to get it you get it. When you speak its silent, when you are silent it speaks. There is no method, all methods are gimmicks to strengthen your ego.”
In basic spiritual practice, we understand that energy follows mind and therefore we can safely say that each thought form, creates a verifiable electromagnetic field of energy that broadcasts out into the universe, and creates our own existence. And Science has recently discovered that the universe is mental, immaterial and spiritual. Meaning that all is mind. Thoughts do in fact create our very existence, bringing an end to materialism In lamens terms, this means that every object, including your chair, your car, your house and your own body is made up of particles.
These particles are vibrating on different levels of frequency and these particles have been proven to be 99.999% space. So in reality, when you think that you are sitting on your couch watching the television, you have in fact created the perception, that you are sitting on a couch watching a television.
This is the true power of the mind. 
And even with all of this scientific data– the teachings of the wise and the practices of ancient old, we still ask. Who are we?
About a year ago, I awoke in the night from the most frightening of dreams. A dream that I was trapped inside of a girl and didn’t know how to get out. I was lost, I was scared and my mind was frantically racing to try to get out of my own incarnated body to find freedom. I watched this poor girl as she suffered day in and day out trying to fight off the illusions, the emotions, the vicious cycle of thoughts and as I awoke in a cold sweat, feeling absolutely dreadful. I remember thinking how will I help this girl? And then I realized. I was watching her.
From all of the levels of creation to the grandest scale of the universe, the eternal consciousness the energy of the all is within each of us. And as we tap in to this vibration, we soon realize that we are not puppets on strings or a cloth tarrying in the wind to bear all that life has to throw at us.
So, when you are done playing hide and seek with yourself, you will see that you are not a victim of the world, you are the world. We are not hear to dance to beat of the earth’s drum, because we are not the dancers….We are the dance.
Harnessing the eternal energy of universe, the cosmic consciousness of man incarnated. Creating our every moment of existence by the energy of thought, manifesting before our eyes as we consciously and seamlessly walk through it.
We are the creators of our own world and as we expand our consciousness and increase our awareness, we become the creators we were all intended to be.
The awakening is not coming like something to expect far off in the distant future. The awakening is now. In every moment, in every circumstance and by changing our perception we know that now, it’s time to create.
“What you are doing is something the whole universe is doing, in the place you call here and now. You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing”- Alan Watts
source: Spirit Science via:thewayofmeditation

Stephen Hawking Warns That We Have To Abandon Earth Much Sooner Than We Think

“Professor Stephen Hawking thinks the human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive,” the BBC says.

In a new BBC documentary entitled “Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, the 75-year-old”, Hawking will attempt to prove that his theory isn’t as crazy as it seems. “With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious.”
Thanks to overpopulation, climate change as a result of pollution, and even the threat of mankind building an AI or even a manmade virus capable of destroying all of us, Stephen thinks that we should start packing much sooner than the majority of the world assumes.
We have about 100 years until Earth is a big old pile of gross, and if we don’t focus our efforts on colonizing other planets, namely Mars, humanity faces complete and total extinction, according to scientists.
But is it really too late to change our ways? I know that this is a cliché question and we’ve been asking ourselves this without taking action for so long, but should we really give up on Earth? Should we just forget that we are the ones who destroy it and move along? Isn’t there something we can still do?!
I mean the fears we are trying to run away from are ‘creating a virus’ or ‘creating an AI’! I mean WE ARE CREATING IT! Can’t we just stop?
Maybe it’s propaganda, maybe it’s really the future humanity will face if it stays only on this planet, but scientists seem rushing to get humanity on another planet as soon as possible for some reason.
sourceyahoo via:lifecoachcode

NASA Has Just Detected A ‘Strange’ Man-Made Barrier That Surrounds And Protects Earth!

NASA space probes have detected a massive, human-made ‘barrier’ surrounding Earth, and tests have confirmed that it’s actually having an effect on space weather far beyond our planet’s atmosphere.
A certain type of communications, called Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio communications, are responsible for forming a giant protective bubble around the Earth that surprisingly keeps us safe.
“It was never the intention for VLF signals to go anywhere other than on Earth, but it turns out they’ve been leaking into the space surrounding our planet, and have lingered long enough to form a giant protective bubble” reports Science Alert.
That means we’re not just changing Earth so severely, but space too! Some scientists are calling for a whole new geological epoch to be named after us!
However, unlike the negative influence we have on the planet, the enormous bubble we produced in space is actually working in our favour.

The protective VLF bubble is probably the best influence we humans have made on the space surrounding our planet. However, it’s certainly not the only one!
Over the past 50 years nuclear explosions had a large impact on space around Earth.
“These explosions created artificial radiation belts near Earth that resulted in major damages to several satellites,” the NASA team explains in their new report.
“Other anthropogenic impacts on the space environment include chemical release experiments, high-frequency wave heating of the ionosphere…”
Even though we are small in comparison with celestial objects, our influence is significantly big.
This is not something to brag about, but something to open our eyes to the responsibility of our impact.
source: Science Alert via: lifecoachcode

The Dalai Lama Asked One Simple Question That Can Turn Science Up-Side-Down.

MIND SCIENCE

The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism has been engaged with scientists for the last 20 years regularly attending Mind Science symposiums where dialogue between him and the world’s top scientists have taken place.


Buddhism is more than just one of the world’s major religions it has a rich history of philosophy, psychology and metaphysics which have enriched the views of the scientists as much as the Dalai Lama has been deeply affected by modern science. The Dalai Lama has even made such radical statements as whatever in our religion does not accord with science should be discarded. Quite a huge thing for a religious leader to say but emphasises his commitment to reason and logic.

Now with thousands of studies being done on meditation methods the Dalai Lama has his own evidence that Buddhist practices work and are not merely beliefs or superstitions. A prominent Buddhist monk has even been declared the world’s happiest man.


One statement which blew my mind was when the Dalai Lama said “we have no problem with the big bang theory, it’s just that it’s probably not the first big bang.” This ties in with ancient Indian Hindu cycle of the Breath of Brahman. What if every big bang, with its huge cosmic expansion and equally huge contraction taking trillions of years was just one in and out breath of the universe?


But that’s not the statement that’s turning modern science on its head because it can easily fit in with current scientific models if not expand on them. The question that can turn science up-side-down was asked when the Dalai Lama was discussing consciousness with the best neuroscientists in the world and he said:

“What if the brain comes from consciousness instead of consciousness coming from the brain?”


BUDDHIST THEORY

In Buddhist theory the body comes from past acts of karma which arise from seeds of consciousness. The person in the form of a clear and immaterial stream of consciousness travels from life to life until that person liberates from this constant cycle by transforming into a fully enlightened being. In other words first there is a stream of consciousness and then arises a new incarnation into a body but the consciousness was already there and is the primary and fundamental cause of the body.

Further and deeper still is the esoteric Buddhist idea that there is a universal field of consciousness at the base of the individual’s personal stream of consciousness. The person becomes a fully enlightened being when they realize their substantial identity as the universal field of consciousness or Buddha Nature and stops being attached to and identifying with insubstantial incarnations of physical form.

THE HARD PROBLEM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

The consensus amongst scientists is that consciousness is an epiphenomena of the brain, an emerging property of ever increasing complexity of neural networks. In other words consciousness is caused by and comes from the brain. It is important to note, that whilst this is the consensus at the moment it has still not yet been proven. You would not know that because scientists accept the unproven theory so thoroughly that they risk becoming outcasts to question this position.

It was David Chalmers, an Australian cognitive scientist and philosopher, who coined the tern ‘the hard problem of consciousness‘ which highlights the fact that scientists cannot answer the questions of consciousness. So when the Dalai Lama implies the brain comes from consciousness it should be an integral part of the ongoing dialogue about the mystery of consciousness but most neuroscientists are stubbornly ignoring it, if not dismissing it outright.

The idea that consciousness is fundamental to reality rather than physical mass is not a new theory it is known as panpsychism, ‘pan’ means everything, ‘psych’ means mind, essentially everything has consciousness and comes from consciousness.

Panpsychism is one of the oldest philosophical theories, and has been ascribed to philosophers like Thales, Plato, Spinoza, Leibniz and William James. Panpsychism can also be seen in ancient philosophies such as Stoicism, Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism. During the 19th century, panpsychism was the default theory in philosophy of mind, but it saw a decline during the middle years of the 20th century with the rise of logical positivism. The recent interest in the hard problem of consciousness has once again made panpsychism a widespread theory.

Hopefully there will be continued integration of ancient spiritual wisdom and modern science so humans can crack the code and understand our own existence comprehensively. The answers won’t be easy and may blow wide open concepts of reality that we all accept as true.

Change in opinions has always been a slow process in human history. Until then, as the Dalai Lama constantly preaches, let’s make understanding each other’s views and loving kindness toward each other the main way we communicate and interact. With open dialogue and respect for each other we can move toward understanding the universe in a peaceful and unified way!

6 Lessons From Thich Nhat Hanh On Happiness.

It's time to get your basic ideas on happiness right. Most of us are searching for happiness in the wrong places. We think that happiness is something that we get from the money we make, or from the status we acquire. However, happiness is something beyond what the world can offer. It’s a mindset that can be obtained only by changing our approach to life.

Some incredible men who have found real peace and happiness inspire the rest of the world through their lives and their contributions to the society. Thich Nhat Hanh is one such Buddhist monk who has inspired many people through his life and his books. Here are a few lessons to learn from Thich Nhat Hanh on happiness.

1. Happiness is a choice.

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”
Happiness is a choice each person has to make to be content with life, in spite of all the struggles. Challenges and struggles are common to every person on this planet. Hence, waiting for all our problems to come to an end is not the way to be happy.

2. Happiness is living in the moment.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
To find happiness, we need to let go of our past, and stop being anxious about the future. The present is the only time that we can control. Hence, paying attention to the present will help you make the best out of it. This way you will find peace in every moment and experience true happiness.

3. True happiness is found in peace.

“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
At times, we’re happy because of something we have achieved. We are overjoyed, and we get excited about it. However, such happiness is short-lived. We celebrate the moment and then the excitement dies out. True happiness is not about being excited about the temporary things. It depends on the peace that we enjoy daily.

4. Happiness is meant to be shared.

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”
Happiness is not something that should be bottled up inside you. When you’re happy, you need to share it with the ones around you. The little things you do, and things you say can make an enormous impact on the lives of others.

5. Happiness is a mindset.

“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”
Happiness is how you approach every new day. To find happiness, you need to prepare your mind to find joy in every moment. Whatever be the situation, learn to overlook things that are worrying you and be happy by focusing on the good things around you.

6. Happiness is letting go of what you don’t need.

“Let go of everything that no longer serves you and you will be happy.”
There are many things that we don’t need, but we still possess them. If you can dispose everything that is not a necessity in life, and if you can choose to live with a few things that you need, you will be a lot more content than you are now.

Bruce Lee Achieved All His Life Goals by His Death at Age 32 Because of One Personality Trait!


Written by Charles Chu Contributor, Better Humans | Quartz;


In 1969, nobody expected a thin Asian man with a high pitched voice to become one of the most influential characters of the 20th century.


Nobody knew, that is, except Bruce Lee. That year, Bruce Lee wrote a letter to himself:


Four years later, he was dead.


But in those four years, Bruce achieved everything he said he would and more. At 32 years of age, he had already changed the fate of film and martial arts forever.

Bruce’s letter is overflowing with confidence. But where did this confidence come from? We may never know the whole answer, but Bruce’s writings — collected in books like Letters of the Dragon and Striking Thoughts — give us a clue.

In particular, let’s take a look at a letter written by Bruce Lee over a decade before his death, when he was still a 21-year-old student at the University of Washington.

As you read, try to hold an image in your mind of letter from a typical 21-year-old…

Dear Pearl,

This letter is hard to understand. It contains my dreams and my ways of thinking, as a whole, you can call it my way of life. It will be rather confusing as it is difficult to write down exactly how I feel. Yet I want to write and let you know about it. I’ll do my best to write it clearly and I hope that you, too, will keep an open mind in this letter, and don’t arrive at any conclusions till you are finished.

There are two ways of making a good living, one is the result of hard working, and the other, the result of the imagination (requires work, too, of course). It is a fact that labor and thrift produce a competence, but fortune, in the sense of wealth, is the reward of the man who can think of something that hasn’t been thought of before. In every industry, in every profession, ideas are what America is looking for. Ideas have made America what she is, and one good idea will make a man what he wants to be.

One part of my life is gung fu. This art influences me greatly in the formation of my character and ideas. I practice gung fu as a physical culture, a form of mental training, a method of self-defense, and a way of life. Gung fu is the best of all martial art; yet the Chinese derivatives of judo and karate, which are only basics of gung fu, are flourishing all over the US. This so happens because no one has heard of this supreme art; also there are no competent instructors…I believe my long years of practice back up my title to become the first instructor of this movement. There are yet long years ahead of me to polish my techniques and character. My aim, therefore, is to establish a first Gung Fu Institute that will later spread out all over the US (I have set up a time limit of 10 to 15 years to complete the whole project). My reason in doing this is not the sole objective of making money. The motives are many and among them are: I like to let the world know about the greatness of this Chinese art; I enjoy teaching and helping people; I like to have a well-to-do home for my family; I like to originate something; and the last but yet one of the important is because gung fu is part of myself.

I know my idea is right, and therefore the results would be satisfactory. I don’t really worry about the reward, but to set in motion the machinery to achieve it. My contribution will be the measure of my reward and success.

Before he passed away, some asked the late Dr Charles P. Steimetz, the electrical genius, in his opinion “What branch of science would make the most progress in the next twenty-five years?” He paused and thought for several minutes then like a flash replied, “spiritual realization.” When a man comes to a conscious vital realization of those great spiritual forces within himself and begins to use those forces in science, in business and in life, his progress in the future will be unparalleled.

I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this domination force which I hold in my hand.

When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they encompass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action. Right now, I can project my thoughts into the future, I can see ahead of me. I dream (remember that practical dreamers never quit). I may now own nothing but a little place down in basement, but once my imagination has got up to a full head of steam, I can see painted on a canvas of my mind a picture of a fine, big five or six story Gung Fu Institute with branches all over the States. I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over setbacks, achieving “impossible” objectives.

Whether it is the God-head or not, I feel this great force, this unstopped power, this dynamic something within me. This feeling defies description, and [there is] no experience with which this feeling may be compared. It is something like a strong emotion mixed with faith, but a lot stronger.

All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life — peace of mind. I know that the sum of all the possessions I mentioned does not necessarily add up to peace of mind; however, it can be if I devote [my energy] to real accomplishment of self rather than neurotic combat. In order to achieve this peace of mind, the teaching of detachment of Taoism and Zen proved to be valuable...

Probably, people will say I’m too conscious of success. Well, I am not. You see, my will to do springs from the knowledge that I CAN DO. I’m only being natural, for there is no fear or doubt inside my mind.

Pearl, success comes to those who become success-conscious. If you don’t aim at an object, how the heck on earth do you think you can get it?

Warm Regards,
Bruce

Wow. There’s a lot to highlight here, but here’s what stood out the most to me:

Absolute confidence

The most important personality trait in Bruce’s arsenal was confidence. Bruce had absolute confidence in himself, free from all fear or doubt. This was not innate, but developed through years of mental and physical training.

Reward through contribution

Becoming a millionaire is the side effect of helping a million people. Your salary or influence is not an end in itself, but an (imperfect) measure of your contribution to the world.

Intense purpose

Bruce called it “spiritual force,” but I prefer the word “purpose.” A lot of people spend their whole lives chasing the “what” and then worry about the “why” later. Instead, study the “why” first (Bruce, for instance, studied philosophy in college) and everything else becomes easy.

You always hear people say that your belief defines the limits of your possibility, but talk is cheap. Bruce Lee is one of the few that lived his life walking the walk:


The above letter came from Letters of the Dragon, a collection of Bruce Lee’s letters filled with practical wisdom, philosophical musings, and beautiful sketches of martial arts techniques. This post originally appeared at Better Humans.

source: mysticalraven

Blog Archive