Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

The Guide to Insecurities You’ve Been Waiting For

By Leo Babauta

Everyone feels insecurity. It’s a part of our lives, which are filled with uncertainty, no matter how much we want to get rid of that uncertainty.

We often use the term “insecure” to negatively label a person who doubts themselves, but in truth, no one is free from feeling insecure. We feel self-doubt, we feel anger that stems from a feeling of insecurity, we feel fear and groundlessness and frustration. All of this comes from the insecurity of the uncertainty of life.

And none of it is a problem.

It’s not a problem that we feel insecure sometimes. It’s not a problem to feel fear or self-doubt or anger or frustration. These are just feelings, and they come up in response to the uncertainty of the world.

The problem comes from how we deal with the feeling of insecurity. We might curl up and hide, lash out at someone in a hurtful way, harden our rigid views of the world so that everyone else is wrong and we’re continually angry. We might procrastinate and run to distraction, use social media to avoid feeling insecurity, try to control others or the world around us to end the feeling of insecurity.

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The Little Handbook for Getting Stuff Done

By Leo Babauta

There’s a ton to be gained by getting good at Getting Stuff Done (GSD).

While I don’t think that productivity and efficiency is the answer to life, nor should it be your only focus … there are still a ton of benefits from Getting Stuff Done. A ton.

Some of the benefits:

You start accomplishing moreYou begin to believe in yourself moreYou waste less time procrastinating and distracting yourselfYou become more trustable — when you tell people you’re going to get stuff done, they believe youYou become more hirable, as people love to hire someone who gets stuff doneYou are less held back by this dimension of your life, which will allow you to go deeper in other areas — understanding what’s important, being curious, playing, learning, making deep connections with people, retraining old mental patterns that are getting in the way, and moreYou start earning moreYou might be able to found a successful startup or create a great organizationYou might be able to spread your ideas further, as you prove yourself worthy of listening to (because you’ve accomplished something) and as you get the things done that need to be done to spread ideas, like writing a book or blog or giving a talk

And on and on. You get the benefits — you just want to know how to get better at Getting Stuff Done.

This is the guide for you. First we’ll look at the stuff that gets in the way. Then the skills you need to get good at to Get Stuff Done. Then how to get good at Getting Stuff Done.

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"Myth and the Bible" by Jeffery Small

Although I still do not believe that many of the stories are historically or factually accurate (although they may be anchored in historical events), I view “myth” in a broader and more meaningful sense. ...Yes, there are many rules articulated and lessons expressed, but God’s actions on the world become finite, confined to certain historical events: like the chess master making individual moves on a chessboard frozen in time two thousand years ago. ...Furthermore, because the stories were written in a different age with very different views on social justice—an age in which slavery was legitimate, an age when discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation was the norm—the Bible can also be used to justify intolerance today....Rather, the movement in many fundamentalist circles today to read the Bible as inerrant (an extreme form of literalism, in which every word of Bible is viewed as true) is a late development from the 19th century as a response to the chipping away at the historicity of the stories since the Enlightenment. By throwing off the shackles of having to believe in the historicity of the Bible, we are free to interpret the stories as a testament to the religious experiences of people from a different age—a testament that communicates a meaning about their experiences of Ultimate Reality, of God. I understand that their experiences of the divine ground were interpreted through the lens of a pre-modern view of the world, and my own religious experiences will take on a different form today. ...Whether the original authors of these stories believed in the accounts literally or not is irrelevant to how we read them (Chapters 1 and 2 actually present two different accounts of creation, written not by Moses but by at least two authors during the 6th century BCE—one of the later texts of the Torah—who borrowed imagery and themes from the much older Mesopotamian creation story, the Enuma Elish). If we read the Bible as the encounter of a pre-modern people with the divine, we would expect their interpretations to be written in a way that conformed to their cultures and their understanding of the workings of the world, which is a very different understanding than we have today. ...But today we might choose to interpret God not as a supernatural being sitting outside the universe commanding it into existence, but rather understand God as the source of existence itself—an existence that flows forth from God. ...We also see in this story that although God is the creative source of existence, we have freedom—just as the theories of quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and evolution all posit the importance of randomness, probability, and freedom in the laws that govern existence. ...Just as a child transitions through puberty to adulthood (symbolized by the recognition of Adam and Eve of their nudity and their sexual union) and this transition also coincides with both a loss of innocence and a corresponding increase in wisdom (symbolized by the eating of the fruit from the knowledge of good and evil), humanity has transitioned from our pure essence to our actual existence.Original linkOriginal author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Paring Down Your Life

By Leo Babauta

Our lives are overfull.

There’s not a single one of us who is free of that trap, in my experience. We say yes to invitations and commitments, we answer as many emails and messages as we can, we join courses and groups, buy books and take on new hobbies, get involved in new relationships and buy more stuff.

The result of this tendency to overfill is predictable:

We spend too much money and get into too much debt, and then have too much clutter.We are always busy and always feel like we’re behind on everything.We don’t have time for what’s really important — relationships, meaningful work, solitude and silence, taking care of ourselves.We can’t really fulfill all of our commitments because we have too much going on.We use full lives to distract ourselves from being fully present.

It’s understandable that we overfill our lives — we are usually acting on desires, and not giving full contemplation to what we want in our lives and what we don’t want.

‘You can’t act on your desires alone. You have to contemplate the details of what needs to be removed and what needs to be cultivated.’ ~Chogyam Trungpa

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A Hidden Source of Power

By Leo Babauta

Almost every one of us gives away our power, unthinkingly.

For example:

Someone does something inconsiderate or infuriating that frustrates or angers you. You fume about it for hours. You've given this person the power to make you frustrated and angry, to ruin your day, often without them even realizing it.You are lonely because you are alone, no longer with the partner who broke up with you. You have given away your power to feel loved to someone else, who perhaps doesn't want to give you that love.You walk into a social gathering and hope to impress people, to gain their approval, to be liked. You've given away your power of being approved to others, who don't even know they have a responsibility to validate you.You are still angry at your parents (or one of your parents) for the crappy way they raised you, or for certain things they did that screwed you up. You've given away your power to shape your own life, to people who haven't been responsible for raising you for years, since you became an adult.

In all of these cases, and many more examples throughout our day, we've given away the power to be happy, to be content, to be joyful, to other people, who haven't even asked for that power or realize you've handed it to them.

But actually, the power over these states of mind — approval, love, anger, joy — resides completely inside of us.

This is the hidden source of power that we don't tap into.

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