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 Pleasant Parallels of TM and Day-To-Day Life

Bob Roth said something before going into a meditation that was a game changer for not only my TM practice but also my life.

On one of Bob’s group meditation calls (which I highly recommend) just before the meditation started he said:

Start the meditation without any expectation of any results.

Hm. That landed on me and left an instant imprint. The idea of meditating and not expecting was an idea the ego did not like. And that’s how I knew it was a good idea.

Much to the chagrin of my ego, that meditation in particular was a special one. I went all kinds of places…effortlessly. Again, this made NO sense to the ego but all kinds of sense on the deeper levels.

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On the Shortness of Life

“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”

~Seneca

By Leo Babauta

We could use a daily contemplation on how limited our time is in this life. Most of us avoid thinking about it, or get worked up or sad when we think about it. But it’s a powerful contemplation.

Today I’d like to share a series of brief contemplations on the shortness of life, that I find valuable.

1:

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A Journalist’s Story of Addiction & Recovery

The following is written by multimedia journalist, Dana Knowles, and originally published on Rocky Mountain PBS.

 
DENVER — I’m not anonymous anymore. I’ve taken my story out of dark church basements to shine a light on my experiences. I’ve given keynote speeches in ballrooms filled with hundreds of counselors and health care workers. I’ve participated in public service campaigns. I’ve shared my story with friends and family in person and over social media.

Next month I will have six years in recovery from opiate pain killers and alcohol. On August 28, 2016, my husband decided he’d had enough and kicked me out of our house. Less than a week later I ended up on an airplane to south Florida for my third time in drug treatment in under two years. I was alone — I had no phone, no wallet, no money. My husband told me I had to stay away for at least three months and that if I didn’t figure out a way to get better, I might not be able to return home. I took those three months to start healing, to lean into my pain that I’d been trying so hard to numb, and figure out its root causes which ultimately came from childhood trauma.

I was molested at the age of five by the teenage son of a caregiver. From that point, part of my emotional development stopped, and a void opened up in my heart. I spent most of my life trying to fill that space by attempting to achieve some form of perfectionism, which for several years manifested into eating disorders. Then I discovered opiate pain killers after they were prescribed post-surgery for a labral tear in my right hip. From the first time I took them, my first thought was ‘THIS is what I’ve been waiting for my entire life.’ It was perfect. I found perfection in a feeling.

Opiates gave me euphoria and energy. They helped me keep up with my life. I could do it all; be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect cook with a perfect house. But it was awful because after a few months they stopped working and I had to take more and more just to feel normal.

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A Guide to Practicing Trust

By Leo Babauta

At the core of a lot of our difficulties is a lack of trust — especially trust in ourselves.

Think about these common difficulties that most of us face:

What to focus on: We don’t trust our hearts to choose what we’d like to work on right now.Indecision: We get stuck on indecision because we don’t trust ourselves to choose what we really want, and we don’t trust ourselves to land on our feet if things turn out differently than we’d hoped.Procrastination / resistance: We feel resistance to a difficult (scary) task and then avoid it, resulting in procrastination … because we don’t trust ourselves to be with the discomfort, or trust ourselves to handle whatever comes after doing the task (handle criticism, judgment, or any other potential consequences).Fear or stress in uncertainty / chaos: When things are uncertain, we’ll often feel stress or fear. This is from (and understandable) lack of trust in ourselves to navigate that uncertainty and deal with whatever comes up.Finding focus: Often when we try to focus on something, we feel pulled away in a thousand directions by things we need to take care of … because we don’t trust ourselves to take care of those things later.

If you don’t face any of these problems — congratulations! You probably have a ton of trust. But most of us struggle with these on a daily basis. Which means there’s an incredible opportunity to practice trust.

In this guide, I’ll share why we don’t have trust in ourselves or others … and how we might practice.

Why We Don’t Have Trust

If we have a lack of trust, we might be tempted to blame ourselves or feel that there’s some wrongness to this lack. But what if we trusted that there are good reasons we don’t trust?

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Getting to the Heart of Impulse Shopping

By Leo Babauta

It’s a simple fact: the pandemic has increased the amount of impulse shopping most people have been doing. There are lots of stats proving it, but you can simply take a look at your own life and the lives of people you know to see that it’s true for you.

Why have we been more compelled to shop for clothes, gadgets, workout equipment, hobby toys and more?

At the heart of it is uncertainty. We’re feeling so much more uncertainty these days, and we don’t know how to handle it.

The higher the uncertainty we’re feeling about ourselves and the world around us … the more we reach for comforts and things that make us feel a little more in control. And shopping is one of those things.

There’s nothing wrong with that! Feeling in control, and feeling comfort, are two very lovely things — we all need them sometimes. The more we can let go of judgment, the more open we might be to other possibilities.

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