Despite our rich Western society and “all you can get“ life style, feeling miserable is a common complain. Of course, there are cases when misery is obvious and our duty is to help others the best we can. For the lucky ones we are privileged and yet, quite often, we do not appreciate or realize it.
There is a difference between being miserable based on facts and feeling miserable based on perception.
Perceptions are input to the mind and emotions are output. Both are instantaneous, non-stoppable and impossible to master. Both control our subsequent behavior before any rational thinking can intervene. Because perceptions are either right or wrong they can play bizarre tricks on us.
How often are your perceptions right or wrong? It is impossible to answer definitely since perceptions vary from one person to another even if the source is identical.
“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.” – Shunryu Suzuki.
Mindfulness: simply means to pay attention, moment to moment to what you are doing and where you are without having your mind elsewhere. The word is a poor translation of the Pali word “ Sati” meaning to bethoughtful to the present moment and not elsewhere.
A mindful mind is reflecting things as they are like a mirror.
Meditation is a perfect example of mindfulness practice. But, besides this formal sitting, a mindfulness attitude can be learned and achieved anytime and anywhere. Here are few tricks to practice the wonders of mindfulness during your day:
The Zen Buddhist literature does not specifically answer this question but rather looks at its attributes and attitudes, which constitute true or genuine love.
Here are the love attributes described by the Buddha himself during his 50 years verbal teaching 2500 years ago.
“Practicing loving kindness to overcome your anger. Loving-kindness has the capacity to bring happiness to others without demanding anything in return.
Practicing compassion to overcome your indifference. Compassion has the capacity to remove the suffering of others without expecting anything in return.
Practicing joy to overcome your hatred. Sympathetic joy arises when one rejoices over the happiness of others and wishes others well being and success.
Practicing non-attachment to overcome your selfishness. Non-attachment is the way of looking at all things openly and equally. Others and myself are not separate. Do not reject one thing only to chase after another.
Practicing all of them and you will become a refreshing source of vitality, quietness and happiness for others.”