#336 The 7 wonders of the world Oct. 26 20

  The 7wonders of the world

We are in a classroom, somewhere, sometime.

The history & geography teacher has decided to test the general knowledge of the students and invited the parents to join the discussion.

The question is the following

What are the 7 human-made wonders of the world and not the Nature- based wonders which is a different list. This list is the most recent one from the United Nations.

Silence and surprise in the room.

Then, one student raised her arm and says” The Great Wall in China”

Yes ! replies the teacher.

Another student:” The Roman Colosseum in Roma, Italy”

That’s 2. Carry on…..all of you says the teacher.

A mother says: “ The rock temple of Petra in Jordanian and The giant statue of the Christ Redeemer above Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Wonderful says the teacher. 3 more to go.…..come on!

A kid stands up and says: “ I read about an ancient Inca temple called Machu Picchu in Peru ……. I think it is one of the wonders.

Fantastic, very good. 2 more to go.

A father stands up and completed the list:

“ Chichen Itza; a pyramid in Mexico and the Taj Mahal in India.

Very good to all of you said the very pleased teacher.

Then a student called Sophie stands up slowly and says:

Sorry to be blunt but all of you are wrong.

The teacher looks at her very surprised and asks:

Sophie, what do you mean?

The true wonders are in each of us: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting are all wonder that we overlook at.

The class is silent.

The teacher: Wow!…. Sophie, very deep and down to earth at the same time. But you are mentioning 5 wonders……2 are missing. Which are they?

After some thinking, Sophie replies: well……laughing and …..loving.

The audience was shocked by her answers.

Then Sophie carries on:

Things that we overlook, that we take for granted and for which we are not mindful to are the simplest true wonders of the world because we cannot survive without them.

Looking at the audience, Sophie asks:

How often are you aware, in a mindful way, to what you see, hear, touch, smell or taste?

Let me give you few examples:

   While commuting, how often are you listing to the Go train on the tracks rather than being robotized by your cell phone or computer?…… Never.

   When you eat, how often are you aware of your fork and knife from your touch?……. Never.

   How often do you smell the rain?……. Never

   How often you are laughing, I mean laughing, not just smiling? …….Almost never

   How often you pay attention to your love towards people and Nature?……… May be sometime.

The audience was frozen, looking down,  in deep thinking.

The teacher asks: Sophie where did you get this………. wisdom  if I may say so?

Sophie replies:

One of my cousin is a member of Oakville Zen Meditation and the 7 Wonders were a talk given by the teacher.

Thank you

#335 How does mindfulness helps us in a time of personal crisis Oct 18 20

How does mindfulness help us in a time of personal crisis?                       

By Caryl and Harish Verma. Thanks to them.

The dictionary defines crisis as a turning point. It can be for the better, such as winning the lottery, or for worse, as in, losing a loved one.

Mindfulness prepares us with coping skills that enable us to handle a personal crisis. It does this through the understanding of mind control and through the Zen perspective.

We become aware of how our thoughts are manifestations of our ego and desires and how the mind uses these thoughts to control our actions. We are subject to mind control.

 From the Zen perspective, there are helpful ways given to deal with a personal crisis. These include: examining our thoughts, expectations, change, and acceptance

When a personal crisis occurs, emotions overwhelm our mind’s thoughts. These emotions can take the form of excitement, anger, confusion, or panic. * In such a state, the mind can cause us to react in a way which can be detrimental to our well-being or to that of others.  However, if we are mindful of where these emotional thoughts issue from, for example, from our fear, or our ego’s desires, we can readjust our thoughts and attitude to control our mind and subsequent actions. It is like taking a step back to assess the situation or detaching our self from the situation. When this happens, a truer picture of the crisis emerges so that we react appropriately.

 In life, we tend to assume that our present job, health, and family will continue into the future, in the same manner, as it has in the past. These expectations are both rooted in the past and projected into the future.  When a crisis interrupts this continuity and comfortable pattern of our life, it agitates the mind. We become uncertain.  By keeping our mind on the “present “, we can control the mind’s tendency to dwell on the past and future.  By doing this, we can minimize the anxiety of the future and the regrets of the past. This helps to stabilize our emotions so that we are better able to handle the shock or surprise of a personal crisis. 

 There are two types of worse crises. For those that we cannot change, such as, a death, we have to recognize the fact that we cannot change the outcome. We have to accept the situation as it is. The second type of worse crisis is one that we can change. Job loss, debt are examples of this.

When it comes to a crisis is for the better, we need to be careful in how the mind will want to control our actions by full filling the desires of the ego.  A new job position, for example, can satisfy the desire to have power over others.  The lottery winner will have the money to increase his possessions.    It is important to remember, that all crisis situations do change because nothing is permanent.

*The mind of a normal human being comes with inherent defects such as anger, greed, jealousy, and pride. These “defects cause all agitations in our minds and disturb the inherent peace.

Thank you

#334 Ignoring ignorance creates suffering 3-10-20

                          Ignore ignorance will cause suffering

There is a big difference between ignorance in its common sense and its meaning in Zen Buddhist sense.

In the common sense of the word, ignorance is being unaware, lacking in general knowledge or understanding.

This common kind of ignorance lead to division, discrimination, derision, hate and conflict when it is applied to people who seem to be different from us regarding ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, social status, and intelligence.

Because of our ignorance we imagine that the problems and threats rest in those we perceive as different from us, rather than coming from our own faulty perception.

In the Zen Buddhist the sense of the word, rather than been a general lack of understanding, ignorance is more specific.

It is the inability to differentiate genuine realities of self and surroundings from fictional reality that I will call “unreal reality” or fake reality. This “ignorance” is one of the 3 poisons causing suffering beside ongoing desires and hatred.

Fake and deceptive news are the 24/7reality of our modern Internet world.

But fake reality or fictional reality is not new. It exists since humans are on this planet for the last 1000,000 years and fictional reality is mind-made.

Our mind is the most powerful “make it up” fake news media ever created.

We are continually living in a sort of dream worlds made of various space-times, events and people.

Here are only few examples of mind-made of “unreal reality”. or mental illusion and delusion.

We believe that:

  1. We are a permanent, independent, unique, separate, self-sustained self-entity with a self-intrinsic life.

    2) We are pretty well controlling our life.

    3) That almost everything is permanent.

    4)That past and future are real. Only the present moment is real.

    5) That accumulation of goods means the accumulation of happiness or “ the more the better”

    6) Our thoughts as truth. Some of them are, most of them are just ego-centered wishful thinking or acquired values, opinions, and judgments from experiences.

   7) Our judgments about events, things and people are right until proven otherwise. Unfortunately, our ideas, opinion, and judgments are mostly born from our emotional mind rather from evidence-based, pragmatic, and rational thinking.

    8) That permanent happiness is possible when coming from the outside world.

Final words:

We don’t have to surf the Internet to read about fake news and virtual reality.

Just watch your thoughts and emotions on a regular basis and ask yourself these 2 question:

    “ How this current thought is reflecting genuine reality or just a fictional one?

   “ Is this thought has positive impact or is detrimental to my serenity”?

Thank you