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#233 BEING in control……are we ?

                                                      Being in control…are we ?

 It is a wonderful thing to be in control…or to believe that we are.

When you are in control, you can pick what you want to do and when and where to do it.

You can go left or right, eat this or that, start a hobby, change car, job and partner, etc…

The world and life seem to be under our control and this feeling is nice to our ego.

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#232 KARMA July 8th 18

                                                                     Karma

 Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning “action”. The law of karma refers to the sequence: cause (intention) produces action, which induces positive or negative effects.

Every good/bad volitional thought or action will bring a certain good/bad result in the short or long term future.

If my thoughts or behaviors are motivated by greed, hatred or delusion, I am planting the seed of suffering for others and myself.

On the opposite, when our acts or thoughts are motivated by generosity, compassion, love and wisdom, they are creating positive karmic conditions for abundance and serenity for self and others.

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#231 Easy steps to be in the NOW July 1 18

                                                    Easy steps to be in the NOW

“To experience reality is to be mindful to the now, away from the control of the mind using daydreaming.”

Here is a list of few tools to consider.

Don’t let your mind be a relentless time machine travelling from past to future:

Being in the past and future are sources of nostalgia, regrets and expectations often unrealistic.

You exist only in this present moment, when you are reading this.

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#230 Enlightenment: demystification June 21 18

                                                Enlightenment: demystification

I am practicing Zen since 2002 and received the Spiritual Transmission from my teacher Yangil Sunim 5 years ago. It means I became “awakened” or enlightened and may teach.

To be awake in a spiritual way means to mindfully experience the existing reality of the moment inside and around self. Nothing to boast about, nothing to do with bliss, miracle or special divine power.

To find it is an inside job thru practice and not thru reading, Master or PhD degrees. (more…)

#229 Serenity vs. Happiness June 10th 18

                                                             Serenity vs. happiness

The following Serenity Prayer addresses our needs and the frustrations that arise when we don’t like, don’t want or cannot control how people, events and things are. It goes like this:

“O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time”.

Very Zen but it was written by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), an American theologian.

Wonderful way of life. Do we follow them? (more…)

#227 Worried about worrying Sun May 27th 18

                                                         Worried about worrying

This email was sent to me: “I am worried almost all the time and about everything. How do I work against it?”

Anxiety is a growing mental state affecting all ages even the youngest ones. The causes are numerous and beyond the scope of this talk.

“ Working against it” is similar to “ Escaping from it and trying to relax”.

Anxiety and escaping from it or trying to relax don’t go together. In fact, the more we try to escape from it, the stronger the anxiety may become. (more…)

#226 SELF-CARE: spiritual & material May 20th 18

                                                     Spiritual and Material self-care

When we talk about self-care, we usually referring to proper diet, exercise and sleep. This is only part of global self-care.

In Zen, however, self-care is an oxymoron. Why?

A fundamental teaching of Zen Buddhism is the concept of “no-self”. No-self does not mean that we don’t exist as living being. This is absurd. It means simply that the self is not a unique, permanent, independent, separate self-entity with a self-intrinsic life. We are all interconnected and interdependent with our environment, which is providing life to us.

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#225 Breathing: our app to calming reality

                              Breathing: your app to the calming reality of the moment

Reality is what we are experiencing concretely in the moment thru our consciousness.

It should not be confused with virtual reality that our mind is producing. Thoughts and feelings do exist but are, by definition, virtual, fictional and the fruit of our imagination.

When I am looking, touching and eating an apple I am experiencing concrete reality.

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#224 WHEN BOREDOM becomes an opportunity

                                               When boredom becomes an opportunity

 We don’t like to be bored. When we are actively engaged in something, there is no boredom.

But when there is nothing interesting or mandatory to absorb our attention or entertain, it starts to hurt our self-image very quickly.

But if we suddenly become idle in our space-time, we begin to seek for something to do.

If not, boredom kicks in. We feel being in a vacuum, a no-body.

Our ego feels empty, useless or wasting its time and our self-image is wounded.

“Me, doing nothing: it is impossible, I should be busy”. Boredom can make us anxious

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#223 WHEN OUR EGO NEEDS HELP April 23 18

                                                           When our ego needs help

    Our ego or self has 2 faces. The constructive/positive and the destructive/negative one.

The good self is critical to grow, to survive, to have pleasure, and to function and interact properly.

No brainer here.

The bad self: Ego is our main source of “pain”, affliction we all have in common. Because of our restlessness quest to get this and that, to be better, smarter, stronger, richer, we are stuck by nagging feeling of frustration, weariness and self-doubt.

Too many desires, hatred, irrational expectations and illusions are all coming from our ego-driven mind. (more…)