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#238 Do you love yourself? or searching self-acceptance

 

Do you love yourself? or searching self-acceptance

Another strange Zen sentence. Don’t take it literally! It has nothing to do with narcissism or hedonistic behavior.

Zen is teaching that, in order to be nice, empathic, compassionate and generous with others, which is a mean goal, we have first, to do the same for ourselves self that is to think nicely and be tolerant about ourselves without, of course, loosing proper insight for improvement.  We call it self-acceptance.

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#237 Happiness & serenity: what is the difference? Aug. 19 18

                                          Happiness vs. Serenity: a big difference?

Often we equate happiness with serenity but their origin, meaning and purpose are totally different.

To achieve serenity, it is important to differentiate them.

Happiness (end of XVI c= hap= “good fortune/luck “ is a genetically programmed, ego driven, genuine and transient emotional reaction whereas serenity is a state of mind that must be learned. Big difference!

In our secular Western society the search for ongoing happiness is a must whereas the search of serenity sounds to be limited to few mystic and spiritual weird people. Live must be exiting and good for us because we deserve it! This is how marketing genius are manipulating us. If y we are not happy all the time, there is something wrong about because we should be able to be happy all the time. New car, new house, new job, new partner, new cruise, new adventure, etc….

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#236 Achieving an open mind Aug. 12 18

                                               Achieving a “ Don’t know mind”

Zen literature is full of strange, confusing and misleading words an such as “empty mind”,

“don’t know mind” , “mind before thinking”, “original mind”.

In the strict literally sense a “don’t know mind” is understood as a mind empty of knowledge, at max, an idiot mind. In its Zen meaning, a “don’t know mind” should not be understood as lack of knowledge but rather as a open mind that is a mind not frozen by too many ideas, opinions, judgments and other mind-set. (more…)

#235 SPACING your mind Aug. 5th 18

                                                           Spacing our mind

 When we look, by definition, we always look at something or somebody. Cannot be otherwise.

During the day, we look at zillion of visual objects such as screen, the road, the face of someone, your plate, your watch, your face in the mirror, etc….

We never look at the space existing between these objects because it is invisible, we don’t pay attention to it and because it is meaningless. (more…)

#234 Neuroplasticity: how to improve it

                               NEUROPLASTICITY: how to improve it.

Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to reorganize its wiring and create new ones by increasing its synaptic connections (we have over 100 trillions of them) that is connections between neurons (we have around 100 billions neurons or around 1,000 connections per neuron).

One can enhance neuroplasticity using any kind of learning new experiences either manual, mental and emotional requiring mental adaptation.

Since the brain works like a computer either all or nothing, any kind of new experience will create new connections affecting all brain functions such as physical, sensorial, intellectual, memory and emotional.

How to increase brain’s neuroplasticity?  

Moving away from our daily comfort zones, automatic and conditional physical, mental and emotional behaviors is the most effective way. This is equivalent to brain deconditioning thru reconditioning, sort of wake-up adaptation facing new challenges. You can do it for few hours, days or even a week.

Choose one of your recurrent daily habit – any kind, physical or mental routine, that is cemented

into your daily routine like a robotic behavior. We have many of them as part of our comfort zone.

If you can and without disturbances, stop doing it for few hours or days and allows yourself

to experience initial discomfort, frustration, even anxiety facing this new challenge from moving

away from routine and autopilot behavior.

At this point focus on your breathing and/or other sensations in your body such as heart rate.

 

2) Notice the times you bump into your mental wall made of recurrent thoughts, self-image, mind-set,

ideas, judgment, desires, aversions, expectations or any conditional reactivity to these emotions.

What is happening when you allow the wall to become permeable creating a bound?

What habitual chattering thoughts and feelings do produce?

3) Mindfulness meditation is also a wonderful and unique booster of neuro rewiring because

we are imposing to the mind to focus intensively on something without any specific goals or

decision, just as it is which is different for our usual decision-based focus.

This type of non-decisional focusing is new to the brain and it has to use remodeling to comply.

Rewiring on the frontal lobes is particularly interesting.

4) Learn and practice a new activity, task or new hobby. There are endless:

Art, music, sport, foreign language, learning to work with our left hand if right handed, etc…

These new activities must be active that is requiring effort, concentration and repetition.

Final words:

The brain, like our heart and other muscles can morphologically change when facing new challenges

that is when where an adaptation either physical, mental or emotional is needed.

Recent neuro imaging has been very useful in this regard.

   Try this:

tart to use your left hand if right handed or vise versa for small stuff such as brushing

your teeth, holding your fork, etc. You will be slow and clumsy at first because your brain as

to figure out the way to do it. It will thru new wiring.

Beside, it is an excellent focusing exercise.

Our brain/mind is not as static as we thought but changing continuously as requested.

 

Thanks

 

#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…)