Consciousness in the 17th Century

 

17th Century Representation of Consciousness;  Wikipedia Creative Commons terms of use
17th Century Representation of Consciousness

 The Mind is like magic!

I love this kind of stuff. Anything about the mind interests me. The mind is a Pandora’s Box full of unknown (unconscious) wonder and potential. It feels similar to “real magic” to me, and it seems this was the case in the 17th century as well. That amazes me; as little as we know today (more and more each day with VMRI, and so forth) yet all the years back to the 17th century, very little seems to have progressed in the science of the conscious mind or consciousness itself.
 

Where and what is Consciousness?

Meditating, dream analysis, and inner work, cultivates awareness, thus consciousness. You become conscious of your world only when you become aware of the world around you; consciousness is awareness. 
 
I read and listen to long-time Buddhist practitioners, Buddhist Monks and Nuns, and meditation practitioners (sans Buddhist teachings.) One thing they all have in common is the understanding that meditation, whether part of Buddhist traditions or not, requires practice. Every book, video, audio I read, watch, or listen to all have the same direction: practice. They themselves use terms such as “…my meditation practice…” or “…when I practice meditation…” My point is that meditation starts as an awkward, vulnerable, and at times embarrassing action that we have only read, heard, or viewed; it is difficult to start, but starting is no different than six or ten years from now- practice, practice, practice. There is no end to practicing meditation or learning the Dhamma, if you choose, as both are life-changing regardless how much you practice; however, the more you practice, the more your suffering subsides to nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

Loving Kindness

Practice Loving Kindness Toward You


 

The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Read that again.

Loving oneself seems so elusive today! Why? Why do people not love themselves, or worse, think they don’t deserve love from anyone else. With no mention of “affection,” because I think it’s redundant to love, which is the key – The Key – to this and every other life. Love can be learned with the right intentions and the right circumstances, but love is also part of our “firmware” when we are born. It’s not put into use for a few years, but it’s there and one is, hopefully, shown love from the time they are born. Sadly, that is not happening enough in our world. 

Loving Yourself

You deserve your love and admiration. You are enough and you are beautiful. We all are! Not one shit shall be given about what others think and say with regards to who you are as a person – who you are inside. All the clothes, houses, cars, schools, glasses, shoes, pools, flat screens, and so forth mean NOTHING. Nice to have, yes, but no amount of money, fame, or notoriety will fill you like loving yourself fills you. It is paramount that you begin the process of learning how to love yourself. You then teach your s/o, children, neighbors, and it takes off. The collective unconscious picks it all up and spreads loving kindness to all. 

Loving Kindness Meditation

I found Loving Kindness Meditation, known as Meta in Pali, five years ago through the podcast channel for Insight Meditation Center (IMC) in Redwood City, California. They were the only “Meditation for Beginners” podcast I found and still find it the best variety of speakers and topics meditation podcast today. Visit their Web site and follow the links to the six-week meditation course for beginners and start there. IMC teaches Loving Kindness Meditation and they do it well. They have a retreat center where they host 1 day to 30-day meditation retreats (and probably  longer.)

Loving kindness is good for you and your Self. Loving kindness toward every being on the planet, every plant, animal, fish, all deserve thoughts of loving kindness. Enemies, friends, mothers, fathers, hated siblings, and YOU deserve your focus of loving kindness. Meditation is an opportunity to focus your loving kindness on one person or one group of people, and always on yourself. Practice Loving Kindness meditation 20 minutes a day and learn to love yourself.

Who’s Your Therapist?

If you don’t have a therapist then find one (not a shrink – a Doctor Psychiatrist). Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) are therapists. Most list a specialization (drug abuse, teenagers, addictions, and so forth,) but you end up working best with the one you work best with; specialization or not, it works. The therapist is a non-biased licensed person whose job it is to listent to you and help you find a path leading to your answers. They aren’t to be used on an “as needed” basis either. Find a good therapist that you are comfortable with and continue with them for the next 10 years. These therapists help you on your journey through life; the first half of life (get married, kids, career, raise kids) and the second half of life (no kids, no idea who you’re married to, shit starts to make no sense, and so forth, or a “midlife crisis,” which I’m going through myself.) A guide through both halfs of life is very helpful.

Face it, life is a bitch and a good guide (therapist) is very handy to have. Doctor-client privileges exist, so your discussions are completely private (there are some terms and conditions that apply around crime, self harm, suicide, and so on,) and a good therapist will walk with you down the path, lead you to your answers, but will not point them out. It’s like the saying “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” If your therapist tells you what to do and gives you all the answers, then you aren’t going to learn a damn thing. But when they lead you to the answer and YOU find it, that is what Oprah calls an “ah-ha moment,” and it’s quite amazing when you learn something, that clarifies something about you that you’ve never understood. Find out why you do what you do. It’s amazing.

I am in no way promoting IMC for any reason except my personal bias.

I’ve told her a million times she needs her own #meditation cushion!

via Instagram http://bit.ly/LbTF0K ||| I’ve told her a million times she needs her own #meditation cushion!

Ten Unwholesome Actions and Wholesome Action (Buddhism)

Ten Unwholesome Actions from Buddhism

Buddha quote

 

 

  1. Destroying Life – Killing – Don’t kill any living being. Person, ant, bird, spider, or any other living being. No one has any right to take the life of another.
  2. Taking what is Not Freely Given – Stealing – Don’t take what isn’t freely given to you.
  3. Wrong Conduct In Regards to Sense Pleasures – Sexual misconduct – Abstain from anything sexual or sensual.
  4. False Speech – I originally associated False Speech with “Don’t lie”,  but False Speech includes much more than lying, including white lies, “didn’t hurt anyone lies”, lying by omission, information out of context, and so forth.
  5. Slanderous Speech – Bigotry – Don’t slander or claim hatred of another being.
  6. Harsh Speech –  Malicious speech – Don’t speak unkindly to another. Do unto others…
  7. Idle Chatter – Gossip – Don’t pass idle information to others. You be the stop when the gossip gets to you. Don’t pass it on.
  8. Covetousness – Coveting – Don’t spend energy wanting what others have, whether it is another person, a vehicle, a house, or a laptop. Be content with you and yours. Love you.
  9. Ill Will – Wishing harm on another – Don’t wish ill will on anyone or anything. Let each be who they are and accept who they are without judgement.
  10. Wrong View – I believe in this, not in that. Thus “that” is not my concern – Don’t close your mind to ideas that you don’t fully understand. Be open-minded. 

Ten Wholesome Actions as Described in Buddhism

Ten Wholesome Actions described in Buddhism are the exact opposites of the Ten Unwholesome Actions:

  1. Do not kill or destroy any living being, plant, animal, and so forth.
  2. Do not steal.
  3. Avoid sexual or sensual situations and practice.
  4. Tell the truth. It shall set you free.
  5. Do not slander, do be a bigot, don’t judge, and don’t be prejudice another. 
  6. Use your words wisely and kindly.
  7. Do not pass on the gossip and try not to listen to it.
  8. Love you and your life, not someone else’s.
  9. Do not wish harm or illness on another.
  10. Open your mind to all possibilities.

Reference The Dhamma Encyclopedia for more information.

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If you haven’t read them already, then read: 38 Supreme Blessings of The Buddha and Benefits of Meditation