Do you have trouble with anger, or does your mind raise levels of hatred towards others? If so, then this short video from Mingyur Rinpoche may be useful for you and help you become aware of your anger, hatred and turn them into feelings of compassion and loving kindness.
A dear Chinese friend of mine asked me to explain ‘Energy’ to another Chinese friend last night…..’Wow’ ! I thought, how do I explain that one’ in one easy sentence 😦
I was slightly lucky because just at that moment these two lovely Chinese ladies were being harassed a little by a foreigner who was a little drunk, very loud, argumentative, highly non-empathetic and downright arrogant…I therefore had the perfect way to explain ‘Energy’ to this young lady who is going through some severe relationship problems at the moment. She had come out for the evening to meet with her friend in order to gain some help and hopefully some advice regarding her problems. I was just a bystander being asked to help, so here is what I said to this young lady…
‘Energy’, is something that some of us can feel but others cannot! You called your friend and asked her to meet you this evening in order for her to listen to your relationship troubles and hopefully help you with her advice, you called her because you trust her, she is quietly spoken, friendly and she listens to you, she will not judge you and she will hold your hand and be there for you, her ‘Energy’ is calm and you feel comfortable sharing these intimate problems with her, right? She nodded and said yes, I feel she can really help me :)…
I then turned to this foreigner and said to her, he is the opposite of your friend, you turn your back to him, your shoulders are rounded away from him, your head is down and you try to be as far away from him as possible, he is loud, he is aggressive, he is pushy towards you, he invades your personal space and only thinks of himself, you feel insecure and threatened by him, right? She nodded and said yes!…
His energy is bad, it is dark, it is forceful and he wants to control you, can you see the difference?…She immediately nodded her head and said yes with a smile, I said this is ‘Energy’… 🙂 and the difference between positive (happy) and negative (dark, threatening)
From that moment on, she opened up to her friend and to me and we were able to connect to her problems, the arrogant guy got the message and left us alone and at the end of the evening she went home feeling happier and carried with her a little love and positive energy from us both 🙂
Remember my friends, ‘the darkness cannot prevail if you turn on the light’ 🙂
Go on, you know you want one…Reach out, close your eyes and feel the warmth of my hug, my arms around you, comforting you. It comes to you with my love and best wishes for a wonderful day filled with happiness, joy and peace wherever you are in this world 🙂
Touching base with your heart and your soul, easy?…… No!….Achievable?…Yes! 🙂
Our lives are so full of madness…time, the clock, rushing here, rushing there, eating while watching tv, reading the news, checking and responding to emails….working, parenting, relationships,’…their up’s and down’s…children and our fear for their future, challenges at work, career prospects, learning, financial difficulties….Is it all doom and gloom?….Only if you let it be!
I too have been a victim of all these things, my life has been filled with education, doing better, achieving more, working hard, working harder, working more hours, doing more of everything, wanting more of everything, buying for the sake of buying, mounting debt problems, children, the worries of being a parent, relationship challenges, divorce, grieving for the loss of loved ones, changing careers, re-educating myself, starting again, fighting to survive, living on the breadline, finding new love, emerging from the flames, being born again, awakening to the realities of life, becoming aware of what is important in life, caring from the heart, wanting to see change in our world, fighting for change, being frustrated that I cannot do enough, or make change happen overnight…an on; and on the cycle goes….So now what?…Where am I and what does the future hold?
Should I give up, should I buckle down and follow the pack, work every hour god sends, chase the dreams of others, or follow my heart, live in the ‘now’, do as ‘I’; my soul, my higher self wants?….
A dilemma felt by many….., choices…which way to go?…
The choice is yours, either be controlled or be in control….
I choose life, I choose to live in the now, to work in ‘Mindfulness’ of the other sometimes more important things in my life, for my family, for our future, for humanity, for our environment, for Mother Earth, for others less fortunate than I, I choose to serve for the betterment of my self, for my soul. My heart is now free, free to choose which way to go, I listen to my heart, I trust my intuition, I listen with Empathy to others with the intent to understand, and I place my feet firmly down on my own spiritual pathway, the journey which leads me through life with a smile; not a burden of weight placed upon my shoulders by others who want to control my destiny.
Be ‘Mindful’ my dear friends, live your life according to your own destiny, allow yourself the luxury right to enjoy your life to the full, take time out for yourself, connect with your heart and soul through meditation, free your mind from the distractions of modern life, see life as it really is and start enjoying each and every day to the full, see the blueness of the sky or if your sky is grey; see the blueness of the sky up above the clouds, watch the sun rise and set, see the smiles of the children around you , reconnect with your inner child, smile, always smile and breathe….just breathe 🙂
Living in China and having a long personal history of martial arts, Chinese history, culture and my own spiritual practice embedded in China for the past fifty years, has; over the years made me very interested in Daoism/Taoism, Lao Tzu/ Lao Zi, the Dao De Jing/Tao Te Ching, I Ching..there are so many ways they are represented globally 🙂 The difference between Daojia 道家 , Taoist Philosophy and Daojiao 道教, Daoist Religion brings even more confusion to the western world let alone understanding the I Ching (The Book of Change), the oracle of fortune, a guide to success and a dispensary of wisdom. The ancestor of all Chinese philosophy, it is the primary source for the pragmatic mysticism of the Tao Te Ching, the rational humanism of Confucius, and the analytic strategy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War and of course the wonderful Yin 酓 Yang 昜 in traditional Chinese and Yin阴Yang 阳 in modern simplified Chinese.
Yin is the black side with the white dot in it, and yang is the white side with the black dot in it. The relationship between yin and yang is often described in terms of sunlight playing over a mountain and a valley. Yin (literally the ‘shady place’ or ‘north slope’) is the dark area occluded by the mountain’s bulk, while yang (literally the ‘sunny place’ or ‘south slope’) is the brightly lit portion. As the sun moves across the sky, yin and yang gradually trade places with each other, revealing what was obscured and obscuring what was revealed.
Yin is characterised as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity , and nighttime.
Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime.
Yin and yang applies to the human body. In traditional Chinese medicine good health is directly related to the balance between yin and yang qualities within oneself.If yin and yang become unbalanced, one of the qualities is considered deficient or has vacuity.
Anyways, I could go on forever trying to explain Yin Yang, The Dao/Tao so I thought I would share with you this very short cartoon animated Ted Talk video explaining Yin Yang, I hope you enjoy it and that it will inspire you to learn more about Daoism 🙂
Ancient healers were one with infinite love.
But they ignored social convention
So people thought they were crazy.
They would pay attention to what others overlooked;
While others debated, they would
While others would worry, they’d
Alert, they discover the world anew
with each footfall
Humble, they greet you with
the innocence of a child
Patient, they wait for nothing,
knowing everything is here
Present, they respond to change
like an eagle in flight
Open, they listen without judgement
Gentle, they cradle your soul in the
memory of light.
Intent on deepest healing
Some carry the deepest wounds.
Placid, they are the still, clear pool
Reflecting mountain and sky.
My meditations and prayers are with you
My sage, my inspiration, my friend.
Re: Thay’s present health condition and how to support Thay’s recovery
Plum Village, November 12, 2014
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,
With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014 Thay, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.
At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible.
For the last two months, Thay’s health had already been fragile due to his advanced age. He was hospitalized in Bordeaux on the 1st of November. He was gaining strength day by day until this sudden and unexpected change in his condition.
All the monasteries in the tradition of Plum Village are organizing practice sessions to generate the energy of mindfulness and to send Thay this healing and loving energy. We would like to ask the whole worldwide community of meditation practitioners to participate and support us in this critical moment. We know and trust that Thay will receive all your energy and that this will be a big support in his healing and recovery.
Our practice of stability and peace in this very moment is the best support we can offer to Thay. Let us all around the world take refuge in our practice, going together as a river to offer Thay our powerful collective energy. We are all cells of the great Sangha Body that Thay has manifested in his lifetime.
May the Love Compassion and Healing Energies of the whole of humanity be brought through the devine matrix to Thich Nhat Hanh ‘Thay’ at his moment of need and bring him the healing he needs to gain a full recovery.
Just because we’re old doesn’t mean we are past enjoying technology and the beauty that can be brought into our lives through the proper use if that technology and equally just because we are young doesn’t mean we are insensitive towards old people and non interested in the wisdom that age can bring to our young lives!
I like to think that there is wisdom in every being, young or old, rich or poor, we all have something to offer to this life and to our world.
Enjoy this image my friends and wonder for a while and imagine what music or words this wise old Tao Master is listening to!
Lao Tzu was a philosopher and poet of ancient China. He is best known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, but he is also revered as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. Although a legendary figure, he is usually dated to around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians contend that he actually lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Lao Tzu is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern common folk of the Li family as a founder of their lineage. Throughout history, Lao Tzu’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.
Lao Tsu taught that all straining, all striving are not only vain but counterproductive. One should endeavor to do nothing (wu-wei). But what does this mean? It means not to literally do nothing, but to discern and follow the natural forces — to follow and shape the flow of events and not to pit oneself against the natural order of things. First and foremost to be spontaneous in ones actions.
In this sense the Taoist doctrine of wu-wei can be understood as a way of mastering circumstances by understanding their nature or principal, and then shaping ones actions in accordance with these. This understanding has also infused the approach to movement as it is developed in Tai Chi Chuan.
Understanding this, Taoist philosophy followed a very interesting circle. On the one hand the Taoists, rejected the Confucian attempts to regulate life and society and counseled instead to turn away from it to a solitary contemplation of nature. On the other hand they believed that by doing so one could ultimately harness the powers of the universe. By ‘doing nothing’ one could ‘accomplish everything.’
Lao Tzu writes:
The Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
The ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
They would return to the simplicity of formless substance.
Without form there is no desire.
Without desire there is tranquillity.
In this way all things would be at peace.
In this way Taoist philosophy reached out to council rulers and advise them of how to govern their domains. Thus Taoism, in a peculiar and roundabout way, became a political philosophy. The formulation follows these lines:
The Taoist sage has no ambitions, therefore he can never fail. He who never fails always succeeds. And he who always succeeds is all- powerful.
From a solitary contemplation of nature, far removed from the affairs of men, can emerge a philosophy that has, both in a critical as well a constructive sense — a direct and practical political message. Lao Tzu writes:
Why are people starving?
Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes.
Therefore the people are starving.
Why are the people rebellious?
Because the rulers interfere too much.
Therefore they are rebellious.
Why do people think so little of death?
Because the rulers demand too much of life.
Therefore the people take life lightly.
Having to live on, one knows better than to value life too much.
Lao Tzu always spoke of going with the flow of life, be like water and you will always find a way, and if you want to help awaken others then first understand yourself and awaken yourself. Learn the gifts of silence and listening as they are two of the greatest strengths for you to possess my friends and always remember to give to others from your heart, and you will reap benefits in return and lastly be thankful and grateful for all you have in your life, once you reach this understanding then you will realize that there is nothing lacking in your life and therefore nothing else matters, you will then be at peace with yourself and the world.
I will be traveling for the next few weeks but I will try to post as and when I can. Peace and Love to you all.
In Taoism the Tao ‘Wu Wei’ is often compared to a river. When we talk about going with the flow, we are describing the Tao as having a definitive direction, just like a river flowing in a certain way. Since we live in the Tao, it is important to understand its direction, just as those who swim in a river must understand how its currents work and how this effects their ability to swim, or not.
Moving in flow with the Tao is like swimming downstream. It requires little or no effort at all and you can travel a large distance in a very short time without expending all your energy. Moving against the Tao is like swimming upstream. No matter how hard you try and how hard you swim against the flow of the river, you will struggle to get anywhere and very soon you become exhausted and will possibly drown.
This is why harmony, peace and love are emphasised in the teachings of the Tao. They represent the same flow as the Tao. The more you move with them, the more we experience the effortless grace that they bring to our lives. Life is smooth and easy, and you can go along way in a short time.
To swim with the flow, focus on the positives within your life. Like attracts like, so as soon as you mindfully turn your attention to the goodness of life, you start heading in the same direction. Even the smallest act of appreciation, like a slight movement of a fish to align itself to the powefful current of the river, can be all that you need to turn your life around.
Stop living your life of negativity, go with the flow of life, be thankful for the blessings your life has to offer you and open your heart to a new way of life.
You have often read these words within my posts, but as I work in the field of Psychology and Mindfulness I’m often trying to help people understand who they really are. Even I, after all these years of life must from time to time remind myself who I really am. I often reflect and go deep inside myself through meditations and connect to my inner self, to my very being, to my heart and to my soul in order to understand why I am; where I am; in my life.
You can’t see it with the ordinary eye
You can’t hear it with the ordinary ear
You can’t feel it with the ordinary touch
You can’t separate it from light or dark
You can’t approach it from ahead or behind
It’s like a pyramid of mirrors.
Everywhere you look
You see yourself.
Open the pyramid to see whats inside:
The reflection is you.
To define your life is futile;
Don’t get ahead of yourself
Don’t get behind yourself
Don’t compare yourself.
Just be you and enjoy what’s inside.
Consider this: In this present moment God chooses to be you.
I came across this image today and felt the need to share it with you, I think it sums up my feeling that we as humanity are loosing sight of what is real due to the fog of social media and technology that run our lives today. We are sadly loosing the skills of face to face communication and our lives are measured by the social media rankings that we are given when we take part in online happiness, relationship and personality type tests that pigeon hole us into certain groups, no longer are we wise individuals with our own thoughts and aspirations, but slowly but surely becoming lemmings to the corporate powers that be!
Please remember your loved ones this weekend, give them a hug, tell them you love them and spend some quality time together out amongst nature without your phone or tablet device.
Sit in Easy Pose, with a light Neck Lock. Keep your spine straight and your chest slightly lifted. With your elbows at the base of your ribs, raise your hands to sternum level. The palms face each other. Curl your fingers into a loose fist. Your thumbs point straight up.The top segment of your thumbs touch their inner edges. The rest of your hands stay separated. Bring your concentration to the breath. Create a steady breath rhythm with the following ratio and pathway: Inhale through the nose slowly for about 8 seconds. Hold in the breath for about 8 seconds. Release the breath through the nose in 8 equal strokes. Hold the breath out for 8 seconds. Once this pattern is set, you can gradually increase the time from 8 seconds to as long as you like. (to count 8 seconds or strokes you can say Sa-Ta-Na-Ma to yourself twice). If you increase the time, keep the time equal in each section of this technqiue.
Begin this practice gradually. Start with 3 minutes. Increase the time to 31 min. by adding 3-5 minutes per week of practice.
Inhale deeply, stretch your arms up over the head, and open and close your fists several times. Relax the breath and arms and meditate for one minute before resuming normal activity.
Most people consider ego a perjorative term, but it indicates how we self-identify. Do we see ourselves as limited or unlimited? Creative or clunky? Powerful or pensive? Success in all arenas of life begins by defining ourselves not by how we think we’ve been, but by what we aspire to. This is the definition of positive ego. Project for the future through your actions and integrity. Let your presence be your calling card. Let your presence be proof of concept, consistent with what you can deliver. When our identity is Infinity we are unlimited. This Meditation features the number 8 which stands for Infinity (form and formless in an eternal dance). When we hold the breath in and out we are creating a neutral space for Infinity to flow into. Our fears and our fluctuations subside and we simply are that we are with no end and no beginning. In this Meditation the thumbs relate to the ego which is our fixed self. In some energetic models the thumbs also relate to ether which is our aspect not bound by biology or the laws of physics. Give yourself a thumbs up for permission to be new and be you! Turn ego into liberated Energy to help you GO for it.
A big thank you to my friend Charmaine Ananda for this post.
My Dear Friends,
Tomorrow is Chinese New Years eve so I will be going off line and travelling with my wife to the mountains of central north China where we will spend the Chinese New Year holiday with her family on their farm. This time is spent honouring family members, passed ancestors and the younger generation where we come together as one and enjoy the festivities, so I would like to take this opportunity in wishing you all
A Very Happy Chinese New Year
Gong Xi Fa Chai 恭喜发财
Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快乐
2014 The Year of the Horse
So if you were born in :- 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, and 2002 then you were born in the Year of the Horse.
Horse people are active and energetic. They got plenty of sex-appeal and know how to dress. Horses love to be in the crowd, maybe that is why they can usually be seen in such occasions like concerts, theaters, meetings, sporting occasions, and of course, parties.
The horse is very quick-witted and is right in there with you before you have had the chance to finish what you are saying: he’s on to the thought in your mind even before you’ve expressed it.
In general, the Horse is gifted. But in truth they are really more cunning than intelligent – and they know that. That is probably why, most of the horse people lack confidence.
Chinese believe that because horses are born to race or travel, all Horse people invariably leave home young. The Horse despises being pressured to act for the good of the group or made to feel guilty. No matter how integrated they seem to be, a Horse’s inner self remains powerfully rebellious. Although they have boundless energy and ambition, Horses have a hard time belonging. The Horse is hot-blooded, hot-headed and impatient. Horse people are a bit of an egoist, well, selfish sometimes, that it is rare for them to interest themselves in any problems except their own. And though this egoist works only for themselves and for their own success, their work nevertheless benefits everybody.
The Horse is a worker, adepts at handling money and a good financier. But unfortunately, they are also famous for suddenly losing interest on something. In their relationship with the opposite sex, the Horse is weak. They will give up everything for love.
Being born a Horse, there are many contradictions in their character. Horses are proud yet sweet-natured, arrogant yet oddly modest in their approach to love, envious but tolerant, conceited yet humble. They want to belong, yet they are burdened by their need for independence. They need love and crave intimacy yet often feel cornered, pressured. But the truth is, the Horse is an individual, who depends only on their own wits and labour to get what they want
Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated on the first day of the year of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festiva; on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calandar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year”.
The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritious, Philippines, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of ‘Good Fortune’ or ‘Happiness’ ‘wealth’, and ‘longevity.’ Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes (Hong Bao) .
Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use continuously numbered years, outside China its years are often numbered from the reign of the 3rd millennium BC Yellow Emperor. But at least three different years numbered 1 are now used by various scholars, making the year beginning in 2013 AD the “Chinese Year” 4711, 4710, or 4650.