Friday, February 24, 2012

Bring Warmheartedness to your Teaching

Here's the Dalai Lama's Facebook post today:

"Education and knowledge by themselves do not bring inner peace to individuals, families or the society in which they live. But education combined with warmheartedness, a sense of concern for the well-being of others, has much more positive results. If you have a great deal of knowledge, but you're governed by negative emotions, then you tend to use your knowledge in negative ways. Therefore, while you are learning, don't forget the importance of warmheartedness."

How often do I try to "impart some knowledge" to someone, and end up feeling frustrated by the lack of receptivity! Taking a step back to begin with warmheartedness and caring can change the interaction completely!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 Ways To Become Happier

A recent article in Yes! Magazine lists 10 things "science says will make you happy." Each point refers to scientific research that showed that performing these actions resulted in greater measures of things like satisfaction, happiness or self-esteem. Here's the list:
1. Savor everyday moments 
2. Avoid comparisons
3. Don't make money your top priority
4. Do have goals that are meaningful to you
5. Take initiative at work
6. Treasure family and friendships
7. Have a "Glass is half full" attitude
8. Express gratitude
9. Exercise
10. Give, volunteer, or help others

Most if not all of the researchers above have spent their careers on this research. Yet...with any research the conclusion you draw depends on how you define your study. For example, I've seen studies that show that people who "lie to themselves" (is that what you call optimism?) are happier. Finally, many fall into a fallacy that being happier will lead to greater physical or economic well-being. But, as my aikido Sensei is fond of saying, the point of happiness is to feel happy "without job, without money, without girlfriend." If you do get those things, you'll be even more happy!!

Well, I have to agree, more happiness seems like a good thing, even without job, without money.

And it's easy enough to confirm these results through a subjective experiment. Why not try?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don’t forget love;
it will bring all the madness you need
to unfurl yourself across
the universe.
-Meera Bai  - from "I Write of That Journey"

Friday, February 10, 2012


What do you call someone who is neither agnostic nor a believer in any particular religion?

"Our ignorance of the cosmos is too vast to commit to atheism, and yet we know too much to commit to a particular religion. A third position, agnosticism, is often an uninteresting stance in which a person simply questions whether his traditional religious story (say, a man with a beard on a cloud) is true or not true. But with Possibilianism I'm hoping to define a new position -- one that emphasizes the exploration of new, unconsidered possibilities. Possibilianism is comfortable holding multiple ideas in mind; it is not interested in committing to any particular story." - David Eagleman 

David Eagleman on Possibilianism.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What Makes a Fire Burn

What makes a fire burn
is the space between the logs,
a breathing space.

Why should we make the effort to step back from our thoughts, to try to step outside the hum of fears, anticipation and anxieties that are the background of our lives? This poem, Fire, by Judy Brown speaks to the notion that creating more space allows the spirit to shine through.