Living lightly- part III

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Now I come to the second book I bought from the library sale (please read the last two posts if you are new to this).  This was the ‘Healing power of the mind’ by Tulku Thondup (a Tibetan Buddhist monk).  I would like to share from this book, the most powerful visualisation and relaxation exercise I have done.

This is about nothingness and imagining that you are slowly dissolving into air and your surroundings- expanding to become part of it.  Most mindfulness exercises ask you to become mindful of your body, thoughts and actions.- you are asked to ‘look’ at your body, feelings or actions and consider them lightly, letting them go.  With this ‘nothingness’ exercise you let go of everything.  It is very difficult to achieve at first but becomes easier and easier, achieving this state easily.  Perhaps this is what drugs to you I thought but without the harmful effects.  The first time I did it, it was not easy.  However, with time, melting into my surroundings has become easier for me.  I felt relaxed with the heaviness of life gone- I felt like air and light.

Thondup also talks about not ‘grasping’ state of mind.  A lot of worry and stress come from grasping- people, power, position, fame etc.  By doing this exercise of dissolving, it is the opposite of grasping.  I have this photo of snow drops and other spring flowers which disappear after the spring, only to arrive beautiful and rejuvenated with life next spring.  We also do a similar thing during sleep, perhaps even during death.  So doing this while alive can also have a rejuvenating effect.

Try it and let me know if it works for you!

Finding daily Inspiration

I have realised that I keep going back to certain quotes and so I thought it would be good to place them together.   Hope you enjoy ( even identify with me) and get inspired by them too!

1. The quickest way to gain power is to do something we are afraid of doing.  When we are afraid of doing something, we have given up our power to that.  So to regain that power, we need to do whatever we stopped doing or never did.

Robin Sharma (I heard this in one of his  videos so this is may not be the exact quote but it is the essence of what he said ).

2. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr. (I read this at a hotel in Birmingham when I was going through an extremely difficult time and this inspired me to carry on)

3. In your 20’s and 30’s, you worry about what other people think. In your 40’s and 50’s you stop worrying about what other people think. Finally in your 60’s and 70’s, you realize they were never thinking about you in the first place!

Anonymous (I can’t remember where exactly I read it but it struck me that I had I had spent a long time worrying about what others thought of me and consequently, I had put very little into nourishing my own soul and body.  And this had been another way of giving up my power and individuality and so this has helped me)

Today, a Buddhist friend said that he spends the time before going to bed reflecting on three things that he did for others and how he could do them better next time.  I thought this was an inspirational way to get ready for sleep in a positive frame of mind for the next day.

Finally I read this recently in Huffington Post written by Tamara Star (10/10/13) and I read this daily as an affirmation as I go around finally living my own life.

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Power of thoughts

The power of the mind has been in the news this week a lot- from Indian mystic who claims to have lived on ‘cosmic energy’ harnessed by the power of the mind for 70 years (yes, 70 years!) to the volunteers at the University of Minnesota who managed to fly model helicopters through hoops using the power of thoughts (you can see it on youtube if you like).

What many new age thinkers have been saying based on age old traditional wisdom, has now been proved scientifically. Buddhism talks about the one-ness of mind and body and for too long, mind and body have been treated separately by medical practitioners and science. So it is worth looking into what we have been thinking when we fall ill- did we have negative thoughts about ourselves or for others? Does a particular food or surrounding trigger off negative emotions or depression?  How does lack of exercise make you feel?

While it is not always practical to remove ourselves from negative environments or people, we can limit their presence and as soon our interaction with them is over, we can send out positive thoughts to them and ourselves. I did that recently with a woman I met on the street- although I initially felt angry at what she said to me, as I walked on, I continued to smile and send her smiles as well. I had the most amazing day!

As Daisaku Ikeda says- “One thing is certain: That is that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it. If you really believe you can do something, you can. That is a fact.” I truly believe this now.  So do start using this from now on- it may be the best thing you have done for yourself and for others!

Providence and preparedness

On 24th May 2013, I wrote about the Scottish mountaineer, W H Murray, who was captured by the Germans during the Second World War and his astonishing story of writing his memoirs on toilet paper.  Murray was able to capture the moment by being determined and through this determination, become able to make things happen (see my blog on Overcoming hesitancy)

Murray’s experience and quote resounds with Nichiren‘s explanation made in 13th Century Japan-

“It is like the case of a fishing net: though the net is composed of innumerable small meshes, when one pulls on the main cord of the net, there are no meshes that do not move. Or it is like a garment: though the garment is composed of countless tiny threads, when one pulls on a corner of the garment, there are no threads that are not drawn along.”

I remember this Louis Pasteur quote too, “Chance prepares only the favoured mind.” All these great minds were talking about the same thing.  Last year, I started a chain of events by giving away books and other stuff to my colleagues in preparation for leaving my place of work and starting something new.  At that time, there was nothing to suggest that there would be a favourable moment to leave as I was very busy and it appeared that I was really needed there.  But that moment arrived in February this year, only about six months later.  I felt as if I had created that moment when I started taking action.

T T Munger was a research scientist in the USA and he said this, “Providence has nothing good or high in store for one who does not resolutely aim at something high or good. A purpose is the eternal condition of success.”  That moment was the right time to leave for something better was validated in this case. Agatha Christie, one of my favourite writers used this quote from Shakespeare Julius Caesar in one of her crime novels-

“There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;”

So if there is something that you really want to do, start preparing for it now.  Then you will be prepared well when the moment to realise it arrives!