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Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness

Taming the Tiger Within: advices from Thich Nhat Hanh to diffuse anger, conquer fear and cultivate love.

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Recognize & embrace your anger when it manifests itself.
Care for it with tenderness rather than suppressing it.

Many of us begin a relationship with great love,
very intense love.
So intense that we believe that,
without our partner,
we cannot survive.
Yet if we do not practice mindfulness,
it takes only one or two years for our love to be transformed into hatred.
Then, in our partner’s presence we have the opposite feeling,
we feel terrible.
It becomes impossible to live together anymore,
so divorce is the only way.
Love has been transformed into hatred;
our flower has become garbage.

If you see elements of garbage in you,
such as fear, despair, and hatred, don’t panic.
As a good organic gardener,
a good practitioner,
you can face this:
"I recognize that there is garbage in me.
I am going to transform this garbage into nourishing compost that can make love reappear."

Mindfulness means to be present,
to be aware of what is going on.
This energy is very crucial for the practice.
The energy of mindfulness is like a big brother or big sister,
holding a young one in her arms,
taking good care of the suffering child,
which is our anger, despair, or jealousy.

When you say something unkind,
when you do something in retaliation,
your anger increases.
You make the other person suffer,
and they try hard to say or do something back to make you suffer,
and get relief from their suffering.
That is how conflict escalates.

If it is your partner who is angry, just listen.
Listen and do not react.
Do your best to practice compassionate listening.
Do not listen for the purpose of judging, criticizing, or analyzing.
Listen only to help the other person express himself and
find some relief from his suffering.

If we are able to touch our ground of no birth and no death,
we will have no fear.
That is the base of our true happiness.

Written by blueroselady

January 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Happiness exercise: daily O.G.A.M for our well-beings

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Everyday, when you wake up try to practice O.G.A.M for your well-beings, as a part of happiness exercises.

Optimism increases our hope.
Gratitude increases our joy.
Affirmations increase our confidence.

Mindfulness increases our peace.

More:
Optimism / positivity increases our hope. Optimism : (1) the belief that good things will happen to us and that negative events are temporary / transient setbacks / challenges to be overcome (2) an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome. Aim for realistic optimism.
Gratitude increases our joy ; gratitude is about appreciating who we are, what we have and where we are — right now, right here. Notice and be thankful for the present.
Affirmations increase our confidence / self-belief.

Mindfulness / mediation / praying / dreaming / mind time / mental processing increases our peace.

Written by blueroselady

October 23, 2013 at 5:36 am

My simple yet meaningful weekend activities

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In the 3rd weekend of the last month of 2012, I
@~@ woke up at 9 am (I was so tired from the night before, we went to Ikea to buy some stuff for our baby and kitchen).
@~@ read a couple of New York Times articles.
@~@ listened to my daily prayer for our baby.
@~@ listened to classical music.
@~@ paid bills, recorded my expenditure.
@~@ updated LinkedIn, added new contacts. Took a lot of time to personalize my message! However, with an investment of few hundred $, I want to ensure that I am connected with the inspiring people I met recently.
@~@ washed dishes. Honestly, I dislike doing this, but my mentor TNH told me to be mindful while washing dishes, as a form of meditation for enlightenment.
@~@ planned for our next dwelling by listing the essential attributes. Main criteria for me: no smokers nearby please!
@~@ hugged my lover. Men who receive kisses and hugs live longer.
@~@ sourced for photographic inspirations for our babies.
@~@ worked through remote connection to my work computer. This is to ensure that my jobs are continuously running even though I am sleeping.
@~@ had a cold shower. So refreshing! When people are deprived of shower, even a simple shower can be so pleasurable!
@~@ cooked steamed double cheese broccoli. 15 minutes to prepare.
@~@ cooked pork rib soup with red dates and wolf berries.
@~@ did yoga cum listened to a lecture from a popular Harvard course. Yes, I am a geek. Listening to the course helped me to do yoga for at least 15 minutes.
@~@ read our wedding wish cards. "Love isn’t finding a perfect person. It’s seeing an imperfect person perfectly." – Sam Keen, American author & philosopher
@~@ made personalized greeting cards for my friends.
@~@ went to church.
@~@ fell in love with the apricot & almond cookies box of Forever Friends vintage. I kept the image of the box as an inspiration.
@~@ ate Baskin-Robbins ice cream of the following flavors: pomegranate vanila, Rocky Road (chocolate with mini marshmallow), with the topping of hot fudge. We thought that the fudge was too sweet for us.
@~@ appreciated starry night (we saw Orion) while strolling at the next door park.

God, I am so grateful and happy, for my simple yet meaningful lifestyle.

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/